Wednesday, November 10, 2010

some of my observational sketches. . . .

One of the things I try to do when given a sketching assignment is try to think of objects that are not typical solutions.  In sketching "light coming through water/bottles", I choose this water cooler because I thought it added variety amongst sketches of regular plastic water bottles.  This sketch was one of my quickest, at about 15 minutes, and was done in my home.

An upside down wine glass shows captures light reflection and, again, adds some variety.  I spent 20-30 minutes on this sketch at home.

 This was my 2x4 project, before it underwent it's "emergency redesign".  This sketch took a little over 1/2 hour.

One of the individual pieces of the modular 2x4 shelving system.  I spent about 15 minutes on this sketch, and really think it was one of my more successful "quick" sketches, because of it's layout and simplicity.

Everyone groaned when the assignment for sketching self-portraits was given, myself included.  It's been about 7 years since I even attempted doing a self portrait, so for my first sketch I used a photograph and the grid system.  This one took about an 1  1/2 hours to complete.

I practiced a few more times using different techniques and methods, and this one is probably my favorite drawing I've done in pencil ever.  I used smudge sticks to shade in large areas of value and then went back in with a variety of pencil weights and to add definition and detail.  This self portrait took just over 1 1/2 hours to complete.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

peer sketch. . . .

After browsing through Jack's sketchbook, I found I really enjoyed the gestural style he uses to create his compositions.  The overall effect gives each piece a sense of fundamental understanding of form while creating movement in an otherwise static object.

Here's an example:
sketch by Jack Kennedy
more of Jack's thoughtful work can be found on his blog @

Monday, November 1, 2010

what can be made with a 2x4?

Using an 18 inch piece of 2x4 and the tools in the shop, we were each to create a connected system of parts.  Joinery obviously played a major role in the learning curve of this project, along with using the appropriate tool to achieve the desired result.

My first idea was to make something like a house of cards, with each wooden "card" having puzzle piece type ends so that they locked together.

I immediatly realized the importance of the ratio of the depth of the notch to the thickness of the joining piece.  I also found that when cutting very thin pieces of wood, they are strongest when the grain of the wood is longest.  For example, a day or so after ripping the wood vertically, I found that some of my pieces were begining to bend, following the curvature of the growth rings from the tree. 

In exploring design concepts, I wanted to create something useful, like a shelf that was able to be hung on the wall.  In combining the two ideas, I came up with a modular shelving system that locked together in a puzzle piece like fashion.

I also learned that the little wooden notches easily break off when gravity is applied,
and that they make great cat toys.

An emergency re-design proved to be
successful, sleek, and more stable than the original project concept. 

documenting a light phnomenon. . .

To me, a phenomenon is a common event that occurs in a particular way only once.  Variables that could contribute to the creation of a natural light phenomenon could be things like the location of the observer, atmospheric conditions, the time of year, the time of day, and what material is diffusing the light observed. 

The concept of silhouette is emphasised in the phenomenon I choose.  The rays of the sun came through a narrow space between two houses on the opposite side of the street from the point of observation (my living room).  This particular effect could only be created just before sunset on only a few days of the year.