Friday, November 6, 2009


It's been too long since my last post and too much has happened to not post and exciting things to happen this weekend to post about.


We've finally graduated from Adobe Illustrator into the satisfying world of Adobe Photoshop.  Don't get me wrong, now that I know the basics of Illustrator, I can think of a million ways it will be useful to me and would have been useful to me.  Oh, but Photoshop....

Our first assignment using Photoshop was photo manipulation of two or more photos.  So CSUMB was established on part of the former Fort Ord Army base.  While a good portion of the campus has been renovated, many of the old buildings still remain.  I'm sure the whole campus will eventually look brand new, but I appreciate and am attracted to the remnants of Fort Ord.  The original assignment was to take photos around campus and change the photo by restoring the buildings or the landscapings, adding elements, subtracting elements, etc.  Obviously, my project is not of campus.  When we were going over different tools and techniques we could use in this assignment, I thought it would be neat to create a hybrid of two things.  I was thinking an animal would be fun.  You know, like a Liger in Napoleon Dynamite but I decided to put two of my house plants together instead.  Fortunately, Amadeo (my teacher) was nice enough to let me alter the assignment a bit.  I chose one of my favorites, the Chicken Gizzard, to blend with a philodendron.  I love my Chicken Gizzard, not only because it is really beautiful, but because it tells me when it needs to be watered.  It droops over the edge of the pot when it is thirsty and once I water it, it springs back up within an hour.  It's really amazing to watch.  Yes, you can actually see it rise!  When this one droops, I know it is time to water the rest of my plants. 

I feel the need to make a disclaimer that in no way was this a scientific project.  It was purely an imaginative rendering.  I have no idea if these two plants can realistically be cross-bred and if they could, what the visual end result would be.  It would just be neat to have a plant like the one I made up!  :)   I particularly like the coloring I added to the leaves of the philodendron.  Yay!



Our last two assignments in our Intro to Natural Science Illustration class were another pen and ink exercise and a final coquille drawing.  The purpose of the texture exercise in pen and ink was to experiment with the different ways with which line can be used to create a variety of surfaces.  From right to left:  

1.  kitchen sponge
2.  raccoon tail
3.  philodendron leaf
4.  back of a carved owl head
5.  monkey puzzle tree
6.  starfish surface
7.  towel seaweed
8.  frosted mini wheat
9.  puffin cereal
10. turtle shell
11. cork coaster
12. magnolia carpel stamen scars

We each had to make enough photocopies of our textures to give to everyone in the class.  What a treat!  It was pretty fantastic to see all the different ways my classmates rendered different surfaces and in ways that I would have never thought to render them.

Coquille is a type of paper with a texture when drawn on, mimics the look of stipples.  It is a much quicker way to achieve texture and a great medium for reproduction.  While coquille isn't exactly the most precise medium, when reproduced and reduced, the drawing tightens up quite a bit to become a sensitive illustration.  I borrowed these hawk moths from the UC Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History.

Last night my classmates, Annette and Sarah drove down to Big Sur for dinner at Nepenthe.  The restaurant was a really cozy log cabin feel with a fire burning in the center.  There is outdoor seating over looking the beautiful landscape.  Of course the food was great and we had a great server named Julie.


I'm excited about two things in particular this weekend.  Every first Saturday of the month, Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve in Moss Landing hosts an early bird tour.  This is a special birding tour led by Rick Fournier of Monterey Birding Adventures.  

The second thing I'm looking forward to is hiking off of highway 9 in Santa Cruz with a couple of classmates (Annette, Sarah, Arianna).  We haven't decided which trail but whichever one we choose, I can't wait!  I'll be taking a lot of photos so check back to see them.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

1 comment:

  1. maybe i'm crazy but i think there are philodendrons with pink and green leaves! they still wouldn't look like your hybrid, but they are very pretty.