Not feeling awesome, but I’m back:

So I’m kind of shyly getting back on the blogging train.  🙂

If this is your first time at this blog site, I’ve been sick and out of commission for (largely) the past week and a half.  Today was the first day in a couple of weeks that I felt capable of getting out of bed and staying active.

I’ve lost something like four pounds from what I think was my fever (I’ve been largely running between 98º F and 100º F, when my normal temperature is below both)…and I’m not sure if I still have that (or if the thermometer is giving an inaccurate reading).  No bacterial infections, thankfully, but I don’t think I was ready for real food, tonight.  Or, maybe I was just so hungry that I swallowed a bunch of air with dinner.

I’m still kind of tired.  The upshot is that I might be able to make it in to school tomorrow to turn in my portfolio for Watercolor, though I’m not sure if I’m still contagious.  I certainly don’t feel like I’m contagious anymore, but the high core temperature might say otherwise.

And, I…would post my sketch from Kinokuniya Plaza…well, I’ll do it anyway:

Quick sketch of Kinokuniya Plaza, San Francisco Japantown

This is actually not a great representation of what it looked like.  The trees were much darker, and the steps below the pagoda showed up much more clearly in the original.  I do have a few reference photos.  I can see a theme running through my quick sketches, though, which is not paying close attention to local value.

Local value is a measure of the darkness or lightness one would see if one squinted their eyes at what they were looking at.  I’ve finally figured out how this works, which is by cutting down the amount of light entering the eye to the extent that color vision is no longer employed.  Night vision is in wider shades of black and grey than daytime/color vision, and the former is the type of vision used when one squints.

I got the shadows on the trees alright, there; but the trees themselves were somewhere nearly as dark as that one tier of the pagoda.  Ideally, the trees would be at least that dark, and then the shadows would be darker.  The problem with just darkening the trees is that it then throws off all the value relationships of the rest of the drawing, so I end up having to rework everything.

I had this issue in one of my Expressive Portrait assignments, as well:  I filled in shadows first, then added in local value and had to go back and deepen all the shadows.  I’m not entirely certain how or whether to work the other way around, though:  add local value (or color) and then deepen it for shadows?

I can only really get so dark with graphite, as well.  Carbon pencil would have helped, but all I took was a set of graphite sticks, sharpener, and eraser (I was trying to pack light).


I probably wouldn’t have posted that one, but I was fairly proud of it earlier, before I saw the local-value thing (which, in turn, I only saw after photographing it and comparing the reference photo I’d taken at the time and the photo of the drawing)…and one of my family members has told me that with art, no matter how much one develops, there are always things to improve upon or change (which helped).

I kind of don’t want to get like Clyfford Still and avoid showing anyone the bulk of my body of work — he was fairly well-known for being super private.  I’m not sure that the benefits of an approach like that, outweigh the costs (the costs being, largely, my validation of my own judgment of my work, when I’m probably my own harshest critic).

I wonder how this could have turned out in watercolor, though:  like, if I had color to differentiate the steps of the plaza from the steps of the pagoda and the roof of the pagoda from the trees?  Hmm.  Might have to try that, sometime…


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Haru ("Codey") is a third-year Master's student in Library and Information Science, hoping to find a way to fuse their desire to make the world a better place and to finance their art.

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