The Art in Artchitecture

You may have noticed that I totally spelled architecture wrong in my blog name, a funny mistake for someone who’s currently working on his doctorate in the field. But I assure you it was intentional, as one of the things I really want to focus on while I’m living here for a year is simply getting better at drawing and other creative media. See, I love to draw whimsical and weird things, and while I certainly need a lot of practice (I have friends who can draw circles around me, and yes that’s both a metaphorical truth as well as a pun) I still habitually try my hand at one category in particular. Goofy shirt designs.

It’s safe to say that everyone up here is nerdy in their own way, and often in more than one of those ways to boot. This particular one for me is a hobby, and I think it’s a good one. I get to practice craft in general, and that’s great for architecture; fostering new ideas, flexing creative muscles, simply getting more skilled at expressing myself. When you’re in a design profession like I will be after college, you want to have as many random yet applicable skills as you can right?

So I draw, and getting better at that is one of the major goals I’ll be focused on while living here.

I’m making this post to review the first thing I drew exclusively in the dome, an idea I’d been kicking around for a little bit, and finally just sat down and knocked out the finished version. I’m kinda excited about it because from the first pen drawing to the completed digital work, I only took a single day! That’s a huge speed bonus in my world, huzzah! So may I present to you the first completed goofy drawing from Mars, entitled “The Worst Summer Job Ever”. We’ll start with the initial concept/development sketch.

My first crazy sketch of the idea, kinda added more to it than I really needed, but it's hard to stop yourself when you're having fun you know?
My first crazy sketch of the idea, kinda added more to it than I really needed, but it’s hard to stop yourself when you’re having fun you know?

This was more for me to figure out what I did and didn’t like about things. The straw wasn’t the appropriate kind for a snowcone, and looks mutated anyways. Tophat is cute though, but as was pointed out to me by Commander Carmel, snowmen have scarves! I’ll have to add that to the pen drawing that I’ll use as the base for the digital work. You don’t want him getting too cold after all right?

On the left, the scanned pen version of the base layer, and on the right, the cleaned pen tool version that's a bit sharper and tweaked for balance and such.
On the left, the scanned pen version of the base layer, and on the right, the cleaned pen tool version that’s a bit sharper and tweaked for balance and such.

Starting with pencil (which was then erased before this scan) I figured out the general details and shapes of everything I wanted, before carefully inking in the drawing to make a nice dark black for the scanner. I’m always most tense during this part of the work because there’s no control-z in real life, and if someone else in the hab bumps you while they’re running around, then it’s work to fix that line digitally later, so ever so carefully we fill in the ink…phew! Here we start filling in the general colors, deciding on the color tone we’re going for (does a yellow background make it feel more like summer?) and stuff like that. Below is a 70% complete process shot of the final work, still need to give him some colorful syrups so he looks all delicious, and settle on the colors/shading for everything, but it’s coming along!

Not done yet, but replaced that wonky straw with a coffee straw and the start of a wooden spoon that are so common with snowcones in real life. The yellow feels a bit more summer-y, but might drown out future syrup colors...
Not done yet, but replaced that wonky straw with a coffee straw and the start of a wooden spoon that are so common with snowcones in real life. The yellow feels a bit more summer-y, but might drown out future syrup colors…

And finally, the final composition, all pretty (I hope!) and cleaned up. I switched the color choices back to something cool and blue for the majority of it, to really push out the syrup colors and have it pop. Hopefully his face is appropriately terrified too, as his eyebrows are flying right off his head, haha! I know mine would be too if a giant were about to eat me as a delicious afternoon treat! I hope you enjoyed seeing this particular piece come together! I’ll hopefully have a lot more to come. Till next time everybody!

The finalized design! Syrup, spoon has some wood grain going on, and the cool toned background color helps everything feel zippy and balanced. It's good to have the first design complete! More to come!
The finalized design! Syrup, spoon has some wood grain going on, and the cool toned background color helps everything feel zippy and balanced. It’s good to have the first design complete! More to come!
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One thought on “The Art in Artchitecture

  1. The finalized design is so cute that i decided to download it. I had to reshape a little and now, as a wallpaper for the display of my computer at work … It fits !
    I am awaiting for the next drawing.

    Like

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