Posted in Week 3 - Drinkware 9/18/16 - 9/24/16

Make New Friends….One is Silver – Drinkware #5, or Theater and My History of Detail Work

Although similar to the first drinkware (a coffee mug), today’s subject was easier shape-wise.

I do not even know the history of this actual silver cup except that growing up, it “lived’ in the drawer of my mom’s China cabinet. I don’t know who owned it or anything.

Because it is actually silver, no beverage to go along with it tonight. The angle pictured is about the same as I drew from, but I was further away.

The tough part to capture was the design. This surprised me, because detail work is what drew me to art in the first place. In high school, you could waive PE one semester a year if you filled your schedule. When I ran out of English classes, I wanted to take art. This was intimidating, because I’d have to start at the bottom (AKA with freshmen)…unless I took photography, which was just about any level. (And that same year they added photography II, which was exciting, because the teacher was really attractive [and although artistically strict, a very nice human being], and I really enjoyed the art form. It took me a while to get the hang of it, but by the end some of my photos aren’t half bad.)

Because I enjoyed it so much, I really wanted to take photography in college. I did, got even better, but didn’t have room (with two majors, a minor, and what I’d call an “almost” minor [I couldn’t fit the exact English classes to get a major or minor, just the ones I needed to get my teaching license in English.] that photography II was out of the question. And I was WAY too intimidated (and busy) to take anything else.

However, also in college, I did work study in the theater. (Speech-comm/theater was one of my two majors. Music was the other.) I sorted fabric, cleaned and repaired and built costumes, dragged out furniture, gathered props and even assembled a few small props or assisted the other techie/work study student (a son of a carpenter) with building set pieces. Mostly I painted backdrops. 

Lots of backdrops. (“Millions and trillions and billions” of backdrops, to quote a favorite childhood storybook.) 

And I still have nightmares about brick-painting an entire set – including a false proscenium and an apron cover.

That set? ALL ME – even that floor. (But that was pretty fun.) And I do love me some windows… [And yes, I’m in that photo somewhere, in a costume I sewed myself and a not-realistic-looking wig.)

I’m in these two photos, too, complete with a decent Irish accent.
Not even both of these images together express the full extent of my brickwork. I did have a little help (thanks, Daisy!) but it’s 80% me. I guess, technically, bricking qualifies for the detail work I’m so proud of.

However, I am most proud of my detail work, which I seemed to have a knack for but which is also completely useless in theater. When tasked with painting one of Jesse’s (the carpenter son work study kid) beautiful creations – a (non-working) piano, white, I thought to myself, “Self, the person who owns this piano would certainly have some gold leaf detailing on it.” So I dug out the can of gold paint and detailed the sides, legs, and feet with elaborate curlicues — that no audience member would ever see. It took me hours and was gorgeous; I wish I had a photo.

We also did a show called The Rememberer – a beautiful story of a Native American girl (I wish I could remember her tribe.) who was forced from her family and “raised” in a Christian girl’s school and how she managed to find the balance between connecting with her culture and venturing forth in the non-native world. Daisy (my bricking friend and another theater student) and I built some dolphin headpieces, and I had the privilege of researching the art of the tribe and decorating them.

Embarrassingly, I’m somewhere in this photo, too. Making the shapes was a pain, but the designs were really fun. Although I could research the style, there was nothing like this, so I had to mimic it, rather than copy.

Jesse also built a canoe, which took me an entire Saturday (at least 9 hours – only bricking took me longer to do,an entire weekend of two 10-plus hour days and several evenings afterwards). Unlike the dolphins, there were images of canoes with decoration, so I did mimic the style, but it was WAY more elaborate, and it’s probably my proudest techie moment of college. 

Long hi-story short: the difficulty of this sketch’s detailing surprised me. Maybe the fact that detailing is difficult but I can do it is why I like it so much. Or maybe I once found it easy but am out of practice. 

Meanwhile….back in Discussing Today’s Sketch Land….

(In case my super long story made you forget what today’s sketch actually looks like.)

I’m not very happy with the shading, it’s “OK” I guess, but the handle was easier than others earlier this week. One thing I’ve discovered is that when drawing from an image (and to some extent a photograph), I have no problem seeing things in shapes. In other words, I’m not thinking, “This is a drawing of a window.” I can think, “There’s a square here, and above that is two curves (downward), etc…” And although I still have a hard time with shading/shadows, I can see and better duplicate them with images and photos.

With a “live” object, not so much. I still see a mug or glass. And the clear glass was much more difficult, and I had a hard time “tuning out” stuff I could see through the glass but wasn’t a part of the object.

If I were ranking all the drawings I’ve done, this would be in the top third or so, but it would make the top two of the drinkware theme.



I'm a humble little Anglophile with obscure talents.

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