Thursday, June 28, 2012

Organism Project (Dragonfly - Part1)

This week I read a book called Steal Like An Artist, which is a bunch of advice from Austin Kleon on how to be creative.  One word of advice, besides telling you that stealing from other artists is a great thing to do, was to give yourself some guidelines if you're feeling stuck in a creative block.  So I did what I was told and here they are:

  • Every week, pick one organism.
  • Draw that organism in three different ways.

Very short guidelines.  This week's organism = a dragonfly.  I just started yesterday, so I've only drawn one picture, but there will be more to come.  Two to be exact.  Here is today's drawing:

Dragonfly1 - 4B graphite pencil
so many tiny boxes...

Also, here are some SWEET dragonfly pictures that were taken at the the lab I work in (part of the reason why I chose this organism).  I think we should move past fruit flies and on to dragonflies.

Dragonfly eye
Dragonfly leg
Dragonfly wing
They have SPIKES on their veins!

Lastly, I just wanted to post my favorite "scientific" drawing of all time, The Rhinoceros by Albrecht Durer.  The first living rhino to come to Europe since the Roman Empire was sent to Lisbon for the King of Portugal in 1515 (which later died in a shipwreck on its way to Italy).  While in Lisbon, an artist made a quick sketch and written description of the animal and sent them to Nuremberg, Germany, where Durer happened upon it.  Without even seeing the rhinoceros in person, Durer made two drawings and a woodcut of the Indian rhino with amazing detail.  His drawing captured the public and remained the formally "accurate" representation of the rhino until the late 18th century, and it even appeared in German textbooks until the 1930s. A more realistic drawing of the rhino actually existed, however, made by Hans Burgkmair during the same year as Durer's rendition.  But the people of Europe wanted to believe that rhinos had chainmail all over their legs and a unicorn horn on their back, so Durer's rhino stuck around.  It wasn't until the mid/late 1700's, when Jean-Baptist Oudry and my man George Stubbs made more accurate paintings of rhinos, that Durer's image of the rhinoceros was finally recognized as a false, imaginative representation.

The Rhinoceros, Albrecht Durer, 1515, woodcut
The Rhinoceros, Hans Burgkmair, 1515, woodcut
Clara the Rhinoceros in Paris in 1749, Jean-Baptist Oudry, 1749, oil on canvas
Rhinoceros, George Stubbs, 1790, oil on canvas

And of course, Dali made a sculpture of it.

Rhinoceronte vestido con puntillas, Salvador Dali, 1956 in Puerto Jose Banus, Marbella

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Fly Wingz

Since I don't want to watch Miami lose to OKC right now, I think it's an appropriate time to finally post in here again.  I have to say I am ashamed of myself because I haven't started a big piece yet.  But it is mainly because I have had my DIS project lingering in the back of my mind for the past two weeks.  I started an animation project in the lab I work in towards the end of last summer, and I am still not finished with it.  I never really understood the amount of work that goes behind a digital animation (especially when you are teaching yourself three different programs).  I always imagined magic buttons that automatically insert a fully rendered tree, or that make something walk realistically just by putting an arrow between A and B.  But this was not reality.  To my surprise, I found out most digital animation is still done frame by frame, and detail can be as meticulous as you want it to be if you know the program tricks.  It was probably ignorant of me to think that way about digital art, but I blame it on my reluctance to steer away from hands-on art.  Digital art can be amazing, but it is an entirely different language from drawing, which makes it very frustrating.  But anyways, I figured since I have technically been working on a "big piece", aka my DIS, I would post some pictures of my storyboards and Illustrator drawings.

Fruit Fly - Adobe Illustrator
My first sketch of the "Wingmachine" - color pens
Messed up wing with landmarks - color pens
The Genotype-Phenotype space! - color pens
The "splining" outline of a fly wing used for analysis - color pens
Baby fly - pencil
Live footage storyboard - pen
(ridiculously huge vial)
My narrator fly - Adobe Illustrator

And I did draw a couple doodles aside from my DIS.  Here they are:

Monster#1 - pen
Monster#2 - pen
More tattoo designs - pen
Monster#3 - pen
A bird, but I messed his face up - graphite and color pencil

I don't have a famous illustrator for this post, but I will post this video in case no one has seen it.  It is an awesome video of the inner workings of a cell, called "The Inner Life of a Cell".  It was made at Harvard University with the software used to make Avatar!  Science is goin' big.  Here is an article from the New York Times about it, too.