Thursday, June 25, 2020

Art That Was Never Finished



Arguably the very best video ever posted by The Art Assignment. Extremely interesting and moving. They have disallowed posting on Facebook, so I won't put it there.

Be safe everyone, take care of yourselves and your family.


Monday, June 22, 2020

Jim Blind Contour

Jim blind contour drawing. Jim does crossword puzzles every day. 
I am not keeping a precise count. So far there may be 40 completed drawings. And many more blind contour drawings. I don't count them because they are so quick to do, and when they aren't interesting to me I don't take them further. Of course there are some completed that I am not crazy about.



So far I have learned:

  • Using fluid mat medium for collage isn't good if I plan to draw on top. Mat medium is good to glue down tissue paper. Brushed over the top it makes the tissue paper more transparent. But it repels pen ink.
  • I really like the tannish papers with black and white ink. 
  • I got better at the blind contours so I had to switch to non-dominant blind contour. 
  • I got better at remembering how many eyes I have drawn, so have started cheating at times and adding a third one. 
  • I have no idea what to do with these. I keep wanting a finished project. It's my complete-ist brain.
  • Adding collage takes a lot of time and thought.
  • I am overwhelmed by the social part of this - blog post, Facebook, Instagram, Flickr. I need a way to streamline.


Friday, June 19, 2020

A new subject, more blind contour

Blind contour on doodled background
Jim very sweetly volunteered to be a blind contour subject. He likes the distorted effect. Above is the first blind contour, done on a book page I doodled on years ago.

Analog blind contour

This is the analog version. Compared to the digital version below, I would like to make some changes. But of course can't.

Digital version of blind contour, done in Procreate
The blind contour was scanned and imported to Procreate where I could play with things like pen thickness and was able to erase to achieve the thin white lines. I'm trying to balance having a loose drawing with the amount of detail I like. I should have used a finer pen for the analog version. As a friend likes to say "onward."

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Blind Contour Drawing Challenge

Blind contour drawing on a piece of star chart

This is part of my Eileen blind contour project, which is expanding into a larger project.

Superman's Pal, blind contour on comic book page
This current group of blind contour drawings started with 12 book pages, one piece of a star chart and one comic book page. The four here are the ones I have completed so far. I painted most of the pages with slightly watered down titanium white acrylic paint to muffle the print and images.

Blind contour, hatching, collage
Then I did the blind contour drawings with a variety of pens I had on hand. Mostly Uniball Vision Elite pens, which have black ink tinted with various colors. I am still using the photos from Eileen, but will probably branch out soon. I want to try other faces and some objects, like chairs. After doing the blind contours, I scanned all the pages and imported them to Procreate on my iPad. I can do multiple digital versions and of course one analog version. These four are the analogs.

Blind contour on book page, hatching, collage
In looking at these I think there is possibility. I like the one on the star chart, mostly I think because the eye happened to fall in that light circle. (Jupiter) But I do love dark backgrounds. And I didn't even try to add collage. The Superman's Pal is appealing to me for some reason. Lots to look at, the head floats on the page. I don't like the big white bits of paper, and that warning symbol seems pointless in that context. And the drawing and the comic book page have no theme connection. The one with the postage stamps is okay, I do like the eyes high in the face. I couldn't find anything to collage on that I liked, the stamps were the closest I could come. The last one is just okay too. But I do like the different faces, including that there is one looking away from us. And there is more room for the collage in this one. Maybe it needs a pattern in the background?

If you have thoughts, leave a comment here or on Facebook. I am always interested in other people's opinions. You probably see things differently, which can be interesting.

*"A bunch" might be more accurate. If I find something else to work on, feel I have learned what I can or just get tired of the project, I will stop. If I am loving it after 100, of course I will continue.


Friday, May 29, 2020

And yet more Zymoglyphic finds



"There's treasure everywhere"
Still working on defining Zymoglyphic. Here are the previous posts. On the wall of the Zymoglyphic Museum Jim has this Calvin and Hobbes cartoon.


This is a particularly interesting find. It's crushed aluminum, found on the street. The age, dirt and texture transforms it into something strange.


This piece of wood caught my eye because it looks so animated, like a little person. I'm very curious to see what it becomes in the museum.


Another stick that doesn't really look like a stick.


This is a piece of a tree that must have blown over in a recent storm. There was bark and moss all over the street so Jim made a nice pile of the good stuff and we continued our walk up to Mt. Tabor. When we came back down the slope we could see the tree removal team was already there. Jim can walk much faster than I can, so I said to him "rush over there and get your stuff." Jim went over and told the guy by the truck he just wanted to pick up some moss and bark. The guy said "okay." But as Jim walked away I saw him kind of roll his eyes and shrug. Very funny. I assume he was thinking "only in Portland do we get these odd balls." But Jim did recover all his bits, that's the important part. This one is about 15 inches long and 12 wide. Some of the smaller pieces with lots of moss were placed in the garden. A few years ago Jim found some pieces of a tree that had been cut down, they had ferns and moss growing on them. He brought them home and put them under a shrub. The ferns have rooted and are happily growing there. The moss didn't transplant so well, but moss is hard to move.

Here's a very nice piece of plastic. New plastic is horrible, but when weathered it can be interesting. This one looked like it had potential to be a good stand.

A large weathered piece of bone. Unfortunately I don't remember anything about finding this.


This is my most recent find - and one of my all time favorite finds. It was on the sidewalk. Can you read the photo? It's a leg from an animal statue. Really gorgeous weathering and so much potential. This is a work of art in itself.



Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Blind Contour Drawing Challenge


Blind contour drawing on paper, scanned
and completed in Procreate.

After looking at these art prompts, my friend Eileen and I decided to try a quick drawing exercise. The parameters we choose were to make six by six inch drawings using blind contour or non-dominant hands for 20 minutes a day for five days. The drawing above conveys Eileen's spirit better than a more detailed drawing could.


Blind contour drawing scanned into Procreate
where hatching was added.

We exchanged around seven selfies (I got photos of Eileen, she got mine.) I was concerned I didn't have enough time because I had just signed up for a Sktchy class that would probably take six hours a week.

The original blind contour drawing which was the
foundation of the two drawings above.
I started doing a few non-dominant hand drawings, but I love the unpredictable nature of blind contour, so that's what I focused on. On the first day I was hooked. I stopped watching the Sktchy videos (they are on YouTube, so I can watch later.) I spent my 20 minutes doing four or five blind contour drawings, then another hour amplifying one of the drawings. After a few days I started using Procreate, a drawing app I favor on my iPad. After another day or so I was struggling with keeping to the "blind" part. The photo and the canvas in Procreate are right next to each other so it wasn't hard to see what was going on in my peripheral vision.

Screen shot of Procreate canvas. Layers show the solid black layer
with a drawing layer above. When the black layer is turned off,
the blind contour drawing is revealed.
Then I realized I could create a solid color layer, then make another layer above that and draw with the same solid color. (see screen shot above) That way I couldn't possibly see what I was drawing. When I was done with the blind contour part, I turned off the solid layer to reveal the drawing. The best part of this is that I don't remember what I have drawn, so there are two right eyes and two left earrings. I also raised my pencil at times, which adds a lot more randomness. More layers could be added for things such as background textures as in the drawing below.

The developed screen shot blind contour above.

The background on this one is a scan of a copy machine error that Eileen gave me last year. I tend to over-do these, in a way I don't think they need a lot of detail. But I'm just going with what I enjoy. I love black and white and contrast, so filling in some areas adds to the interest for me. There are more drawings in this Flickr album.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Free mini-book based on A Child's Introduction to the Wonders of Space

Free Mini-book by Judith Hoffman based on
A Child's Introduction to the Wonders of Space
This one is based on A Child's Introduction to the Wonders of Space. I took some of my favorite pages and cropped them to make a one sheet mini book. Download it here. You can find instructions to make this book here.

Free mini-book by Judith Hoffman based on
A Child's Introduction to the Wonders of Space

The original book was inspired by a copy of The Golden Book of Astronomy we found in Jim's brother's room when Alan died. I love the marks Alan made as a little kid. In the image above he has drawn the constellations pictured with a red crayon. To make sure we know which constellations they are, he also drew arrows. And he x'ed out Perseus, who was apparently not interesting to Alan. The whole story can be found at the link above to the larger one-of-a-kind book. You can view more free download books by clicking on the "Free for All"  and the "Zines" label in the sidebar.