Friday, January 28, 2011

Crocodile Zoo Poster

One of the classes I'm taking this quarter is Illustration Portfolio with Professor Linda Warner Constantino. It's more of a self-directed class, which  means I get to choose the projects I want to do (with art direction from the professor, of course.) I have a lot of goals I'm aiming to accomplish in terms of art this quarter so this is the perfect class to do it.

I chose to do a series of animal-themed illustrations because I really enjoy drawing them but I realized my current portfolio doesn't reflect that as much as I'd like.

The first of the series is this poster for a zoo, featuring crocodiles and an Egyptian plover!

I am very happy with how this piece turned out since I accomplished every single goal I set for it. I used a very systematic approach of: thumbnails, a preliminary sketch, a refined sketch, a value comp, and finally a colour comp. It's basically doing research on yourself and your art before you even begin the final piece. It also printed out true to the colours on the screen which is always a plus! Aaaand I also left enough space for the possible addition of type in the future.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Community Service Mural!

So here is the other piece of GREAT news! I painted my very first mural!

The main reason why this makes me so happy and so excited is I've always wanted to paint one.

The other reason is this was all for community service at a nursery :) I know I loved being surrounded by cute, happy imagery as a child and I strongly believe every child deserves to be happy, so the fact that I was able to brighten up their nursery makes me very happy as well.

Plus, I love seeing murals, in a house, out in the city, anywhere.  They really liven up a wall in otherwise dull environments.

The nursery, called CEN CINAI, is one of the many such government-sponsored nurseries for people with low resources in Costa Rica. They promote good nutrition and education in a healthy, positive environment. My friend Silvia (who by the way I've known since first grade, longest-lasting friendship I have!) is studying to become a dentist and she frequently visits them to teach the children how to brush their teeth correctly.

We had the pleasure to paint the wall of the basin they use to wash their hands and brush their teeth. The main goal of our mural was to remind them to brush their teeth with happy imagery. The other aim was simply to lighten up that corridor with bright colours since it's somewhat dark and sad in there.

At the request of the nursery's director, we kept the imagery quite simple, nothing too technical or any elaborate.

This was the sketch we presented, I originally tried for a more dynamic, rule of thirds-y composition but had to switch it around to fit certain requests, such as adding the balloon and removing the crocodile hahaha. Hey, hey, I figured a crocodile would be awesome for dentistry since he has all these nice shiny teeth, right? (Or maybe I just really like big reptiles with lotsa' teeth.)

 Note: this was coloured after the sketch was approved.

I then drew these bunnies and this kangaroo and had the children pick which one they liked the most. They all picked the kangaroo. I drew a kangaroo since my mom said she read this article about a new  tooth brush for kangaroos. She asked us how we imagined such a tooth brush, since she imagined it'd have to be quite long so the kangaroo wouldn't bite the person, haha. I can't verify the authenticity of this article but I thought the story was hilarious.

 Note: these were coloured after the sketch was approved.
I'm glad they chose the kangaroo since I wasn't too intent on painting a rabbit (Mr. Rabbit from Colgate, anyone?) Showing them these sketches was hilarious because they'd walk over and they couldn't believe I drew them. I was surprised only one of them asked how though.

The hot air balloon was included since Silvia loved this drawing I had in my sketchbook (I have a not-so-secret yet not-so-publicized love for hot air balloons and I frequently sketch all sorts of them.)

And here is the finished product:

It was challenging at times to try and concentrate on painting while simultaneously taking care of curious children who wanted to get their hands all over the paint, haha. There's many things I would've done differently (even though I made the drawing, I didn't have full creative control over it.) Even so, we accomplished our goals. Teeth, happy imagery, bright colours and happy people. All the staff and the few children that saw it were happy with it, which in the end  is what matters since this was done for them.

I say the few children that saw it since they were let out on break on the day before we finished the mural, so I left with the thought that it would be a nice little surprise or late Christmas present for them when they got back from vacation. :)

It was such an enriching experience. Seeing the happy, brightened faces of not just the children but also the staff was very fulfilling for both of us. They were all very satisfied and we received many positive comments. They even mentioned something about having us come back to do more. And hey, there's CEN CINAI all over the country, so why not?

We even got a bag of candy!

 "Merry Christmas!"

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Primary Art Supply Poster

So I kept myself busy with art projects this Winter Break and I have two exciting pieces of news. The first one is....

I won second place in Primary Art Supply's poster contest!

Primary is a popular art store in Savannah that is run by SCAD alumni.

The store has a very friendly, welcoming and playful vibe to it.  I kept those feelings in mind when making this poster, especially with the colours, which I pulled straight out of their logo.

As for the subject matter, I used two of my favourite objects ever: hot-air balloons and gumball machines (which by themselves already have a friendly and playful vibe.) I often visualize the image in my head before sketching it down and through that method I quickly realized just how seamlessly you can combine those two objects. This is the sketch I made:

 (p.s.: this toned sketchbook is the best ever. )

The poster is now up in stores :) Go check it out if you're in SAV!

If you've read this far and you're wondering where the second part of the good news is, I will be posting that in the upcoming weeks :) Stay tuned!