Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Autumn Wedding Jewelry Ensemble

This past autumn, I had the honor of designing a jewelry set for five bridesmaids!

The color theme was reds and golds, with hints of pearl and green. Each of the girls would be wearing a different dress in the same color, and each girl had different jewelry requirements (pierced/non-pierced ears, short/long necklace, etc). 

The necklace shape is also adjustable-- since I created a braided base, it could be gently pinched into a pointed shape, or a flat, or rounded style. If you look closely at the pictures of the bridesmaids, you'll see that each necklace is worn differently!

The bride wore a thick lace veil with a bright, bold wreath of red and gold flowers and leaves on top, and the jewelry was designed to coordinate with her style.

It goes without saying that these five sets were a fair bit of work! Each necklace had a braided base that looks very similar to my braided circlets. Beads and glass leaves of all kinds were woven on in matching patterns, and beads adorned the adjustable golden chain.

These are the earrings and ear cuffs designed for the bridesmaids!

The ear cuffs were beautifully decorative; the bride loves fairytale styles so I had fun going overboard with the sparkly bling!

One of the girls had double piercings and wore two sets of dangles! I'd never really heard of that kind of pairing before, but wouldn't you agree that it is a lovely combination?

The other girls all wore variations of my Enchanted Forest Earrings in gold and red.

I also created a pair of barefoot sandals for the bride! The picture below is with shoes from our outdoor photoshoot, but these "fairy sandals" work well barefoot, too!

This is the entire set of jewelry, representing a couple weeks of work!

I didn't photograph the rings very well, but in this picture you can see the leaf flower ring and the gold-and-red wirewrapped rosette ring on the maid of honor!

This was one of the most unique weddings I've attended, style-wise, and I had a blast designing jewelry for such lovely girls!

I've created many pieces of jewelry for various brides, and I've even designed an entire set of jewelry for a bride, bridal party, and mother-of-the-bride, but this was the first time creating wedding pieces for someone I knew! I am also friends with all of the bridal party, so I had the opportunity to take their personal styles into consideration.

In addition, I also helped out last minute by being the second shooter at the wedding! I wound up taking over three hundred pictures of the ceremony, photoshoot, and reception.

It's not a fairytale wedding with friends until you do a hilarious gag photo, is it?

The park we took photos had at these awesomely weird concrete frogs...

So... I did mention that this was a group of my friends from high school and that everyone involved are fantastic geeks, yes? While the main photographer was off taking sweet pictures of the bride and groom, the bridesmaids and groomsmen posed with my Lord of the Rings weaponry.

Aren't they just too cute?

Best wishes and lots of prayers for the new Mr. and Mrs.! 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Drawing II

It's strange to think that I took Drawing II a full year ago now. Stranger even that I never photographed my work to share on this blog! As of right now, this class is among the top three classes that I've taken at college. The semester was full of experimentation and just pure fun.

I got to draw, for school, for over six hours each week. And, unlike my Drawing I class, I got to choose a lot of the subject matter and style for the projects!

(I've shared artwork from my Drawing I and 2D Design classes in the past, and will continue to post class work on my blog-- you can easily access those posts here).

Below are just a few of the more finished pieces that I made in the class!

The funny thing about this piece is that it isn't a drawing at all-- it's a painting! I was so excited that my projects no longer had to be charcoal still life drawings.

My professor was an older guy who spoke very, very quietly but was always chock full of helpful advice and artists to study. 

He also had a great sense of just-go-for-it which I appreciated a lot. It's the style of learning that I was accustomed to from homeschooling and teaching myself art. If you don't think something is impossible, you won't be scared away from trying to succeed at it!

This project was supposed to challenge us in handling color. I painted these flowers in india ink without an underdrawing. Then, I reversed the way I would normally handle color-- and colored in the background with watercolors!

Um... so we also had to draw a skull and glue it on a photocopy of an earlier piece of art. Cue flowers with random skull on it. However, I did have fun with doing reversed colors on the skull.

I was really proud of this one. :)

(Even though when I displayed it for a Portfolio Workshop this semester, two different professors dismissed it as "kitchy" and "too cute" and "ridiculous with all those cartoony trees." The professors in the design department can be so much more opinionated and caustic than those in the art department.)

This is a large colored pencil drawing inspired by photos I took of Pike's Peak. It's a gift for my parents; I took the photographs on a family vacation a few years ago.

Every time I see this piece, I don't think about our Colorado vacation-- I think about Genghis Khan!

We were allowed to listen to our headphones during class. Whenever I am brainstorming or sketching, I like to listen to chill instrumental music. When it comes down to the hard work of doing repetitive details like 2,000 tiny trees, though, I become intellectually bored.

This is why audiobooks and podcasts are so great. I listened to the entire Hardcore History podcast about Genghis Khan while making this piece!

I know I've mentioned it once before on my blog, but my new habit of listening to audiobooks has done wonders for my listening comprehension. I'm slightly hard of hearing (that, or I have a difficult time processing audio), and over the past two years I've gotten much better at being able to focus on things I'm listening to. 

This is a two-and-a-half hour study of our little student lounge done in ballpoint pens.

Have mercy on the terribly squished perspective on the chairs. There is no excuse. It's just... there. Drawing from life is hard, my friends.


I'm not kidding. This is not done with pencil at all.

I prepped a piece of matboard with rough white wall paint. Then, I bought a small piece of pure silver and inserted it into the body of a ballpoint pen.

The silver scratched the rough painted surface, leaving very light and fine marks behind. After two months, the silver drawing had oxidized to the dark color you see here.

The process is called silverpoint, and it's just one of the many unique techniques that my professor showed us! Artists like Michelangelo used to use silverpoint for sketches, because it was cheaper than pencil lead and less messy than charcoal.

I literally drew Bag End in silver!

This is one of my new favorite techniques, and I'm excited for the chance to do some more illustrations in this style.

It's ridiculously hard to draw babies, especially your very, very little sister whose face looked different in every picture you took. The drawing of "Rose" on the right is much better. 

I still have mixed feelings about this piece, but I was grateful for the chance to work with pencil again. I hadn't had the time to work on a large pencil piece since I had made the From the Dragon Hoard drawing in my junior year of highschool. This drawing is nowhere near that quality, simply because I didn't put twenty-plus hours into it!

Hogwarts! In crazy colors!

Ink line drawings and wild watercolors are my new favorite techniques. I took this class a year ago; since then, this style has been my go-to.

The entire thing was drawn with a real quill pen that my professor made himself!

This is a sample piece from the Day of Drawing Wrinkles in Cloth.

The Disney artist Kent Melton had an exhibit at our university for two weeks. We spent two class periods sitting on the floor of the exhibition room with our sketchbooks. I filled my sketchbook with freehand copies of Kent Melton's beautiful animation sketches.

My roommate snagged this picture of me sitting on the dorm floor drawing. She has so much patience to deal with my crazy art student antics!

I forgot to take a picture of this picture when it was finished. I had completed all of the projects for Drawing II early, and spent the last week of class drawing my friend and her fiance. The final drawing had their name and wedding date calligraphied on it.


Now, I just need to write up a post about my amazing Metals I class, and then I'll be done with updates about my freshman art classes. The ironic thing is that I am writing this just a couple weeks before I complete my sophmore year of college. 

When I am caught up in projects that take hours and hours of my time, I easily get lost in the small emotions that come with pouring so much energy into the pieces. A year after making these drawings, I have a much better perspective. This is both the blessing and the curse of being an artist; I am always looking for ways to improve, but I am also my own worst critic!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Maternity Photoshoot

This winter during a family reunion, I had the honor of doing a maternity photoshoot for my oldest cousin and "cuzzle" (family nickname for cousin-in-law). They are expecting a little boy!

We were working with a time crunch; it was freezing outside and the shoot lasted only ten minutes! Thankfully within that time I was able to find a nice corner of their neighborhood to take pictures in, and they were very willing models! These are a few of my favorites from the day.

The photoshoot went beautifully and since I was able to edit the pictures the same day, my cousins, the new-grandma, and the new-great-grandma all got to sit down in the living room and look through all of the photos together.  

Aren't they just the sweetest couple?!

I might start sharing more photoshoots on my blog, since photography is another great passion of mine. Over the past year I've had the honor of doing a couple of senior photoshoots and even being the second photographer at a wedding! 

The baby is coming soon, and the whole family is excited for the first wuzzle! (Have I mentioned that my family is crazy? My cousins decided that the new baby would be our "first cousin once removed" and hence would be our first Wuzzle).

Best of luck to the new family! :)
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