Wednesday, November 27, 2013


I like whales. Not sure why. But it's a thing.

I drew this during English class the first semester of my sophomore year. Ever since then, I've drawn whales on everything. I use 'improbablewhale' as a username for youtube and a lot of other things. The biggest thing was turning the whales into .gif animations and plushies.

All of these were hand drawn, anywhere from two to ~50 frames.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Weekend Projects: Dollar Store Mug

Title says it all. It's a thing I'm gonna start doing. (Technically I started last week but I also did a mug last week so I didn't want to do a double mug weekend.)

Yesterday I took my brother and his friend to see Thor 2 (great movie) and as usual we stopped by the dollar store to pick up some candy on the cheap. I saw this mug which had a removable paper insert that could be traced and redrawn to whatever the mug-user wanted the mug to sport. I found some shiny acrylic red paint and fun little embellishments to create a santa-esque mug to cart my coffee to school with me. It didn't take long at all.

This would actually be a great project for kids to do. I think if they were given pre-cut templates, paint, glitter, all that other dangerous stuff small children love, they'd be set to make some pretty cute Christmas presents for their parents.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Somewhere in the midst of the Antelope travesty, Mr. Stapleton had our English class start reading Mary Shelly's Frankenstein. It was one of those things that I had always intended to do, but never actually got around to doing. There was going to be some Franken-art at some point.

For a while, this was the only thing to come out of it.

Don't get me wrong, I was certainly proud of my seascape of Captain Robert Walton's ship on the fore edge of my personal copy of Frankenstein, but it wasn't  as over-the-top as I knew I could be. Luckily I finished the gilded antelope soon after and a new project was assigned.

Do a portrait. Use a strange material. Go.

I realize that felt and thread and poly-fill aren't that out-there of a material to use, but I thought it fit for what I was going for. Victor Frankenstein sutured up his creature out of bits-o-cadavers, making a grotesque, smelly, literally larger-than-life man-baby. I was going to make an adorable, hand-embroidered, baby-eyed, creature for Victor to love and hug and call his own.

He is pretty cute.

I spent a lot of time making sure his scars and stitches looked exceedingly Frankensteinian.

I couldn't really just have Frankenstein's creature sitting alone with no context, so I decided to craft a table for him to be experimented upon. I like working with wood. However, I'm used to using bigger and thicker pieces, so assembling the table with just hot glue was kind of difficult. Staining it was important to me because I imagined an extravagant table with brass fittings that Victor may have inherited from his mother. I don't know why, but the details meant something to me. 

The brass was SO fun to work with. I have a tendency to try new materials and have it work out pretty well for me. I was left with so much after making the corner brackets that I ended up making braces for the creature to restrain him on the table.

(Mr. Sands was really upset that he wasn't green or had bolts in his neck.)

The amount of construction involved in this project was incredible. My portrait of Frankenstein's monster turned into a scale scientific table with a contrasting supposed 'monster' trying to escape. 

There's no room in my house for any more art projects.

Author's note: I apologize for the excessive use of hyphens. I would change some sentence structure but I like it so too bad.


Guess what I'm making next?

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Sticky Situation

I consider myself a funny person. I'm also a scout, and the weekend before this project was given I was youth staff for an adult leadership training course and was assigned to the antelope patrol. Naturally that led to me creating a gilded antelope head with sticks for antlers mounted on a tree cross-section.

Honestly I can't remember how I came up with the extravagancy of this thing. I just remember one moment I was at a loss for ideas, the next, the antelope existed.

I knew I had to make the antelope as accurate as possible, so the carving material would be key. I figured styrofoam would work okay. The ears were made of floral foam (which was a lot easier to form) and the head and neck with regular styrofoam. I'd never carved anything before, but I had a lot of fun with it and I certainly want to do it again.

(Me too, antelope... Me too...)

I thought I would have to look at home or in the woods for some good sticks, but the trees outside the art room bore two horn-worthy twigs. 

Next was the wall. I wanted to make it look like it was mounted on a section of wall cut right out of an old cabin. I took some old scrap wood held together with brackets and stretched my homemade wallpaper over it. Now that was fun to make.

The stencil was hand cut from a simple fleur-de-lis. (Another nod to scouting) It was repetedly spray-painted over a piece of raw canvas which was then hacked at by a crazy girl with a box cutter once it was stretched over the wall.

Then came the painting of the antelope. Ugh. Nope. Noooooooooope. I think that poor thing went through four or five different coats of paint before I decided on the gold. You know, it was blue at one point.



There we go. Blue antelope.

It was eventually painted gold. I did so because it kind of worked with the brown and cream tones already in the background, but was definitely bolder. Ms. Sudkamp and I thought about it for a while.

Anyway, the point is that this project had a lot of elements which came together exceptionally well. I really love working three-dimensionally and had a blast doing so with this thing. It's gaudy as crap, but in a good, ironic way.


Up Close and Personal

Oh my goodness this freaking plane.

As soon as I heard the prompt for the first project, I knew what I would do. That was not true in this case. "Up close and personal" he said. "Repetition" he said. Nope. Nothing. God I was upset. I can't even remember any of my original ideas because those first few days were so absent of thought I've just blocked them out of my memory at this point. But then, the plane.

The Cessna 172 is the most-produced plane on the market. As an aspiring pilot, I've been a fan of the personal aircraft for a while. I doodle them in my spare time, so I figured it wouldn't be too hard to paint it, right?


I had only painted one other thing in my life-- the landscape we all did in art one. While painting a landscape wasn't too much of a challenge for me, painting a metal aircraft in flight with the correct shading and highlights was proving to be quite the endeavor.

Once I got base layers of paint down, it was apparent that this was going to be exceedingly cartoonish. At that point I couldn't change it, so I had to just come to terms with it.

And then, of course, we have the potatoes. The Friday after the project was assigned, Ms. Sudkamp's class was making potato stamps. I, being the six-year-old that I am, started nagging Mr. Sands for a potato and some carving tools. 

This was the result. And, being the six-year-old that I am, was quite proud.

The potato evolved into this stamp made of 1 cm thick craft foam, which was used to cover the painting in hundreds of multicolored planes. 

That got tedious really fast.

In the end, I'm really happy with the result. I'm thrilled with the story book-ish style and I think I did okay for something that wasn't a bunch of trees or mountains.