Saturday, March 29, 2008

Sketchbook #5

Nutha recent sketchbook page. The scanner actually committed some wierdness against this page... dunno why. The image in the upper right was done in figure drawing along with another drawing hidden under the black blob. I decided I hated them both and painted them out with sumi ink but the upper right drawing was persistent and popped right up back through as the ink dried. I actually liked it better once it was half washed out so I left it. I drew another drawing on top of the black area I hated so I painted it out again and drew a model from a different figure drawing session and then my friend, Ellen. Ellen, I'm sorry... you deserve a much better portrait than I can give you.

The naked woman on the left: are her nipples properly secured to her breasts? No. No, I profess, they are not. Thank you.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Sketchbook #4

A recent sketchbook page. I think it's almost time for me to switch media again. I really like the drawing in the bottom right corner... I think I may crop that and put it in my portfolio. There's more EA foosballing going on up in the top. A few classmates, some random people on BART, some shoes in San Francisco, etc. Media used: the usual suspects... Pilot Hi-Tec pen, water-soluble Japanese brush pen, gouache, white gel pen. I think I may start using color pastels and chalk soon instead of gouache just to mix things up.

Monday, March 24, 2008

My Prerogative

I’m not much into reality this semester. Maybe it’s imminent graduation and, by extension, imminent real-life reality (!). I’ve really been shying away from doing strictly representational work and experimenting more. A psychology professor of mine once told us that if we remember one thing from his class, remember this: if you keep doing what you’ve been doing, you’re only gonna get more of what you already got. I already know what I can do… I want to do something I can’t do. One of my major weaknesses has always been gesture so that’s something I’ve been focusing a lot on lately. Also, the heaviness of graduation has me looking for something lighter… all I want to draw are funny little doodles. If I want to draw a funky angular lady with disembodied floating nipples, I’m gonna do it… if that’s my prerogative. I’ve already got portfolio drawings. I’d much rather learn something than get more of the same of what I’ve already got. I present a brief overview of the last 6 weeks of figure drawing. I actually weeded out a lot of the weirder, disproportionate stuff. Just because I learned something from the other stuff doesn’t mean I gotta show it.

Nuther thing I forgot to mention, I've been switching up media more and more but lately I've been trying to stick with "permanent" media. Stuff I can't erase. It forces me to be more thoughtful about design, simplicity, essentials and not sweat over things I can't change. Pen = decisive.

I'll try to limit my figure drawing posts. Nothing against figure drawing... it's one of my favorite things ever, but I get bored pretty quickly with art blogs that are almost nothing but the figure.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Pop Art

This is a completely bizarre illustration I did for one of my classes a few weeks ago. I wish I'd thought to take pictures while I was making it. The assignment was for Barron Storey's illustration class... an assignment called "Bits". We had to pick a topic and, in six "bits", show what came before, what came next, and what came after that. We had to create the six bits without knowing how we were going to incorporate them all into one final illustration. Most people pick a more straightforward topic like a biography or a historical event. I chose the lifespan of a stick of gum. I got the idea when I was at a gas station filling up my car. There was all this nasty old gum all over the pavement everywhere and I thought it was awesome and wanted to find a way to make that a part of my project.

Media used: Duct tape, goache, ballpoint pen, gum wrappers, chewing gum, Alphacolor charcoal, newspaper, pastels, acrylic, white gel pen, matte medium, and india ink. Once I had my bits done, I drew a thumbnail of their layout on the final board. I cut out frames for two of the bits and then duct-taped the crap out of the illustration board. I taped the teeth down so they looked like they were coming out of the board and also taped down the newspaper collage. I was working in the animation lab at the time so I set everyone who was in the lab at the time to work chewing all my gum for me. I glued down some wrappers on the tape and glazed over them with a mixture of matte medium and india ink to grunge them up. Then I made my classmates give me all their chewed gum. At first I tried applying the gum to the board with my hands covered in plastic bags but that didn't work so I gave up and decided to get down and dirty with this piece. Bare hands and juicy gum chewed by, like, 7 different people. Hardcore, I know. So I applied the chewed gum to look like it was being blasted out by the mouth at the top. Then I used charcoal dust to grunge the gum up.

I should mention that this whole time, I was making the process up as I went along. I had no idea what I was doing until I did it. I still had one bit left over, however. A collage of gum packaging. I decided to cut it into shards and glue it down with the gum so it looked like it was being blasted out too. The illustration smelled strongly of fruit and of whatever that signature bubblegum scent actually is. And I won first place on this project... hot damn! I didn't handle nasty-ass freshly-chewed gum and get my hands covered in the saliva of 7 classmate for nothing!

Here are some detail shots. I apologize for the low quality of the images. I couldn't scan this sucker and my digital camera is so old. It was one of the first digital cameras ever made. XD

And here is the mouth before I glued that sucker down and taped over it

Foos it or lose it.

I'm trying to be better at keeping a dedicated sketchbook this semester. It's not that I draw less during school than I do on breaks, it's just that I draw on scraps, which wind up getting lost or thrown out. I didn't want quick drawings getting all mixed up with my polished sketchbook drawings but really, what's a sketchbook for? So now my sketchbook takes all comers... scribbles, paintings, what have you. Here are a couple recent pages.
I saw a couple people's sketchbooks recently and they did some really cool things with text so I think I'll be messing around with that more. I love the bottom foosball drawing. We were at EA (internship) and it was our lunch break so we made a beeline for the game room and I drew a couple friends really heavy into a game of foosball. The older woman in the upper right corner is my mom, who I drew when we went out to dinner last week. She saw my drawing and said she looked old and my dad and I replied in unison that she is old.

We did a movie night a few weeks ago and my friend Alyssa was cool enough to sit still for a half hour so I could draw her portrait. The other drawings were done at figure drawing during a long pose that didn't favor my position in the room.

Cartoonizised self-portrait. If anything, I got my nose right. Damns I need to do something about my bangs.

Monday, March 10, 2008

First impression! Don't screw up!

Wow, so I guess I have a blog now? I try so hard to make good impressions by making it look as though I'm not trying at all but then usually just wind up saying nothing at all and looking either really shy or really snobby. Okay, hi. I'm Charlene Fleming. I'm not a snob but I do confess to occasional bouts of shyness. I attend San Jose State University. I'm majoring in Animation/Illustration. I have a website too! It's at! I maintain a comic there called "Of Rogues And Robbers", which is currently on hiatus due to GRADUATION INSANITY. I'm actually pretty embarassed by the early art/writing but the feedback I've gotten from everyone (online & in real life) has been overwhelmingly positive so it couldn't be too bad. At any rate, I've been working on it since 2003 and I hope to redraw/rewrite the whole thing and have it published in a few years. If you ever come back to this blog, Jack and Warren, the two main characters, will soon become very familiar to you. I get really attached to my characters.

That wasn't so hard. Here, have a drawing.

This is the most recent page out of my sketchbook. This is a doodle-scraps page. Normally I tend to treat each page like an illustration or a series of several small illustrations. This page is another story. It started off with the boat near the top, which actually drove off after only 15 minutes so I abandoned the page and went on to others. A couple weeks later, I found myself back in San Francisco and did a couple more small doodles on this page because, hey, San Francisco drawings, right? Gotta stick together. After that, I just revisited the page periodically to add whatever random thing I felt like drawing wherever it would fit. I did the cellphone at work because it was basically the only interesting item in the entire place. Media used: Pilot Hi-Tec pen, Tombo markers, white gouache, some funky water soluble brush pen from Japan, white Uni-ball Signo pen, and some other funky brush pen from Japan that is NOT water soluble.

Anyway, welcome to my blog. Here we go.