Sunday, April 17, 2011

Group Progress Report 4.21.11

Justin - I've been working mainly on making FishMoto a more polished experience -- it's the little things that can make a big difference. I've been adding sounds and visual effects to give the game more character -- the fish sloshes around within the bowl and water can spill out, when you crash the fish bowl actually breaks and the fish flops around, and I've made the icons easier to spot. The game is really starting to come together -- soon I'll be making an announcement trailer and start attempting to get some publicity for the game, so stay tuned!

Taylor - This week I have been working on my self portrait. I think I'm about 90% percent finished with it. I want to work in some more oil pastels and tighten a few more things up! I'll post the finished product soon!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Work in Progress update

WIP shot, oil and graphite on birch panel. Reworking a piece I thought was ‘done’, but in fact I was just a bit burnt out on it.

WIP shot, oil and graphite on birch panel.

Reworking a that piece I thought was ‘done’, but in fact I was just a bit burnt out on it.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Group Progress Report 4.11.11

Taylor- Just a quick update. Finished a painting of an acquaintance of mine. just a simple set up really. The background is really rough but I decided to just leave it be for now. Landscapes are something that I haven't explored very much in the past and if anything this painting made me realize that that is something I would like to explore more in the future. Seems like a landscape could be an interesting experience.

This is my current project. Just a self portrait but I want to explore different processes so I am using a brown ground painting to work over. This method is nothing new but I am excited to make the most of it. I feel it could be a great way to work considering my influences and the subject matter I seem to gravitate towards.

Well this week I decided to revisit some pieces that I had previously labeled as 'done'. I use wood as a surface to draw and paint many of my pieces, creating a detailed graphite drawing, sealing it with matte medium, then glazing over it in oils. I think I had just gotten tired of working on these last two pieces, because after completing the graphite drawing, I decided I didnt really want to work on them anymore. Now, however, I feel that they are just incomplete without the oil, and I guess I also just wanted to work on something that I feel I am 'good' at. I feel that I can create really successful pieces with this technique and lately all I have been working on is that gigantic architectural painting of Wall Street, which frustrates me because it doesnt come as naturally to me. Anyways, without further to-do, here are some shots of the painting I am indulging on right now:

You can see how I have painted the center face, and the other two faces are just graphite under-drawings that for some reason I thought were just OK without paint. Now that I have begun painting, I can see how the paint makes the piece so much more complete.

A closer shot. Lighting kinda sucks, sorry.

And here you can see my color pallet. After blocking in the whites, it really takes next-to-no color to create the desired effect. I intentionally use mostly translucent colors vs opaque pigments, i.e. hansa yellow vs cadmium yellow, or alizarin crimson vs grumbacher or cadmium red. This allows light to refract through the paint, creating a more skin-like quality, and allowing enough of the graphite to show through. I always go back in and touch up with graphite after I paint to sharpen it up.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Beating frustration

Word choice is an eternal problem for me. If I try to write naturally, I tend to overuse certain words, phrases, cliches, whatever endlessly. Currently, I usually just try to slam everything onto paper (...or computer, or iphone) as fast as I can, then go through and tweak stuff until it sounds right. Often this still isn't satisfactory though, and I have scrapped more stories because I was unable to express what I desired than I care to think about. But, like many weaknesses, I wonder if this could potentially be spun into an asset or strength.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Team Progress Report 3.28.2011

Hey guys, its been a crazy few weeks for some of us. We had spring break, which coincided with the whirlwind of SXSW, then a week of nursing off our collective hangover and catching up on work. We plan on making another post about our SXSW shenanigans (hint: it involves a Voltron party), but in the meantime, here is this weeks progress report.

Still chipping away at this painting, a commission for a friend of mine. Its 4ft tall and 5 ft wide and I definitely underestimated the amount of labor that goes into filling this canvas with the detail required for this particular piece. I probably mentioned it in a previous post, but the idea is that it will be the NY Stock Exchange...(over)ran by zombies. Here is my latest progress shot:

I also completed another clothing design, which I sported at SXSW, but I will include those photos in another post.

Other than that, Im going to start working on a new design for the blog, so These Floating Worlds should be getting a face-lift in the near future!

Recently I have been working non-stop on a new portrait. The subject is an artist acquaintance of mine. I wanted to paint someone in a pose reminiscent of paintings of an 'Enlightened' figure. Paintings wanting to portray this would usually have the figure sitting or standing next to a desk, usually surrounded by iconography that showed us that the figure was educated such as books, scientific equipment, or maybe even a statue of Athena for good measure. There is a series of paintings done by Francisco Goya of an acquaintance of his named Gaspar Jovellanos. Jovellanos was seen as a figure of the Spanish Enlightenment, and unfortunately for him the Spanish enlightenment did not take off as it did in other countries at the time, this can be seen in the series of works by Goya. The earlier paintings of this man portrayed him upright, standing at attention and surrounded by enlightenment iconography, where as the enlightenment in spain began to falter the portraits showed him sitting, hand supporting his head, the iconography in disarray or partially hidden in the background, showing what could be called a tired enlightened man.

In my portrait I wanted a bit of both, a young subject intently studying, but looking as though the weight of enlightenment is slowly beginning to wear him down.

FishMoto has entered beta testing and things are going well. Lots of bugfixes and usability improvements. I've also added support for Game Center leaderboards and achievements. I've been making final art for the menus and interface. You can see a sample below:

Monday, March 7, 2011

Progress Report 3.6.2011

Howdy everyone, hope you all have been having a great week, the weather has been great (at least in Austin!) and Spring Break is coming up for those less fortunate among us who are still in school.

Mike - I have mainly been studying for mid-terms but managed to post a quick abstract on a film I have been writing here and would love some criticism, ideas or whatever comments you would like to make since it is my first real attempt at writing a film and is a major chance for experimentation. I have been working on scene cards but my drawing skills are pretty poor, so I will have one of my more adept friends help make those presentable sometime soon! I have also been plotting out a couple of other things to do on a rainy day with Justin , namely experimenting with woodblock or linocut printing of images I take around Austin (here's a link to his blog post on the topic.) I have never done anything like this, but have always had a fascination with manual printing of this sort (seeing original prints in the old Edo museum in Tokyo probably had something to do with it), and figure it would be a good excuse to explore my city a bit more. That's it for me this week, I hope to have some pictures and concrete stuff to show you by next week; I've been working on getting things prepared this weekend as we spring clean, and I am very excited to finally start putting some ink to paper.

Justin - Progress on the art has been slow -- haven't had as much time to work on it as I would have liked, but the screenshot shows you what I'm working with now. The subtle lines you see in some of the taextures actually animate to give the look of each frame being drawn by hand -- an effect that needs to be seen in motion. I also totally reworked my level select menu to better suit mobile platforms and am currently tweaking the physics to be a bit friendlier. I also have background objects procedurally placed (clouds seen in screenshot) and drift around.

Taylor - This week I'm posting a painting I have been working on, It's mostly finished but I want to go back in and tweak a few more things. I need to even out the eyes on the figure and work on some more detail of the dog on the left. I have been seeking critique from as many different sources as I can and I think I'm going to loosen up my style a little. I feel that I am getting bogged down worrying too much about small details, where the end product winds up taking much longer than I would like and in some cases just looking muddy. I also want to experiment with a more varied color palette.
Detail of the dog on the right.

Christina- I am working on a few new clothing designs this week, in hopes of having some new custom clothing to wear to SXSW and the Etsy meeting down in Austin. Ill definitely post some pics of the results. I finished a new shirt earlier this week, photos are in my previous post!

(3/7/2011 edit: Happy Birthday Mondrian! -mike)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Rough conceptual of movie script

I have been toying with the idea of writing a movie for awhile now. This semester I have finally entered a Japanese film class that has really altered my readings of movies and has made me even more enamored with the older styles of shooting films that have often gone by the wayside in this day and age with the advent of fancy tricks and a comprehensive backlog of films to cherry-pick inspiration from. I'm not sure I ever actually intend to make this movie beyond writing the script, but I am trying to write it in a way that it could be produced with little capital to begin with and using average people as actors, rather than professionals (inspired by the amazing Italian neorealist director Vittorio De Sica). Comments, critiques, criticisms, ideas are all welcome. I have something written for each of the scenes listed below, but they are simply too rough to post at the moment.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Finished custom tshirt!

Just finished this new tshirt! Made completely from scratch from recycled thrift-store tshirts, based on my own pattern. I literally just harvested the fabric and constructed an entirely new shirt, vs my first attempt, which used a pre-made tshirt as the base. Do you like archery targets? Me too. I thought it would make a nice inspiration for this design.
I really upped the anti on quality with this version, taking care to reinforce every seam, and include a finished v-neck, which was challenging but I think makes the shirt look much more professional.

Sewing the target onto the shirt, and here are some sketches for future ideas.

It fits!

Trying out a label idea.  
Just finished this new tshirt! Made completely from scratch from recycled thrift-store tshirts, based on my own pattern. I literally just harvested the fabric and constructed an entirely new shirt, vs my first attempt, which used a pre-made tshirt as the base. Do you like archery targets? Me too. I thought it would make a nice inspiration for this design.
I really upped the anti on quality with this version, taking care to reinforce every seam, and include a finished v-neck, which was challenging but I think makes the shirt look much more professional.

Sewing the target onto the shirt, and here are some sketches for future ideas.

It fits!

Trying out a label idea.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Team Progress Report - 2.25.2010

One of the primary reasons this group has come together has been to track the progress of our projects over time and with that, get extra motivation to be more active and gain a valuable opportunity to assist each other's work. We have decided to do weekly progress reports to showcase our efforts to create and to show you all what we have been accomplishing. Considering this is our first such post, there probably will not be as much to share but you can expect these progress reports to become a major cornerstone of our group.

Justin - I'm working on creating some final textures for my iPhone game fishMoto. I found some nice surface textures on bittbox that I'll be using to enhance my game textures. I'm also in the middle of redesigning the main character and I think it's looking good -- I hope to share the results sometime next week!

Mike - Been busy with school the past week and probably will continue to be busy this upcoming one, so I intend to take advantage of this weekend to get a project or two rolling. First will be the storyboard for a script I have been working on. I plan on playing with different time frames and cutting those together in interesting ways so it will make a lot more sense if I have major scnes on something like notecards that I can move around. Should I finish this, I want to get the darkroom and makeshift studio set up in my garden shed.

Taylor - Recently I have just been working on a portrait of a friend, I'll post some progress pics soon! At the same time though I'll be looking for more subjects to paint!

Christina - This week I have been going back and forth between an under-painting for a commissioned piece, and designing a new tshirt made of salvaged thrift-store tshirts. Here are some snapshots:

Some designs for future ideas and the shirt Im currently sewing.

Set in the NY Stock Exchange. Architecture is a new thing for me to paint so its a pretty good exercise.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

fishMoto: Art Direction

FishMoto is an iPhone game I'm developing using the Unity engine -- you play as an electric catfish hooked up to a motorbike with ridiculously stretchy shocks that allow for some crazy gameplay. While I have a good idea about how I want the game to play, I'm less sure about how I want the game to look. Below are some things I tried out over the last couple days -- these were all thrown together pretty quickly and served more to prototype different ideas.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Introduction: Taylor

My name is Taylor Blocker and I am currently a student at the University of North Texas double-majoring in Art History and Painting and Drawing, and pursuing minors in French and Chemistry. In my studio practice I like to focus on portraiture, though I plan on exploring a great deal more, especially while in my undergrad. Studying Art History has had a great deal of influence on paintings. I feel that along with a knowledge of terminology and methodologies, simply the vast quantities of different work you ingest and study as an Art History student has given me a wide breadth of knowledge to draw inspiration from.

I feel that I have gravitated towards portraiture basically because I find people interesting. I feel that people can be overlooked or judged very quickly without anyone bothering to look back and really consider someone's humanity, and I hope to bring their humanity into light with my work. I find Iconography and Semiotics particularly interesting, and try to include poses and symbols from classical and ancient work into my paintings, as well as creating some of my own to suit the modern modes of thinking.

I love the idea of bringing different subjects into traditional art, but also having a sense of humor about it. Not simply recreating what was done in the past but finding new ways of using their methods to portray different subjects, or commenting on how we live today.

An Introduction: Christina!

Hi guys, my name is Christina Day and I am a 24 year old visual artist. I recently graduated from the University of North Texas with a double-BFA in New Media (Electronic) Art and Drawing/Painting. As an artist my work is informed by both the deep historic tradition of channeling our creative energy onto a surface via pen, pencil, paintbrush etc, as well as the more recent phenomenon of computer generated artwork, and all of the philosophy that entails.

My subject matter evolves pretty quickly, but on average I am interested in portraying human figures and portraits in surreal or minimal environments and situations that allow the figure to become a surrogate for myself and my viewers.

In this way I can explore aesthetic representations of psychological states of liminality: how we craft our sense of identity around our current occupations, locations and social surroundings, and how we struggle to define ourselves when we are caught in-between these defined states of existence.
Here are some notable pieces:
The River Styx (2010)  24x36 Graphite on Stonehenge paper

Intro: Justin

I'm Justin, 24 years old -- graduated from UNT in 2010 with a BFA in New Media Art and a minor in Japanese. I consider myself an artist but definitely think against the grain -- I believe the art world has a tendency to over-think the simplest ideas. I think creating successful art boils down to creating things other people can be entertained by, so that's my goal with any art I create. I'm now following my dream trying to start up a small independent video game studio (Overpowered Games).

You can play a game I made called SpaceJunk on (click image above) -- it's an online first person shooter that takes place in zero gravity. Although I don't consider SpaceJunk finished (mainly because ugly placeholder assets make up all of the art for the game), I've turned my focus to work on smaller, more profitable projects. I'm now working on an iPhone game called fishMoto that I'll be writing about often on this blog in the short term.

Apart from video games, I dabble in a few more conventional art forms and, when I have the time, I'd like to continue creating interactive installations. Bellow are some links to some of my previous work:

Sunday, February 20, 2011

an introduction: Mike

I am a 23-year old resident of Austin, TX and currently an undergrad at the University of Texas studying the Japanese language. I grew up in Southern California, moved to the suburbs of Houston when I was 15 and finally settled down in Austin to go to university four years ago. While Japan and its culture are probably my greatest passions, I consider my interests varied and have found myself working more and more on my writing and my photography in particular.

I have been very interested in photography, particularly film photography, since getting my first camera (my dad's old olympus) when I graduated. Here's a picture I took a couple of years ago while studying in Tokyo. I hope to get some newer photos on here as soon as possible (now that I have access to film scanners, I have absolutely no excuses). I've also recently acquired a digital camera after mentally torturing myself for years over the idea and plan on using that extensively around town.  With the SXSW music festival coming up in three weeks or so, you can expect a slew of pictures from my end.