Franz Stuck

Franz Stuck was 1900's artist that was inspired by Arnold Bocklin, a painter who focus more on his subject than how he painted it. Stuck's subjects, however, were not only concerned with subject, but of the color and lighting. His main subject matter is something quite shocking for his time- he portrays females as strong individuals, either against or corrupting men, while still keeping their feminine attributes- and nude. 

Among his women is Judith, the infamous widow who seduces and beheads Holofernes. He paints her nearly three times, but the finished project is my absolute favorite. Judith, who at first simply looks like a smiling, dainty young lady. Then, your eyes move to her heavy sword, and her smile is more chilling as you follow her eyes to the victim on his bed. 
The Second piece is a continuation of the first, where Judith's servant carries the head away. In past paintings we either see this servant carry the head by herself, or accompanied by Judith herself, with looks of worry. But here, Franz shows Judith in a state of bliss, appearing to be dancing without worry. 

Next is his depiction of Adam and Eve, and how Eve tricked Adam into eating the Apple. In biblical stories we see the men being the strongest, the men over powering the women. So how come Franz's Eve looks so much stronger than Adam? The background around her is paler than the colors around Adam, As Adam leans back, he seems to shrink into the dark surrounding him. Eve had her hand firmly on her hip, the other extended threateningly with the apple clutched in the snakes jaws. Eve smirks at Adam. We can see Eve's face, but Adam's has shadows cast, his eyes and lips undefined. This peice doesn't depict the foolish Eve we all know, no, this is the Eve that knew exactly what she was doing. The Eve that believed that she was created by a God high and mighty, and had the strength to bring his world crumbling down. 

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Newly Found Painting Style Now Find Your Own!

When I started to paint, it was mostly me using watercolors, and, well, wasting them. Not that the art that I created was terrible, but it was for useless things, like sketches, or not using the correct techniques. Now that I'm older, I know the techniques to use, what I need to do to get a certain effect, or how to fix my mistakes (something incredibly hard to do when working with watercolors). But now that I'm in an actual painting class, we use acrylics. Now, usually I wouldn't care for acrylic- it dries fast, it leaves streaks, you can't layer it well, and it doesn't blend well on the paper. However, I've found an acrylic style that I love, and I hope to improve. 

© Ryann Jensen
Fruit Study by Ryann Jensen 
A painterly style that reflects you is key. For me, messy edges, frequent dry brushing, and multicolored backgrounds is a style I love. Impressionism is my favorite style. The way you don't have to care about how smooth your lines are, or if it looks realistic is so assuring to me, and so relaxing. For you, however, may be something different.

Do your research. Find a style or artist that you enjoy. Learn about them and their techniques. If they're a modern artist, look up videos and watch how they paint. Combine different artists if you so choose.

If you don't want to have a reference for painting, or if you don't want to resemble another painter, play around with your canvas. Interpret your own way to paint. Put on music and paint what you see.

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Making The Virgin Bride

In first term our class had to create a piece using only pastels. Having a sort of obsession with mixing pop culture and religion, I came up with the wacky idea of the Bride of Frankenstein as the Virgin Mary, or Queen of Heaven. It took just over a month, and I'm very happy with the results. 

© Ryann Jensen
First I started out with a very rough sketch in my skin tone, which was simply grey. I decided that I didn't want a flesh color, but instead wanted to mix the old-fashion black and white film features with the vibrant colors of what we see in modern bibles of Mary. As you can see, this rough sketch has many mistakes: the hair is too short, the halo uneven, the drapery not quite what I want. But the good thing about pastels is that they wipe away easily, although they smudge, they are easy to cover in three to four layers. I also started to block in the skin tones and a bit of highlighting on the forehead.
© Ryann Jensen
Now here I decided to have the Bride pose in a gesture we often see Marry in, where she motions to the heart with the Crown of Thorns while her opposite hand is in a gesture of prayer. I've darkened where I want the fabric to fold and how I want the bandages wrapped around her wrists. I've changed her cloak to be thrown over one shoulder, instead of both, so the red dress will be more prominent. I began to block in the hair with black, and beginning the streaks of white which the Bride is famous for. Her nose looks odd because I have just started to touch on the highlighting, and when I finish the eyes and shadows, it will look normal again.
© Ryann Jensen
This part is when I began to get frustrated. Towards the bottom of her blue robe that the red was blending into the blue to create a murky color, which isn't that appealing. I tried to blend and blend and blend and the pastels just weren't working for me. So I tried to move up to the face and soften out the shadow of her jawbone, and widen her eyes, and thin out her nose. I darkened the forehead, thinking I'd come to the highlights later. The hands are smudge, as you can see, because I got frustrated with the blending red into the grey so I kind of just smudged it around. Sometimes, as an artist, you just have to let your anger out on your piece!
© Ryann Jensen
So, here is when I chose the wrong background color. I wasn't thinking at all! Of course the color harmony isn't good by any means, and as you can see later on, I fix it. Still, I have trouble blending the red robe. I start to outline the hands, and try to have her mouth smile a bit more. I outline the heart with yellow and orange lines to give the impression of a radiating love. I outline her robes in a darker blue than the rest of her robe, still not getting the exact effect I was looking for. If you haven't noticed by now, art takes a lot of experimenting. Its it's own science. 
© Ryann Jensen
Alright, here is where I fix the background! I changed it from the awful looking purple to the yellow. I fill in the halo with a very light blue, and I start to highlight the skin some more, focusing on the color bone. I darken the eyelids to give the appearance of a strong, straight-on gaze, and I'm happy with it. With a few more color hues on the robe, I call it good...
© Ryann Jensen
And voila! I decided to go with a more harsh highlighting on the robes, and harsher shading on the skin, focusing more on the collarbone, once again. I really admire the intensity of the colors, it was such a fun piece to do, even if it was a long process of building up layers.

© Ryann Jensen
© Ryann JensenHere is a close up of her face...

And a photo of me at the beginning...

The Virgin Bride by Ryann Jensen
Word Count: 700


2014 In Review Art Doodles & Projects Along the Last Year

2014 was defiantly a crazy year! Full of adventures and excitement (to a minimal though, haha!) and I actually got a lot of art done. I finished 10th grade and started 11th, and that summer in between I began the process to become a published artist. I'll be making a post about that in a bit, but right now I'm going to post a bit about the art I've done in 2014. 

Character Developments

For five years I've been creating a graphic novel about our racial, sexual, and human issues on our Earth. That means five years of developing a story.  It wasn't until this past year that i decided to totally redo the characters of the graphic novel, and then ad some. Below are a few characters and what they changed to. 

© Ryann Jensen© Ryann Jensen

←Character One→

© Ryann Jensen

© Ryann Jensen

←Character Two→

© Ryann Jensen

←Character Three→

Those are just three of the examples I had on me at the moment. As you can see, the top two are what changed the most. I thought they were too similar and had no diversity in it, which is the main subject and theme of my graphic novel. When developing characters, you really do need to think about how your audience want to see your characters, and how they make sense in the story.

School Assignments

School was alright, I only get one art class per term, so my art was limited to what was in the class in sophomore year, but first term of Junior year I was able to expand my imagination. One art piece I did that I particularly likes was my Virgin Bride. It was done over the course of a month and was done entirely in pastels. 
© Ryann Jensen
One of my favorite subjects is placing pop culture figures into religion, and vice versa. I've always have had a facination with religion, but am not religious myself. I love experimenting and placing fictional people into places where the normal person would deem odd. The Bride from Frankenstien is a classical character that everyone knows, and is an important female roll in the Universal world. Of course, so is Mary the Virgin, in the religious world. So two and two were put together to create this. 

Another project I did was my own project, where the teacher set us free to do whatever, in whatever drawing media. I chose to draw my take on Aphrodite. Mythology was a religion before it was deemed pagan and the Christian world took over, so I also have a peaked interest in that. I drew Aphrodite as a mortal, not as a flawless goddess. However, I did include many of the symbols relating to Aphrodite, such as the doves, the swans, and the golden apple.

© Ryann Jensen

I am thinking about going back and changing her face up a bit, as I don't think it matches the style I was trying to achieve, and I would like to also go back and fix some of the drapery and make the doves more prominent. I think I would also soften up the pencil lines, although I am someone who loves to be able to see individual strokes in art, whether it's paint strokes or pencil. If you have any ideas or opinions, comment below, please!

Criticism is always welcomed! Thank you for watching over my 2014 review!

Word Count: 577


Color Harmony And Using it to the Best of Your Ability

Whether digital art or traditional art is your forte, the color coordination of your art is VERY important! Don't just think you can pick a green from a crayon box and then a yellow. And you can't just change the hues of the colors to make them fit together either. You have to use complementary, secondary, primary, triadic, and related colors. Now, most of us want to take all the colors in their purest, most dominate stage and stick them together, like pure green and pure purple. We think that because they're both nominate colors that they'll fit well. Or that two cools and too warms make a great combination. Again, this accusation is false.

What Are the Color Coordination and Harmonies?

First off, the Color Coordination

You may want to skim this article about the coordination of color. The most basics are primary, secondary, and tertiary colors. Primary colors are of course you red, blue, and yellow. Secondaries are what you get when you mix two of the primaries: purple, green, and orange. Tertiary colors are what are what you get when you mix one primary with one secondary: orange-yellow, yellow-green, green-blue, blue-purple, purple-red, and red-orange. 

Now, the Color Harmonies and Schemes

There are three simple simple color harmonies: complementary, analogous, and triadic. Complementary is the two colors right across from them (i.g. red is across from green). Analogous is when you have colors right next to any color (yellow-green, next to green, next to green-blue). Triadic is when three color make a sort of triangle (orange, green, and purple). 

Then there are the three more complicated harmonies: Split Complementary, Rectangular (tetradic), and Square. Split Complementary is just like the complementary colors, but the diagonal is split into two. So if red is a color you pick, yellow-green and green-blue would be your Split Complementary. And then Rectangular (tetradic) colors are colors are two complimentary pairs (red and green, yellow and purple). Square harmony colors are almost exactly like Rectangular, but supply a wider variety of colors, as they are evenly spaced. The hardest to tackle is the Square harmony colors. 

 How Do You Use Them?

With this tool, they are quite easy to use. This tool uses the color wheel and gives you the basic Harmony chapes (triangle, square, oval, etc.) so it will over the hues that do not work well with the harmonies. For your art, only pick what is inside the shape. Continue to do this until you have learned well enough of what colors go well together, and what colors do not. 

I really hope this helped you! I know that when I started this technique and started playing around on it, I really did begin to understand the color harmonies and schemes easily! Though I still use the tool that is linked both above and on my sidebar (under 'Lists'), I know that I know my harmonies well enough to not use it (though I use it mostly for comfort as I want to make sure I have the color that best fits my art). Happy painting!

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Bringing Art Into Your Life And Why It's Important

Chances are, your mom has brought a $500 painting into your house at some point and you've thought to yourself "The heck is the point in that? Hang it on the wall and what? Stare at it for an hour?" And yeah, it seems pretty boring and unnecessary at first, but decorating your home can be pretty satisfactory.  Humans surround themselves with things that express them. It's communication to others, it's expressing cultural background, and it's setting up a comfortable environment for you. You can read this article here about why humans find art so important. 

So how can you bring art into your life in a fun, expressible, and cheaply manor? Usually, as teens, we place posters that we find at Walmart or Michael's on our walls. For example, I have an entire wall of my bedroom decorated to the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit book and movie series (along with one The Walking Dead poster, but that's besides the point). However, when we reach a certain age, band and movie posters don't seem to cut it, especially when we get our first apartments, or even our first dorm rooms, we want something more sophisticated. Well, maybe. It depends on you! Here's some tips to bring art into your life, and not just any $500 painting that reminds you of your mother's living room. 

  1. Believe it or not, thrift stores can be your friends. Works of art can be found anywhere in your home, and for cheap. Don't be afraid! If you see a piece of art that you like, whether a painting or sculpture, etc. just get it!
  2. Garage Sales can help too! If you ever go to a yard sale, check out the works of art they have. You may be surprised at the artwork sitting in a couple's attic for a few decades. 
  3. Head over to Pinterest. Don't you love it? You can search and search and find everything on that website. You can find DIY and tips for creating your own art work to hand in your new home. 
  4. Google. The search engine is a perfect and easy way to find articles, blog posts, and websites all dedicated to home decor and DIY to finding easy and cheap ways to spice up your home with quick tips and insight. 
Over all, if you're wanting to decorate your home and spend as little money as possible, just go out and spend your most money on supplies like paints, wood glues, tools, etc. to create things that you already have around your home. Want to make that boring wood foot stool into a bedside table? Go find out how to paint wood correctly and you got yourself a mighty fine and nice looking table! Want to get that plant in your corner elevated to bring more attention to it? Take a stack of large books (ones you don't use often), and place the plant on  them! Classy and a use for the books that take up space on your shelf! 

Hope this was useful to bringing in artistic points into decorating your small home with a low income! 

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Fun and Thoughtful Christmas Gifts A DIY Special

It's nearing the week of Christmas and if you have yet to get all those friends something unique, then here's a fun list of artistic DIY crafts that won't take too long!

1. Ribbon Christmas Tree

Ribbon Christmas Trees - ThreeI thought this was such a cute idea. Pine trees are my favorite trees next to weeping willows because of this unique triangular shape and their fresh smell! Follow this tutorial for making cute ribbon pine trees that would make an excellent stocking-stuffer and decoration for your friend's home! 
One thing that I would change,is that I would use a Styrofoam cone with a more dramatic angle, and wrap it around the top to create more of a point and have one pin at the very top to secure it, instead of having a flat and gross ribbon mess at the top of the tree! 

2. Paper Ornaments         

Lia Griffith - Paper Bow OrnamentsTime to pull out your scrap booking paper and scissors! This link will send you to a list of DIY paper ornaments! Personally, the bow (shown in picture to the right) and the ornate snowflakes are my favorite! I can't get over how cute these are, and I can't wait to make them myself! 

3. Mason Jar Gift 

Mason jars have been the craze of the year, it seems. I've never been much into fads, as they disband quickly and are usually pointless, but I have to admit that mason Jars are simply the cutest! And they make perfect gifts! Whether you want a random assortment (fill your jar with candy, nail polish, jewelry, gift cards, etc.), or want to have a holiday flare up, it's up to you! Click this link to find out how to create a mason jar snow globe! 

4. Christmas Gnomes    

How to Make a GnomeThis is hands down the cutest Christmas decoration I have ever seen. I don't know what makes these gnomes so cute, but they have my attention! This tutorial is probably the trickiest one to create, but I sure do think it's worth it! Just look at the little guys! They'd make the cutest stocking stuffers! 

No photos on this blog post belong to me. They belong to the corresponding links within the descriptions.

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