Saturday, October 27, 2012

Desaturated Wasps (Part2), Portraits and Churches

This past week, I made three more paintings for the Saturation Project in my Color Theory class.  I finished one more muted hues square, and then we used pure prismatic colors (no desaturation) for the last two.  These pictures aren't the greatest, so you can't really tell the difference between the muted and prismatic colors, but the prismatic paintings really do make the muted colors look less intense.  Still not a big fan of this project.. but I guess it's kind of interesting.

Muted Hues (narrow range) of a European Wood Wasp
Prismatic Colors (broad range) of a Fairy Fly Wasp
Prismatic Colors (narrow range) of a Yellow Jacket

Here are the chromatic, muted and prismatic paintings next to each other.  Ya know, so you can see the difference:
broad range paintings (chromatic, muted, prismatic)
narrow range paintings (chromatic, muted, prismatic)

And here is the conclusion to the two weeks of drawing portraits in Figure Drawing.  Our final project was a two and a half hour long portrait of one model in class.  I drew most of it with vine charcoal and only accented the darkest parts (nostrils, some shadows in the eyes, corners of her mouth) with compressed charcoal.  I used to hate vine charcoal because a slight breeze can make all of it fly off the paper, but I think it's grown on me.  It creates realistic looking shadows, which is super hard with charcoal, and it gives a pretty, soft look to the drawing.  You just have to spray it with fixative every thirty minutes to keep it from smudging. Woo!
20min portraits done in vine charcoal

2.5hr portrait done in vine and compressed charcoal

And finally, some random figure drawings:

20min - done in vine and compressed charcoal
20min - done in vine and compressed charcoal

I don't have any artists to show this week, but I do have some Baroque architecture from the seventeenth century Spanish colonial period!  I'm currently writing a research paper about this in my art history class, so I've been looking at a lot of churches, cathedrals, basilicas, conventos, and anything else related to Christianity in the Spanish colonies.  While this class is unbelievably boring 90% of the time, these buildings redeem it for me.  Their overwhelming decorations were designed to convert the indigenous people to Christianity, and I assume that it probably worked.

La Compania de Jesus, Quito, Ecuador 


Church of San Francisco, Quito, Ecuador
 Sanctuary of Copacabana, Peru

Church of Our Lady of Mercy, Cajamarca, Peru

Church of San Francisco, Lima, Peru

In 1943, a large series of catacombs were discovered beneath the foundation of the Church of San Francisco in Lima, Peru, and inside of them were the remains of around 70,000 burials.  This location was the first cemetery founded in Lima and it remained in use until 1808.  But what makes these ossuaries strange is the arrangement of the bones.  Bones were found strategically placed lining the walls of the catacomb's hallways, as well as in massive circular patterns that filled entire rooms.  To this day, no one knows when or why the bones were placed in these configurations.


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Desaturated Wasps

So our new project in Color Theory is about working with desaturated hues.  You can lessen the saturation (or amount of pure pigment) of a hue in various ways.  
         1) By mixing multiple colors together, forming chromatic greys.
         2) By mixing it with its complimentary color to make it darker, or with white to make it lighter, forming muted 
         3) I don't know, haven't gotten there yet.

These first two paintings were made by the first method, and the last by the second.  For each method, we have to make one painting with a broad value range and one with a narrow value range, either dark, medium, or light.  So far, I'm not sure if these paintings are naturally suppose to be ugly, or if I'm just really bad at mixing these colors together (probably the latter), but either way I'm not a huge fan of this project...  And mixing with gouache doesn't make it any better.  
Chromatic greys (broad range) of a Parasitoid Wasp
Chromatic greys (light range) of a Bald-Faced Wasp

Muted Hues (broad range) of a Mud Dauber Wasp
If you haven't noticed yet, the theme I chose for this project was "wasps," and in some extra curious research, I stumbled upon this type of wasp that eats spiders - aka the most terrifying organism on the planet.

WARNING: If you have an actual fear of wasps and/or spiders, you probably shouldn't read further.  If you don't, and you think they're awesome, ya gonna love this!  

"Spider wasps" are part of the Pompilidae family.  They come in many shapes, colors and sizes and feed on many types of spiders, from tiny jumping spiders to giant tarantulas.  In general, the behavior of these wasps could be adapted into the next popular serial killer movie.  Females hunt and paralyze their spider prey and drag them back to underground holes they build as nests for their offspring.  Here, they lay a single egg on the spider's abdomen.  When the larva hatches, it burrows into the spider's abdomen and consumes the tissues inside, avoiding vital organs so the spider stays alive as long as possible.  After a few weeks, the larva pupates, emerges from the spider as an adult, and continues the horrific life cycle again.  The most frightening part about them - wasps that hunt tarantulas (referred to as "Tarantula Hawks") can get up to two inches long and have a 7mm long stinger!


Never thought you would feel sympathetic for a spider, right?  But don't worry, sometimes the spiders get their revenge:


Friday, October 12, 2012

Final Projects and Horror

So I finished two projects this week. Project 1) Muscle Man

Fun fact, I tore his face in half when I tried to rip it out of my paper pad... No amount of duct tape on the back could mend my shattered heart.

And Project 2) The Andy Warhol Project, or Maddy Warhol

Rectangle combo - Red-Orange, Yellow-Orange, Blue, Violet
Triangle combo - Yellow-Green, Blue-Violet, Red-Orange
Square combo - Blue-Green, Violet, Yellow, Red-Orange
mounted on black paper
I wish she could understand that she has been immortalized.

Finally, these last few pictures are what have been going on in my Figure Drawing class lately.  We're moving away from anatomical studies now and onto lighting and facial features.  Have I mentioned how much I love this class?

extreme lighting study - 20-30min sketch done with vine charcoal
20min sketch done with vine charcoal

Didn't mean to make her look like the Joker in that last one.

And in honor of October, and the opening weekend of Sinister (I. CAN'T. WAIT.), I think it's fitting to show some disturbing art in this post.  I usually tab artists' websites on my computer when I stumble upon someone interesting, and after looking through my bookmarks today, I've realized that I like really creepy stuff.  Although some of these pieces probably weren't intended to be frightening, there's just something about the repetition/blurring of body parts that makes me feel uneasy.

Get ready to get your pants scared off.
Mother, 2009, pastel on paper, by Stephan Balleux
Head of Fisher Stevens 2, 2007, magic-sculpt on aluminum, by Chambliss Giobbi
Nude by Lucas, 2010, collage, by Lola Dupre
Summer Games II, acrylic and colored pencils, by Alexandra Levasseur
Lure #1, 2006, colored pencil on paper, by Julia Randall
Lamb, graphite on paper, by Allison Sommers
Grody Deets, 2012, oil on panel, by Christian Rex van Minnen


Stephan Balleux
Chambliss Giobbi
Lola Dupre
Alexandra Levasseur
Julia Randall (again, I know)
Allison Sommers
Christian Rex van Minnen