Friday, October 21, 2011

20 Etch-a-Sketch Challenge

I have a friend in the Etch-a-Sketch community who goes by the alias "Princess Etch-a-Sketch" (aka PikaJane). I came across her work about a year ago through Google and found her to be one of the only other active etch-a-sketch artists that's working seriously to add to what's been done. As an exercise in speed and productivity, we decided to sketch twenty things in twenty days; and to make it easy to achieve, we imposed a 5-minute time limit on our daily sketches. Each of us came up with a list of twenty things and then we chose ten from each others lists, making up the final settled upon twenty. After the twenty days were through, we could then post the results on the internet, just like what you see here...

Twenty Day Etch-a-Sketch Challenge!

Day 1: The United States of America (suggested by Jane)

Bryan's USA (pictured left)
Bryan: I did this etch by candle light. My power, like most of lower New York and southern New England, was taken out by Hurricane Irene. I felt like Abraham Lincoln etch-a-sketching in the dark.
Jane: I like how the first etch-a-sketch is candlelit. You can still tell what is on the screen, but it does have a classy feel to it.
Jane's USA (pictured right)
Jane: I tried drawing the individual states and could not get through it all in 5 minutes. Good thing too, because I would not have had enough room anyways. The states near the right start looking pretty wonky.
Bryan: I thought about sketching them all but didn't want to get caught up. The states finished here are great. You're missing the most important part, though.

Day 2: Planet Earth (suggested by both, used by Bryan)

Bryan's Planet Earth (pictured left)
Bryan: I wanted to do something a little different, so I went with the half-globe view, like you would see from a space station or something. This etch, like the first one, also features mainland USA.
Jane: I like the view chosen for earth more than mine. Definitely makes for a more interesting composition.
Jane's Planet Earth (pictured right)
Jane: Not too pleased about how this one turned out. Oh well.
Bryan: Planet Earth looks just as it should, good to see the east coast in there.

Day 3: Mt. Rushmore (suggested by Jane)

Bryan's Mt. Rushmore (pictured left)
Bryan: An America theme seems to have emerged early on. This one I screwed up on by putting Lincoln's head too far to the right, I must have lost track of what I was doing and there's no erasing in this challenge so I had to go with it.
Jane: I didn’t think about how patriotic some of our choices were. Go America! An old roommate of mine just gave me an etch-a-sketch of the same color scheme. Regretfully it does not work too well.
Jane's Mt. Rushmore (pictured right)
Jane: The faces turned out alright. I did what I could in 5 minutes.
Bryan: Nice work capturing the likeness of Washington and Roosevelt. It's difficult to capture a likeness in a rush.

Day 4: A Castle (suggested by Bryan)

Bryan's Castle (pictured left)
Bryan: I decided I wanted to do a Lego Castle series etch, regardless of the fact there's no way I could possibly finish an entire lego themed etch in 5 minutes.
Jane: I like the idea of combining two childhood toys that both exude creativity.
Jane's Castle (pictured right)
Jane: Cinderella castle: Disney World. This etch-a-sketch has kind of sucky line quality.
Bryan: I like this one, the roofs came out well enough that you can easily tell what it is.

Day 5: Elephant (suggested by Bryan)

Bryan's Elephant (pictured left)
Bryan: One of my worst 5 minute sketches. Attempted to sketch Hong, the painting elephant. I flew through this and sacrificed quality for speed. Hong's elephant painting did no justice to the real elephant's talent. Hong probably could have done a better etch than this.
Jane: I actually like the elephant. The head has a lot of character to it, and I was not even focusing so much on what it was painting. Even though it is difficult to discern what is on his canvas, I wasn’t too concerned with that, as I was assuming that the elephant did not have a high degree of painting skills. The overall composition is nice since it is mainly diagonal.
Jane's Elephant (pictured right)
Jane: Possibly my favorite one from the bunch. The classic optical illusion!
Bryan: Optical illusion really put this one over the top. Great work both artistically and creatively.

Day 6: Board Game Logo (suggested by Jane)

Bryan's Game Logo (pictured left)
Bryan: I settled on Scattergories, figuring we would both go for Monopoly and just like in Scattergories, I didn't want to have the same answer as her. I made this sketch a little too small and didn't have time to include the text.
Jane: I was briefly thinking of Monopoly but decided against it as well. I was also thinking of Scattergories though, and I think it would have been very ironic if we both chose it.
Jane's Game Logo (pictured right)
Jane: Blokus. Good game. Go play it.
Bryan: I've never played Blokus, but it appears as thought the logo is sketched perfectly.

Day 7: You Etch-a-Sketching (suggested by Bryan)

Bryan's Self Etch (pictured left)
Bryan: I sketched my hands sketching the day 2 etch, planet Earth. It's a complete disaster and makes it appear as though I can't draw hands.
Jane: The one main concern I have with day 7 is the hand is going through the right knob. Other than that, I think it's cool you incorporated a previous into this one. I decided to do a different pose because I have actually drawn a similar pose myself before and wanted to try something new.
Jane's Self Etch (pictured right)
Jane: I took a picture of myself with a webcam, using my foot to take the photo so that I could hold the etch-a-sketch with both of my hands.
Bryan: This one was very impressive, it came out looking detailed and sharp. None of Jane's timed sketches seem to come out looking rushed.

Day 8: Tyrannosaurus Rex (Suggested by Jane)

Bryan's T. Rex. (pictured left)
Bryan: Tried to do something a little different so I went with an 8bit t. rex. It came out okay.
Jane: 8 bit! Nice! I imagine it took longer to make it 8bit than if you would have drawn it normally.
Jane's T. Rex (pictured right)
Jane: Favorite dinosaur (next to diplodocus).
Bryan: Great proportioning, another impressive 5 minute sketch.

Day 9: Facebook Layout (Suggested by Bryan)

Bryan's Facebook Layout (pictured left)
Bryan: Didn't have time to finish this one, as there's a lot of blank space on the facebook page. Again, I had trouble finding the balance of speed and precision.
Jane: I like the direction this facebook layout page was going! I can almost see the facebook logo in the upper left which is really impressive. And it even looks like you wrote news feed! I just scribbled semblances of words.
Jane's Facebook Layout (pictured right)
Jane: Haha, this is already dated. Classic.
Bryan: I likely wasted too much time on the top bar/facebook logo whereas she put her time into putting all the boxes in the right place.

Day 10: Spaceship (suggested by Jane)

Bryan's Spaceship (pictured left)
Bryan: My little sister's friend had left this really unique Hello Kitty pocket etch at my house for me to sketch on, but in the meantime I wanted to mix it into this collection because it's pretty different. I did a UFO in the desert, but the line I used to connect the ship to the ground was off-centered. With etch-a-sketches, there's always a line connecting one thing to another. I wish I had centered that connection line and played it off like a UFO beam, the kind they use to pick up cows and rednecks.
Jane: I love the spaceship etch! Especially because it is on a hello kitty etch a sketch, haha.
Jane's Spaceship (pictured right)
Jane: Obviously, no reference was used.
Bryan: Nice scene, even included an American flag! Good work squeezing in
more patriotism.

Day 11: US Coin (Suggested by Bryan)

Bryan's US Coin (pictured left)
Bryan: After much debated, I settled on the back of the Buffalo Nickel over the Bicentennial Quarter. Looks like I finished, but I didn't have time to work in "United States of America".
Jane: I was thinking about choosing the buffalo nickel too! I like how it turned out. I spent about 6 minutes by trying to work in all the type on my bicentennial, so I cheated on mine.
Jane's US Coin (pictured right)
Jane: To this day I like to collect bicentennials.
Bryan: More USA themes sketch. The bicentennial quarter came out great. Very good detail with everything fit in just right.

Day 12: Video Game Controller (Suggested by Jane)

Bryan's Game Controller (pictured left)
Bryan: I wanted to do something fun so the N64 controller seemed like the obvious choice. It looks like it shouldn't be possible to use it properly. Favorite multi-player system.
Jane: Nice choice for video game controller! I like the shadowing. Goldeneye is still the only shooting game I play.
Jane's Game Controller (pictured right)
Jane: Had to make an old school homage to the NES. I play it every day after school. Trying to beat contra without continues (but still using the cheat! I'm not THAT good!!!)
Bryan: I want to play old school nintendo every day.

Day 13 A Bug (Suggested by Bryan)

Bryan: Went with an extra creepy one. It kind of looks like a centipede, not sure what it is exactly. It's the bug you don't want to find in your apartment.
Jane: Eeeeeeeeeeew! It turned out great enough to gross me out. Success!
Jane's Bug (pictured right)
Jane: Ladybugs are perhaps one of the only bugs I can tolerate. Thought it would be appropriate to use my spider etch-a-sketch for this.
Bryan: The Halloween pocket etch was a nice touch!

Day 14 Delorean (Suggested by Jane)

Bryan's Delorean (pictured left)
Bryan: Cars are difficult. Jane went with the side view on this one, which looks a lot cleaner than the crazy angle I went for. I could have used another minute or two to fill in some details on this one. It didn't help I attempted to sketch the Back to the Future 3, steam-era rebuild hood.
Jane: I like how you chose a more challenging angle for the delorean. I’m sure dealing with all those parallel diagonals was hell to work with, but I think you did a great job, considering that I still instantly recognized it as a delorean.
Jane's Delorean (pictured right)
Jane: "the way I see it, if you're gonna build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?" -Doc Brown
Bryan: "You mean to tell me this thing's nuclear?!"

Day 15: Koala (Suggested by Bryan)

Bryan's Koala (pictured left)
Bryan: Koala bear. This was done as a replacement for a different one that I changed my mind about wanting to do (The giant flying dog-monster from the Never Ending Story). Koala bears are much easier than flying dog faced monsters.
Jane: Oh man, your koala bear came out wayyyyyy nicer than mine. It’s so cute!
Jane's Koala (pictured right)
Jane: Hate how this turned out.
Bryan: I know this one is probably your least favorite from the bunch. I have a few of my own I'm not too excited about.

Day 16: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (Suggested by Jane)

Bryan's Ninja Turtle (pictured left)
Bryan: Best weapon of all the turtles, reaches halfway across the screen in the games. Dude kills foot soldiers like nobody's business.
Jane: I LOVE your Donatello. You’ve always been really good at getting miniscule details like that, and you framed him really well. Good choice of reference, my friend.
Jane's Ninja Turtle (pictured right)
Jane: Gotta represent Leonardo!
Bryan: Leonardo. Looks just like the cartoon. Very good illustration work.

Day 17: Pac-Man Game Screen (Suggested by Bryan)

Bryan's Pac-Man Screen (pictured left)
Bryan: Like the facebook screen, this one wasn't possible for me to complete in time. I put in all the details I could but the clock was racing against me. I nearly ran out of time before I could throw Pac-Man himself in there.
Jane: Dang, you even started drawing the dots? You are far more ambitious than I. I was rushing to just try to get the barriers done on time. What you have so far looks really good.
Jane's Pac-Man Screen (pictured right)
Jane: This was especially difficult because of the precision necessary.
Bryan: Pac Man game screen came out wonderfully, really good detail and I'm impressed you managed to not only work it all in there, but get the spacing right as well. Nice cherry bonus!

Day 18: Christmas Tree (Suggested by Jane)

Bryan's Christmas Tree (pictured left)
Bryan: As a New Yorker, I like to take every chance I can get to do a NYC related sketch. This is New York's most famous Christmas scene.
Jane: Someday I’d like to go see that Christmas tree myself. I like how you took the concept on a personal level.
Jane's Christmas Tree (pictured right)
Jane: No reference used. Had a lot of fun with this one.
Bryan: This reminds me of Charlie Brown's Christmas tree, but not the lame one, the good one at the end.

Day 19: American Gothic (Suggested by Bryan)

Bryan's American Gothic (pictured left)
Bryan: Not my best work, I should have worked harder on the man's face and eyes, because he came out looking like a cartoon or a muppet.
Jane: I like how you zoomed out. I think zooming out was a good solution for this one because you didn’t have to worry as much about detail. I still instantly recognized it, despite the fact that you feel like the man’s face didn’t come out as well as you wanted it to.
Jane's American Gothic (pictured right)
Jane: Took about 6 minutes for this one. I like how the woman turned out more.
Bryan: American Gothic is one of my favorites from your twenty sketches. You did a great job on the spacing and facial expressions. I bet if you had more than 5 minutes [edit: 6 minutes.. cheater] to work on this one you could have gotten pretty close to the original.

Day 20: A Zombie (suggested by Jane)

Bryan's Zombie (pictured left)
Bryan: I used my metallic, green background etch for this sketch of a corpse rising from the grave. 20 day sketch-off complete!
Jane: Awesome etch a sketch choice for the zombie!!! That is the perfect green for it. I love this one. The gravestone is a nice touch.
Jane's Zombie (pictured right)
Jane: Thought it would be nice to wrap up the series with a zombieland clown.
Bryan: As if zombies weren't creepy enough, you took it a step further and went the clown route. Very nice work!

Final Comments

Bryan: I'd say this was a good exercise, my only regret is how long it took to compile, re-size, upload and blog all our images and comments. That part took far longer than the twenty days we were actually doing art, so that sort of backfired, but I'm still happy to have completed this awesome project. I'd say my favorite etch of Jane's would have to be the self portrait. When I told my friends about this etch-off and showed them our progress, they were very impressed by that and thought it raised the bar really high, which probably caused me to churn out my worse etch in panicked response (the "me-etching-me" sketch). Jane's elephant also came out amazing. While I do feel I can do much better than this, overall, I think we proved our abilities.
Jane: I’m going to have to say my favorite one of yours is the Donatello. It came out wonderfully, especially given the allotted time. You mentioned to me earlier that you wish you took more front-on shots, but I like how your pieces are at different angles. I know the lighting is not the best for some of them, but since we only spent about 5 minutes apiece on them, lighting was not too much of a concern. I’ve always appreciated how you would find interesting new ways to photograph your etch a sketches. I’m still all over the method you went about shooting the first one. I know you didn’t have another option, but I think it’s cool that you have a story behind the way it was shot. It gives it more substance.


Be sure to check out Jane's art over at her DeviantART page!. Thanks for checking out my Etch A Sketch art! Visit again soon for something new or check out my other pages online for things that might not appear here...

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Monday, October 10, 2011

San Francisco Update #2

(Click to enlarge)

Been nearly a year since I posted any progress on this one, but I finally put some more time into it. Bad photo quality but it's still pretty early in the process.

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