It was hard for me to pick just one topic to blog about (I have so many great ideas all of a sudden!) but I decided on this one because I was reminded of it as I was looking through photos on my phone.
With winter break officially starting for me, I haven’t really thought much about my courses for this semester. It has just been hardcore mindless DDO, DDO, DDO. I’m almost getting sick of doing the exact same thing over and over and over again. Perhaps, my schedule with work and school involved was indeed a healthy balance between my real and gaming lives. I guess my endurance for the grind is either deteriorating, or I underestimated it all along. I thought about it earlier today, but I cannot believe some people can do the extreme, like capping within one day. Of course, this includes the best of the best XP/min schedule and XP potions. It still makes me wonder about it – anyways, that in itself is a post for another day.
Today, I wanted to share something that I really enjoyed creating after almost a year or two of not touching base with my pen and ink skills. It really takes me back – pen and ink was one of my “specialties” in traditional art, mainly due to the fact that I was never able to fully grasp painting techniques or other fancy methods like silk screens. Pen and ink has always been something my hands felt that they could control with a degree of confidence and control; I know my technique is still lacking in several ways that I’ve noticed in this piece alone, but it is definitely one of my stronger areas. I love the way the results from pen and ink look so definitive, with the black and white color scheme alone as justifiable in a finished piece for that clean finish. As an artist who enjoys character designs and that cartoon/anime feel, pen and ink is only a natural interest of mine.
With that said, my final exam for my drawing course was fairly free to our own inspirations, on the exception that it must be abstract. Materials and concept were left to our own – this I was happy about because in high school, art classes in lower levels have little to no freedom, and higher level courses do have a sort of “freedom” but really there are restrictions to even that. In this class, these restrictions were very loose, and I was grateful for this breath of fresh air.
An Exotic Amalgamation of Nature
I was actually pretty nervous and excited at the same time to present this to my class because a lot of my artworks almost always will have some backstory or extra information regarding the process (both technical and thought) behind the piece.
If you aren’t sure what the piece really portrays, it is an exotic bird (sadly, it was a random picture off Google Images so don’t know its name or origin even) with fused parts of nature: clouds, water, grass, fish scales, and ice. The ribbon connecting between each part actually originates from the tag attached to the left (the bird’s left) foot. Interpret that as you will, could be a message about technology binding the free nature of life or something. But to me, this was more of an aesthetic project – I love nature, so I wanted to incorporate that into the final exam. In the end, this became something I willingly wanted to work on and was something I enjoyed creating!
The photo quality bugs me, but maybe sometime I will take a better photo. The pen and ink part of the piece is really just a thin Sharpie pen, since I’m too cheap for actual pen and ink. That was a tip I picked up from my high school days, and it works all the same, although I did end up finding my thin micro-pens for the finer details. Because I’m left-handed, I always preferred working with ink pens that dries instantly, so Sharpie was the best option. However, if I messed up, I had to improvise and work the mistake back into the artwork – I think that was probably the most beautiful part about the technical process. The beauty of ink pens. I may not have CTRL + Z, but there is this!!
This was also one of the first time I actually tried to seriously cross hatch, particularly the clouds. I had to look up several references for not just those but for about every part of the bird. That was also amazing about this – I didn’t feel that I had to be very technical about the references like my high school days and document every inch of reference. I could take a part of this, a part of that, and create my own depiction of realism. This is what abstraction truly means to me. Wow, I sound like Yaulthoon.
Anyways! It feels weird to say that it feels like it’s been a long time since I last tried my hand in traditional art. Doing anything art lately seems like an accomplishment in itself considering how my free time is spent (gaming). Perhaps one day I will break from this curse, a curse that has already been too late in shaping who I am. I often really do think if I never was introduced to DDO, what kind of person I would be. Maybe I’d be doing more art then!