Is It Really That Simple?
Digital Art on iPad with Apple Pencil in the app Procreate
2 hours 59 minutes
I have been wanting for some time now to create either a series of pieces or line of drawings all with the theme of pollution, littering, over-fishing of marine life. My goal is to have a human or human-like figure represent one marine creature that is being severely affected by our actions, whether that may be directly or indirectly. While I don’t think I have fully captured my goal in this particular piece, it has begun to take me in the right direction. In the end, I hope to be able to create and present a solo art show with this concept.
“Nautical Hanging” was created over a period of two weeks and in those two weeks the main composition changed little. The beginning sketch was created on stormy afternoon in a strange period of contemplation as while I was drawing, my mind was far away. Looking back at the sketch now, it is clear I wasn’t necessarily thinking about anything that I normally think of when coming up with a concept for a new painting. In fact, it is easy to see that in the sketch I struggled with the body position and was also had that week’s art class assignment in the forefront of my mind.
The name “Nautical Hanging” is a direct correlation of what I was trying to achieve. It was my take on both overfishing and the idea of someone being caught or hanged by fishing line.
After deciding that I wanted this sketch to become a digital painting, I went searching on Pinterest for some pictures that I could use to get a feeling for the type of color palette that I wanted. I already knew that I wanted the hair and the skeletal fish to vividly pop against a darker background and that is one of the main reasons I was drawn to these two images. In the end, however, I decided to use a color palette creating website to find the colors that would best complement and contrast each other.
With the color palette and composition decided, all that was left to do was finalize it. The fixing of the anatomy, coloring, editing, and tweaking was completed over one weekend. Once I had finally completed the digital art piece, I realized that I had a long way to go before I even began to know the medium of digital art. There are a lot of things that I could have done better, but overall I feel that this is a good start.
Here is a list of all the things that I accomplished in the year 2017. It was a busy year filled with many learning opportunities and remarkable experiences.
For the year 2017, I spent my 15th birthday in Liverpool, England. However, the day before we were driving a rental car through the countryside with our destination being Liverpool. During the drive, I drew on my IPad to entertain myself. By the end of the drive I had completed a self potrait of myself in a simple cartoon style. I really like the style that this drawing ended up being and I want to try doing more of this style.
In the future, I plan on making it a tradition that every year during my birthday I draw a self potrait. This will be helpful in seeing my improvement on my art journey, yet I will also be able to see how my style of clothing and hair changes through the years.
When fooling around in one of our Biology lectures, one of my friends drew a squiggly line. It wasn’t meant to be particularly anything, but while looking at the line I got an idea from it. As such, I started adding to the small doodle, slowing adding details until it became the octopus that is now. Currently, the octopus design is residing in my notebook. Since I grew to like the design so much, I took a picture of the sketch and drew over it on my IPad; forever digitalizing the image. I imagine that this design might be similar to one someone might choose if they were desiring an octopus tattoo, without too much detail and more zentangle elements.
As I draw my original characters more and more, I have begun to get a more solid picture of my characters appearance and their personality. Loki is the type of guy to come off as being too extroverted and optimistic about everything. He is down to do anything and nothing seems to frightened him. I think in a way, I have based him off of my more reckless, adventurous self. Loki is the complete opposite of Khaos. It’s rather cliche, but they’re the sun and moon, earth and sky to each other.
The day after I returned home from NYLT, my family drove up to Salem, Oregon to see the Solar Eclipse. We had previously purchased tickets through OMSI to see it at the State Fairgrounds with some family friends.
Honestly, during that weekend I was the walking dead, having been around so many people that past week at camp and now going up to large city to see this big astronomical event added to my tiredness. The biggest thing weighing on my mind was that during the week I was at NYTL, the entire state was covered in fires. In fact, there had been one only two miles away from the location of camp.
All week, I could see the helicopters flying and at night when everyone was fast asleep, I could hear the crackle of fire. Having lived in the area previously, I knew what this meant; knowing a fire was so close put a lot of stress on my mind. Most disturbing was learning at the end of camp that the leaders had known about it and yet had decided not to inform the campers. Despite my exhaustion, I knew I would regret not seeing the total eclipse for the rest of my life so I pulled myself through.
The sun was predicted to be completely obscured at 10:18 am Pacific Time. For many reasons this particular Solar Eclipse was special, but I presume that you’ve already heard those before. I had been planning what I was going to do once the eclipse finally started and had been anticipating drawing in my sketchbook the process of the eclipse all the way through totality.
My family and I work up early that morning to get breakfast and a good parking place. We had bunked for the night at one of my mom’s friend’s house, as our attempts to book a hotel even a year in advance had proven futile as everywhere was either reserved or had the prices had been set exorbitantly high. We slept outside in their backyard, borrowing their hammocks, and the feeling of the weekend being a celebration of the sky and it’s lunar events, was further solidified.
We met our friends at the fairgrounds. Crowds of people were mulling about the fairgrounds, perusing tables of the vendors and those of non-profit organizations all relating to astronomy and science. One of the booths had a small activity set up where you could hole-punch a piece of paper in different designs so that you could take a picture of the eclipse’s shadow showing through all the little holes. At another booth, there were a bunch of shirt, stickers, and buttons. There were buttons, flyers, and stickers given out free of charge. In addition to taking a few of the freebies, I bought a shirt that had the design of the eclipse and listing all the places where there would be totality.
The weather in Salem was perfect for viewing the eclipse, however other locations were not so lucky. We heard reports on social media of the skies in central Oregon filled with smoke from the fires and as is usual on the coast, an entrenched fog.
The event of totality itself was… it was indescribable, however I will try to capture it in words to the best of my capabilities. When everything went dark and we could look at the sun without burning our eyes, I didn’t believe what I was seeing. Of course, I had seen pictures and drawings from previous solar eclipses, but it was entirely different in person.
As I stared up at this large astronomical object, sitting on the ground, I felt small. Yet in my gut was an urge, a need, a desperate ache to redefine the world. To break all the rules and to create from the ashes, a society of intellectual people who are not afraid to admit that they do not know everything and to go out in search for answers. It was in that moment, in those 2 minutes and 40 seconds, I thought this: ‘I can achieve anything and everything to which I put my mind.’ How can an astrological event put these overwhelming thoughts in my head? Why was I frozen in place? As I looked at the united moon and sun, my hand drew frantically on it’s own accord, without instruction.
Truly, the solar eclipse of 2017 was something beyond me entirely. To feel so motivated, powerful, unstoppable is a feeling that I have had only a few times in my life. I think I will be chasing after that feeling and solar eclipses for the rest of my life.
My cousin recently had a birthday, and consequently a birthday party that my family would be atttending. Since I started my journey in becoming an artist, I’ve stopped purchasing presents and instead creating my own. This allows me to customize the pieces of art I do to each individual person receiving the gift. I had previously been aware of the fact that my cousin is a big Voltron fan making the decision in deciding the subject of my drawing easy.
This piece is of Shiro, the Black Paladin of Voltron or known to the Voltron fandom as “Space Dad”. I decided to use a mix of waterolor and ink, using mainly the Speedball India Ink and Windsor and Newton Ink in the color titanium white.
On the 15th of July, I took a Biological Illustration class hosted by South Slough. We spent the entire day at the OIMB boathouse practicing different drawing techniques.
One of my favorite parts of the entire class was when the teacher walked us through on how to find patterns in nature. She started out by handing all the students a pinecone to draw. She then showed us a way to make a preliminary reference on paper: an egg shape with spiraling lines going both left and right, similar to a simple pineapple graphic. This was so that we could later go in and add the details of each umbo. This helped me tremendously, in almost no time I had drawn a decent looking pinecone with practically zero effort.
Another great technique that she showed us was using a tool called a proportional divider. It is used to help with making sure all the proportions of the item you are drawing are correct and are not slightly skewed. A tip when using this tool is to hold it towards the chosen object of drawing and to keep your head in the same spot throughout the measuring of the item. There is also the really cool trick of changing the size of the object on paper without hindering the proportions at all, this is made capable by the proportional divider as it allows you to magnify things or make them smaller.
Overall, I really enjoyed the class as it allowed me to discover some new techniques to apply when struggling to get the proportions accurate such as, focus on the shapes of the negative space, blind contour, use a proportional divider, and look for patterns. The class was not geared towards showing you how to draw scientifically, but to show you how to use a variety of techniques in all areas of drawing, even when not drawing a biological illlustration.
Drawing of my original character (OC) Arcturus, who acts as a mentor in a book that I have been writing in my head for years. I created this drawing on the IPad with the popular Apple Pencil using a wonderful app called Procreate.