Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Final thoughts

This semester has opened my eyes to media and techniques I had not experienced before, but will continue to utilize. The barrage of watercolors in the beginning was my first real experience with the media, and with them I was able to loosen up my control freak tendencies a little bit. I'm still working on that. Above is one of my more successful pieces out of the 50.
I realize now that the line work/watercolor pieces were some of my favorites, but I didn't really explore that technique past the memory portrait, which also turned out well.
I know it's not your favorite piece, but the large-scale water color was really fun for me, and I think it was the first vehicle picture I've ever been happy with.
Gouache, particularly with a gesso/matte medium under-layer, was a challenge, but I really enjoyed learning with the first project. Though I struggled with gouache throughout the semester, I am pretty happy with my final attempt (The Scarlet Letter). The marks became more confident, and I tried to let the paint do interesting things outside of my control.
A change of pace came with the DMV comic, which required clean line work (something I am not any too practiced at) and Photoshop skills. I learned a lot about the proper way to separate line work from background in Photoshop, but I'm still wondering about the "easier" way that you mentioned... Anyhow, it was a fun project.
The gouache montage(s) (the second and more successful of which is above) were good for experimenting with textures and pick-out. I tried different methods for the fish fins and sky in each. The second try proved to be a good idea, I'll admit it.
The conversation illustration was a good opportunity to introduce narrative/concept, and more practice in clean line work. I like my characters, but I'm not fond of it overall, because it's a good example of how I am afraid of pigment.

The Missouri postcard and the sound illustration (pictured, because I don't want to look at them) are not things I like to talk about either, because I lost any confidence I had gained with gouache and water color at that point in the semester. I think it was all the airbrushing.
Speaking of airbrush, Snow White was a pleasant surprise when I removed all of the frisket. I think the 2 fruits did help. That piece taught me control with air flow and helped me figure out the balance between having enough pigment and overdoing it. Also, patience. I don't know how many times I had to go over and over and over some of the more saturated areas and wait for them to dry so that I wouldn't have color leaking underneath the frisket.
The Guinness poster was fun, even though I didn't at first agree with anyone on which idea to develop. I used watercolor on uncoated paper, which I hadn't done in a while, and I think you can tell I was out of practice in the skin areas... But, I did enjoy the experimentation with texture on the corset. Also, I think the plan for the text (and the mayo idea) turned out pretty well. This was a good practice of planning an illustration around information.
Again, I didn't agree with everyone on which idea to develop (that seems to be a trend with me), but I'm glad I pursued this one. I think this was my most successful use of non-local color so far, even though she maybe looks kind of like a zombie. Also, I think I kept structure while letting the paint do a lot of its own thing. It was a good project to end with.

Altogether, I did develop some useful skills over the semester, but I still have a long way to go to get comfortable and confident with the media. I also realize that my color comps were never quite like the finished product (and also in colored pencil, not marker, ok), so I should get more decisive with those. But for learning mostly new media to me, I feel pretty good about the body of work, and I'm excited to do more of it in the future, assignment based, and for fun. I might even be a carnie with my airbrush skills, who knows.

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