DPE Week 9

This week we worked more with the pen tool. Needless to say, it was a learning week.

Here are some of my practice images (the last one is not done):


Okay I must admit, this week the pen tool grew on me. BUT its really tedious still for me. I don’t like spending 10 minutes outlining the Taj Mahal.  I worked on it by outlining these images as well as working with this game. And though I was definitely a lot faster by the end, it was…not the most fun thing we’ve done in here. On Thursday we also started on a vector image of south which I am still working on:


This project is pretty fun for me because I get to use color and I am actually using the pen tool for a more practical purpose. I also experimented more with with the live paint tool and learned to not expand shapes if you are going to fill them in because it will double your work time. That’s my little way of saying I now have to go through and individually click the live paint for each individual shape to fill them in. So I have got to get to work.

See you next week!

DPE Week 4

This last week we finally got our FIRST DESIGN PROJECT with an actual client and everything. It was pretty cool. The idea was that we would create a design for the IB program t shirts here at South. If you don’t know what IB is click here. We started with sketches of possible ideas, and then I finalized two of my favorites in Adobe.

My first design was an IB symbol shaped by pencils:


But it seemed a little elementary and I didn’t think it combined as many elements about the international Baculureate that I wanted it to. My second design was a globe surrounded by the characteristics of an IB student as defined in their learning profileib-tshirt-design

I think I like this design the best, although it a little more complex. Believe it or not, I traced the whole globe with the pen tool that I was struggling with. I really like how it turned out, and I was able to use the pen tool with control. I did get a little frustrated though, that words around the globe were not centered. It annoyed me to no ends and I don’t know why I couldn’t get it right. I tried to go for a playful, unified feel for both of my designs and I feel like I accomplished that.

My last design was cool, but I couldn’t use it because of the IB brand guidelines, which apparently stated that I couldn’t make a symbol that looked like I was redesigning the IB brand logo. So that was scratched, and I’m not sure, but I don’t think I can post it here. It took me a long time to understand the guidelines, but I THINK that my other two designs are fine.

During this week, I really began to understood the pen tool better, and I feel like I accomplished my short term goal. Now I kind of get anchor points and handles, and as you can see from my globe design, I’m not as frustrated with it anymore. However, I am still of course working on my long term goal. Having patience for attention to detail is something that is hard for me, it’s easy for me to say “good enough”. There are a lot of tiny things in my designs that I just pushed aside and forgot about, which if I had fixed, would have made my designs look a lot more professional. Over the next few weeks, I’m keeping my same long term goal but I am changing my short term goal to learning align things correctly. There are so many different ways you can do it, and I just know that I’m doing it the hardest possible way. In most of my designs, there are crooked or leaning elements. It took me longer than it should have just to straighten out a line on one of the designs that I did.

Week Three

Second Semester is off and running! I keep putting off updating the blog for Digital Art two so I’m going to talk about last week first, which was the first week we were supposed to update our blog.

Last week I worked on notans, which you can find more about here if you are interested. Basically “Notan” is a Japanese term recognizing dark-light as an element of design. It’s all about how positive and negative space interact with each (think of the yin- yang symbol.) First, we started with a simple 3 by 3 black square in Adobe Illustrator and did some basic cutting and flipping. This was my first basic notan:


As you can see, the jist of a notan is to cut a shape from the black square using the divide tool, and then reflecting it across the axis you want it to. It’s relatively simple once you get the hang of it, and looks kind of cool once your all said and done. Next, we moved on to a complex notan, which we used the pen tool on. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but I seriously struggle with the pen tool. It’s really hard for me to figure out how it works, and I just don’t understand why my line will go one way when my mouse is moving the other. However, this last week, I was able to start to control it better. It’s not perfect, but it’s a lot better than my first attempts at using it. Here is the complex notan:


I’ll admit right now, I got REALLY frustrated with the complex notan. The horrible Adobe pen tool came back to haunt me from when we first started Adobe Illustrator, and I was not ready. Then I had to figure out why somethings wouldn’t reflect right, and why some would reflect vertical while others would go horizontal. This notan got on my nerves. I’m not even sure if it can be classified as a notan since it’s not exactly symmetrical. In the End though after everything was finished, it looked kind of cool. I tried to make it like a pair of alligator jaws in a river (hence the weird squiggly line and bubbles). I don’t really know why I chose to do a pair of alligator jaws, but it might have been because I was mad at Adobe Illustrator.

Finally, The Original Notan! I left this one incredibly simple because I noticed in my previous one that they got pretty crazy and all over the place. I wanted the notan to be sharp and clear and organized because the was part of the point. I started thinking about the division in groups that we often have. How we think about the labels on them rather than the whole person, and that causes separations or lines between us. Notice how the “labels” are the only thing crazy and out of place in the notan. Yet there is a common unity because we are all sitting around the same “table”.  In addition, if you look at the whole design, it creates one person, not four dot people.


I think I’m getting a lot better at creating organized designs. When I first started my digital arts class, I didn’t know how to reflect or rotate or align, and so I had a lot of design problems. Look at my last notan, I can see that I’ve grown a lot in that area. My short term goal for digital arts will be improving on my pen tool skills. It’s still pretty hard for me, and I don’t quite get the whole thing about “anchor points” and “handles”. Looking at my notan designs, I can see that I still didn’t have quite the control that I wanted with it. I also would like to figure out how to edit my pen lines. My long term goal for this semester will be paying more attention to detail. I’ve noticed that I’ve been getting frustrated with a peice and eventually think “good enough” even if I don’t really like it. This semester I want to work on having patience with my designs.


Week 17 in Review

This week I had a lot of fun- we got to make stickers! It was fun to doodle different symbols and see what I could come up with. I can’t wait to see them come from the vinyl cutter.  Here are some of the stickers that I created this week:


A Run Fast sticker which I personally didn’t think turned out very well. I didn’t realize until I had exported it that putting the words Run Fast under a shoe might not be the symbolism I was hoping for. Also, the very clean font next to my doodle is just begging for my drawing to be cleaned up-this one didn’t go the vinyl cutter. However, in my next sticker I addressed the tidiness problem. My model for the shoe was a clip art picture from this link.


A Grow sticker! This one was definitely my favorite- my drawing looks much cleaner and compliments  the Joker man font from Adobe Illustrator.


This is another Run Fast sticker but with a snail instead. I started thinking about an oxymoron during the tutorial here which said that a field mouse wouldn’t be a very good doodle to have under the word BOLD, unless you were trying to be funny or get the viewer thinking. Compared to most people in the cross country world I’m a snail, and yet I tell myself to run fast at every race- so I thought this sticker might be a good reminder to myself sometimes.

I think that I have accomplished both of my goals from the past few weeks. I’ve gotten better at saying more with less, and I am getting the vector image thing down.

We also did a T shirt design this week which turned out really cool. Mine says “Organic” which was printed against a black plain t shirt. (Scroll down for my final design for some reason my organic symbol took up an unreasonable amount of space)



Final Projectimnotkidding.jpg

Finally, here is my FINAL PROJECT for digital arts 1. I’m so sad I am not going to have this class next semester because it was truly one of the best electives I’ve ever taken. I tried to keep my drawing simple because I have so much trouble getting Adobe Capture to work right, and I knew I was going to struggle it. I hope to continue working with Digital Media on my own because I find it so fun and new. It seems as if there are always new things you can do to manipulate your drawings and pictures. I think that I might end up continuing to edit this blog, mostly with my photography. I’ve grown a lot over this semester, from becoming impatient with the smallest design problem to being able to put together vector images in minutes. I still have work to do,  and my final images are certainly not as good as some others, but I’ve learned to be patient and have discovered new mediums that I’ve never dreamed of.

Week 16 in Review

This week was pretty interesting because we really started working more with vector images, using Adobe Capture and Illustrator. I learned that drawing full shapes and NOT just lines is pretty important when working with vector images. In the above cartoon I failed to acknowledge that and it took longer than it should have to color all of the girls – even though they were just copies of each other! I ended up having to paint parts of the drawing instead of using a paint bucket because I had to many of my shapes were not closed.  I did have a lot of fun arranging the different colors for each girls outfit and I think it would be interesting to experiment more with how various colors of outfits affect your view of the cartoon.

In terms of focus this week I was pretty on task. It was a bit hard to get back in the groove of school after such a nice, long winter break so by the time Digital Arts rolled around on Tuesday I was ready to do some creating. I think I could have spent some more time on parts of the work I did this week, but I was really getting frustrated with how my vector images were turning out when I scanned them with Adobe Capture. Often, my scanned drawings will have holes in them where my original hand drawing did not. I actually like the effect it had on my symbol drawing below, but it makes it really hard to fill in using live paint. I actually had to outline some parts myself.

A few times, I had to refer back to the tutorials here for reference on live painting, but this week I was mostly on my own using Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Capture.




Eventually, I simplified the drawing by redrawing it with less roots and petals and added more color to create my final piece. I like the thoughtfulness and quite look of the first drawing, but I also enjoy the eye catching colors of the second drawing.


It symbolizes the hope I have of growing outside of my safe “circle” in this coming year, whether that be with my art, writing, friends or classes I take. I can see glimpses of this hope as I explore new clubs, work on the book that I will eventually publish, and experiment with my mom’s oil paints (when she’s feeling nice). This idea of growing outside of my boundaries is actually also my short-term goal. I think this is something I need to work on because I have noticed that I often go back to the same sorts of ideas in my art and writing. I don’t know if that’s necessarily a bad thing but I also think it’s important to explore.

As you can see from my vector images, I’m still working on my long-term goal from last post that stated something along the lines of creating a  simple vector picture that can accurately represent a topic. I am getting there, but I still need to work on simplifying my picture. Prehaps I can learn to say more with a little less, because I think that could be really powerful.  I will continue to grow towards achieving this goal in the coming weeks.


Week 14- December 5-9

Note: The original images of the above project were from pexels.com!

This last week was an interesting one in Digital Arts. We started working in Adobe illustrator which is a program like Photoshop except that it uses vector images. I had fun experimenting with what I could do on the program, but forgot to save the piece I was working on during Tuesday’s class! 90 minutes of hard work on a little city was gone and I was utterly disappointed when I discovered this on Thursday. However, I worked on it again during Thursday’s class time and was able to  catch up to where it was before-although I didn’t fully finish it in time. I was happy with the colors I chose in my project and learned some new shortcuts for Illustrator along the way, so all in all it was a good week for experimentation. Next time I need to remember to SAVE my projects!

We did mostly self  guided learning this week, including learning how to insert color, shape and line with the help of this tutorial in Adobe Illustrator. I started a Saxon logo with another tutorial, but found that it was extremely hard and meticulous to get the right texture and line into each part of the Saxon! Moreover, once I had created a fairly good cape or other weird shape it wouldn’t let me fill it with the correct paint color very easily. I wound up using the paint brush to carefully go over each part of the Saxon with the correct color. However, it looked a bit sloppy when I was done. You can see the failed product here. I guess I need to learn how to do some sort of custom fill in Illustrator so that I can define the area I want to be colored by drawing around it. Hopefully in the coming weeks I will understand how to do this better.

As goal setting is an important part of any learning experience I need to set some short-term and long-term goals for this class.

Short Term: I want to be able to accurately navigate around Adobe Illustrator and understand how to insert a plethora of different shapes, lines, colors and filters, among other things into a project I am working on.

Long Term: I want to be able to proficiently create a picture that can represent something I am working on, whether it be a badge or a logo or even a T-Shirt on Adobe Illustrator.