Monday, 24 February 2014

Orientation Ate My Week.

... Sober free time did not exist last week.

Project: The Running Horses.
Format: Silent picture book.
Type: Personal.
State: Pre-print proofing.

Work Progress:
Over the past week I've done little but send emails and stumble around In Design. It's refreshing to do nothing for a while and to actually have a holiday since university broke last year. 

Other Work: 
Mental notes for future reference and some RHA sketches ready for when I get back to work. Completed some collages from newspaper clippings, too. 

Other General:
As the title of the post suggests, university orientation ate my week.

Last week I volunteered at my college to help the Residential Student's Club, of which I was Liaison Officer last year, settle the freshers. Basically the task involves G rated bonding activities, city and university tours and shopping trips because everyone always forgets to bring something when they move in.

Some of the events of the week included:
- Wing combat (a variation of 'capture the flag' but with two hundred people running around in the dark that resulted in many blue hand prints on the newly constructed white wing walls),
- Wing Quidditch,
- UWA O-Day (university club sign up day),
- Movie screenings in the roof top gardens,
- A galaxy themed college party including a silent disco and
- A water slide as long as the college courtyard.

To name a few things.

I've set up my room ready for university which personally starts at the beginning of March. At the moment I'm at home in the country preparing for my twenty first birthday party this weekend. My calendar is a blur at the moment, with too many events and not enough time yet to let them sink in.

Everything is at a lovely level of chaos. 

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Five and a Half Finished Ponies

Project: TO.
Format: Silent accordion picture book.
Type: Personal/experimental.
State: Dummy layout and storyboard complete. Line work complete. 

Work Progress: 
All of the line work for TO is now complete! The layout has been cut down into its foundation parts in preparation for photographing and scanning. 

It was a race to finish the line work by the beginning of this week (this post is a little late due to internet issues).  Because of the craziness that is the coming O Week, I will have a fortnight to distance from the drawings so that when the cutting begins my mind will be fresh and able to pick up any mistakes. Resting a project can be important.

Other Progress:
Successful meeting for another horse book project.

Other General: 
Took Mr C for a small 10km ride through the bush. The weather has been lovely and cool lately at only thirty five degrees Celsius. 

Saturday, 8 February 2014

More Sketching Ponies

Project: TO.
Format: Silent accordion picture book.
Type: Personal/experimental.
State: Dummy layout and storyboard complete. Line work 3/4 complete.

Work Progress:
The line work for TO is now 3/4 complete with only a misplaced reference image delaying further progress. Tomorrow I shall have to drive to the factory and print out some new copies (the printer there is far superior to the one in the house). 

I have also begun to cut down the drawings. The layout is constructed of tape and recycled record covers because, when cut in half along the edges, record covers measure about 30 x 30cm. Artist's linoleum is conveniently cut to this size as a purchase standard. 

Other Work Progress:
Preparation work and research for a couple upcoming meetings.

Other General:
The usual two hours of horse riding, this time followed by a forty minute run with Pan. Pre-college appointments.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Sketching Ponies

Project: TO.
Format: Silent accordion picture book.
Type: Personal/experimental.
State: Dummy layout and storyboard complete. Line work 1/3 complete.

Work Progress:
Yesterday and today worked on the line work for TO. An example can be seen above, which is hosted on my Instagram page under the username: DenLScheer. This section of the layout measures approximately 60cm x 60cm.

Other Work Progress:
Emails. Appointments. Started some lighting reference sculptures. 

Other General:
The usual sunset ride, tonight in the subdivision. 

Mr Charisma has improved, so the vet was not needed and both horses have started on a precautionary course of psyllium husk. You know that stuff in weight loss shakes that swells up in your stomach to stop you eating? We give it to the horses to flush out their gut and stop them getting sick. 

Tomorrow should be a more productive day of work with only one appointment to slow progress. I'd like to get at least half of the layout line work complete. 

Monday, 3 February 2014

Printing Ponies

Project: TO.
Format: Silent accordion picture book.
Type: Personal/experimental.
State: Dummy layout and storyboard complete.

Work Progress:
Printed a copy of The Shattering (wt) end pages ready to glue into the dummy book and drew a quarter of the line work for another personal book project called TO for short. 

I have had nothing to do these university holidays except work on book concepts because my parents are lovely. So far I have designed two foldout accordion books and finished the layout draft of one, completed the layout drafts of two other picture books (one thirty-ish pages and the other sixty-ish) and have edited about half of my six year old novel project, which is approx. sixty thousand words from memory and is half illustrated.

It has been a productive six weeks.

Other Work Related:
Booked two advisory meetings for personal book projects. 

Other General: 
Rode Mr Charisma along the train line. He's been a bit sluggish lately and acting out of character under saddle. If he doesn't improve in the next two days I'll have to take to the vet to have his stomach checked. 

Ran with Pan up the hill and was very proud to do a lap of the block without stopping. The hill is so steep that the construction trucks avoid driving up it and I was just about dragging the dog to the top. 

The pain will be worth it when I get to the beach in two weeks.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Watercolour Paper Pads CAN Be Cheaper Than Coffee.

One of the things that can make any physical art producer precious about paper is its cost. As a student, this is a special point of concern. A few weeks ago I was shopping at Kmart with a friend and was pleasantly surprised by the back to school stock available, including watercolour paper that is cheaper than a cup of coffee.

To cut to the point, amongst Kmart's back to school supplies I found a TWENTY FOUR PAGE 150gsm, A3 watercolour pad for $5. As a point of comparison, at Jackson's Drawing Supplies one of the cheapest A3 watercolour pads you can buy has TEN PAGES at 185gsm for $58.15 at the time of posting this blog.

To make a point: 
Kmart- A3, 24 pages, 150gsm = $5 or approx. $0.21 per page.
Jackson's- A3, 10 pages, 185gsm = $58.15 or approx. $5.80 per page.

This nonsense is why artists and illustrators are poor. 

As cheap as the Kmart paper is, in my opinion it is only good for draft illustrations and not for final art pieces. The paper is fluffy, as though the fibres haven't blended properly. In consequence, this cheaper paper will be eaten by erasers and is very easy to tear, especially if it has been folded. Other than these issues, it is typical of light gsm paper in that it absorbs water quickly and limits plasticity. It is good for drafting because it is so cheap and I have found myself going through several pads for sculptural book format tests. It is very relieving to know that you can destroy half a pad of watercolour paper to create a test book format or dummy book to test illustration layouts for the cost of a cup of coffee. 

If you do find the paper tearing more than desired, skip past scotch or cello tape and go straight to cheaper gaffe tape from Bunnings or hardware outlets as a remedy. Buying gaffe tape from a hardware outlet is cheaper than an art supplies shop, especially if bought on bulk. Because of how fluffy the paper is, scotch and cello tape can be pulled very easily from the paper surface with little effort and even masking tape doesn't adhere as well as I'd like. Regardless of what tape you use, expect to take the top layer of the paper to be adhere to the tape if you remove it. 

I have had a few weeks to experiment with this paper due to work on The Shattering (working title) layout for a competition. I used a total of fifteen pages for the project dummies or draft pages that were folded, drawn in graphite and then painted with watercolour. I have also made two accordion book format tests with the paper, hence my issues with paper tearing. 

Overall I would recommend using Kmart 150gsm A3 watercolour paper pads as a cheaper alternative to student and artist quality paper for testing and drafting purposes only. The paper is not durable enough for a finalised art piece, but is good enough for use in sculptural book tests. 

Process: End Pages for The Shattering (wt).

As mentioned in my post yesterday, I had forgotten to draw the end pages to go along with a layout draft of a new personal project, The Shattering (working title). The purpose of this post is to show the working process and a list of materials used. 

Like the other dummy illustrations of the book, this picture was drawn with watercolour and graphite pencil, watercolour paint and china graph pencils on 150gsm watercolour paper. 

One half of the end page illustration is visible above. It was sketched with green watercolour pencil before a graphite outline and a wash of watercolour was applied. I used a Staedler china graph pencil to return the highlights to the hatching. 

The picture took about two hours to complete including drying time (forty degrees is good for something after all) with most time consumed by the hatching.

Shattered End Pages

Project: The Shattering (working title).
Format: Silent picture book.
Type: Personal/competition.
State: Dummy layout and storyboard complete. 

Work Progress: 
Finished drawing and colouring the end page dummy for The Shattering. After compiling the storyboard of the other finished draft illustrations, I realised that I had forgotten to design this part of the project. It was frustrating to discover, though, that the layout cannot compete in the competition it was designed for because the images are full colour drafts and not finished pieces. 

'But wouldn't that information be in the terms and conditions section of the competition?' you may be asking.

It was, under the guise of 'layout'. The distinction between 'draft' and 'final' was available not on the official website and not on the contact page the refused to load, but on the competition's Facebook page under an acknowledgement of closing announcement. 

As a side note, good grammar does not exist in angry ranting. 

Other Work Related: 
Moved my drafting board into my studio/bedroom and prepped for work tomorrow. The format I will be working with involves a lot of tape tabbing. Actually, the entire thing is held together by tape.

Other General: 
Recovered from a friend of a friend's twenty first birthday party in the hills then drove home, which engulfed the morning. I witnessed the sunset from the back of my roan pony as we galloped along the train line and relaxed to half an episode of BBC Sherlock.

Only half and episode. I am afraid that if I begin watching whole episodes of Sherlock that I will like it and watch it and therefore not get any work done before university starts up again and orientation week ruins my liver.