It’s cold and rainy these days and it gets dark before 5 PM. This is not the kind of thing to encourage a person. But luckily there is a lot you can do indoors, like studying, or reading, or making costumes.
I finally could bring my mannequin out from the art room in the basement to my dorm room on the top floor. Eventhough it’s hollow, it’s heavier than you might think. It now stands at the far end of my room and lightens up the costume corner:
I put my mannequin right to work by modeling my costume for the party next week. I have been getting a cowgirl costume ready and could see the pieces coming together for the first time. I really like how the pieces are working together and just prepared some final details like the holster and some fringe. Soon, I will have it done!
I also got some work done on the elephant mask. It will be a gift for a friend, so I want to get it done really well. I seem to have trouble with the painting techniques, though. I get the procedures of oil painting and acrylic painting mixed up, meaning that I apply the colors in the wrong order and intensity at a time. This can result in kind of a mess. But I had the same issue with the rhino mask and it turned out just fine. So this will work out, too.
I am a few days late with this, but here are some pictures of the dorm living room. It’s still missing some pillows and some new pictures on the wall, but apart from that, this project is basically done. :)
Also, the rhino mask is now varnished and done. I think I like it as much as my old mask, if not more :)
And finally, I did some more work on an elephant mask for a friend of mine. Today, it got the ears and some more wrinkles on the trunk. I think it’s the first time I’ve tried to cover such large free-hanging spaces with paper-maché. I used cloth, which seems to be working well. Excited to see how it turns out!
It’s 2 weeks before the next semester begins and we are taking the time to renovate the dorm living room. It probably has been in it’s before-state since it was built over 30 years ago. The room was just asking for a make-over!
I have been working with another student on this project. so far it’s day 4.
We started by sanding off all the chairs. That took us 2 days -or 8 hours.
Then we put a coat of wood finish and some clear varnish on them. The chairs look so much better now!
We also painted a little coffee table and started painting some patterns on the table tops. I will hopefully finish the paint jobs by tomorrow, then the bulk of the work is done!
I will start school on Monday again. I had several open projects to finish and am glad that they are coming together. One of the major projects was an illustration commission which consists of 10 images. And it’s done! :)
Illustrations for “Mai’s Journey” (Comission)
A Chance Meeting?
A strange but friendly Place
A Letter and a Train Ride
It took a lot of planning and work, but I am glad for the results. This was an experience in following through and in challenging yourself further than before. One of those hard but good experiences. :)
Where do you challenge yourself in your life? Where are you being pushed further than before? I hope those hard experiences end up being good experiences. Have a great day!
I got a comission for 10 illustrations and have the priviledge of using my new graphic tablet for the job. I am getting used to the cintiq and can say that I really enjoy it so far.
Here’s the first illustration, showing the main character’s family in Hanoi, Vietnam. I’m really excited about this project and about the rest of the work! I have so much to learn, but I have also learned a lot just by painting this piece. Practice makes perfect!
Where have you felt good about achieving something? What kind of things did you get excited about recently? Leave a comment if you like, and have a great day!
I had to get up unexpectedly early this morning because my brother overslept and needed a ride to his workplace by 7AM. This was not to my liking… but while I was listening to the radio I learned an unexpected fun fact: There is a German saying to describe that all is well, it literally means “everything is in butter” (alles in Butter). The reporter said that the origin of this saying lies centuries ago, in the export of Venetian porcellain. In order to keep the pieces from breaking during transport, they would stack it in barrels and fill these with liquid butter. When the butter hardened it would keep the ware safe. When the porcellain arrived at it’s destination, they just melt the butter again. You never know when you’ll learn something new!
I spent the day in a low-key way, but still got some cleaning/packing done for my move to seminary. I also figured I should post some updates on my art projects:
The oil painting “Bangkok Rama 3” is looking good, I filled in most of the base colors.
Bangkok Rama 3, Aug 31st 2016
Bangkok Rama 3, Sept 7th 2016
I cut my “Kasperle”-mask in 5 pieces and made clay molds of each of the parts. I’ve never done it before, so considering that it’s looking great. But there are several things I’d do differently next time.
It’s summer and so I have time for other projects, including comission jobs. So if you e.g. want a cabinet painted/refinished, a painting, a sculpture, a poem, or something else, you can let me know! I’d be glad to make something for you.
Above are some examples of comission-work/ stuff I could do as comissions. Of course there are many more pictures on my site, but these are just a few from different categories.
Thanks for your support and your ideas, and have a great day!
You know that feeling when you are doing so much stuff but at one point can finally get something done? Well I do, and it’s a good feeling :)
The picture is (almost) done. I might define some edges and add some green accents, but I am trying to take my professor’s advice and to not “overpaint it”.
I started work on another piece today, tomorrow I can sketch it out. And I won’t have to worry about the unicorns anymore, one of them only needs some hotglue and then they are done. I love challenging projects, but they can’t be my priority now. I need to focus!
I said before that my first unicorn helmet was done. Well I got a call from the commisioners and they said that I should try anything I can to make the helmets lighter. I should also add a spiral on the horns of both helmets. So it’s back to the workshop. I managed to take about 200-250g of weight off and add a spiral to the first helmet, I haven’t touched the second one yet.
This comission is only a small part of what’s going on in my life right now. My dog died 2 weeks ago and my grandpa died yesterday afternoon. I have a final exam art exhibit to host and I have to find a new leadership team to take over my German class when I leave it in 2 months. There’s a bit of a mountain piling up, and it can seem overwhelming. But I don’t want to be bogged down by the detours and dramas. My mom always says “If you don’t like the view, get in the car and drive on” or as “Dory” from “Finding Nemo” puts it: “Just keep swimming!” So that’s what I’m going to do!
hollowing out the snout and reinforcing it with epoxy
After almost 30 hours of work, one of the unicorns is finished! It features a green-pink color sceme with a thick mane. The Helmet is very sturdy and you can adjust the strap size.
Number two is almost done, it just needs it’s mane. The hair is drying on a rack right now and will be ready in a few hours. I won’t be able to finish it until the weekend, because I have an interview to go to. But seeing these unicorns now is a treat :)
…or dyeing fabric for the unicorn-manes. One mane is to be yellow, the other pale pink. I used natural dyes for the process, for no particular reason other than that I had the pigments at hand. The yellow dye is tumeric (also known as curcumin) and the pink dye is red wine.
The impact of acid on natural dyes is amazing: When I was preparing the tumeric dye, it started out yellow but turned dark orange. I was confused but then remembered that chalk changes the color of beet root. I knew that the water in our area is on the chalky side, so acid would help. A few squirts of vinegar later, the color was light yellow again.
Now the individual strands are hanging up to dry. Soon they will be assembled on the unicorn helmets. We are almost done!
Now for something cute: I have been working on a comission of 2 unicorn helmets for a few weeks. They are now painted in their final colors. The last steps will be to varnish them and add a flowing mane. This project is one of my first comissions and definetly the first one for a “real” client.
I went shopping this morning at an art supply store in Karlsruhe. Among other things I got new oil paint and some stuff for the unicorn helmets. In the end my bag was full and my wallet was not… (art supplies are expensive!)
Devil’s Canyon (April 4th 2016)
Water Power Plant (April 4th 2016)
old picture vs new picture
Other Progress News:
-The helmets are looking great. They will be getting their hard shell very soon :)
1. drill a hole into the helmet
3. attach horn to helmet (using angles and screws)
4. cover helmet with rough modeling material (in my case, plastic wrap and tape)
-I will try to make casts of my papermaché-sculptures, especially Greedo and the Rhino-mask. They are currently infested with bugs and are slowly being eaten. Hard lesson learned: If you are making permanent sculptures with papermaché, don’t use flour, use wall paper paste!
It’s official: I have a comission with the SWR radio station to make 2 unicorn helmets for their festival DASDING. The helmets will look something like designs B and C on the sketch sheet.
Unicorns seem to fascinate a lot of people, especially those who in general are of the “rational, science-abiding”-type (see countless rainbow-unicorn- appearances in “Nerd-Popculture”) . It’s almost like a myth, a sarcastic (though not forgotten) wish for wonder, supernatural things and things beyond comprehension. No matter how much you profess to stay away from it, a sense for the supernatural seems to be part of human nature.
Tomorrow is Easter Sunday. A holiday which is very supernatural: God himself, who had come as a man, dies and is raised from the dead. Jesus was dead, but now he is alive. I believe that this can actually turn your life upside-down, if you believe it. And unlike rainbow unicorns, I do believe Jesus is alive. He is not dead, he is risen!