Tuesday, January 6, 2009

How To Make A Symbolic Jimmy Cat

Last spring I signed up for a drawing class at my local community college. This wasn't something I was expecting to enjoy--I just wanted to eliminate my "I can't draw" mentality. The process of learning to draw has always seemed too tedious and structured. Of course, I was wrong. Although admittedly my drawing class was rather nontraditional.

Now I'm hooked and working my way through the art curriculum. I find it fascinating that you can give a group of people a project--a set of constraints--and end up with so much diversity.

Here's an assignment from my design class. Take a 5X7 (inches) black and white (gray scale) photo with lots of contrast and draw grid lines on it every quarter inch. Next, take a blank piece of paper and draw a light half inch grid that is 10X14 inches. Then transfer the values square by square from the 5X7 photo to the 10X14 grid using a different pattern in each half inch grid. Aagh!

Given I was going to be looking at the photo a lot, I thought it should be something adorable...like Jimmy Cat.

I used symbols as my patterns for the most part. Because I have a hard time with relative values, I took a 10 step photo gray scale and then made a matching patterned gray scale. This took me several (20) tries. But once I had the mapping, it was much easier to remain consistent and not veer too light or dark. And yes I think its funny that Jimmy has an envelope in the middle of his forehead.

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