Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Life drawing class one

Well... what an experience is all I could say.

Funny enough, I felt no discomfort or embarassment at doing this for my first time. It was a wonderfull thing to indulge in, a human being allowing a class of something like 42 gawping students hack into their very soul whilst standing there naked. Credit goes out to the models who do these shoots! I presume they find some form of relaxation from it, a therapeutic comfort knowing that they are being appreciated.

Anyhoo, before I diverse away from the purpose of this blog I better get to the point. Usually, im a pretty strong drawer. Im not sure whether it was the time limits we were given to draw the model or the fact I felt like I couldnt let the model down, but I struggled to gain proportion within my first few pictures. I usually like to take time to put pencil to paper, draw things in detail, shading afterwards... but here we had no time for that! I was amazed by how some of my fellow students could really scratch away at their paper and get a good, rich impression of the lady in the time given.

Enough of them and time for me. Heres my pictures from my first life drawing class:

In the first picture I rushed to finish the legs due to bad time management, therefore the image not being completed. The second image I got a much better composition for, my confidence kicking in and me being able to guide the pencil much better.
When we was told to create images using lines and structural methods, being me I decided to leap out of the ordinary and describe what I saw through embers of my imagination. The third image is just this, the model has become robotic like, yet still noticably human. The last picture I was pretty proud of, using just lines I managed to capture the snaking form of the model sitting down to great effect. My sense for proportion and allowing myself to drift off and go with the flow really kicked in during the process of drawing this picture.

Take it easy folks


So I decided to mess around with the practise of two tone posterisation. It has a feel about it that emits a sinister aura, probably due to the colour scheme. However I feel that through that very emotional response one may capture the true identity of my often "darkened" sense of humour.

How did I do it I hear you ask? Simple, I took a photo of myself, studied the lines around my face, drew them in photoshop then used a bulkier brush to chunk out my features. To add that "dark" feel I ensured the shading around my eyes and to the side of my face was heavy, with my profile down but looking upwards.

How could I forget...

Alans technical class last Friday!

Indeed, we started learning the wise ways of manipulating digital images for our every evil little desires.

The softwares we covered were:
  • Photoshop
  • Illustrator

  • Maya

Heres the random tacky image I made quickly in our photoshop session (plus the original).

When I get it working i'll defo be messing around with it though.
I wanna make the dice! =D


Update! Random life shiz and Dorian Gray

Hey folks heres an update for ya'll

First of all I was travelling home earlier from Uni after watching Dorian Grey and was thinking deeply to myself when I came across this thought:

"How can I put my identity to an image? Ive abused my Artistic side for several years, keeping what I could paint bottled in, buiding up. In effect, ive turned my self portrait into everything I visually encounter and what emotions these things trigger. This could be considered as a selfish act to those expecting something to observe, as only I can experience it. How can I apply my life as an image? One moment of time doesnt speak loud enough to describe everything about me, or even how I feel at a particular moment. Portraits genuinly are deciphered by picking out the persons "soul" if you will via the aura of the image, portraits dont have words saying the hidden message for them."

Dorian Grey

Its suprising how relevant a lot of the quotes said in the film we watched this afternoon relate to our personal search for portraying identity in our assignment. It was the way some of the lines in the film were brought across, the imagery that the film gestured, that started me questioning my own self conceited quest for capturing what describes me best.

The film "Dorian Gray" is starts in the year 1886, im presuming the last scene is around 1906 - 1910 due to some of the characters mentioning how Dorian had physicaly youthfull for around 20 years. A Gentleman by social standards of his time, he was looked upon by many with respect. This respect obviously became Dorian's ally later on in the film when he had to cover for his own crimes. The image that followed a person with the status Dorian consisted of was often conceived as trustworthy, therefore it was unlikey he would be convicted of any unlawful act.

Through the monotone audio and black and white image spews grace in telling a chilling tale about a man who gets his desire to stay as beautifull as his youthfull portrait. Dorian becomes so self indulged in the concept that we cant stay young forever and that we loose the essence of generic beauty as we grow older so much so that this anxiety flips to become his reality. A quote from the movie states "When one looses youth, one looses everything". His portrait was drawn by an Artist named Basil, who originally stated he did not want to sell his painting, as he felt he had "put too much of himself into his work". This got me thinking, if one puts too much of themselfs into a portrait of another person, have they corrupted the overall image?

It is also interesting to note that a few points in the film the image of Dorian Gray's portrait is displayed in Technicolour for added enthasis.

Dorian is shown playing Piano at several times in the film, which had a tendancy to add to his beauty. People would gather around to hear him play songs, seemingly whilst Dorian would be "escaping" the realities of the world around him. Dorian meets a young lady named Sybal Vyne, an entertainer for a working mans pub, who he falls in love with almost immediatly. He persues in going to visit her, realising he has found his key to pleasure. Dorian is confided by many repulsive lectures giving advice on life by his freind Harry. At one point Harry plays with Dorian, tempting him to test the love of Sybal. Was he jealous? Was he afraid his freind Dorian was going to be played for a fool? Was he acknowledging that Dorian was so self confided that he didnt really know what he wanted from life? Harry and Dorian to me play the roles of the Master and the Apprentice, Dorian seeming to soak in Harries somewhat wise, yet foul advice. Many of the things Harry annunciate's depicts the devil upon Dorians shoulder; through his words I can see the cold path layed before Dorian to come.

It is interesting to note the cultural references used within this film, the times were dark and when sexism towards women was common. I can see Dorian's personality at times trying to keep within these restricted boundaries of what at the time was considered normal. He appears far more at ease to embrace women on the same level than as something below him, his concious is set straight in how when he knows of his power, he will hurt people if he falls in love with them. There are references that Dorian is of a homosexual nature within Oscar Wildes original novel, this being subtly hinted as in these times such a thing was a crime. It is considered that the story was to help express Wildes own homosexuality, through a tale of self loathing and love, hiding and conformity. Within the film I did notice a few very slight innuendos to this subject.

As Dorian expresses his love to stay young forever, and confides to an ancient manuscript that came with an old model of a Cat, it seemingly appears his inner wish becomes reality. After each act of good or bad that he does, it is further reflected in his portrait. Dorian decided that to live his life he will live only for his own pleasure. The way he went about this was simple: refer to his portraits expression, which he beleived told him what he should do with his life. Undoubtebly Dorian had sold his soul into the portrait, yet clearly still wasnt reading the situation properly. The youthfull Dorian Gray morphs from a young, proud gentleman to a gruesome, hellish creep over time due to many acts of sin from Dorians behalf.

At the point of deciding he is to conform to how he thinks he should live his life, Dorian had tried to push Sybal away through a letter. He later regrets this and realises she means everything to him, only to find she has died. This helps to trigger Dorians blunt rage, his anxiety to feel pleasure once more. He detests any words from his freind Harry, choosing to ignore them. Dorian remarks "Its as bad as if I had slit her throat", beleiving his mind games to test her love is what killed her, therefore meaning he was now a muderer.

Later in the film we see Dorian approaching Basils Neice, who he finds playing Piano to the song "Yellow Bird" that Sybal used to sing to him. He unsuprisingly falls for her, slow to finalise his emotion though, as he knows of the monster he has become. This gives a clear indication that Dorian felt paranoid about himself on the inside, about what he'd done, about how he was learning about his own identity through wrong doing. Still he paces around relentlessly gaurding his portrait so people cannot discover his secret. Dorian unleashes it to Basil later in the film after some persuading to discover the exact pandemonium behind his creation. With only a slight slip of words, Basil is killed by Dorian to keep the secret of the portrait intact. Presumably as Dorian has "killed before" it felt easier to do it a second time, especially as this person wasnt his lover (or was he someone he may of loved in slight referencing to his open sexuality?).

The films dark, twisted storyline breaks into swing moreso towards the end of he film, where people become aware that Dorian isnt aging and that Basil was missing. One man described the painting of Dorian to Basil's Neice, which in turn led to the suspision that something sinister was taking place. Dorian, finally accepting that people move the world, time is a beautifull thing and that his portrait has led him to do evil things has made him aware that he needs to change in order to turn the portrait back to its former self. After realising that breaking up with his wife (Basil's Neice) wasnt a strong enough good deed, he decides to stab through the heart of the canvas. This in turn kills Dorian Gray who appears as a shrivelled corpse, whilst his portrait returns to its former beauty. This goes to show that, although we die, an image can be a moment in time captured forever, that we forever change and everyone around us is a living corpse.

Overall for its usefulness through its hypothetical messages, I give this film a solid 9/10!

Until next time,
Take it easy folks

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Iconic faces - Oh how do they get such power...

While scurrying around the net looking for somewhere to "purchase" Maya, a sudden realisation struck me when seeing famous faces relentlessly posted on various sites.

Ever noticed how certain faces become engrained in social conformities, so much so that we cant imagine life without them? Even if some of these faces are relitively new to the public eye, its a true statement. A recognisable face holds a powerfull weapon towards peoples opinions and notions to the world. Most people will feel an effect from a famous face, however most Celebs cant change culture outside of the fashion world. Thats a start though I guess! Kate Moss comes to mind in that department...

A famous, popular model's face like Kate Moss instantly has the power to make most other women inspire to "be her" and adhere to her latest dress sense. I can understand why I guess, shes a good looking woman!

On a more extreme scale of Celebrity, there is exception for some to truely become treated as somewhat of a religious idol, a "prophecy" if you will. Take the late great Micheal Jackson for example. Now he really does have an iconic face, everyone almost instinctively knows who he is and usually of his acheivements. The funny thing is, refering to a previous statement where I said some iconic figures are treated in a religious context, some people will look up to someone such as Micheal Jackson as if he were God. Some people, however, only see fault in how he broke the boundaries of the norm therefore he could be comparable to a devil in their eyes. Doesnt this really break out amazing possibilities that idolization and comfort are the key to most religions we hear about everyday? Micheal Jacksons face changed so much over the years that he became unrecognisable as his original self by the end of his life. Its amazing how large an impact his facial metamorphasis had over the years, we ask why he changed himself, but was it really him who did it?

So now ive covered Celebrities, who else could produce a face that can totally change our perception of the world to a controlive extent. The thought I am rambling with is the fact that the most powerfull faces in the world are of those who dont exist, or who may have existed.

So heres one of the most powerfull faces in my final three countdown:

Santa Claus!

Yup, the illusive chap that apparently comes down our chimneys once a year that we all beleived in to only find out doesnt exsist... to great sadness after. He isnt real, but everyone around the world knows of his face. This image is so strong it defines a particular time of year, it provokes a particular feeling from within, its spirit full of joy. The funny thing to point out is the reason Santa's suit is red is because Coca Cola chose to make it red for their adverts as they didnt like his original green garment, to help sell their product. So that iconic red suit is actually yet another prime example of how false idolisation can be corrupted from its original source.


This guy is another prime example of the iconic figure ingrained in everyday society. His face is the amazing thing though, it is what people beleive he looked like. Obviously no one can be sure in the modern day and age exactly what he appeared like physically, but over time culture has depicted his image to what we visualise as Jesus. His image is so strong people will die for him in beleif they will get closer to him, his image creates controversy, his image can be the fine line between personal sanity itself. The man who is on the bright side of life to bring peace to mankind and to show us the way to get into heaven also appears to also be our intimidator. The tempted became the one to tempt his people, in a sense, through the power of his manipulated image alone.


This is probably the most powerfull image of them all. The most iconic face out there to date. Why? I'll tell you why, its because he/she doesnt have a face and yet most of the worlds population beleive in him/her. God is said to be everything, around us at all times, therefore we are sitting amongst his/her very self portrait. I presume this means we technically are his/her self portrait. What is God? How can we get an analysis of his/her identity? If he's/she's real, then we'd access that through mankind itself. My point is a face doesnt have to be seen to be create a powerfull image.

Therefore I conclude a powerfull portrait doesnt neccesarily have to come from mere resemblance but the ego you place within. Anything can be taken any way, but what is left behind?

Quick update!

Hey folks, just a quick update to my situation.

I plan to write two more written blogs based around anatomy of the human head and how different techniques in applying an image effects the mood of a self portrait.

I am currently drawing up concept art based on the self portrait theme, using books found from libraries to help give me a varied amount of subjects plus additional information. Using a range of various Artist's methods to convey their own image I can experiment with these different techniques when doing my own. When I get my scanner im going to upload them on here for all to see! Which should be interesting lol

This should all be ready to post by Monday the latest, so get ready for an... interesting read lol

Take it easy

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Portraiture - The importance in defining cultural and historical assets through Art.

Hey chaps!

I thought as well as this being a way to keep a diary of my progress I could also open subjects to debate over which will help me further understand the subject of Portraiture.

I have noticed the relevance in Portraiture concerning the symbolization of key events in Mankinds development. It is an obvious statement that as a species we have undergone amazing technological changes over the years, however I feel through Portraiture Art we can experience these changes through another beings eyes. I feel that the images we find within Portraiture work depicts many things that other forms of Art fail to tell us, or at least do so through a greater intensity.

I shall start by observing some earlier forms of Portraiture. If we take a great well known Artist such as Leonardo Da Vinci (reference to and observe his work closely we can captivate the ideals in which he surpasses. Every peice of Art this man produced excelled in understanding of the subject. Perhaps his most famous peice of work, the Mona Lisa, does however shroud itself in a mystery about its purpose.

A genious such as himself would not just paint dead Art, there must be more to its meaning than a flattering image. The painting is otherwise known as "La Gioncando", which comes from the aparant sitter's Husband's surname. I say "apparent" due to the fact it is unclear as to who the true identity of this works sitter actually is, thus finding it hard to derive a motive to depict the paintings message. Perhaps Leonardo knew this to be true thus creating an image which can relate to further generations without consequence; we can decide for ourselfs. There is however a stand out apprehension that this image gives: notice the dark tones surrounding the sitters body.

Through research I have found that the possible sitter Lisa Gherardini was meant to have lost one of her children, perhaps explaining the "mourning veil"- esque attire covering her hair. Asides from this, her clothing actually shows no signs of aristocratic importance. This was painted in around 1503 - 1507, when a persons status was an easy target for prejudice. Perhaps this was a woman who had gained some form of inheritance, the image depicting some form of sarcastic wit thus explaining the mysterious smile. If she was the aforementioned sitter then it is led to beleive her and her husband had brought a house of their own, also giving birth to a new son after the death of their daughter three years prior. Again, this smile could represent hope, which was something greatly relied upon in such dark ages.

Another great Artist of times past to show relevance of cultural analysis would be Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, a dutch painter and inspiring portrait master. Rembrandt created many self portraits over his life showing an understanding into his own mortality. (You can observe his self portraits through this link (
In many of Rembrandt's work he shows himself presented neatly with an almost grand appearance for the onlooker. His work definantly captures his life in moments, his glazed expression reading into the mind of the beholder. As with many men of status in the 1600's, Rembrandt would be comprimising with society at the time within his artwork. I feel his personality is hidden back into his work, therefore one has to look closer into the image to define its meaning. I definantly sense a hint of pride in his work, he would like to show he was of the better class.

I came across information about this man via the net which showed me other peices of his work that further exagerates his identity into his work. Rembrandt had four children, all of whom died asides from their last child Titus who lived on into childhood. He was married to a lady named Saskia van Uylenburg, who became ill shortly after giving birth to their last child and died soon after. He would paint his dying lover on her death bed, perhaps trying to capture the last bits of her soul before she was to leave him. It is from these tragic events that I can see how the spirit of Rembrandts work keeps within darkness and often refer to religious idolisations. This reflects of what times were like in Rembrandts lifetime. Due to the tradgedy of his life, I wonder if Rembrandt continued his self portrait work until his old age to depict his losses and showcase his inner loneliness. (Refer to information via wikipedia (

If we compare Artists like this to the modern day, we tend to see a great difference in the overall mood. Modern portraits often give an indication that a subject is alive and well - in this comercialised time even emotions can be air brushed. We take many things for granted in the modern world, so when portraiture shows an aspect of someones personality clearly it can be considered somewhat disturbing.

Observe my favourite Artist of the moment, a photographer named Robert Mapplethorpe, who utilises his outgoing personality really well within his collection of work. Many would consider his work shocking, however I find it rather inspiring that he could stand up to society and show people who we are for who we are. His work was very extravagant in the sense he would acceed the boundaries of what would usually be considered extreme to get his message across.

(refer to Robert Mapplethorpe here
and his art work here

Another great "modern" Artist would be Andy Warhol.

Andy Warhol would really capture the time he was living in well, often with political analysis of his subjects. His self portraits were indulged in over exaggerating his appearance, which refers to his typical assosiation with how the media makes you into something your not. The question of "who are we?" spawns to mind.
Andy would sometimes switch his gender in his self portraits, to once again convey how society of modern day conforms to a certain degree of labeled image.

I think by comparing old Artists with new Artists and observing their self portraits I can understand how the human mind has stayed the same to some effect; we just express ourselfs artistically due to our perceptions of the world around us. Its a simple concept but its true, we have come from one depiction to another, where all Artists portray political aspects through their individuality.

Until next time folks
Take it easy

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

An Introduction - Anatomy

Hey folks!

After my first blog failed on me ive had to create a new account, so thinking where to start off proved a little tricky. Ive decided I might as well introduce what im going to be doing within the first Unit, as well as treating this blog like a diary where I can elaborate on my thoughts.

The first Unit is based on Anatomy. This is a subject which personally I find very interesting due to my interest into character designing. Im positive this Unit will help give me a better insight into the structure of the human anatomy, thus making my general character designs more distinctive to their subjects. The human body can be treated as a subject from which other humanoid (or not in some cases) creatures can elaborate from, which I feel is a vital skill to have as an Artist especially in CGA.

I have been given the grand task to create an image of my own ugly mugg. Thats right - its self portrait time! The final peice is to be digitally enhanced in whatever technique I wish to pursue. I beleive after a lot of research and conceptual drawings i'll get a good idea for how i'll carry this out. The subject of self portrait however, as ive come to understand through Phils wonderfull lectures, isnt just a pretty face on canvas. Theres an inner meaning behind every picture which carries out the personality of the sitter. It may not just be the personality an Artist wishes to portray though, it could very well be an opinion or beleif. This would possibly show into the soul of the subject however, which one could argue depicts an aspect of that individuals personality. Through mind numbing thought and consideration about this, I came to understand why some Artists prefer the shock approach within their conjurations. Angst, pain, or even abrasive brush strokes used within some portraits in my personal view help to tell the tale of a subject so much more direct. The power that dark manifestations within portraiture can bring directly invokes the onlooker with somewhat unease.

Ive noticed that even subjects who may very well be happy in life, have an undertone of distinct thought. (observe this portrait I found on the net )
How an Artist chooses to display this is up to them personally, but to me a happy portrait stenches of disturbing qualities. In that image I linked, the lady appears happy and content. However the haunting unease I get from its aura tells me that theres something on her mind. Due to the erratic brush strokes, the dark tones especially around the eyes, the focusing of black around her presence isolating her within the painting, I feel people around her knew of her situation. Perhaps she was ill? Or perhaps there was nothing wrong at all and the artist was just reversing what is considered as happy? Perhaps it even reflects her wealth? If she is poor and frail, her life would be troublesome. If she is rich and overpowering, perhaps the Artist took a grudge at their sitters presence.

One artist ive become rather fond of is Robert Mapplethorpe. I know Phils gonna kill me for that, coz he couldnt show most of his work in the lecture. Thats why I became curious! You tempted me man! lol Offensive material shows us the truths of things we dont want to hear or see, due to societal pressures and our own faults. This is what made me suddenly realise where im going with this assignment. To show myself im going to show a side to unease the onlooker, to create a sense of my flaws and worries in life. I'll probably acheive this by elongating certain features and conforming to cold colour schemes. I feel that to live you must learn from your mistakes, we all get things wrong when trying to learn new chapters in our lives and this makes our individualities stronger for others to recognise. I'll contrast the darkness with light, perhaps using a Christ like reference such as Albrecht Durer uses within his own self portrait. So there will be something positive in there, im a happy guy really folks! haha XD ( observe his visual similarities to Christ's steriotyped image)

As I create my conceptual artwork and gather evidence I shall post it up on here for others to observe.
I'll also post updates on how my technical classes are coming on so you can see a Maya noOb like me in action. Oh the fun I shall have... lol Hopefully im not the only one new to Maya in my group =P

I still need to get Adobe suite/maya/3D Studio for this new PC of mine. I need to get my scanner fixed too, until then I appologise for lack of images on my blog. There will be some on here over the next week, so keep your eyes peeled!

Until we meet again,