Again, life has been a little hectic for me and I haven’t had a chance to make as much art as I was hoping to, but I managed to tackle this portrait of Pam Beesly this month. This is the fourth portrait in my series inspired by The Office. I’m having a ton of fun challenging myself to work on portrait illustrations, striving to get the essence of a given figure captured in a collage.
I’m planning to complete several more in this series. I may only have a new portrait to share once a month since I’m going to start marathon training soon, and that will consume a lot of my free time. However, I’ll still find time to make art, even if it’s not as much time as I used to devote to my craft.
This month I haven’t had a lot of time to focus on my art since I spent a couple of weeks traveling. It’s always nice to take a break from your routine and unplug and unwind. But now I’m back and I had a chance to finish up the third portrait in my series inspired by The Office – and this time I completed a portrait of Jim Halpert (played by John Krasinski).
I spent a good amount of time working on layering the cutouts for the shadows and highlights of Jim’s face. Again, these series that I keep working on are helping me grow and get better as an artist. This type of work also makes me a bit uncomfortable since portraits don’t come easy to me, and I think that’s a good sign that I’m focusing on this type of subject matter. If it’s a challenge, that means there’s a lot of room for growth.
The other week, Miss Smeaden from Cornwall, UK emailed me pictures of her students’ artwork. She teaches a Year 5 class, and they worked on their own colorful animal collages. I had a lot of fun reviewing the class’s artwork and seeing their collage display (pictured above).
It always brightens my day when I get emails from classrooms studying my art and making their own collages. The class did a lovely job of using bright, solid colors and incorporating various patterns and textures from magazine cutouts.
I also really enjoyed how expressive these creations were and seeing how many different animal species the class used for their compositions.
It was fun seeing bits of text from the magazines also incorporated into some of the pieces.
Collage can be a tricky medium when you’re new to it, and these students did a wonderful job of embracing the medium.
I hope these students continue to explore making collages, and I hope they had a fantastic time making these beautiful works of art!
My new collage series inspired by The Office is definitely going to be a fun series to tackle. This is my second portrait in the series, and it had to be Dwight (played by Rainn Wilson) since he was one of my favorite characters from the show.
Portraiture continues to be a subject matter that’s outside my comfort zone, especially when it comes to sharing my work online. If I’m making a portrait of a well known figure, there’s even more scrutiny about whether or not my portrait looks like that person. And honestly, that scrutiny makes me nervous. So working on portraits over the course of several months has slowly taught me how to be okay with depicting portraits my own way. After all, I’m not a photorealist, my works are illustrations. I’m depicting my work with my own style, my own vision, and that doesn’t always mesh with how things appear in real life.
The other day I decided to work on a capybara collage, inspired by a trending song that’s been going around online. I never realized how tricky it is to make a capybara portrait. At times, it felt like this collage just looked like a blob, so I had to make an effort to focus on the texture of the capybara’s fur as well as the shadows and highlights on it’s face and body. At first the water consisted of a number of fragments of photographs of water from magazines, but they didn’t look very cohesive, so I ended up collaging the texture of water from only a couple of similar images. Overall, this was a fun yet challenging animal portrait, and quite a bit different than the types of animals I’ve collaged in the past.
Lately I’ve been pretty busy with a number of things outside of art-making. This year I’m planning to run the NYC marathon, along with a couple of half marathons, so life has consisted of a lot of running and working out. Thus this month I didn’t get around to completing many collages. “Michael Scott” is the only collage that I completed this month, and it was inspired by The Office. I’m planning to make a few more portraits in this series, although my next piece will be an animal portrait inspired by a song that I heard the other day.
Portraiture continues to be a challenge for me, but I’m determined to get to a place where I’m as comfortable making portraits as I am with animal portraits. We shall see how long that takes…
Earlier this month, I heard from a teacher, Annette, from Cambridge, Ontario, Canada, whose students took inspiration from my art to make their own collages. This grade 6 class did a lovely job of creating their own compositions. Collage can be a tricky medium to work in when you’re tackling it for the first few times, and these students did a wonderful job with it.
Above you can see a collection of the student work. It’s fun to see how different artists have their own unique style.
I enjoyed seeing how some of the students worked with fragments of texture and colors as well as combining cutouts of images like the dolphins pictured above.
The collage process involves a lot of patience, and again, I’m very impressed seeing the different imagery that the class created.
I hope the students had a lot of fun with these – it was definitely fun taking a look at so many colorful scenes. It made my day seeing some new, student work – and I hope they continue to make collages in the future.
The challenge with portraiture is getting the likeness of the subject down properly. The past couple of months I’ve been focusing on portraiture, and I definitely feel rusty with this type of work. It also hasn’t come easy, so I’m doing my best these days to strive to improve and get better as an artist, especially with subjects that are a struggle. I’m looking forward to continuing to improve and get faster at this type of work (at the moment it’s slow going).
This portrait of Wednesday was inspired by the new show on Netflix. Lately I’ve been inspired to make illustrations of well known figures from the media, and I’m having a lot of fun exploring different characters. It’s been fun creating my own version of these characters.
This is the tenth portrait I’ve completed in my Stranger Things-inspired collage series. I’ve really enjoyed illustrating a number of characters from the show, and now I’m ready to move on to a new series. I’ll have to revisit this one in the future to add more characters, but for now, this is the final piece.
I had a lot of fun with this portrait and managed to complete it over the course of a few days. I’m a little surprised at how many portraits I’ve managed to complete this month. Life outside of art has been pretty busy, so I’m doing my best to make time for art. And again, this collage involved using fragments of images of jeans for her jacket, as well as fragments of photographs of hair for her hair. I also used the same texture for the background that I’ve been using for a number of the portraits in this series. The remainder of the piece involved layering a variety of solid colors.
And now I’m off to sketch out a portrait for my next collage…
I’m getting closer to finishing up my Stranger Things inspired portrait series for the time being. I’m planning to make one more piece, before I set this series aside for a little bit. I recently completed this collage this past weekend. Again, I focused more on using solid colors. Even though this collage came together relatively quickly (when compared to other portraits in the series), it felt like it was a bit of a struggle.
I suppose that’s why they call art a “practice.” I’m constantly practicing my craft. In many ways my collages never truly feel finished, since I’m constantly striving to improve and grow with my work.