Project Updates: Jan 25, 2017

January 25, 2017 at 12:27 pm (Art, Markers, painting, Thinking) (, , , , , , )


I’ve only been posting here when I finish a new painting, but I’ve been very busy lately. I’ve recently changed jobs and have been enjoying my new position. It’s made me pretty busy, but I’ve also been working on a lot of different projects on the side as well. To give a brief overview on a few of these projects:

  • I’ve been learning more about well-known artists. Edward Hopper is one such artist that I have been appreciating. He has almost an illustration art style, which is based in realism, but the scenes he produces are fantastic. They are typically scenes where we’re between exciting events, or scenes that are isolated, yet have a story to them. We see evidence that people have lived here, but we’ve missed the “action”. My last piece was influenced by this idea, but I think I will practice it further to try for a better execution.
  • I’ve been experimenting with toned paper for coloured pencils. I am working on a reproduction of a scene from the box art of the latest Arkham Horror: Card Game expansion. It takes up most of a page, so I’m not very far into it yet.
  • I’ve acquired some sets of artist markers. I bought art-store-brand so I can figure out what I’m doing and not invest a huge amount of money on expensive ones. At the bottom of this post will be a picture of my first attempt with them. I picked a simple strawberry to try to practice style and blending techniques.
  • I’m planning on writing a childrens’ book and illustrating it myself. I’m only at the beginning of this project, so I have very little to show, but it is in progress. I’m hoping to use my new markers for the illustration, but I may decide to mix in some watercolour pencils as well, depending on how it goes.

 

 

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Field and Stream

January 21, 2017 at 10:52 pm (acrylic painting, Art, painting) (, , , )


I just finished my next painting; it’s acrylic on an 8″x8″ canvas. I picked this image to paint because it had an interesting composition and I wanted to try something with it. Unfortunately, I did not achieve anything of what I wanted with this one, but it was a step in the right direction. I learned a fair bit during this one and reworked the colour a couple times, but ultimately it was not as cool-feeling and isolated as I had hoped for. Also, this is the second piece I since I started using Liquitex Heavy Body for parts of it. I’m still figuring out the ins and outs of them, but they seem to dry out much faster than my Liquitex Basics series paints.

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Field and Barn

January 18, 2017 at 7:55 pm (acrylic painting, Art, painting) (, , , , )


I’ve just completed my first painting of 2017; it’s acrylic on an 8″x10″ canvas. I’m still deciding how happy I am with it, but I tried a number of different things with this one. Here’s a picture of it:

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Insertable Foam Core Component Box

January 6, 2017 at 6:47 pm (Board games, Foamcore) (, , , , , , )


I’ve recently completed part 1 of my next foam core project; a component box that plugs into my first project (part 2 is just going to be a second box to sit beside the first). I designed it to be hingeless, use interlocking parts, and has a pull handle to slide the box out as well as open it. While I haven’t glued my original project yet, this one is held together using Gorilla Wood Glue. The lid of the box uses a slide & clip design via a piece of 1mm cardboard glued to the bottom of it.

I also cut some cardboard dividers for the first project; I just really like how they perfectly stack up 🙂

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First foamcore project!

January 2, 2017 at 3:47 pm (Art, Board games, Foamcore, Sketches) (, , , , , )


Ever since I found out that foamcore exists, I’ve wished I’d known about it sooner. I used to build things out of cardboard and even plain foam, and even at the time I wished those materials had the same properties as foamcore. It is fantastic and easy to work with. Now, keep in mind that I only have a small amount of experience in carpentry, so I apologize if use the wrong term for something.

For my first project, I decided to build a box insert for storing cards from a board game: Arkham Horror: The Card Game. This is a game where they release expansions on a monthly basis, so there are a lot of cards, and a lot of things to organize. Unfortunately, the company that manufactures the game did a poor job on the box it game in. They’re known for having boxes only designed for transportation of the game and not storage, but this one is particularly bad.

For this project I bought a photo box from Michaels (meant to store ~1000 photos) as the outer casing. I made up some sketches and calculated sizes for all of the pieces. I can post my sketches and measurements if anybody is interested in producing one of these. The inside of the box measures 280mm by 189mm.

Now, one of the defining factors of this project is that I made interlocking pieces so that glue is not entirely necessary. I *do* intend on gluing it together eventually, but I’d like to see if I plan on modifying it later. Contrary to what you might think, this didn’t actually take long. I chose to not do a box joint as the foamcore might not be sturdy enough for it, and it would be very time-consuming to cut.

This design choice is “controversial” as most foamcore projects I’ve seen either use a butt-joint (just glue the pieces together), a mitre-joint (cut 45 degree angles and joint), or a lap-joint (cut a trench out of one pieces and insert the other piece). I haven’t attempted any of these joints in a project before, but after a few tests, I wasn’t entirely happy with them. The butt-joint is said to be strong, especially if you pin the pieces together, but I don’t like the idea of only depending on glue, and I don’t want to work with pins. The mitre-joint seemed like a good option, but I didn’t want to have to buy a special cutting tool, and it seemed like I’d be asking for mismatch problems with all the components I’d have to cut. Lastly, the lap-joint seemed like a decent option, but it is a big pain to slice 4mm cuts in 5mm foamcore consistently. Cutting rabbits would also be very difficult as I’d need to chisel out the parts.

Additionally, I made finger slots on the ends of each channel so that it is easier to pull the cards out. I made decide later to cut semi-circles out of the slot (for style points), but right now they are rectangular slots.

ANYWAY! Here are some pictures of how the process went. It was really fun to work on, although my back hurts from hunching over my table to get a 90 degree cut angle.

EDIT: I added a last photo showing the core set of the Arkham Horror Card Game plus the first scenario pack inhabiting the box. I haven’t made dividers yet, and I was in the middle of setting up for a play-through last time I had the cards out, so there’s a random handful of cards in the center.

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Some more paintings from my week off

November 27, 2016 at 5:36 pm (acrylic painting, Art, Colored Pencils, painting) (, , , , , , , , )


Here are some more paintings I worked on during my week between jobs. The following is a brief description of each:

Deep Tractor Ruts: This was my first attempt at using a gel medium. The photo doesn’t show it, but the tractor ruts are actually textured. 8″x10″.

Flower in Watercolour: This was my first usage of watercolour pencils. I wanted to give them a try, so I picked a copyright-free image of a flower to use.

Sunlit Woodland Path: This was a quick painting I did to play with more expressive styles. 8″x10″.

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Arkham Horror in Coloured Pencil

November 24, 2016 at 7:27 pm (Art, Board games, Colored Pencils) (, , , , )


This is my second attempt at using coloured pencils (Prisma Colors). It’s a picture of the cover art for the board game Arkham Horror. I’ve only casually been working on it while watching tv, so I have no idea how long it really took, but I spent more time on it than I should. Eventually, I got bored and realized I didn’t center it properly, so I stopped working on it. It is roughly 7″ by 4″ on mixed media paper.

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Autumn Birch Trees

November 19, 2016 at 3:37 pm (Art, painting) (, , , )


I recently completed a larger painting of a photo I found online (free license). I finished half of it and liked where it was going, but I’m not really happy with how it ended up. It’s acrylic on 9″x12″ canvas.

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Afternoon Projects

October 1, 2016 at 4:44 pm (Art, painting) (, , , , )


I had some coffee this morning and then was itching to do something productive, specifically something art-related. I ended up doing almost 3 full pieces (acrylics on 8×10″ canvas). I used a couple YouTube tutorials for the first two to get in the mood for the style I wanted to play with and then did the third as an original based on a photo I took in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.

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First time using colored pencils

September 30, 2016 at 8:44 am (Art, Colored Pencils, Sketches) (, , , , )


I found an old set of Prismacolor Scholars in my mother’s basement when I was cleaning out old highschool and college stuff, so I figured I’d try my hand at that. I found a YouTube video of an artist’s timelapse of finishing a picture and decided to try to do what he was doing. I have mixed feelings about it; I think I’ll need a few more tries before I like what I do.

The long version of the story here is that I also discovered that I bought my wife a set of Faber Castell colored pencils a while ago. I was a little excited to try them out because of what I’d heard about them (they’re oil-based vs wax-based). I started drawing the same picture as you see above (which was my first attempt at it) and I got part-way through before I realized my mistake. It turns out these were Faber Castell “Classic” colored pencils – meaning they’re not much different than typical Crayola ones. The big deal here is that they don’t blend at all; I had just assumed I was doing it wrong and trucked on. This is what that partial looked like:

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