Throwback Thursday: Stars

Is it normal to be jealous of an inanimate object? No? Well, I’ve never been known for being normal. I’m very jealous of this drawing:


Medium: Graphite on paper

Size: I think it’s 16 x 20

Title: I think officially it’s Untitled, but I always call it Stars.

When: Spring semester, freshman year of college; 2003.

Purpose: Assignment for my college intro to art class.

History: At this point in the semester, we were working on shading and how it caused things to go into the foreground or background. My professor had us do these masking tape drawings to help us learn out to shade better.

Thought process: Oh man, this project was stressful. In order to successfully complete the project, you had to think backwards. Whatever you wanted in the foreground got put on the paper first, and then each layer farther back got put on top of that. Basically you figure out your design (I knew I wanted to do shooting stars) and then using your masking tape, tape your design down layer by layer.

Once all of your design is taped down, you cover everything (paper and tape) with a dark dark dark layer of graphite. After it’s covered, remove the first layer of tape (which will be the second layer from the background) and color that in a little lighter than the background. Once that layer is done, remove the next layer of tape and repeat. The last bit of tape you pull off should be the whitest, causing it to pop into the foreground.

Stars detail1
Detail of middle star

Once you’ve got your main shading done, then you get to figure out where your light source is coming from, then add shadows cast from the fore ground images on the background images.

It’s complex and frustrating, but at the same time it looks amazing when it’s all done!

Problems I encountered: Getting each layer to look a different value of gray is hard! Figuring out which layer is going to go where all while thinking backwards is not my strong suit, so my brain got cramped a lot while doing this.

Star detail2
Detail of bottom right corner

Fun tidbitsThis piece was entered into the student art show that year! YAY! It didn’t get a prize, but still getting it entered and being able to show my family that I was in an art show was pretty awesome.

The reason I’m jealous of this drawing is that it has been to Jamaica and I have not. The following school year (my sophomore year) our college did a student art work share/show with a school in Jamaica, and this piece was chosen to go be on display. My professors wouldn’t let me go along for the ride, unfortunately. I’d love to know what the school looked like, how warm it was, and just anything about Jamaica, but my drawing isn’t telling me it’s stories. It’s a stubborn drawing.

Have you ever been jealous of an inanimate object, or am I all alone in this?

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