Joe’s Green Cadillac

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Back in October, I had the strangest dream. In this dream, I was sitting at home after school one day, just minding my own business. Suddenly, the doorbell rang. I walk over to the door, open it, and standing there in front of me was my friend, Joe. The details of our imaginary conversation are very fuzzy, but I think it went something like this:

“Oh, hi Joe! What are you doing here?”

“I dunno. Hop in, I wanna show you something.”

“Huh. Okay!”

I open the door wider and I see this big olive green Cadillac, shining in the sun. We got inside and cruised around for a while on some country roads. Eventually, we made it over to Joe’s house, and he sort of just disappeared into the house, leaving me out in the car, so I think I ended up driving away. This dream was pretty uneventful, but yeah! The Cadillac was definitely the highlight of that dream, and I didn’t want to forget it, so I immortalized it in watercolor.

I fully realize this post is truly odd. But I figured you might enjoy it. Anyway. Enjoy this weekend, and if you happen to have a dream with an exotic-colored car, let me know!

Thanks for reading!

– The Bopper

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Figure Drawing

One of the most important parts of creating a portfolio is including drawings that come from direct observation. I like to say that “drawing is seeing”, and that really puts things into perspective. As long as you draw what you see, not what you THINK you see, you’re golden!

A great way to practice drawing from observation is to draw people. You can sit in any public place and draw people who pass by, but you can also hire models to help you get a really great view of what you’re drawing. This year I came to a drawing class at our local artists’ society, and the model had lots of costumes for us to draw. This first drawing that I’m about to show you is of the model in a flapper costume. If you love the roaring 20’s, this one’s for you!

untitled-1untitled-12So, there they are! Even though this session took place last year I still really like these. We used charcoal on huge 18 by 24-inch newsprint paper to do these drawings, which is always a lot of fun. I’m notorious for drawing WAY bigger than I should, so the more room I have, the better!

This model was fantastic. She held her poses and facial expressions very well, and her costumes were so intricate and fun to draw. It’s always nice to have your subject matter sit still when you’re doing figure studies.

If you’ve never tried figure drawing, you should give it a shot! It’s one of the most fundamental parts of any artist’s portfolio. And don’t be intimidated by the whole ordeal. Figure drawings, gesture drawings in particular, are supposed to be loose and certainly don’t have to be perfect renderings of your model. It helps you practice your usage of line to establish the form and contour of a person or an object. So give it a go! Grab some charcoal and a sketchbook and sit in a coffee shop. The people there will probably sit relatively still. Start by giving yourself one minute to quickly draw one of the people. Then go up to 5, 10, 15, or even a full hour of drawing just one person. It’s great practice.

Anyways. That’s the scoop on figure drawing! See you all in the next one.

– The Bopper

I’m Alive!

Well, hello!

It has certainly been a hot minute since I last updated you on this blog! My only excuse is that life has been busy, as always, but I’m glad to be back.

For those of you who read my blog for my artwork, don’t worry; I have got some really cool stuff for you in store! I just finished an advanced drawing class here at school, and my portfolio is looking nice. I certainly learned a lot this semester, as I always do. I can never give my art teacher enough credit- he’s just the best. We have a great environment in our classes that really nurtures a strong work ethic. So I got a lot done, and without sounding too conceited, I’m really happy with where I am coming out of the class.

Without further ado… here’s some art!

Remember when I said I had my first drawing project underway in my last blog post? Lucky for you, I finished it! This piece is called “A Few of My Favorite Things”. It’s all in the name! Here it is:

f3b032bf-74e0-456a-867d-afcff2555ad5This drawing is mixed media, with watercolor, colored pencil, and ink. I have to say, this one holds a lot of sentiment for me. Those roller skates in the middle showcase my love for all things roller disco. That Hawkins Chief of Police truck is a nice little Stranger Things reference. The winding yellow brick road in the back pays homage to Elton John. The bricks on the road have some of his song lyrics on them, and if you can read them, I’d encourage you to try and pick out the songs I referenced in there. It’s good stuff! There are more lyrics by different artists in there too if Elton isn’t your speed. See if you can find them!

That piece made for a fun little project. But now let’s get into the really nitty-gritty technical stuff. I tried really hard to hone in on my rendering ability last semester, and I learned a lot. This is one I’m particularly proud of:

3A78CB97-5863-44DC-AF88-E4702FB840B7.jpegThat’s a mask wrapped in paper and string. This drawing is 18 by 24 inches, which is larger than life in this case! All those little crinkles and divots in the paper were quite tricky to hammer down. I used a mix of charcoal and graphite for this drawing, which may have been a mistake since they don’t mix very well, but I think I managed to clean it up. This one tested my patience, honestly. But it’s always important to remember, in your art, and in everything else really, do not give up even if there’s no end in sight. What you end up with is worth the hard work.

Okay, I have lots more to show you, but you’ll just have to keep your eyes open for more posts this week! Get ready for some more cool stuff- portraits, figure drawings, and watercolor!

Thanks for reading, and party on!

– The Bopper

The Verdict

School’s been in session for two full weeks. I’m still adjusting, I suppose, but overall things are going pretty well! I’ve got my first art project under way (More updates on that later!) and I have a very solid schedule. I’m honing in on my humanities this year- history, art, and language. I’m hoping I’ll continue to enjoy my classes further on into the year.

That’s not to say that school is always easy. I’ve been missing my ex-senior friends who graduated last year. It’s been tough transitioning without them around. But maybe it’ll push me towards meeting new people. Alas, typical high school problems.

If you’re already back in school, I feel your pain. Don’t forget to take time for yourself after school, and leave room for your family and friends. And don’t take things too seriously!

Best wishes to you all this year. Keep on truckin’.

– The Bopper

Back in Black

Well hey there!

It has certainly been a while. I took a brief hiatus from blogging over the summer. I’ve been trying to minimize my social media usage as of late; personally, I believe that kids my age are too wrapped up in what other people think of them online and in real life. So, I’ve cut out a big chunk of my digital presence to reestablish more genuine connection with people. It’s not intended to disconnect me from my peers.

Anyways, school is back in session and so are my art classes! If you’ve read my blog before you know I always get excited about my art classes starting back up after breaks. My art teacher is phenomenal, and I think he’s got some great projects planned for this semester. But over the summer, I had a little creative slump. I couldn’t think of anything that felt original and fresh. My family took a vacation to LA, and as you can imagine, the west coast lifestyle helped boost my inspiration significantly!

I hope that you all have had a good start to your school year if you’re already back. Here’s a few of my works from this summer.

School is Meant to be Safe

One of my teachers has asked us to write a blogpost about safety at school in regards to the school shootings that have occurred all across the country. Just this morning, a middle school about half an hour away from my town had a school shooter situation.

It’s obvious that the amount of needless bloodshed is completely saddening. Children come to school to further their educations, to learn and develop skills for the rest of their life. School is meant to be a safe place where you can grow and meet new people and seek help if you need it, not a battleground.

I don’t say all this to be dramatic or try to guilt-trip my readers into pressing for new gun control laws or to go walking out of school. I just think that the needless death of students is totally unacceptable. But it’s not a gun problem: it’s a people problem.

You’ve heard it all by now. The news reports, the heated debates, the speculation in the media. Personally, I’m not sure how we should handle the issue. But I do know that taking people’s right to defend themselves is not the answer. Besides, tightening gun laws would just be a small roadblock for people who really want to kill. Illegal purchases could still be made. It’s not fair to take away someone’s defenses. And sure, you shouldn’t need guns at school. But I don’t think “taking the guns away” is an effective solution.

Since I don’t know what’s the best way to fix it, I don’t feel that it’s my place to protest. I know that every school is subject to shootings, including my own. No one wants to think it could be them, but it really could be. I wish I could be more optimistic, but it could happen to us.  It is always in the back of my mind. I pray that we can respectfully collaborate as students and teachers and parents and families to fix this horrible problem. I don’t know how, and that scares me.

Thinking about the prospect of a shooting makes the halls of my school seem a little bleaker. No one should feel dread when they come to school every day.

Please stay safe out there.

– The Bopper

011/010

Its been several months since the Stranger Things Season 2 drop, but I’m still enamored. The show has had massive success and has really gained traction in popularity. That should come as no surprise since it’s such an amazing production.

It’s hard not to love Eleven, the show’s supernatural protagonist with an unquenchable appetite for Eggos and an undying love for her friends. Eleven captured my heart in season one with her quiet strength and her growth as a character. She went from an unstable, defensive child to a sweet, loyal girl who would even die for her friends. She is genuinely an inspiration to me, even if that sounds corny.

I was thinking about El over the weekend, and I wanted to do a little portrait of her. So, here you are!

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I’ve switched back over to a sketchbook with a smoother grain, and it’s heavenly for drawings like this. I love building the values up and then smoothing things out. The shadows on her face are a nice little technical display. Plus, who doesn’t love El?

Hope you enjoy that little tidbit. School’s out in 8 days. Say a prayer for me.

– The Bopper

Burnout

We are about 13 days away from summer vacation. And I will be sliding, crawling even, into home base. I am burnt out. Doing any kind of work is just painful at this point. It’s like, “Can I just quit already?” The burnout has set in full force.

My artwork keeps me going. Even when I can’t be bothered to lift a finger for school, I can force myself to draw. So, instead of stitching together a cohesive theme for this week’s post, I’m just going to showcase a little drawing that I’ve started working on for fun. Nothing special. Just what I can manage.

Here’s this little beaut.

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She’s purple! That’s the light in my bedroom. A 60s inspired lady. A bit of a vixen, if you will. It’s definitely inside my comfort zone, but it turned out alright. Nothing wrong with a little sketching now and then.

I hope the remainder of your school year doesn’t leave you as uninspired as mine has. I look forward to the summer though; I’m hoping to try out some new media and keep honing in on the technical stuff.

I think some extra sleep will do me good.

– The Bopper

 

King of Beasts

I have a love-hate relationship with charcoal. It’s a great medium in terms of forgiveness. Erasers pick up charcoal pretty well. But, it takes skill to master the ability to create realistic values with it. I’ve been working on that this year in my classes. I’ve been doing my best to expand my abilities with different media, and I plan on revisiting painting next year.

Charcoal blends with incredible ease since it’s so dusty, and it creates nice, smooth textures. There’s nothing as satisfying and utterly, inescapably messy as pouring out charcoal dust and wiping it all over your paper. That was my foundation for this drawing I did a few weeks back.

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Not the greatest photo I’ve ever taken since it was in a display case, but you get the gist. It was fun to work on a larger scale like this. I think this charcoal drawing is 18 x 24.

The assignment was to draw a moment frozen in time. And with charcoal dust, it’s all about drawing in reverse with your eraser (check out my previous post about drawing backwards!). At first, I wanted to draw a dancer, striking some graceful pose. But after blocking out the basic shape, it just wasn’t working for me. I decided that an animal would be better. I draw too many people as it is. Who’s the king of beasts? The lion!

So here you are. Royalty of the savanna, embodied in my messy drawing. Try charcoal sometime if you haven’t before. And enjoy the mess.

– The Bopper