Design I Assignments

This was my first project for Design I. We had to use stipling, which I despise, so I picked a high contrast image with lots of black and white. It was traced from a photo in Natural History, a magazine I loved to read as a child. Stephen Jay Gould wrote monthly essays for 'em. The original had 2 more birds in the middle, which I removed for clarification.

This was my second project, based on a sketch I did of my housemate, Pippi. The assignment was "line". My teacher insisted I do the contour drawing, although I had second thoughts about it and wanted to work on the below project instead.

This is still in progress. The trees are from a photo I took of Battery Park; the rabbit is from Teniel's illustrations for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. I had wanted to do this one instead of the contour drawing because I like creating textures and shading with line, and also the Pippi drawing just seemed too easy and simple.


Murals of Port Richmond

Port Richmond is a neighborhood on Staten Island. It is on the west side, facing New Jersey. It's one of the older places on the island, and was once an important center of activity on the Island. Then the Verrazano bridge got built and it kind of died.

Nowadays, a large number of Mexican immigrants have moved in and are revitalizing the neighborhood by opening shops and restaurants. There's even a chapter of Make the Road by Walking out here. There are lots of old industrial buildings scattered around, so it kind of reminds me of Bushwick, Brooklyn. It has a similar abandoned vibe to it.

Many of the buildings in Port Richmond have murals on them. They're pretty different from what you'll see on the rest of the Island, where if a piece gets let alone at all, it's usually something patriotic. Here, there's a lot more variety, and in a rather concentrated area. These were mostly taken along a 10 block stretch of road.

Then there's this tag on a dumpster, which I just think is pretty funny considering our borough's proud history of being New York City's personal landfill.


Pictures of things you might have seen 2 months ago if I had posted them

These turkeys are outside the South Beach Psychiatric Center. I think it's mean to keep incongruous wildlife on the grounds of a mental hospital. If you saw a turkey anywhere else in New York City, you'd swear you were hallucinating.

Nice fence, dude.

Dunkin Donuts throws out garbage bags full of perfectly edible food every night. Here is the evidence. Delis, bakeries, and supermarkets do this too. Then there's the store near the ferry that had to dust off the price tag on the product I brought up to the counter...

Pictures of things you might see in New York City (Is Winter Over Yet?? - Edition)

This is the Whitehall ferry slip. It is on the very very southernmost tip of Manhattan. I like the weathered wood along the slip. The Brooklyn Bridge is...ok, I guess.

He is on a wall west of the Callen-Lorde medical building. Callen-Lorde provides medical services to the LGBT community, particularly to those with HIV or whom are transgender.

Battery Park can look pastoral if you crop things right.

This proud tree stands in a muddy field that is much less beautiful than depicted.


A self porttrait of dubious repute and also a skeleton drawn too lightly

Our drawing teacher is a Brit who emphasizes getting correct proportions on your paper using a ruler and L-bars. It has been very helpful to my drawing from life. Using the L-bars as a window helps me ignore the subject as a figure, and think of it more as shapes and shadows in space. In class, I mark my paper into halves or thirds along both axises, and use these rough blocks to transfer what I see to paper. I usually start from the bottom left, then switch to the extreme right or top of the figure before I get too caught up in details. This forces me to keep the proportions throughout the figure right, because if I screw up in one area, the pencil in the other areas won't look right at all.

For the skeleton, I first roughed in the general position of the limbs, then went back over it more carefully. Often, I had the angles correct, but the length and shape wrong. I also often had to go back and make the bones blockier at the tops and curvier along the shafts. Sometimes I had a hard time making sense of what I was seeing, like with the rib cage and the bones of the feet and hands. I did those last, and would have filled them in better if I had more time. I spent about two hours just working on the legs.

This one was improved drastically by shading, despite my preference for line. I had a very hard time figuring how to handle my glasses. Not in the drawing...on my face. I pulled the mirror up real close and took them off for half the drawing, then finished the contour lines and shading with them back on.



My college is holding a poster contest to promote one major or another. My original idea was some shitty watercolor concept involving fishies. I bought illustration board, I took out a book from the library on painting, I practiced, I did a wash, I sketched in the elements I wanted, I colored it in with pencil over the paint...and I hated it so much I started completely over.

Look, I don't like to paint. I like drawing cartoons. So I decided that the best concept would use the fact that that I can draw in ink halfway decently. It would also have to be something I cared about. Not fishies. I mean, I like a nice lemony tuna or salmon, but mostly I don't give a shit.

I made the original sketch for this in art history class. Then I did an extremely rough, light sketch directly on the paper I was using, shaped it up a little, and inked it, without transferring it or doing any more preliminary work than the notebook drawing. I've been reading John K's blog, and I am impressed by how he preserves spontaneity in his final drawings. He does construct his characters, and very carefully, but they never come out looking stiff. I also kept in mind his theories of how to draw facial features and expressions as I inked.

I attempted to give some idea of hierarchy by using Sharpies of varying width, but I think I could have done a better job on this. The monkey's hands should have been done entirely with a smaller marker.

I tried digitally coloring it, but it didn't work well at all. The colored pencils I used instead were surprisingly good. I'll take a picture of it later.