25 November 2011

It's All About Optics

I may have whined about mentioned once or twice that I've been burning the (morning, noon and) midnight oil trying to catch up on school projects that came down the pipe while I was away - the week of vacation didn't do me any favours but the additional week of illness really put me behind the 8-ball.  I knew the project work was intensive (having been completing it diligently for the past few months) but missing those two weeks really put the workload into perspective: it's a lot!!

One of my catch-up assignments was focused on the concepts of Rhythm and Motion.  Obviously the idea is to connect both concepts to room design, but schoolwork - particularly in a creative stream - allows a little bit of latitude in execution, which meant I could veer from any sort of formal design and create this bad boy:

Awwww, yeah baby!!

Inspired by a fabulous tutorial on nefotlak, one of my favourite blogs, Cheryl created some beautiful pieces with her students.  Here's a sample of their terrific work:

nefotlak image via here

So I thought to myself, how better to represent rhythm and motion that with a wicked little op art project??  Amazing!

I started with a 10 x 15 inch presentation board, which is our standard for the course.  As Cheryl points out in her tutorial, it works beautifully if you freehand the circles but I'm a gal who prefers a little more precision so I turned to my trusty stencils and, when they got too small, to randomly sized bowls in my cupboards that I traced around in every-expanding sizes.

Once the circles were drawn and starting in the exact centre of the smallest one, I drew a line top to bottom.  Again, the lines don't need to be ruler-straight and could be freehanded, but I wanted specific spacing between my lines so a ruler needed to be employed.  Once the centre line was established, I measured out and drew in the rest of my lines to each edge of my design.  The final template looked similar to this:

nefotlak image via here

Then it was time to start shading.  Using some fabulous pens I purchased at DeSerres for my drafting course, I coloured every other segment individually, alternating the segments on each line to create a checkerboard effect.  What started like this ...

then looked like this ...

and then like this ...

and then like this ...

and finally , after many hours of work, like this ...

Can you see it?  It sort of looks like it's swirling around (or at least it should) and since it took me about 6 hours start-to-finish, I've got my fingers crossed for a decent mark!  This was an amazing project and I'm so grateful to Cheryl for posting the original tutorial: thanks!!

On that note, I'm off for the weekend; we'll be running here, there and everywhere as per usual.  Wishing you a great one, and don't forget to check in on Monday when I'll be posting November's Mood of the Month!