Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Daily Paintings- Giraffe Plush

After being bogged down in my teaching job, I decided to start painting on a daily basis. I made a list of 40 objects around my house with different textures, shapes, and colors. I'm going to try to paint at least 2-3 of these a week. I'm not spending a whole lot of time of them, about an hour for drawing and blocking in color and then an hour for more in depth painting.

Observations on this first painting after my hiatus: I rely on line a lot to define form and I need to kick the habit. I'm pretty good at spotting vibrant colors but have some trouble with subtle variations and more neutral tones. Overall I'm pleased with this two hour painting and look forward to getting better.

Add: these paintings will be done in Photoshop CS4 to begin with, though I'm open to exploring Corel Painter.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

This is a Pika.

Last year I watched 'Kung Fu Panda' and found that the sensei, Shifu, was a red panda. Red pandas are relatively rare, but my theory is that this animated film sparked interest in the conservation of the animal. All of a sudden I saw red pandas at zoos and my natural science center. Not a coincidence, in my opinion.

So my idea is to read up on animals that are threatened with extinction and create a cartoon version of them. I found this little guy, a relative of the rabbit, called the Pika. The pika thermo-regulates quite well so he doesn't hibernate in the winter. Pikas live in the Rockies on the highest elevations, necessary because they are so warm internally. Global warming is causing them to seek higher elevations to find the cold. The pika really is the canary in the coal mine that is our environment.

I don't have the clout of Dreamworks Animation, but I do think it's good practice to find an animal, do reference sketches of it (see above), and start the design process. My favorite sketches are the ones that abstract enough so you're left with a few basic shapes. I chose my favorite and gave it the color treatment. This painting took about an hour, maybe a bit more.

I plan on finding new animals and going through this process each week, kind of a break from projects I'm working on.