Archive | Art RSS feed for this section

A Comparison

3 Dec

I must say I’m very impressed with M2’s illustration skills. For someone who did not have any formal training or art lessons prior to being accepted for the Honors design program (yes Honors, you read that right), she’s really good. I’m so glad we discovered her potential and nudged her in the right direction. Now she’s able to flourish.

I was curious as to how I would fare in comparison to her skills. So I attempted the same composition after she sent over the picture that she used for reference for this assignment.

img_6090

Same same but different

I guess I have a more sketchy approach because I don’t have the patience for details. Having worked for so long, I am used to conceptualizing my ideas in rough sketches or thumbnails which I will then brief my team. And they are the ones who will execute with details.

While my attempt was using pencil and hers was ink, and both pieces on paper, there’s no right or wrong when it comes to art. It’s a showcase of one’s talents and I sure am proud of my M2’s talents.

Contrasting First Years

29 Nov

When M1 went off to university four years ago, we had periodic pictorial updates on the classes she took. As she was a Food Science major, obviously it was food-related and the pictures were experiments that were conducted in the lab for her classes. From the preparation to the end result, we had interesting pictures of how to make Camembert cheese and smoked salmon.

img_5648

Fancy some cheese?

img_5650

Or perhaps smoked salmon?

Now with M2 having started her first year at college––she has completed her Foundation Studies with distinction––we are also getting updates on her classes. As she is a Design Communications major, similar to my degree but mine was called Visual Communications with an emphasis in Graphic Design, so obviously we are getting art and design-related pictures.

This being an assignment from her Illustration class. Dang… the details and patience! I am so glad she’s on the right path to nurture her creativity and shape her ability.

1dd3d726-c249-4f4c-a11f-bd8c13769bfe

Serious Tools

25 Nov

Two weeks ago, it was the massive Singles’ Day (11/11) online shopping event. And like the rest of the world, I bought stuff on that day too and became part of the stats that made up the USD38.4 billion sales record. What an impressive sales record given the global economic gloom.

But that is not the point here, it’s more of what I bought – specialized whittling knives, a new set of serious tools.

img_6303

The set came in a pouch and included a sharpening stone

Totally different (with thicker handles) from what I have currently, these knives are super duper sharp and scary because they are bigger than what I am used to. I foresee from here on, I would be whittling more than carving because these knives have better leverage for precision and better control. And it will be even more rewarding once I can handle them for my future pieces.

For the uninitiated, carving encompasses using chisels, gouges, the mallet and even powered equipment whereas whittling involves only the use of a knife. At times, the terms are interchangeable although both are different arts. But whether whittling or carving which I must say I do both, it has become something I enjoy doing.

A Cut Too Deep, Part 2

22 Nov

My MacGyver skills came in handy when it came to rescuing the Whale with the broken tail. Given a second chance to be completed and not abandoned, it would have a whole tail section transplant instead of an itty-bitty prosthetic!

This was what I did…

After evaluating the damage and the wood surface, an itty bitty prosthetic tail wouldn’t do because that part of the wood was too porous and it certainly won’t stick. It needed more to be permanent and a transplant was a better option to replace the whole section. A little bit more work but I felt better about this direction.

So I worked on another piece for the tail part. Luckily the Meranti piece that I chose wasn’t that hard and it was quite effortless to get the shape right quickly. But after aligning the pieces, my estimates were off! Haish… it didn’t look right and I ended up having to shave off a little bit more of the bottom part on the main body.

img_6184-1

Bottom pics: Before (L) and after (R) trimming the base to fit the new tail section

Eventually, with the tiniest nails I could find, the tail section was attached to the main body. I then added Elmer’s glue and stapled the section to secure it.

img_6189

How to add a tail to a whale, with nails, glue and staples

After the glue dried, I started puttying the piece to even out the nooks and crannies and the Whale was starting to look good. Phew! I decided to leave the staples in for peace of mind.

img_6254-1

A saved whale is a happy whale!

When I’m done applying gesso on it, you can’t tell that this fella had surgery in the first place. And once I decide what color it shall be, it will certainly look good when painted. I’m so glad I persevered on this to give it a second lease in life after that unfortunate cut that was too deep. A saved whale is a happy whale, and a happy me too!

A Cut Too Deep

19 Nov

After completing Ginormous Gnome the Second, I moved to carving a Whale. Somehow for this piece, I had reservations when I started but I did not take heed. The two pieces of Meranti were different – one was too hard and the other too soft. I don’t know what I was thinking when I glued them together. I decided to go ahead to carve out the usual.

It wasn’t easy because one side being so soft, created a lot of craters when I worked on it. I didn’t even exert any strength and it would break. But the other side being so hard, I had no choice but to exert strength and this inadvertently hurt my elbow. Sigh… and I didn’t want to abandon the piece, so I ploughed on.

And then this happened – the tail broke off… Arrrghhhh!!!! I was aghast! What have I done?

img_6159

The soft, the hard and the broken…

The piece was on lying on the softer side when I was shaping the harder side of the tail. But it was a cut too deep and the pressure broke the softer side of the tail.

Instead of abandoning the piece by now, which I was still reluctant, I thought a little prosthetic tail can perhaps save the piece. I felt that I have put in so much effort up till now, I didn’t want to give up.

How to salvage this fella? I had to plan and devise a rescue mission.

Here’s Ginormous the Second!

18 Nov
img_6291

Ginormous the Second looks better from the side than the front

I’ve finally gotten around to painting up Ginormous Gnome the Second. And I must say it does look good especially from its side profile. Compared to Ginormous the First, the difference in body width is very obvious. I think if I have two blocks of the exact same size, both pieces would still come out slightly different.

As every piece is hand-carved, there’s bound to be some variation, subtle or obvious that gives each piece their unique character. The end result of both looking the same is only in terms of the overall shape and colors.

I’m pleased that the second piece turned out good and preparations are underway to start the next gnome soon.

img_6292

Side by side, Ginormous 1 and 2 are very different in size!

A New Direction, Part 2

12 Nov

The efforts on Ginormous Gnome the second has been coming along fine. My only problem with it was its width – a wee bit skinny. It actually looks fine from the side profile angle but from the front, a tad too thin.

img_6083

The nose job was tough!

img_6078

Putty added to smoothen the surface throughout

The nose was the biggest challenge for this piece despite it being one piece unlike Ginormous One, which had an add-on. And since the overall body was rather skinny from the front, the big nose had to be shaved down to be proportionate to the body.

A lot of work but at the end, I’m pleased with the result. Once it’s painted up, another excellent Gnome to be displayed with the rest. Or I could give this fella away? Hmm…

img_6125-1

Looking good from the side with gesso applied as base before painting it up!

 

Looks like there may be more giant Gnomes coming up considering I have recently gotten new supplies of wood. Yay!

A New Direction

8 Nov

After the bout of carving six Citizens not too long ago, I was ready for another big piece. Suddenly carving big pieces is the way to go! This latest attempt at another Ginormous Gnome is again a combination of three Meranti wood, making it the second piece with three glued pieces.

This time there’s no add-ons for depth, learning from the previous piece. Also I am unfazed by the height because I know what to do. And there certainly won’t be any hole in the cap because I sketched the Gnome to be smaller with plenty of room to shape.

img_5641

Let the carving begin!

These days I seem to prefer carving big pieces over little Gnomes as it does not aggravate the left wrist because I don’t need to have a dead grip with the left hand. If you must know, carving Citizens is not painful because it’s on soft balsa, not semi-hard Meranti wood.

But I still have to find the right balance with this new direction because at times, the right golf elbow can still be aggravated if I’m at it too long – the repetitive motion on the semi-hard Meranti.

Sometimes if I have a weekend game coming up, I’d carve less to prevent any recurrence of pain. However if the pain persist on game day, I have no choice but to pop painkillers and use Salonpas patches to subdue it.

Perhaps with the new lighter golf set making golf enjoyable again, I can find the middle ground to have satisfaction to enjoy both golf and carving simultaneously without giving up one or the other.

I’ll see how, until then onwards with the new piece!

img_6081

Slowly but surely it’s coming along!

Is That a Nose Dinky?

1 Nov

I didn’t realise Dinky my dinosaur ‘grew’ a nose! From the looks of it, it’s a teeny-weeny scab from a scratch of an insect bite. And because of its strategic placement on Dinky’s face, it can pass off as a nose. Hahahaha…

However, I don’t think it’s a mosquito bite because I don’t remember any itch or even scratching my leg. Or maybe there was and I did… I don’t remember. Dinosaurs can be forgetful.

I just thought it’s funny that my Dinky now has a nose, a glowing red one just like Rudolph! Rather cute, no?

img_6112

A Good Push

8 Oct

Pumped by the satisfaction of Ginormous Gnome being completed, it was odd I couldn’t push myself to start on the next Whale despite plans to do so and having all that energy to carve. Plus I had just given away yet another Whale, two pieces within a week, it’s reason enough to get back to producing Whales.

Citizens #188 right through to #193!

Instead there was a sudden burst for the Citizens of Gigglesville. Within a few days, six new Citizens came about! Which was kind of nice because this means I should be able to reach 200 in its population count sooner that I thought I would.

However, in the midst of this, I found myself planning yet another Ginormous Gnome as I have started the process for it. Should be interesting how this one will turn out after the trials and error from the last one.

Glued and clamped to have a big block