Robot Parade - Help Me Choose

>> Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A couple of nights ago Alan challenged me to try drawing some robots. I like robots. We have a lot of robot toys. So ok. I started by procrastinating - er - soaking in a nice hot bath to come up with some ideas. My brain works better when I'm immersed in scalding water. I sketched in the morning. I liked my first sketch.I liked it enough to try to finish it. I've been wanting to branch out into other media and today I'm going to share the results with you. ALL of the results - the good, the bad, and the truly ugly. I've got a poll at the end so you can vote on your favorite (or the least bad - however you choose to look at it). So let the robot parade begin!
First I tried acrylic.

What if I outline the shapes in black?Still a FAIL. Wow. Apallingly bad - I can't believe I'm showing this to anyone.

Paper collage is closest in spirit to my usual applique and embroidery. And I have lots of hand-painted papers that I love. How about collage?Better, but I lost so much definition around the edges that I think it doesn't work.

Watercolor? I've always had trouble controlling watercolor and I tend to overwork it and lift the grain of the paper, but I'll give it a try.I like it! The colors are a bit pale for my taste, but I managed not to turn the paper back into pulp and the wateriness of the colors is a good match for the whimsy of the piece. Maybe?

It was already past my bedtime, but on a whim I decided to try a digital collage. I scanned in my sketch and some of my hand-painted papers and used the papers to fill in the picture. I'm shocked to find that I really like it. I get the texture of the hand-painted paper and the hand-drawn-ness of the outline is preserved. It looks crisp and clear but not overly slick like some digital art can look. And it was fun to try different colors and textures of paper with just a click of the mouse. REALLY fun. But I've always thought digital art was somehow less than traditional art. I'm a crafter and so much of what I do lies in meticulous (sometimes tedious) handwork. Making art with a mouse click seems like a cheat somehow. But I did draw it by hand - and I painted all the papers with real paint. Does that make it real? Also - I'm realizing as I type this that Lauren Child, one of my all-time favorite artists, uses a lot of digital tools. She draws and paints and then scans in her work and moves things around digitally until she's happy with the composition. I've never thought less of her work because of that. But (absurdly) it's different when it's me. I'm torn - and I think I'm kind of an idiot for feeling torn.

And now for the poll. What do you like the best? And feel free to chime in in the comments about digital art.


niki,  May 13, 2009 at 9:21 AM  

I loved the watercolor but voted for the digital because the stark contrast between robot, bird, and background seemed more appropriate for what you're doing here.

tanita davis May 13, 2009 at 9:31 AM  

Ooh, I love paper collages, and that tied with the digital, because of the movement/shapes/textures within the shapes. Maybe what you end up with will have to do with how the final product will be used?

Kitt May 13, 2009 at 11:35 AM  

I like the watercolor the best, closely followed by the paper collage. I'm not really fond of the digital collage. Simpler is better, to me.

I love the original drawing, too! So very cute.

Wendi May 13, 2009 at 12:27 PM  

Thanks everyone! I'm not sure yet how I'd use this - I've been thinking about submitting some work to greeting card and other paper product companies (wrap, gift bags, etc.). Or maybe sell the original art and prints for framing? I've been doing that with my fabric art. I didn't really start this with a final goal or destination for the work. In a big way it was an exercize in working to overcome my fear of paint. What is it about paint that paralyzes me so? I know it's absurd, but I can't seem to get past the feeling that it's somehow. . . presumptuous. . . of me to try to paint.

Titus May 13, 2009 at 5:53 PM  

All about the watercolor, the softer colors, and how it shows a connection between the robot & bird that isn't in the other choices.

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