Play to Make

Fall 2021


Differences in paint

Everyone knows about three different types of paint. Usually people think of Acrylic, Oil, and Watercolor, but there are two other types of art paint which are Gouache and Encaustic paints. These 5 paints make up the most important paints for art purposes.

I have the most experience using Acrylic paint, and it is one of the easier paints to get a hold of. Acrylic can be used on just about any surface, but has a medium color coverage. Acrylic can dry fairly fast, so time is against the painter.

Oils, on the other hand, can stay moist for a much longer time. Since oils are a thicker consistency than Acrylics they are easier to blend and have better coverage. This allows for the painter to take more time to create the perfect color and shapes on a canvas. Since the oils are able to stay wet for longer, the oil takes a long time to dry.

Watercolor and Gouache are similar in consistency when wet, but have different levels of pigmentation. Watercolor is less pigmented that Gouache. While watercolor seeps into paper, Gouache leaves a bit of a chalky feeling where it is applied. I am interested in comparing the two side by side to see first hand how they compare.

Encaustic paints are a wax paint. I had never heard of this type of paint. I think this paint might be the hardest to work with, but I think it would be very pleasing to touch a piece of artwork using this paint. I think the texture combined with the artwork would be very interesting to encounter.


Takahashi, Lisa. “Acrylic Paint Guide.” Jackson’s Art Blog, 24 Aug. 2020,

Barnes, Sara. “Top 8 Oil Painting Techniques All Beginners and Professionals Should Know.” My Modern Met, 4 Feb. 2019,

“r/Watercolor – Clouds – Comparing Watercolor, Gouache, and Acrylic.” Reddit, 2019,

McNee, Lori. “Easy Tips for Packing and Shipping Encaustic Art Safely.” Lori McNee – Fine Art & Tips, 29 Sept. 2016,


Erik Johansson – Surreal Photography

Erik Johansson is a Swedish photographer who specializes in creating surreal photos. Surrealism is making something that looks realistic, but obviously is not. This can be something as simple as making a long line of cars meet at a single point like in this photo, You First.

And can have others that are much more eerie like Up the Past

A large part of Surrealism is to create a feeling of inease, and I think Erik Johansson does a great job of that. I enjoyed scrolling through his website to looking at his work. His website is at You should check it out.


Johansson, Erik. You First. 2020.

Johansson, Erik. Up the Past. 2020.

featured image:

Johansson, Erik. Looking for Stars. 2019.


Glass blowing

There are two main types of glassblowing, Mold-blowing and Free-blowing. Mold blowing is where molten glass is blown into a pre-made mold. These molds can be made of plaster, wood, or metal. This type of glass blowing is used to create scientific and utility glass wear. Free-blowing takes a more artistic style to the form. By Free-blowing, one is able to carefully shape and bend the glass. I really love how much skill and care goes into glass blowing. The pieces can shatter instantly, and if not practices safely, can lead to severe burns and cuts. Glass blowing is quite beautiful to look at, however, I doubt I will be able to practice it anytime soon, as the processes can be time consuming.


“Glass-Blowing Workshops at Seattle Glassblowing Studio & Gallery (Up to 48% Off). Four Options Available.” Groupon,

“Intro to Glassblowing: Tumblers Glasses – Glass Blowing Classes New York: CourseHorse – Brooklyn Glass.” CourseHorse,


Drawing Technique

Stippling is where you add a truckload of very small dots to your drawing to add depth, shading, and texture to your drawing. This can be done to add a cloth like look to the drawing, but it can also help add fur or feathers. This technique is often done on pencil  and pen drawings, as it is easier to control the line weight of each dot. Often times lines are too defined for shading, and it is easy to see where lines start and end. Stippling is a much subtler way to add depth to a piece.


larson, sam. “Stippling 101 – Monday & Tuesday.” FCS ART BLOG, 19 Mar. 2017,

Hauss, Eugenia, et al. TheVirtualInstructor Blog, 27 June 2019,


CT+E ~ Final Reflection

I cannot help but feel that this year is in complete contrast to how this class would be in other years. However, I also feel that we did many things for the amount of time and the resources that we had. I mean we completed basically 3½ projects along with an introduction. Although thinking back on it, I did feel a lot of pressure throughout the course, and whether that was a reflection of the course or the entirety of this semester remains to be seen. The actual class itself was quite fun and enjoyable, and the small group was really helpful for actually connecting to the subject matter. We were an absolute unit learning design together. Professor Sullivan was a great professor and knows exactly how to teach her students about the field she’s in. It helps that she’s objective because then her feedback is very reliable.

Moving back to the class, I also have this strange feeling that this class was less “technological” than it normally is, which is simply based on the fact that the syllabus not entirely lining up with the class, at least from what I remember. However, I wouldn’t say I minded that—doing something with my hands was nice for a change. Although, the best project hands down was the final one. Nothing made me feel as good as that animation—it was a release of creative energy. This leads to a concluding remark that I feel about this class, which is the fact that it releases tension. It gives you something to do and not to stare at. It has this productive workflow that makes you feel good as if it was designed to be that way.

Design was designed to be experienced through design.

Portfolio Hub


Design Elements and Principles

This will be the second to last post before the CT+E journey finishes, and I’m going to spend it going over the basics, which I think is a nice conclusion.


The most basic element is a point. They have zero-dimensional structures and describe position and vertices very well. They are the origin for the other elements to prosper. The step-up is a line which is when a point traces out a straight path. They play an important role in displacement and the construction of shapes. A shape is a two-dimensional construct of line(s) and they can be used as the basis for space in a design. A form is the composition of shapes, which can be three-dimensional, and they describe the geometry of our world in a design-based system. Color gives rise to a new way of differentiation and adding aesthetic value. Value describes shading and depth in a design based system. Space is the lack of element, which is an element in and of itself, it describes openness. Finally, texture gives rise to ways objects can contrast each other in a design-based system.


The principles of design group the elements together to form a representational system. Harmony is the unity of the elements to form a cohesive whole. Many things can be harmonious: repetition, patterns, similarity, relationship all have some way to bring balance to a system. Symmetry describes the tension between two elements and whether they belong together or apart. Scale gives weight to the objects and gives rise to most significant parts of a design.


The elements and principles are hidden in our everyday lives, but are some of the most subtle ways to expand human knowledge.


Design in Engineering

In the book “Principles of Engineering Design” by Vladimir Hubka, the following picture is visible:


It describes a process as a function of multiple inputs, outputs, and confounding variables. He calls it a technical process, and in the photo above it’s a little abstract, which he points out. However, this system can represent basically any process. A more concrete example he gives is the following:


However, notice that this is just a design in its most simple form. The design of a process and how a process is designed. It’s a one to one relationship. These are designs that describe fundamental engineering processes. In other words, design holds significance in engineering for being able to describe and design a process with all of its respective connections.


Design Philosophy

Before in this blog, I’ve described design as a way to convey things, whether those things be information or otherwise. While that is generally true, design frequently functions the best went it isn’t so apparent. When you walk into a room and don’t think about what it looks like, because it already makes sense, that’s good design. It functions discretely and independently from the conscious mind. It’s designed so well, the information it conveys need not be thought about. With that notion, it kind of makes sense why discrete design is the best designit conveys information in the most efficient way, with no need for conscious thought. It is also a true notion that our environment affects who we are and how we act. Certain designs make us uncomfortable, happy, sad, angry… So it’s important for the design to ultimately be good and have a purpose. Design with a purpose gives people a purpose, and with good design, people would never notice.


The Importance of Motive in Design

In design, art, or any creative medium, it can become very easy to lose the purpose of your project when you focus hard on aesthetics or type of style. Something can look nice, but if it isn’t cohesive, then it can feel somewhat empty. Art is very much about strategy and planning. People say that they just go in and feel the music, or feel the animation, and that can be true, but it can lead to largely inconsistent results for beginners. So, I assert that in art, a plan is a necessary way to keep your project cohesive. I would like to cite Don Hertzfeldt’s EVERYTHING WILL BE OKAY as an example of something that goes absolutely insane, but always comes back full circle to its original purpose.

In the short film, we follow a stick figure named Bill who explores his world as he falls into the depths of some fatal neurological disorder that is causing his mental functionality to fluctuate. It starts off relatively normal, with this strange but cute back and forth between Bill and the World. The things that he thinks are a little strange, but it’s fine… at first. Slowly, his thoughts become more disoriented and everything becomes much stranger. However, it’s still the same Bill. Things then take a turn for the worse around the climax, which can be view below:

(DISCLAIMER: Graphic Content and Kinda Scary)

As you can see, everything came crashing down and every single effect you could think of comes through. You think, what’s going to happen to Bill? Is he going to be okay? Bill will be okay. In fact that’s what the title entail: Bill may be dying, but he always comes back around to the same person. Bill is always going to be okay, nothing more, nothing less, his entire life is just okay, even on the brink of death.

It may not be that obvious, but the themes of nihilism and come back around and actually ties up those themes together into a conclusive ending. No focus is ever lost: it is a cohesive whole from start to finish.


What motivates me?

Motivation is very inconsistent for me. Sometimes it’s substantial, and sometimes it’s bountyless. What consistently motivates me is my passions for the things I lovemath, neuroscience, music. However, they’re also like a double-edged sword. Sometimes I can become too obsessed with my passions, in which case I lose motivation for the other things I could normally do. This is when I’m most stressed—there’s this awful dissonance between being able to learn all these things about my passions but struggle to get by in other things. There is a counterattack to this, albeit, not the best one: the other thing that motivates me is loss. I don’t want to lose and I especially don’t want to fail, so I fight back against my passions in order to keep myself in check. I also especially don’t want to lose the people I care about, because I don’t know where I’d be without them. This is all very depressing sounding, but there is a flip side to thismy motivation to keep on going. I want to see where life takes me, or more specifically, I want to see where I take myself. Also, feeling sad kind of sucks.