Friday, March 28, 2014

I drew a cephalopod again

So, one day, I was sitting in my room, thinking "You know, I suffering from a distinct lack of cephalopods in my life." Then this happened:

Now, I know what you're asking yourself. It is the obvious question: "How did the artist challenge himself and explore new techniques and experiment with ideas while he was drawing his cephalopod?" I ask myself this question every day. The answer is that by simply making this drawing I was challenging myself. Frankly, I didn't even know my colored pencils could blend into each other before this project. Since this particular cephalopod is displaying a wide range of colors, I had to do that a lot. Also, can we talk about how cephalopods are just such a surreal experience to draw? I mean, if evolution was an abstract artist, cephalopods would be its masterpiece. Why does it have a fancy ornament on its head? Because it's a cephalopod. Why does it have that weird black pattern around its eyes? Because it's a cephalopod. Honey, where are the kids? Oh, the cephalopods took them again, darling. Those rascals.

Work in Progress
The legendary goggle squid
Now the next thing to think would be "After having traveled into such uncharted territory, how did you cope? Most people would have gone insane! How did you create solutions?" The answer to this one is that I was already insane; only insane people draw cephalopods, this should be common knowledge. The insane state of mind I had while drawing the creature was as follows: "You know, I'll just draw this here because that might look good. If it doesn't, then it only looks like that because it's a cephalopod and cephalopods are weird." This idea served me well in the end, because I cannot find a place where my experimentation backfired. In this case, my woes were not solved by planning, but by following my primitive cephalopod-drawing instincts.

And finally, the most prominent thought in your head is probably "Wow, you are really bad at drawing octopi." Well, you are wrong. I am the best octopi-drawer that I know. But that is irrelevant, because this cephalopod is not an octopus. It is an original cephalopod that I made with my mind so I could develop a truly original cephalopod drawing. Naturally, I had to make the idea believable, so I spent a while developing a cephalopod. And right now I'll give it a name, too, because I am really sick of writing the word "cephalopod". So, I imagine that this species would have deviated from other cephalopods in the Cephalopoda subclass of Neocoleoidea, creating the order Polypodiformes, family Humusomoenia, genus Reprobaformus, and species Spectaculums, making its scientific name Reprobaformus spectaculums (in Latin: Shapeshifting goggle monster), which isn't much better than the classic "Cephalopod," so people just call the species "goggle squids" even though they are not actually squids. See? Originality. Anyway, the goggle squid, as most cephalopods do, has superpowers. It can change the scales that cover its body into any color, and it can use its one hundred or so tentacles to mimic other animals and move really fast. It has evolved two false eyes on its four dorsal tentacles, that can wrap around its face and scare predators away. It can use the dimly glowing ornament on the top of its head to attract prey, though often the creatures live in environments not dark enough for it to stand out. Instead, they use pursuit predation to catch most of their prey. The goggle squid's skin secretes a lethal poison that that will kill most of the prey they touch, at which point they will just wait for it to die then mosey over to eat it. The spikes on the end of its arms are only for defense against hard-skinned fish. In the 1970s, a Russian scientist attempted to domesticate this species, but he accidentally poked it and died. The goggle squid then escaped by taking the form of a human and living among society. The particular goggle squid is known to most as Vladimir Putin.

And so ends the tale of the genesis of the Reprobaformus spectaculums, the goggle squid, the cephalapod, the Vladmir Putin. And what a learning experience it was.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

In which I draw tools for cavity-constructing

The pictures you see above of sugar in both solid and liquid forms are the result of me using things that aren't non-colored drawing pencils for once. Really, I use them all the time. It's gotten to the point where I've stopped bringing regular pencils to school because I could just whip out my HB or B pencil to achieve the exact same effect.

The first medium I used was a reunion with an old friend: oil pastels. Only when I started using them did I remember that they weren't my friend at all, but just people from my fondly remembered past that I only consider friends upon recollection. They're actually a bunch of little jerks. They get all over my hands (and everything else within a meter radius it seems), they are generally broken in half, and most of all, they are too dull on their ends for me to see where I'm coloring. I just can't maintain a friendship with them; they're too unpredictable. I might think that I'm coloring lightly in one place but end up coloring super intensely in another place. And before this starts sounding too much like a Taylor Swift song, I digress.

The next medium was chalk pastels, which I thought where pretty great. They had all the good qualities of oil pastels without all of the hassle. Unfortunately, they were located in a shelf, in a box and had to be picked out one by one by sifting through trays of one million other colors of chalk pastels. It was simple logistics that kept me from using this medium.

The third (but second in the chronology of my drawings) was colored pencils. They are so simple, but so wonderful. I imagine that one day there was some ancient Greek philosopher who was looking at his boring ordinary drawing pencils and decided that they would be a much better allegory for the universe if they were in color. And thus the genesis of colored pencils occurred. They are so easy to handle, unlike the preceding mediums. They are colorful, as the name implies. And most importantly, they can be sharpened if they get too dull. Ahh, what rapture.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Consider the Following

Well well well. It's been a while. How are you doing, art blog?

YOU... you left me here to die... I waited for a year, but you never returned...

I appreciate you ever-insightful input, art blog. But we shan't dwell on reintroductions for too long. I have a project to explain through comedy of a range of brows.

I'm starving...

Moving rapidly on, my first art project in this class was to draw science. Naturally, such a simple concept wouldn't satiate my endless artistic hunger, so I did not only draw science, but I drew the manifestation of all things science, the science king, but above all of these things, the Science Guy.

Work in progress photo: Workiness is evident by the sheer amount of art supplies lying around

The King in his full glory

Of course, if you know anything about science, Bill Nye should be the first thing that comes to your mind when you think "Scientific". He ranked on the top of my list of scientific things, right up there with "zombie kittens" and "dinosaurs" and "rocks" and "ghost busters". None of these things stood a chance. Let's be honest, I knew from the beginning that Bill Nye the Sometimes Wry Fly Bowtie and Science Guy was what I was going to draw.

In between deeply contemplating how to fit a summation of Bill Nye's ever-glorious character onto a single page, I was vaguely aware of drawing shapes with implements that were pretty much pencils but not quite, like charcoal pencils. Charcoal pencils, instead of using graphite to draw, use burned dinosaurs. We also used pens, which are magical implements that use black magic to stain paper until the end of time (Really, imagine if the declaration of independence was written in pencil. The pencil would have smeared off as soon as Nicholas Cage took it out of it's display case). This is the same black magic that, if used by an inexperienced sorcerer, can the the three pages below it stained with the shadow of it's inscription. Using these implements intimidated me and caused me to retreat back into my comfort zone, which is the pencil equivalent of a ball pit. Though, even my comfort zone hurts me sometimes. Most of the pencils in the pencil pit are sharpened, so I imagine you can see the design flaw. Alas, I stayed there (Not because I had crippling lead poisoning, but just because I prefer pencils).

I showed contrast by suspending Bill Nye between the realm of Light and the realm of Darkness. He exists in the middle of the two. He is everything, but he is also nothing. He can be found in every direction, spatial or temporal. He has always been there, but should you look for him, you will not find him, and believe that he is nowhere. He is the universe. Nay, he is all universes. Also his body is lighter on one side and darker on the other, and all of the wrinkles have a light area and a dark area, etc.

In line with the theme of this project, I used complex science to create this piece. You see, the chemical reaction that occurs between the graphite of a pencil and whatever eternally mysterious element paper is made of creates a product of paper with graphite on it. This works because graphite is made of layers of hexagonally organized carbon atoms called a graphene layer. Paper really loves hexagons made of carbon so it takes the graphene layers and wears them as a fashion statement. I used this relationship to manipulate the paper into making a picture of Bill Nye on itself. Whenever I told the paper about this, to make sure it couldn't discover my real intentions, I used the code name of "Shading" which is kind of a menacing sounding codename and honestly I'm surprised that the paper wasn't suspicious. Shading, as I had explained it, was the technique of rubbing more graphene layers on one area and then gradually rubbing not so much on adjacent areas (Or, more specifically, to "put more graphene on some places for maximum stylishness"). Shading, of course, wouldn't have worked with pens because they don't use graphite and therefore cannot be fabulous (as far as shading goes, that is; no offense to pens).

I took a major risk by making the sleeves and bowtie have wrinkles. I wear wrinkled sleeves all the time, you know, and by virtue of that I often look at wrinkled sleeves, but even with all this experience I couldn't hold in my mind a stable image of what one looked like. So I did what any sane person would do; I traveled to the Tibetan Plateau and sought guidance from the monks that lived there. "How do I remember what wrinkled sleeves look like?" to which Grand Master Choden (We go way back) told me: "To understand the image of the wrinkled sleeve, you must find the wrinkled sleeve within yourself." So, in the monastery's courtyard, I meditated on my inner wrinkled sleeve until I became united with it in my mind, and I came back, and projected it onto my paper. It turned out alright. They were much easier to pull off than I had expected, I just had to plan it out a bit.
*It was also during this time that I got sick with some vicious malady and crawled around on the street trying to make dolphin noises, wondered about the plurals of words, died, etc., etc. In true Art tradition, it seems.

Overall, I think this is probably the best drawing of Bill Nye the Science Guy that I've ever seen. I always appreciate a good, old-fashioned pencil drawing of Bill Nye the Science Guy, but this one is the best. Under the "Good times list" (A list that I have been compiling for several years so I can read it when I'm old and remember that I wasn't always old but, hey, at least I can still read) I will add "Drawing Bill Nye in art class for the first time" because I assume this will happen again, because it was just such a splendid experience.