Play to Make

Fall 2021

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Drawing Palm Trees

Often in class, when I find my mind wandering, I start to doodle on whatever I have in front of me. Whether it’s paper, gum wrapper, or desk its self, I’ll draw on it. One of the recurring doodles I have is of palm trees. They usually sit on a little island surrounded by water.

I decided to take my palm tree drawing to the next level.

Using this step by step process, I made an improvement quickly.

The use of a grid helps me tremendously to have a consistent scale.

I ended with by far the best palm tree I have ever drawn.

I was just looking to draw a palm tree, and I learned a totally new skill with a grid in the process.

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Public Art Around VT Campus

Attending such a magnificent campus, there are beautiful works of art all around. Here are a few that caught my eye this past week.

The first picture on the left is of War Memorial Chapple pylons. Here all the names of Virginia Tech students who died in world war one are etched. Aside from being a sentimental monument, it is a fantastic work that symbolizes power with the tall stone pylons and the detailed soldiers on each one.

The right photograph is in D2 at Detrick Hall is a very ascetically pleasing piece of work that always catches my eye. The curved steel ribins throw the light all over the room and look to be suspended by the thin dowels. It is intriguing because the sharp edges are on the bent ribins and the soft curves are on the straight dowels.

The final photograph on the bottom is behind Burchard Hall. It is of four abstract pillars that, at first glance, look like white french fries. Each one is unique but connected by color and curvy nature. My favorite one is the second one from the left. I like the gradual curve that meets a sharp turn and then dies into the ground.

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Project idea

For my project, I want to do something that incorporates lens flare. Lens flare is caused by the light reflecting off the lenses inside of a viewing optic like a camera or an eye. I would like to try and get a kind of lens flare that is most commonly attributed to the twinkle of stars.

The twinkle that this star has isn’t actually what the star looks like but rather an example of lens flare.

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Perspective in drawing

A drawing is two dimensional and trying to make it seem three dimensional is one of the hard parts of drawings. M.C. Escher is one of my favorite artists for his master of perspective. Escher is able to give his drawings realistic depth and is even able to give his depth an impossible perspective.

The perspective of this drawing makes it appear to have a never ending stair case despite it being physically impossible in the real world.
In this drawing Escher is able t represent perspective in a non traditional way by distorting the image.

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Cross Hatching

I’ve never been to good at drawling and haven’t done too much of it outside of basic art classes, so I haven’t ever dove too far into specific techniques. After doing some research on cross hatching as well as just regular hatching, I was amazed with how it can transform a drawing. I had been sketching in mostly pen so I was unable to add any shading by pressing harder or lighter with the tool, like you can with a pencil. I found that with hatching you can create the same illusion of depth that  a a shading can do. In addition to this the hatching and spacing of the hatches can play a big role in creating texture in a sketch.

Variation in Cross Hatching

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Sketching a Tree

Trees are almost impossible for me to draw, so I researched how to draw a tree. First, start with the truck. Next using curved lines, add branches coming out of the top of the trunk. Keep drawing branches until you are happy with the amount, then add the outline of the leaves. Once the basic tree is finished, add layers into the tree to give it depth.

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One Point Perspective

I have a really hard time with perspective. I just think my depth perception is really bad. So here’s a quick little snippet about one point perspective.

One point perspective (or single point perspective) is a “mathematical system for representing three dimensional objects and space on a two dimensional surface by means of intersecting lines that are drawn vertically and horizontally and that radiate from one point on a horizon line” (source). In other words, there is a horizon line with a single point at which all things converge and “vanish”. A few examples:

Notice that the vanishing point does not necessarily have to be central.

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Cross-Hatching, A Helpful Sketching Technique.

[research a drawing technique that could help you with drawing]

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What Do We Want to Do?

Something i would be interested in doing is make colleges. I like taking pictures and putting them together in a fun, pattern-less way. Iam also interested in 3D objects. Maybe using cardboard to create structures could be fun. When was walked through Burchard Hall, I saw all the architecture students building their models and it looked very fun.

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What Motivates Me

  • I love building things with user-guided machinery
    • Table saw, drill press, hammer
    • Not computer-guided like 3d printer or CNC
  • I am interested in Woodworking and would love to do a project that involves using woodworking equipment
    • Most of my previous projects utilize wood
    • Have experience with woodworking equipment
  • I take inspiration from objects humans placed in nature and nature itself
    • Buildings, bridges, and their landscape
    • Admire how designers blend art with structural design