Friday, July 31, 2009

Busy Work Week

We released some software to our test organization late last night. The entire week leading up to that release was murder. I am behind in my assignments and my posts. Both will be rectified as soon as possible.

Update: Did I mention that I had a migraine yesterday and again today? This has been a really bad week.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Basic Still Life

This was a time consuming assignment but one that I really enjoyed.

I set up one of my 500W hot lights so that I could get a good mix of light and shadow. I set down a sheet of paper from my huge drawing pad (18" x 24" I believe) on the corner desk and placed my items on top of that.

I started out with an HB pencil. I drew a rough horizon line. Then I added the box; this step took four or five iterations to get it right. It just did not look right. Next I added the cylinder and ball. Last I added the code.

I kept making my lines darker and darker as I refined the shapes. When I was satisfied with how they looked, I switched to a 6B and really laid some dark lines down.

At this point, it was time to start on the finished drawing. I put a blank sheet over top of the rough draft and switched back to an HB pencil. I drew the horizon line and the borders of each of my shapes. I then switched back to a 6B and darkened the lines. I started shading inside the objects and used a paper stub to blend the shading a bit. I added my shadows next. (Yes, there were multiple light sources in the room). Finally, I added my signature icon.

Basic Still Life, originally uploaded by Mr. Muskrat.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Phishing Text

Phishing Text, originally uploaded by Mr. Muskrat.

Watch out. The bad guys are at it again. This time they are targeting you with text messages.

Wordless Wednesday #6: Dragonfly

Dragonfly, originally uploaded by Mr. Muskrat.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Rough Two Days

Yesterday and today have been pretty rough for my family.

Mary's favorite uncle passed away yesterday morning. We spent the better part of last night getting everything together that she would need to drive out to Kentucky for the wake. It is roughly a fifteen hour drive each way. She has only been back for about a week and half from the last trip to Kentucky.

I woke up this morning not feeling so well: headache and upset stomach. Shortly after lunch, my headache became a migraine and I left work early. After taking a migraine pill and a short nap, my migraine is back to being a normal headache and my stomach is feeling better. Now my throat hurts really bad. Eating and drinking is very unpleasant. Ugh.

Long story short, I only managed to do four gesture studies for today's drawing assignment.

Week 1 Assignment 4 - B

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Homemade Easel

I built a makeshift easel. I took my flash stand and clamped it the railing in the office. Then I set my drawing board on top of the railing, leaning back on the flash stand. I added more clamps to keep the drawing board from sliding.

Makeshift Easel (Front)

Supply Familiarization/Blind Contours

I put some time in today on familiarizing myself with the new art supplies. I drew a few lines of varying widths and darkness levels. I drew a few scribbles. I drew a few shapes.

Supply Familiarization

Then I started on Week 1 Assignment 2, Blind Contours. You place the point of your pencil on the paper. Without looking at your paper or lifting your pencil, move the pencil slowly, like an ant, in unison with your eyes as you move them over the various contours of your subject. It is much harder than it sounds.

Not the best of the drawings today but certainly not the worst. The whole lot of them are on my Flickr photostream.

One Photo Short-Listed

One of my photos has been included on the short-list for the eighth edition of the Schmap Fort Worth Guide. I will post a follow-up entry once it has been accepted or rejected for inclusion.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Drawing Class Starts Today

This is going to be really short.

My drawing class starts today. I am really excited because I took two years of art in high school and loved it.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Financial Issues/Reducing Course Load

The VA Benefits Coordinator at the Art Institute has submitted a VA Form 22-1999 as well as my course load so all of my paperwork is in order.

I called the VA to check on my application. It turns out that it is being handled by the Buffalo office. That office typically needs twelve weeks to process the initial application. They have had my paperwork for nine weeks so I have another three weeks before they will even send out my Certificate of Eligibility. Yikes! The VA also told me that it would take an additional six to eight weeks to process the claim once the application process is completed. Double yikes!

I started classes when I did because I had been assured that the whole VA process would take six to eight weeks. I could (barely) afford to make the payment when I did because of the expected government check. I cannot continue to make the, what seems to be extremely expensive, payments until my G.I. Bill payments start coming in.

As a result, I have had to reduce my course load. I will be taking Drawing during Summer Session I, Art History during Summer Session II and Color Theory during Fall Session I. This allows for a more manageable payment until the VA benefits kick in.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Supplies For Class

My books arrived yesterday. The size of the Art History book seems to indicate that I will have much reading to do for that class; the tome is 56 millimeters thick (that is roughly two and a quarter inches)!

I was looking through the two books for drawing. It looks like it will be a very fun class indeed. While I was thinking about art, I went ahead and purchased the rest of the supplies that I will need. I went to Hobby Lobby because it was the only store that I knew would have everything. The grand total with sales tax was a hefty $77.81! I will keep my eyes open for an art supply store to compare prices.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

(Updated) G.I. Bill

I filled out my VA Form 22-1990 online on April 30th. Within a week I had received my "we have received your application" letter in the mail. My first payment to the Art Institute has been made. Here it is July 2nd and I have not heard anything else from the VA.

How long does this normally take?


Back on May 1st, I asked the school to submit a VA Form 22-1999 to certify my enrollment. That request was sent to the VA Coordinator, who I had also called the same day.

Today, I contacted the Assistant Director of Admissions, my Academic Advisor and Financial Aid Officer. I was told that the VA Coordinator was being contacted again.

Need a New Template

I hate how all of the Blogspot templates give about four inches of usable width for my posts.

I could customize the CSS & HTML of this template. The last time I did that it took hours to get it all looking right and I had to always edit the template even if I only wanted to change a sidebar gadget.

Can anyone point out a Blogspot template that gives more room for the body of the posts without removing the sidebar?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Wordless Wednesday #3: Old Gas Station

Old Gas Station, originally uploaded by Mr. Muskrat.

Classes Resume Soon

My classes will be resuming on July 13th (2009 Summer Session I). I will be in ART1020 History of Art in Early Civilization and FND110 Drawing. I ordered my books yesterday. It was a grand total of $204.72 with shipping for three books: Kleiner, Gardner's Art Through Ages; Curtis, Drawing From Observation-Reprint and De Reyna, How to Draw What You See.