Friday, December 2, 2011

Tree Face Assignment


I gave this assignment in my media techniques class last night. I projected the images below from my iPad on the screen to be used as reference.


I told my class to create a tree that had at least one face in it. That's it. Then I started having fun. I didn't have any watercolor paper but I did have a gessoed board so I grabbed that and started drawing with a 12 cent papermate ballpoint pen.

I almost finished the drawing in class but when I got home last night picked it up again and fooled with it again in front of the TV (office re-runs). I love drawing in the living room - my mom used to needle point and I think of this as my equivalent.


This morning I decided to play hookie from the projects I'm supposed to be working on and fiddle with the sketch in photoshop. I got this far in about 3 hours. I'm still going to paint this in class next week with watercolor but sometimes you have to just do what you want and let the consequences follow right? I hope my kids aren't reading this...meh - no worries - they never read my blog.

33 comments:

  1. Very nice! I like seeing your reference too.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I sooooooooooooooo love this Will! Just awesome!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. It seems that photo reference (especially if it isn't yours and found on the internet) is Taboo for Illustrators to post or EVER discuss. Thanks for showing us that you are human. ^_^ Love the tree; it turned out great.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks guys! Mike you bring up a good topic - I think a lot of artists want us to believe that they possess super human art powers that transcend the need for reference. I myself would be lost without it. There - I said it - I can't draw without reference. I think for something like this I'm totally fine since I'm not making any money from Mr. Treeface and I don't think most people would be able to tell that I looked at Gandalf. However I don't show my reference for commissioned work so photographers etc don't get any cheeky ideas.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I really like your 'Tolkien's Ents'.
    Wonderfully done.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hey, when can we buy the watercolor, acrylic and ball point pen tutorial??

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love your work and enjoy your blog, but I think it is wrong that you use Illustration Friday to promote your site/work without the slightest effort at meeting the IF theme word. Clearly you do not need to abuse Illustration Friday that way. Please realise how irritating it is for those who use it correctly.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Mindy - the ball point pen helps to hide the fact that I'm lost with watercolor...I don't see me teaching that any time soon :)

    Anonymous - I appreciate your opinion and I'll offer mine:

    1)I.F. rules state "An illustration of your interpretation of the topic" it doesn't state that you must or should label your post "I.F" although that seems to be the popular trend. The word "interpretation" is loose at best - some of my submissions are more on topic than others- check last weeks "round" -look at the thumbnail I uploaded - could something be more round?

    2)I would speculate that with over 500 weekly submissions most people including yourself post with the goal of getting noticed by other artists rather than being the one picked to win that week. I'm no different - I want to be noticed.

    3)Rather than being offended by my submission you might think about directing your disapproval at some of picks I.F. has made over the years. Many are way off the mark conceptually in my opinion - but I.F. doesn't care about my opinion because in the end it's subjective - just like my submissions. Who's to say that my entry this week for brigade isn't appropriate??? you? bri·gade/briˈgād/ Noun:
    A subdivision of an army, typically consisting of a small number of infantry. Are you going to tell me that the roots of my tree don't form a brigade from the larger tree?

    I would suggest that you simply look at the names above each submission before clicking on them - this way you can avoid my offensive entries.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Forgive me for sticking my nose in but let me just say that I found your blog on Illustration Friday. It's become one of the blogs that I regularly follow. When I check links on IF I'm just looking for good art work. I do not care if the images reflect the theme of the week.

    Thank you for your wonderful blog!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Cheap ballpoint pens are the best sketching tool ever! I just figured that out this year and can't believe it took me so long. Beautifully rendered tree character!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks LAConley! and rmsmi! ball point pens - who knew?

    ReplyDelete
  12. What a cool assignment! I love assignments. And what a great tree with faces.

    ReplyDelete
  13. "I would suggest that you simply look at the names above each submission before clicking on them - this way you can avoid my offensive entries. "

    Thank you for your snarky advice! I will certainly do this in future, but it is a shame as I always enjoyed your blog before, and I like your work and appreciated your tutorials. Shame to discover your true colours aren't so nice. I find your reasoning about justifying your image as suitable for Illustration Friday 'Brigade' difficult to appreciate.
    And you are incorrect in your assumption. When I join in with Illustration Friday, it is to share on a theme and see what wonderful ways others have interpreted the same, not to be noticed or hope to be selected as pick of the week, which I believe is selected totally by random anyway!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Love the entry. Love that you were able to stray from your assignments and simply enjoy yourself, and glad you were able to make it fit for the IF theme, though I hadn't seen it posted yet, now I know what the topic is.

    I too have need for reference. What I can think up is much different without reference than with as I'm not that talented in perspective and anatomy for it not to show.

    I enjoy the different interpretations from IFers. I find it refreshing when an artist comes up with a more unique translation of the weekly theme than to see 20 translations of the same idea. I appreciate that you were able to stretch the idea, branching out, if you will, to make this week's theme fit what you were already working on.

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful work. Watercolor, photoshop, or ballpoint pen, you did an amazing job.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thank you Lui - I think everyone takes a little something different away from their I.F. experience.

    Annonymous. Was my comment a bit snarky? It was. I was hurt by your original comment and fell into the temptation of striking back. You called my I.F. submissions "abusive" and "irritating". Perhaps they are to some including yourself. However I think it takes nerve to assume that most people are as offended as you at my submissions. I think you're missing the whole point of a creative art contest. In my opinion it's not to solve the word of the week with the first thing that comes to mind. Lui was spot on when she wrote, "I find it refreshing when an artist comes up with a more unique translation of the weekly theme than to see 20 translations of the same idea." At any rate I think you should be glad when an artist like myself submits his/her work - in your words, "without the slightest effort at meeting the IF theme word." You should feel like your chances are that much better at winning - right? I don't see how you're hurt by me. Do you make rude comments on every I.F. participant's blog who don't meet your interpretation of the theme word? Are you the self proclaimed I.F. police? It must take a lot of time if you do. Did you single me out because you have a bone to pick with me about something else and don't know how to email me personally? You could be anyone. You could be a friend playing a joke in which case - YOU GOT ME! It seems that you're spending a lot of effort and time worrying about a contest where there isn't any money, fame, or prizes involved. I think that if I were - as you put it, "abusing" I.F. with "irritating" submissions they would ban me or let me know that my submissions are NOT appropriate. They haven't. I want to tell you what you should be doing with your spare time but I won't because I don't want to be accused of being "snarky". You say you won't be visiting this blog anymore but without knowing who you are I can't say whether or not that would be a good thing or a bad thing. If you're a friend - I'm sorry we don't see eye to eye on this one but we probably agree on most things - so see -if you can overlook my submissions we can still be friends. WIN!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I like your painting that you uploaded to illustration friday for separated 12/11/2011 but it doesn't illustrate the theme. I don't mind personally but I can see the points being made.

    ReplyDelete
  17. This is like the thread that never ends.

    My entry for "separated" was again, conceptual. I chose to illustrate the song "tomorrow" by Ladytron. The song is about a troubled relationship - "I don't hate you or want you enough to wake you..." Helen Marnie was either singing about physical or emotional distance in a relationship...or separation (check out the video). Perhaps it's my background in editorial illustration but often good solutions do not present themselves in obvious ways.

    I hope you keep enjoying my blog :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. holy crap this is cool, even more so that it was sketched in ballpoint. I used to do a lot with airbrush and ballpoint back in the 80's this makes me wanna get back to it.

    3 thumbs up (which is really hard to do)

    ReplyDelete
  19. 80's... you sound like you've been around a while...like me :) ...I used to airbrush too! :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thanks for sharing your process! I don't think I've ever done a detailed drawing in ballpoint, but seeing work like this makes me want to try...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Laura! It was a lot of fun playing around with it - I wanted to do it to show my students that you don't need a bunch of fancy equipment from the art store.

      Delete
  21. That's a wonderful work! Love your tree!
    It's the first time that I visit your blog and I like it a lot! I will come back again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Yara! I have a lot of fun with all sorts of projects - life is short - so make sure you do what you enjoy some of the time :)

      Delete
  22. Best tree face I've seen in a long time ;)
    Love it!

    ReplyDelete
  23. This is an incredible picture. I was wondering if I can have permission from you to use it for a tattoo?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If that would make you happy - it would make me happy.

      Delete
  24. Thank you. I have some scars and your artistic work is exactly what I've been looking for to cover them.

    ReplyDelete

Feel free...