The Decount Session

/ Donnerstag, 9. Februar 2012 /
Hello all! So what's new...? The deadline for one specific university portfolio, which I'm applying to, is almost up. Though I was unable to make one drawing per day, I believe it shouldn't be a problem. Thankfully, this specific university accepts USB sticks for digital work, so that makes everything easier. Granted, next university's deadline portfolio only accepts traditional media works...that shall be fun! lol

I was thinking about making a speed painting video, or maybe a tutorial...but I have the feeling that perhaps not many people will watch it at this moment, since my blog is not even a little famous yet.  I started a Facebook page, in order to try to spread my work around, and it has been working better than blogger! I guess it's easier to look at drawings over there, rather than going outside of your way to read a huge post here...we'll see what happens with the videos ideas. Here is the link to the Facebook page, if anyone wants to join: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mariana-Amaral/188212281286244?sk=info

In any case, I have been working with watercolor and different mixed media techniques now, which I found to be quite challenging. I'm the kind of person who is very meticulous, likes to work in specific, tiny details for a *very* long time, and is a little obsessed about controlling ones own work. You can see why watercolor is my nemesis. In some ways, I feel like I need to "let go" in order to paint with watercolor; like I need to let the medium control me, instead of the opposite. It's a tough balance between letting the medium draw the painting on its own, and controlling it. One drop of ink in a moist surface and the watercolor will fade itself into the background, as if its almost alive.

Maybe it's weird to say this, but I feel that watercolor can teach me how to be a better artist. How to have more freedom and not be so obsessed over my own work...

Work in progress...watercolor, Feb. 2012

We'll see where watercolor takes me!

On other news, I've been playing around with making gauges too. I haven't had so much fun in a long time, as I have been working with those! They are not expensive, the materials last a long while, and it gives you a lot of creative room to play with.

Hahahaha, I love how my cat invaded this picture! She looks completely insane!

Based on "Nightmare Before Christmas"...my fav movie of all times<3 can you see Jack's face?

Based on Cthulhu! My partner made this one, but I loved it, so I had to post it too.

I thought about maybe selling those online...I wonder if anyone would be interested in buying them. Something to definitely consider~


...and with that, I shall go to my watercolor war once more!

Cheers!
M~

2+2=5

/ Dienstag, 31. Januar 2012 /
I haven't posted here in the last few days, but that's ok. As I previously thought, my plan of finishing one drawing a day didn't exactly work how I had planned, but I've been able to get quite a number of pieces done. I'll post two of them here, one with pastels and one with graphite:

Finished work, untitled, conté, Jan. 2012

Progress pictures...

Finished work, "The Lovers", graphite, 27 Jan. 2012


And because I really missed my markers, the next one to be posted will be a marker drawing...as soon as I finish~

Cheers!
M~

1/65

/ Samstag, 21. Januar 2012 /
6 Universities, 65 works to do, around 60 days. It doesn't sound so bad when writing it, but I have the feeling that by the time I reach the 65th drawing, I will be either in a long-term mutualistic relationship with my own easel or in a state of paralysis. With some luck, the first option.

Home-made easel and a ironing board...no fancy art supplies, but works!


Aside from that, I really dislike how Universities Submissions take place nowadays. Look, I consider myself lucky: my roommate let's me use all her art supplies that she collected after many sales and good deals, and she built me a home-made easel from wood strips. If it wasn't from both these things, I don't even want to think about how much money I'd be spending in supplies and brand new easels (I honestly cannot draw well in a table or in my lap...just...cannot). Now back to the University talk: taking one of the Universities I'm applying to, for example, without citing names. It requires 20-30 works from you, sent by mail, in a portfolio-case with all your documents included. If you chose to have the drawings sent back to you, you also have to pay for it. Not only that, the work has to be sent flat. For a Fine Art's student that focuses on painting, the student would have to buy special oil/acrylic papers (since one cannot send canvases or wood, and definitely not cardboard with gesso on top) in order to do his/her work. Personally, the cheapest paper I found online was 20 euros (including shipping costs) for 10 sheets of A3 oil/acrylic paper. The University accepts up until A0 size works.

Now let's think about this for a second...let's say you are a very applied student who loves doing big pieces of work in oil. How much money would you have to spend not only in paper but also the shipping of a flat A0 portfolio with 20-30 works in it to the University AND back (which I don't even want to think about the price). Hopefully you either have a wonderful job, which allows you to draw and gain money at the same time, or you have wonderful parents to support you, or both. Let's not begin to consider the possibility of this same student wanting to apply for more than one University...

Who in heavens is still running the admission process of Universities these days? Do the people have a slight idea of media and paper prices? How is a student supposed to have that much money available to him/her? Maybe it's different for German citizens, but I find it absurd...

In any case, my first of 65 drawings is done, hooray! No, they won't be in an A0 format, and I can merely hope that size is less important than quality when causing an impression in the admission office people.

Progress pictures...
Finished work, "Naiá", mixed media, 21 Jan. 2012

Really, really think admission to Universities should be re-thought.

Mirror, mirror on the wall~ who's the prettiest of them all?

/ Montag, 16. Januar 2012 /
I have always had bad luck with hosting and domain servers. The previous company where I had my main portfolio websites hosted, ended up charging my card without my consent, reason why I left. Now I have to remain in a free hosting company, mainly because I cannot find any company to completely trust. In any case, I believe I have found a good free deal which, even though gives me the terrible url-ending of ".t15.org", seems to work quite well. The websites are available on the left bar next to these entries, and one can check them out if wanted.

That said...

I love Stabilo pens for sketching!

Before not so long ago, the thought of drawing an actual self-portrait never ran through my mind. Maybe because I just didn't see anything useful or interesting in doing a self-portrait..."I see myself in the mirror enough times" is how I used to think. Until I had one teacher whose class started with a self-portrait assignment. Nothing more, just a self-portrait. Brought it to him the next day, all nice shadows in pretty charcoal shapes, and the only thing he really had to say was: "Who is she? Re-do it, and this time draw yourself." (he had a weird sense of humor, sort of like mine - or the lack of it anyways, maybe that was the reason why afterwards I started to actually enjoy it) Blunt as he used to be, he basically said the drawing had nothing to do with me. Funny part is that according to my last teacher before him, I was always good at portraits...of other people.

The best part was that I had already heard the same critic coming from my roommate at the time, who said the drawing was pretty, but she had no idea who the hell I was drawing. She said I had a "white person complex", because I had drawn myself looking like a white person (I'm mostly part native and african - yes, african, even though I'm not very dark skinned).

I never liked my eyes and the huge curves above them. They make me look like a little bug of some sort, or a doll whose eyes were pushed into its plastic skull and never came back to normal. Not only were they weirdly shaped, but they are also not the same size. I have one eye bigger than the other due to a medical condition, so you can imagine I didn't really feel like portraying *that* on my self-portrait (besides, the chances of someone thinking I got the sizes *wrong* and *not* on purpose were pretty high). Nor did I like my big chin, which still looks weird to me after the operation (it's actually a fake chin made of aluminum...long story). Oh yeah, and my forehead: I really think it's too big for the rest of my face...

...so you can imagine how much fun I had re-doing that self-portrait. It's funny to me, even though I looked at myself in the mirror every day, I still hadn't really *seen* how I looked like.

Self-portrait sketch, Jan. 2012

In this course alone, we had to do...about 6 self-portraits, all of them with its "re-dos" and "re-makes". Little number, but considering the time frame and the content of the course, that was actually a big focus on self-portraits...most of the class didn't get why the teacher would chose such an assignment, but in some ways, I can understand where he was coming from. It's funny...I never thought I'd doodle *myself* randomly while being bored in a metro station, but here I am, posting my second sketch with my face on it.

I still don't like my eyes, but I try to always draw the curves and the depth of them...though I still cheat on its size (of course I draw them the same size! Common, even you would think I made a mistake if you saw the eyes different sizes without reading this entry).

Random sketches, Jan. 2012

"White person complex". Sort of like those personality checks one does by doodling anything on a paper during childhood...I wonder what so more can be said about the rest of my drawings.


 M~

It was a long time ago, longer now than it seems...in a place that perhaps you've seen in your dreams~

/ Sonntag, 15. Januar 2012 /
Self-Portrait sketch, Jan. 2012

So here I am...starting up a new blog! It has been over 2 years since I've stopped writing on my Livejournal account, but now I feel the need of having a more stable way of sharing doodles, sketches and drawings over the web, reason why I've opened this blog~ I thought about what language to use, since my mother-language is actually Portuguese...but because I'm currently living in Berlin (though my German is yet not good enough to write fast blog posts), I decided to post always in English, which is, fortunately or unfortunately, the most vastly-used language around the world. This doesn't mean I will never get into a Portuguese mood and decide to write in Portuguese all of a sudden, but I'll try to give whoever comes here the chance to understand what I write.

Onto more important matters: I should probably introduce myself. My name is Mariana, I was born in Santos, Brazil, where I lived most of my life. I studied in Michigan, USA, for 2 years, where I acquired an Associate's Degree in Illustration. From there, about 4 months ago, I moved here to Berlin...and now I'm currently trying to learn German, get accepted into a University here, etc~ I'm not really good with introductions and end up, as you can tell, talking more about my career rather than anything else, but if this blog really works, you'll end up knowing me little by little...

I am less sure about how to finish this post as I was about how to start it. So I will use the same tactic, and finish with details of the same sketch. I'll post more interesting things later!

Cheers!
M~

Detail of the self-Portrait sketch, Jan. 2012

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