For this project, most of my work will have to be done at home. I will be enlisting my cockatiel, Genji, to assist in the spontaneity that will form the basis of the project.
The first step will take several days—after Genji gets his morning bath, I will put him on my paper so he can shake off and drip onto it. Immediately after, I will drip various dilutions of ink into the small droplets and puddles he leaves on the paper. It will likely take a few tries to get the coverage I am aiming for. The process of the ink dropping is illustrated below. I hope to get interesting (though not intentionally representative) shapes and textures such as those in the birds in this gif.
A second idea I may employ in order to bring another layer to the piece will be mixing food coloring to a desired color and concentration and dipping Genji’s feet in it before letting him walk across the paper.
Depending on the arrangement and if I think the piece needs even more to bring it to the proper level of visual interest, I may also take a fine-tipped sharpie and gently outline some areas of the ink drops and footprints, or add some sort of pattern to complement the ink and food coloring.
I did a couple small experiments with what I had on hand, which mostly consisted of dry media. I learned that calligraphy ink tends to dry somewhat transparent unless it is applied VERY thickly, and that colored pencil acts as a sort of resist by making it dry slower and therefore being easier to wipe off before it dries entirely. It also produces a strange effect when applied with a colored pencil instead of a pen or brush. Colored pencil over Copic marker produces interesting effects, but the opposite is not possible because the wax from the pencils doesn’t allow the ink to seep into the paper. Paint/gold leaf pens always come to the top and are very difficult to put anything over. Other than that, most of the things I used are interchangeable in the order they can be used.
Of the artists in the Powerpoint, I preferred Roger Brown over the rest, and I really enjoyed Brown’s Memory of Sandhill Cranes. I liked that the elements in his works still seemed to be in their “right” place, which lends itself to a feeling of stability and comfort whereas many of the other artists made me feel very uncomfortable in their chosen perspectives or lack thereof. Memory retains his use of repetitive shapes and extends it to the cranes as well and is roughly symmetrical, which appeals to me.
I want to utilize a similar perspective system for my second project, a sort of flattened atmospheric perspective that relies on overlapping to convey depth. I haven’t decided yet on the exact visual content of my painting for project two, but will post references and inspirations once I do decide.
For my portrait, I chose to focus on the idea of vanitas paintings and the motif of memento mori as it relates to traditional portraiture. With this as my basis, I decided to portray the narrative of the character Annie Leonhart from the series Attack on Titan. Able to transform into a gigantic humanoid, Annie is a morally gray character who infiltrates a human settlement in order to capture the series’s protagonist. Here she is seen encased in crystal after being captured and her motivations found out. The second picture is her titan form, which will be integrated as noted later in this post. To bring a necessary realism to the portrait, I will use the model in the third picture as a basis for Annie’s facial structure and slightly edit it to closer resemble her.
My plan for the painting’s composition revolves around a centered waist-up view of Annie, with her face halfway transformed (in a smooth rather than abrupt way similar to the below picture) into her titan form. Her eyes will be closed, and she will be wearing her Military Police uniform.
The portrait will contain imagery relating to the concept of vanitas, the first piece being a crystal skull that she will be holding in her hands in a position similar to the one shown below. The skull will represent her comatose state in which she is not truly dead, but has failed her mission—a fate worse than death in her eyes. On top of the skull will be a nearly burnt out red candle that is just beginning to let off smoke as it nears its end; wax falls down the skull, pooling in the eyes and creating ‘tears’ of wax down its cheekbone.
Coming from behind Annie and bordering her, I will paint three types of flowers (pictured below) that reflect aspects of her character as the primary antagonist of one of Attack on Titan's main story arcs. The background will most likely be a somewhat uneven pale- to dark-olive color, to call attention to the red wax and the musculature of Annie's titan form, as well as providing a somewhat natural color for the flowers to sprout from.
CYCLAMEN - Resignation and Good-bye
ORANGE MOCK - Deceit
MONKSHOOD - Beware; A Deadly Foe is Near
(Sources linked below the two art pieces to be used as reference.)