Tuesday, March 26, 2013

New Sort Of Snowman

It's Hannah, again, as it has been for the last every post ever.

So, I missed the last few days with my posts. Do you wonder where Sarah is? Cause this blog is a sister thing. Well, I'm trying to convince her to do something, though she is positive she has nothing to talk about ever, except, "This is a picture. You can see what it looks like. Well, that's it, then."

This is a NEW sort of post! Again. I'm just a trendsetting rebel, aren't I. This is art, but it's nothing I've ever done before, and it's certainly nothing I could fit on a sheet of paper. This was new, but if I do say so myself, I am an adaptable sort of person.

Prepare for pictures.

So, Thursday. I think it was Thursday. No, Friday. Whatever. Two days ago, Sunday. Four days ago Tuesday. So four days ago.

Friday was a snow day. A big snow day. With perfect snow.

Do you know what perfect snow is? I shall tell you. Perfect snow is when the three inches of fluffy - yes, VERY fluffy, lovely snow - can be thrown in the air and sprinkle back down on you like glitter (glitter?), crunches together into hard balls of deadly weaponry, poofs when you kick it, packs down to sled on, sticks together for snowmen, and melts away in a couple days with little to no slush. That is perfect snow. Well, that is perfect snow according to hard factual description. I'm not much of an eloquent snow-describer.

Well, we had perfect snow. All of my siblings who are capable of speech apparently agree, because they all went to go play outside. We made a sled-slide on our stairs, and igloo on our deck, snow angels out in the field, snowmen in the yard, and snow ball fights everywhere.

As for the snowman. Heh, heh, heh.

My precious.

It was supposed to turn out as a normal snowman, I swear. Who does snow sculptures in real life, really? Do you sculpt snow like you do with clay? It's not nearly that flexible and forgiving. So how does one do a snow sculpture?

I'll tell you. If you're me, you use a Pepto-Bismol-pink pocket knife like this one.

It's wonderful. Razor-sharp and totally awesome. Every practical teenage country girl needs a pocket knife. And unlike some people think, it's not just for bad guy intimidation. It's very useful: to cut string, plastic bags, zip-ties... as long as the wielder is responsible, the knife can be put to good use. Like for carving snow sculptures!

I began with the delusion that this was to be a typical snowman.
So I began rolling a ball. Harder than it looks, but easier than it has been in my earlier experience. What you have to do is pack a normal sized snowball. Just put it on the ground and begin packing snow around it. Soon it will get to the rolling size. If you live in a place with lots of dry weeds underneath the snow (as opposed to... a desert?), you will probably get a lot of dirt and weeds stuck in your wonderful ball of snow. You have to either pull these out, or cover them up with more snow. If you're planning to carve a lot, you should probably pull them out, I think. Resurfacing weeds were a big problem for me.

If you want the ground to look perfect and lovely after you roll the snowball over it, good luck. Also, it seems using a sled won't work.

Hmm. Well, anyway, after you roll your snowball for the base: if you're like me and just decide to start snow sculpting because you had the genius idea to cut some snow off the base with your pocketknife and got really excited when it just sliced off easier than bread... ahem, if you have decided to do a sculpture, then you roll your snowball into the middle of a lot of accessible snow. Then start piling it on, and don't forget to pack it in if you don't want it to just fall off.

The thing is, though, if it's cold enough to keep the snow from melting, it's gonna be COLD. But if you keep moving around picking up snow, you might work up a bit of a sweat. But I had to work on this in two different intervals, 'cause my hands were getting all tingling and alternately numb and painful, and Sarah was practically begging me to come inside before I died of hypothermia. I packed the snow first and carved it a little, then finished carving it the second time. I don't have any pictures of the carving process itself, so we'll skip straight to the finished product.


In making this, I was planning to base it on Lucy from the Chronicles of Narnia. I was in fact, planning to make her standing up as if gazing at the lampost. But as I walked away to warm up inside for the first time, her back looked like she was sitting on a rock or something, so who am I to mess with semi-perfection? In any case, my nickname for the sculpture is Dear Heart, Aslan's pet name for Lucy Pevensie.

Yeah, it's not great. It's my first snow sculpture, and her face, I know, is too protruding. I didn't have another chance to work on it much more. After two more photo shoots with my parents' phones so they could post some pictures on Facebook (during which I added a nose to the girl's face), we had to go into town for the night. By the time we came back, the poor girl was decapitated, and two days later she looked like this:

Oh well. That's what snow does. And I'm pretty much bored of snow now.

So! What say you? Feedback is... very welcome. I love comments a lot.

Last thing: most of the pictures were courtesy of my sister Trinity, and she actually has a photography blog, www.trinitygraphix.blogspot.com.

That's it then!

To God be the glory,

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Maps And Murals

It's Hannah again. I feel in a post-writing mood. I have been busy busy... but you know, in the words of Artemis Fowl, "There is always time for art."

That's part of what I've been "busy busy" doing. The wall mural I mentioned in the last post is in the first stages of progress. If memory serves correctly (and seriously - I shouldn't trust my memory), these are the stages of doing a chalk-pastel mural.

1. Pick a picture.
2. Put a grid on the picture for reference.
3. Prepare the surface by washing it.
4. Prepare the surface by priming it with a diluted paint concoction.
5. Prepare the surface with a grid for reference.
6. Carefully sketch the picture.
7. Fill in the sketch with the chalk-pastels you have hopefully purchased in advance.
8. (Not absolutely sure about this step) Set the drawing with hairspray.

Eight pretty simple steps. That's the proper order to do it in.

Now here is the order in which I did it.

3. Prepare the surface by washing it.
1. Pick a picture.
6. Carefully sketch the picture.
(Optional step that Hannah threw in randomly) Realize that you are very bad at sketching the picture without a grid.
2. Put a grid on the picture for reference.
6. Carefully sketch the picture.
5. Prepare the surface with a grid for reference.
6. Carefully sketch the picture.
(Optional step that Hannah threw in randomly) Suddenly remember to prime the surface. Scream.

In other words, it WAS a lot farther along, but the forgetful-blonde part of my brain forgot to tell me to prime the wall I was working on, which is basically washing and painting the surface to prepare it for the sketch. Which erases pencil marks. Just FYI.


4. Prepare the surface by priming it with a diluted paint concoction.


That's what I just came back from doing. But heaven forbid I should measure the water that goes into the paint. You should never go into a painting situation without two big bowls of over-diluted paint. On a different note, I also primed a large section of our sidewalk. Sudden inspiration and all that.

So as I was priming the sidewalk, I was considering how very strange I am. It's a fantastic thing to consider. For instance (this is what I was thinking), if my dad came into the living room and saw me out the window, he probably wouldn't think it odd that his fifteen-year-old daughter is seemingly painting milk onto the sidewalk.
As I considered this, Papa came walking down the sidewalk and said "Whatcha doing?" And naturally I didn't hear him coming and had a mini-heart-attack. But after I explained what I was doing he went into the garage and came out with a paint roller for me to use. I was able to finish the paint much more quickly and paint much more efficiently after that.

But did you know that paint rollers are very unwieldy? Not like a paint brush. A paint brush is a stick with animal hair. A paint roller is a stick with a whoopidy-doo and a rolling sponge on the end.

Hannah's Official Guide to the Anatomy of a Paint Roller

So there was that, and another homework-ish (well, all my work is homework) project - a table-sized map of our town. Partly because I'm one of the more art-inclined in our family, and partly because the majority of the family agrees that I have a terrible sense of direction, and this will help. Is it really so bad that I don't know the direction of Walmart?
Well, as for the map. Mama is in charge of the mechanics of the project, so the picture-picking and the grids were the first things to go down. That's all I've got so far. Next comes the sketching. No, I didn't skip any steps, it's not a mural.

So this isn't really a "here's my art" post. It's more of a "here's upcoming projects" post. Feedback, as always, is welcome, as well as advice and constructive critisism. That's it then. Hope you have a fantastic week!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix

It's Hannah, with another geeky little post here. While I am procrastinating on my wall mural (for the concrete storm shelter in our back yard) I decided to do a bit on this sketch.

Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix

*Possible Spoilers?*

Okay. I'm not a HUGE Harry Potter fan... well, I say "not huge", I read the books before the movie, I know the names of most of the actors who play main characters and own a Harry Potter making-of book, I've studied the creation of Buckbeak aka "Witherwings"... anyhow, my sisters and I were not allowed to read Harry Potter until a couple years ago. We finished the series about a month before Deathly Hallows part 2 came out. My mom and aunt like the series a lot, so I grew up hearing about it, but not understanding any of it. I thought Dumbledore was a dwarf with a pink umbrella - seriously.

So. Of all the books, Order Of The Phoenix was my favorite. Except for Cho Chang and... the end. Trying to avoid spoilers, but I really hated the end. I gasped and panted and squeaked my unhappiness quite a bit.

For those of you who have NOT read Harry Potter... I'm sorry? This post might not make much sense. But my next one will not be a Harry Potter one.

Unless you watched the movies and not read the books. In which case I am giving you a disapproving look through the screen.

That was my disapproving look.

Anyhow. This picture was done when I wanted to practice some art to widen my repertoire. I usually do manga, stylized-ish cartoon-y drawings.  So I did an attempt at something more realistic, and my closest example at hand was the DVD case for Order Of The Phoenix. We'd gotten it from the library in hopes of seeing it again (it never happened). 

This is a bit reminiscent of my first attempt at realistic art, or rather, my first attempt to copy a picture without tracing it. The result turned out WAY better than I'd anticipated. I think it was when I was twelve. I was copying a drawing of Wonder Woman from a Wonder Woman DVD set Christmas present, the full three seasons of the series with Lynda Carter. Wonder Woman is one of my favorite super heroes, right up there with Batman and Robin/Nightwing (Dick Grayson). They are epic.  According to the dictionary, that means "heroic, majestic, or impressively great". So they are epic.

And another reason I decided to do the cover of this movie and not, say, Goblet Of Fire, is that Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint actually have decent haircuts! Voldemort too.

This was sketched with a plain graphite pencil, and enhanced on Photoshop, Mostly to get rid of the lead smudges, like usual.

Besides all that, I think this is all I have to say. Well, I don't think Rupert Grint's face turned out quite right. I tried. He's a weird-faced person and is hard to duplicate. Despite this, I personally think it looks great as long as you don't compare it to the original. Which, you know, isn't spectacular. But you could tell what it was, right? In any case, tell me what you think! Art isn't much good if no one looks at it, and I'd like to know your opinion.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Goodbye, John

It's Hannah, again.

I'm trying to do what I can to keep the blog running smoothly. A post a week, maybe, ought to do.

 It does take sometime to draw something spectacular, but, you know, the results can keep cranking out, even after awhile. Art is, well, in the eye of the beholder. So if a 60-year-old man covers a canvas in finger-paints, then makes a little popping sound while revealing it (and he wears a beret), then it can sell. At outrageous prices. An identical painting by a three-year-old will be disregarded.

So, you know, it's not like writing a book. For me, writing is pretty tough. It's also apparently a life-and-death matter for around forty elves and a few humans. Writing is a science. And not a science. They want you to do it anyway you want, BUT NOT LIKE THAT! Sketches are much less complicated to me.

So anyway. I have a timed session on a library computer right now. So I'm going to try to finish this up within a 37 minute time span. Let's get directly to the pretty stuff.

*SPOILERS* Spoilers are also in the eye of the beholder, but you know, the stuff after this warning might could give something away. So if you don't want any spoilers about Sherlock BBC, especially Season 2, continue at your own risk.

Goodbye, John

Now this would classify as geekery. This is not intended to give out any spoilers or such... someone who knows what this is, well... knows what it is. Sorry for the heart ripping-outing title (it was the unanimous choice - based on my sisters' whimpers as I threw around ideas). Now I am a fan on Sherlock. If you haven't seen it, (and apparently disregarded the Spoiler alert), I would recommend it. My Mama and Papa love it, and our whole family has pretty high standards. I suggest you look it up.

As for all of the fans who are already present: axbcxkuihwohfaskgfksg. You understand.

This just started out as a basic sketch. It began with a typical skyline generating completely from imagination. Then, while re-watching Reichenbach Fall, I discovered that the skyline was.... sigh, completely different. So I go erase erase erase erase erase erase erase erase, and start over. And there was more erasing, and more touch-up... I turned Sarah's eraser black with all the re-sketching I was doing.
The original picture was just a line drawing, but I didn't think that was quite good enough (there wasn't enough contrast and eye-poppitiness), so I took it to Photoshop, partly to remove the pencil smudges around the main picture. Then I began messing around with the saturation and the negatives, and eventually got around to this result.
This was a bit easier to do than the Manga Warrior. It stayed black and white, so it wasn't so much of a pain.
Oh. Except for the heart-tearing out and dropping-into-a-bucket-of-broken-glass blast-you-Moffat feelings while researching this thing.

Oh, and then I named it. I don't usually name my art (it seems a little weird), but while listening to the Sherlock Season 2 soundtrack, I came across a few tracks that inspired emotional names. It was a battle between Prepared To Do Anything, Blood On The Pavement, and Goodbye, John. Which do you think is best?

Well, gosh, that's all I have to say. Which may just be a first, hmm. Except for this last bit: feedback is very welcome. Criticism, complements, requests, I don't mind. Except the criticism. I tolerate the criticism. 

That's all then. Toodle-pip!