Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Figure Drawing Portfolio #2

I've been using a bunch of colors to do figure drawing recently.  It makes it even more fun!  (It also makes it seem like there's something weird in the water I've been drinking, haha.)

Yeah I "censored" some of the drawings with the leaf brush in Photoshop..

We were to draw two process drawings next to one drawing;
the original was turned in, but I might scan it in later.
And this is how the next of my 50 portraits is going.
Can you tell who it is?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

"Hunger Games" Movie Review (Spoiler-Free Version Included!!)

On Monday night, I was fortunate enough to go see The Hunger Games, based on the fantastic trilogy by Suzanne Collins.  I have a spoiler-free review below, and a review WITH spoilers after the break, in white text (so you have to highlight it with your cursor to see it).

The movie was, from book to screen, 90% unchanged.  The juxtaposition of the saturated colors Capitol and very-exposed and sun-drenched Districts was not unnoticed.  The camerawork was handheld at the beginning and made me a bit dizzy, but it didn't last too long.

I was very impressed by the acting.  Of course the main actors were fantastic--Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss) captured Katniss's uncomfortableness on camera, anger, etc.; Josh Hutcherson (Peeta) ; Woody Harrelson (Haymitch) was a convincing drunk; Elizabeth Banks (Effie) was hilarious; Lenny Kravitz (Cinna) had a great onscreen bond with Lawrence; Stanley Tucci (Caesar) was a great talk show host--but I was also thoroughly impressed by Amandla Stenberg, who played Rue, and Alexander Ludwig, who played Cato.  These two did excellent jobs in all of their scenes, and were standout tributes in the movie.

The special effects were very well done, and the integrating of the Hunger Games footage viewed by the Districts and keeping the audience up-to-date on all the creatures and rules of the Hunger Games was seamless.

I loved the movie and am even attending the midnight release (I'm in line at the moment).  Really impressive, almost completely accurate to the book, and it brought the horrors of the Hunger Games to the screen (remember, it's PG-13).

To me, these books have a clear anti-war theme, but also a strong warning about a government unchecked.  In most dystopian books, the government just gets too big and tries to control its citizens or to give them an ideal life, but it never works (some recent dystopian books like this: The Maze RunnerCrossedDelirium, etc.).  They tell them their jobs, who to marry, how many kids, whether they are allowed to live, and where.  In The Hunger Games, the government is big enough to be able to make children kill each other.  It's messed up.  Allotting citizens this much food, assigning them a job--some people like having decisions made for them, but these stolen choices are a gateway to fewer choices.  It is so important, especially today, for voters to understand their world.  Americans vote for the most powerful person on the planet (the POTUS) and that decision needs to be taken more seriously.  Only around half of those eligible in the US actually votes.  Your vote actually counts.

Maybe the best candidate isn't from your "party" but they have the views and ideals that you believe make a better world and country, and a track record that shows they can accomplish them.

It is interesting how the idea of making televised death bad is being televised, but I hope that it will increase the audience of the people who learn the themes of this trilogy and make people understand the horrors of war and the importance of choice.  As entertaining and exciting as these books are, there are undeniable messages and themes being advocated.

REVIEW WITH SPOILERS (in white text--highlight to read):
As I mentioned above, the movie was 90% unchanged from the book.  What was in that 10%?  Well, the mayor's daughter doesn't exist, but I like the way that Katniss and Prim trade it back and forth in the movie.  The mayor's daughter wasn't too critical to the story.  The cave bits didn't  show as much affection between Peeta and Katniss as in the books, and Katniss didn't display any sign she thought it was an act to survive as in the book.  The endings of the movie and the book were different, showing more of President Snow instead of Peeta realizing that Katniss was acting to survive.  There wasn't any talk of hot chocolate, either, but that was okay being left out in this two-and-a-half hour movie.  Lastly, the muttations weren't explained to be made of the other tributes, which could have been very disturbing.

The start of the movie had some paragraphs explaining the Hunger Games, which people who haven't read the books (those crazy people!) might struggle to read and comprehend at the speed it appears--it's not really much faster than the Star Wars openings, though.

How was the faux fire of the District 12 chariot ride?  It wasn't quite how I imagined it.  I thought it would be more engulfing, instead of streaming behind Katniss and Peeta.  The Flickerman interview dress faux fire was great, though.  Really well done.

The Capitol and its citizens were awesome.  Looked really realistic, and plausible for the future.  I loved how Flickerman's audience was set up, like on a hill.  The buildings were great, and the train was really cool.  

Jennifer Lawrence plays a terrific older sister, (in Winter's Bone, too!) though she is actually the youngest of three, and her reaction to Rue's death is very touching and convincing.  I was crying for about 10 minutes there.

I really liked seeing the people actively working on the Games, like how one woman added a falling tree to the fire, and later a muttation.  I really liked the short-haired, bulldog approach to the muttations. They looked much more realistic than current long-haired dogs (re: "New Moon").

One of the two parts of the film I didn't like was how Katniss gets blown backwards by the food pyramid's explosion--it looked a bit comical.  But that, and how shaky the camera was at the very beginning of the film, were the only bad parts (except for the 10% for a book-stickler like me).  This movie was much more accurate to the book than the last Harry Potter movie was (you can't just break the Elder Wand!!).

The sound editing was fantastic, and I loved how there were very quiet moments, like when Katniss shoots a bull's eye but nobody pays attention.  I also really liked how colorful the drinks were.  Speaking of color, the Capitol's citizens had some incredible makeup and colors--really wild looks.  And c'mon, Seneca's beard?  Really cool.  The blood and guts were great, too.  Ve Neill and Glenn Hetrick did excellent work.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

"Hunger Games" Movie!

My review will be posted midnight EST March 23!  It will include a spoiler-free review, followed by a spoiler-filled review in white text (so you'd have to highlight it to read it--a.k.a. you'd have to go out of your way to see any spoilers).

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Portrait 3: Adam Levine

Lead singer of my favorite band*, Maroon 5. 
*I have favorite singers, too! However, Maroon 5 is my favorite band.

Photo from internet

Loose sketch

Starting to paint!

Finished! Approximately 3 hours
Got really into painting this!  It's fun living in the right brain :-)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Red Heads

I've been drawing more portraits for 112a.  They're called Red Heads because they are heads drawn in burnt sienna Carb-Othello (reddish).  When I was younger, I used to really dislike drawing people, and drew dogs, cats, horses and rabbits.  Now, I love drawing people more than animals!  Everybody is so different, but has so much in common, if that makes sense.

These are my homework assignments for the week:

 My favorite part is putting in the highlights with white Carb-Othello pencil.

There are so many complicated aspects to the human face, and ambiguous expressions (smiling but not happy, tentative, confident and worried, etc.), and it's really nice when a person's likeness has been captured.

Next week I'm starting the infamous Reversal Project, so I may not update as frequently.  I'm hoping to do a Great Depression photograph.

Playlist: Sia, Doug Paisley

Hunger Games Art

Here's a portrait I did earlier yesterday from a screenshot of the Hunger Games trailer.  I played with color more in this portrait.  Took about 2 hours.

Screenshot from HG trailer on Youtube


Also about the Hunger Games, there seem to be several visitors from chineserockstarfilms referred by the video of me drawing Hunger Games shoes!  Welcome!

Another shoe set:

Playlist: Sia, Doug Paisley

Monday, March 5, 2012


Shadow shapes were really fun to draw in class today!  We drew pictures of ourselves and of classmates with Carb-Othello pencils.

However, we also learned that next week we're going to start the infamous Reversal Project (starting with a charcoal-covered paper, we erase the drawing out of it; estimated drawing time is 40+ hours).

This drawing from class captures my feelings about this:

In other news, I went home this weekend.  My sister went to an overnight camp and my parents dropped her off while my other and sister and I took out the trash.  She forgot to close the gate, though, and our golden retriever wandered outside and just sat in the driveway staring at the street.  I think she missed everyone.
(She's the tan blob above our black lab.)

She looked so ashamed when we called her back inside!

Thursday, March 1, 2012


One of my favorite actresses is Lizzy Caplan.  I liked watching Party Down, Mean Girls, and she's been on New Girl for a bit now, too.  Anyways, I thought I'd try to draw some people and paint them in Photoshop, to practice using my tablet and play with Photoshop more, and here's how that turned out:
(From Google image search)
Her eyes are really interesting and were very hard to get right. 
Photoshop-traced, fixed some bits, starting to shade
More shading
Even more shading
Fixed details, then changed levels in
iPhoto and added noise
This was fun!  I want to draw more people--faces are really fun to draw/paint.  Recommendations/requests are welcome!

Playlist: Maroon 5, Meiko, The Script

The Dark Side

Shadow shapes-55 minutes
Edited a bit in iPhoto