I began a photography complimentary class and shall put up the best of my photographs at the end of semester. However I'd never done manual photography before, and it's been about 7 or so years since I last used film so as always a few photos turned out irredeemably overexposed, blurry or otherwise bad. I put the photographs aside and decided to draw onto the light ones and scratch into the dark ones. No consistent theme, just what I thought fit with the existing photograph.
These "winding on the film" photographs are interesting, and no, she isn't Princess Leia.
I will confess that all of these are done with photographic references, most of them not taken by me. I will link when possible but some of the pictures will take a lot of digging to relocate - just disclaimer - unless I say otherwise I did NOT take the original photos the drawings are based on, but I DID take every single one of the photos I am drawing on.
My dear friend lent me a typewriter. Maurice refers to E.M Forster's Maurice, who was a bit of a jerk to his female relatives for no reason. Still a good book, I encourage you to check it out.
This is the first negative drawing I did - with a needle. I refined my technique somewhat since this one.
Now here's when BAD THINGS STARTED TO HAPPEN. I went through my photo albums and seized all the horrific photos I had taken when I was too young to operate a camera. However they'd been sitting there for over 10 years and I presume the photographic chemicals had degraded, because drawing on this photograph ruined 6 pens. To date I have destroyed 8 pens on this project - fineliners just end up going all grey and scratchy. It's highly enraging.
One of these women is from the Victorian times, one of them is just dressed up like it. Now which one is which?
As you can see the bold confident blacks from the last photograph were destroyed as soon as I used my two new pens on this old photograph. DAMN.
I had a rough week and scraped both my face (faceplant off my bicycle onto asphalt path) and the front of the car. We were like mirror images.
This is from a photograph where I was wearing extensively disfiguring forms of binding. The effect was extremely weird.
Thought I was going to be employed to draw cake so I was worried that I didn't know how. Had a practice.
I really should never be an architect going on this imprecise building. It's from this fantastic collection of early colour photographs.
That's all I have for the moment but there will be doubtless far more of these coming. It's quite a nice project - small steps so not too overwhelming, and a good use of all my otherwise failed photographs.
The successful photographs? Well if I can clean that infernal dust off my scanner I'll stick some of them up, or on my Flickr.
This was an image I drew for a drawing competition. I ended up leaving it "artfully unfinished" cause I didn't have enough time.
It turned out pretty wonky but still fairly satisfying, considering it's crayola. The original photograph I was working with was from a project I did where I took photos of me with my face painted to match my shirt. It's not a particularly flattering picture, but interesting enough.
I'll try and update the site more often as I do work. It's just hard to get around to actually scanning and digitising the work, particularly as I have rather a lot to juggle, and my computer is an old dinosaur.
Don't expect frequent updates, despite my good intentions
I was killing some time in the holidays and I decided to do an altered book. I found a suitable book at the second hand store for $3 - a marriage manual by Hannah and Abraham Stone. It's from 1937 so I expected the writing to be incredibly outdated. Surprisingly, a lot of the information is quite decent and still applies, being as it mainly relates to biology and science rather than morals and social norms. It even says that x rays to the testicles are not a good form of contraception. Who knew?
The book's about gender, in a way. Of course, my ideas deteriorated somewhat. It's barely finished, I'd say I've only altered about 1/10th of it!
You'll have to forgive me for my scans, hardback books don't always scan properly.
Ta da! The main thing with this one was trying to draw them in exactly the same place. I did another one later in the book:
Turns out the pages in the main body of the book don't showcase pencil very well. Who knew?
Don't mind my terrible gender politics here.
I originally intended to do some wallpaper with negative spaces, then I gave up and drew the guy over the top, using only basic colours (a fairly standard red, blue, brown, green, yellow, white and black.)I did something similar later on, except I chose a less standard set of restrictive colours. This is Roisin Murphy, but I drew a beard on her. Along the same lines, this is Robert Del Naja aka 3D from Massive Attack. I chose him to turn into art nouveau because he just has the appearance of an entirely normal looking man. If that makes sense. It probably doesn't. Funnily enough, this is the second Robert for me to turn into Art Nouveau
Art Nouveau's a very bothersome, time consuming style, which I get reminded of whenever I try to attempt it.
Speaking of 3D, I implore you to watch this video for Butterfly Caught by Massive Attack. Although it's by far not the best Massive Attack song, or my favourite, it's very visually intriguing. (When people ask what inspires me, it's usually stuff like this as opposed to fine artists!)This one's done in ordinary crayola crayons. I left my test strip in (one unwrapped green crayon looks much the same as another until you test them and one's lime green and one's forest green.)This one isn't that good. I limited the colours on the face but not on the hair/snail. Snails are hermaphrodites. It's time for self portraits! (Just in case I hadn't already had enough of them.) I also did a strange androgyny/transgender one:And now available with gender differentiation!Apparently the male one makes me look like George Michael. C'est la vie. Ships are always she, and for some reason people always presume animals are "he" until proven otherwise. The ship lady turns up in some of my later work, with a face!
Until next time. The book isn't finished, but I've put it on indefinite hold. Run out of inspiration/have too much other stuff to do. Enjoy.
This is a piece of work inspired by the hilariously terrible yet amazing surreal montage art on the cover of Choose Your Own Adventure game books, and the box art of Atari games.
First I was shown this brilliant art done for Panic Software and the style reminded me a little of the covers of Choose Your Own Adventure books.
The Choose Your Own Adventure books often featured strange montages of monsters, caves, forbidden lands, children dressed in 1980s fashions running away from smug heads in the sky....the Giant Floating Head seemed to be a common theme. You can see some of the book covers here
This features my brother's head in the sky, the other objects have nothing to do with anything, they just feature frequently in this style of art for some reason. I am definitely not as good with watercolour as the artist who produced the magnificent Panic Software artwork, but all in all it's a bit of fun.
I'm not sure how this came about. I think a friend of mine drew a picture, said it was bad (it was actually a very good drawing) and I decided to show him just how infinitely worse I could make a picture of the same subject - so I drew the same thing first holding a whiteboard marker in my mouth, then holding it in my foot.
This, for some reason, got me thinking. Since a lot of artistic training is in the mind rather than in the hands, how would it be if you used something other than your dominent hand to draw? One's mind still works the same way, one still knows how to draw, but it's difficult to get, say, your foot, to work the same way as your hand, even when recieving exactly the same instructions from your mind.
There was only one way to test this. To draw exactly the same thing in 5 different ways.
The last one is important, not a blind drawing, completely blindfolded, so I have no idea what colour I'm using, where the paper is, I can't look at the reference if I use one..etc.
This is also done with oil pastels - hell in itself. A decidedly crappy medium, I have no idea how anyone gets any sort of detail with these.
Well it's got that characteristic left-hang-wiggliness about it, but instead of looking like a "bad drawing" (read no grasp on anatomy) it looks more like a drawing done by someone with parkinson's disease.
Once I started holding the brush in my molars instead of my front teeth, this wasn't too hard at all. You do have to use a brush though, it's near impossible to use a media that requires any sort of pressure. I tried with a pastel first and since my face was about 5cm away from the page I quickly scrapped that idea.
Got off to a good start with the face, and then..my foot got tired. You can forget this one.
I think this one isn't helped by the fact that the media meant I had to take the brush off the page and I lost my place.
So Ok, that was that then. But unicorns are rather too easy, what about doing something I'm a) not used to drawing and b) working from the same reference.
So I chose a beetle.
So we can obviously draw the conclusion that it is possible to do a competant line drawing using a brush held in one's teeth..but what about a proper drawing, with colouring and detail? I decided to try that out, using a picture of Aphex Twin as the starting point. (I'm not a fan of Aphex Twin, but I think his..persona, if you could call it that, is hilarious.)
I can pick up the paintbrush to put it in my mouth with my hands. I can use my hands to change brush size. However, my hands cannot make a mark on the paper. I have to wash my brush and change colours using only my mouth.
So I had to do the sketch in watercolour, as opposed to pencil, due to the whole pressure thing.
One problem with the lame watercolours I was using.. no black. I tried to use a black inktense pencil to get me some more black, but that wasn't terribly easy to control with my teeth...
And finally, finished! Well, considering I used my mouth I think I did a pretty decent job. Now that's it, and hopefully onto some more serious art.
Back at the end of 2007 I had the naive idea that I would send around a book to be altered. This book is called "Great Stars of Hollywood's Golden Age" and despite the aghast manner in which someone treated me when they found out I was destroying books..this campy little paperback was heading towards the rubbish when my brother found it on a nature strip.
I am now taking my plea to the internet. Is there anyone interested in altering a book? If I get sufficient interest (either comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org) I'll consider sending it out, to be sent to artistic types around the country (or the world..) to be altered and added to. Nothing too gluey and chunky because with paperbacks it makes them almost impossible to close. I found that the hard way with the last book I did.
Below is just a little image I found in a Trentemoller CD that I liked, and drew on a page in purple pen. I just felt like drawing it..and..the book was there gathering dust so I decided I'd try and restart the "project."
Either that or I'll just do the entire book myself..as a sort of..alternative sketchbook. Fine either way but it would be interesting to make this a community project.
So I saw a photograph of this 6 legged deer in a news item (it most likely has too many limbs as a result of a genetic anomaly rather than anything more sinister)
I sketched it, and then later on I splashed the page with green and pink food colour, and drew over it with pencil and pen. There's something slightly apocalyptic, nuclear and nightmarish about it, like the landscape melting after an atomic bomb goes off.
My brother cleaned out his room when he left home and I got his letraset.
I want to use it..and I keep planning to..but when I finish the drawings I was going to put the letraset on..I realise they look better without it.
The first one; a self portrait..making green look wary and anxious and sinister. Colour choice is partially because I now have phthalo green hair, at least for the time being.
Then the next picture is in yellow, trying to make yellow look sad and empty. I'm having this thing with trying to get the colours to represent the opposite of their cultural associations...it would have been very obvious to do this next picture in blue, wouldn't it?
I hope you enjoy, more of these "trying to get the colour to symbolise the opposite of its cultural origin" pictures and more of me trying to use the letraset will doubtless come soon.
And hopefully a few updates since I haven't posted here for ages!
I did three illustrations for an illustration major.
They each were based on the idea of travelling or journeys, and different kinds of journeys (different perceptions.) As a jumping off point, each illustration was inspired by a song - the illustrations do not directly illustrate the lyrics but are inspired by the whole mood of the songs.
The Slow Train - (Lemon Jelly)
Seeing as this, to me, is the manifestation of a physical journey I chose to draw a bright, cheerful psychedelic illustration of a happy steam train, like something out of a children's book. The destination is known and excitement mounts.
The Tourist (Radiohead)
The second illustration in the series explores a journey between life and death, or to the spirit world. Radiohead's song, in my opinion, is about a car crash and a near death experience. Dogs are supposed to (along with other animals) be able to see ghosts, and there is a strong tradition of spectral dog based mythological figures such as the grim or the barghest or the phantom hound (upon seeing which, the viewer will die.) The picture is supposed to appear unfinished, violent and arresting.
20th Century Trip (Feeder)
The last illustration is a representation of a journey of the mind. This little track is a short, ethereal outro and brings to mind an out of body experience, which is why I chose to represent this as a person floating in limbo - underwater.
I hope you enjoy them all.
For a religion assignment the task was to create a religious artwork. Commercial Jesus was created. His clothing and halo are made out of advertising catalogues. The rest of the picture is a combination of drawing and painting.
There are many ways you could interpret this artwork, such as a comment on the commercialisation of religion or the corruption of religion which is often run like a business in order to capture the money of the gullible. Or maybe this is just the new way in which Jesus is going to be marketed.
I do not believe the original Jesus was caucasian, but I chose to represent Jesus here as a stereotyped white Jesus as this is the image most recognised in modern media; and like advertising it is just as misleading.
In progress...this is before I added a lot of shadows. You can see what the ads looked like before I partially painted over them
The finished Jesus.
This is my submission for the Threadless Loves Drawing contest.
Forget flying too close to the sun, Fish Icarus had other problems.
Started with this rough sketch:
Bit of photoshop work later and I had a finished design!
The original was drawn on an A3 page with black fineliner pen.
I originally wanted to colour it but decided not to. Hopefully I get a prize!
I decided to do a few small fashion illustrations, mainly out of boredom, and also to document some of the ideas floating around in my head. Now, I'm not the best at people, especially unreferenced full body poses, so some of these really aren't the best. Bear with me. This is the first one I did. It's a little austere, but still completely over the top with its frilliness. It looks a little like something a china doll would wear, or a Victorian girl, perhaps when she was in half mourning.
I decided I was being wasteful by not using the whole paper bag, so after I drew this girl in a yellow bubble dress, I went crazy with psychedelic imagery. Probably a bit of overkill. I was slightly different in my approach to this. I gave her a background of a nice wheat field. I realise this girl is out of whack, what can I say, it's not an easy pose to do. The dress is green and white, with polka dots on the last two tiers. The green isn't quite that vivid, and my drawing makes the fabric look sheer/shiny when it's not meant to be. Oh well.
This is a drawing with Inktense pencils on a paper bag. Believe it or not, it's harder to draw neutral expressions.
I'd like to credit Berit Leela Raven with taking the photograph that I used for a reference.
And this is the image once painted:
This is a large a3 drawing I did on watercolour paper, using Derwent Inktense pencils in yellow, fuchsia and indigo.
The water soluble pencils are extremely bright when painted (as shown below)