It’s the start of my first 90 Day Art Challenge. I decided to focus on paper art, seeing as that’s the medium that has interested me the most these past couple of months.
The ultimate goal of this challenge is to improve my skills as an artist by reading up on the medium, learning from other paper artists, and by making paper art every day for the next three months.
Below is a day by day breakdown of what I made and learned each step of the way, these past two weeks.
Day 1 – January 1, 2018
I started off by just making something. I didn’t really have a concept in mind. The end result was not great. I ended up with a creepy baby rabbit instead of a cute rabbit.
I realized that in the future, I should have all the pieces (for example face pieces) cut out before I glue anything, in order to ensure that I like the look of it. I should also color and add texture to the pieces, before I glue anything on top of them.
Day 2 – January 2, 2018
Again, I did not have a concept of what I wanted to make today. All I knew was that I wanted to try to create a face using as many pieces of cardstock paper as I could. In other words, I wanted to limit my use of colored pencils.
I created this witch face without looking at a reference. The face was not great, but I am just starting out with this medium. I believe I would be more successful starting off with a bigger face as a surface area to practice on and hone my skills.
Day 3 – January 3, 2018
I couldn’t fall asleep last night when I came up with the idea of making a light shadow box depicting Tomás and the Tree Woman – they are characters from a story I am working on. The idea just came to me and I kept coming up with more ideas on how to bring it to life.
I decided to start with the middle-ground since it would include one of the most interesting components (the stained glass window). I used translucent paper to make the glass effect and, so far, I am very pleased with it. I still need to add more layers and make the wall around it more three dimensional and interesting. I’m excited for the end result.
Day 4 – January 4, 2018
I continued working on the stained glass window and the wall. Visualizing how I would break up the wall and floor was a bit of a struggle for me, but in the end, I like the way it is looking.
Day 5 – January 5, 2018
I began working on the items that will go in the background, behind the window. I made the moon – I had to add three layers of translucent paper to make it stand out behind the window (I’m still not sure it does, I might use construction paper instead. I also began working on the trees that will go in the background. They will be black, leafless trees whose shadows will be visible through the window. I did not take a picture unfortunately.
Day 6 – January 6, 2018
I managed to add a lot more detail to the attic walls and the floorboards. For today, I focused less on cutting paper and more on adding the details that would give the piece a bit more of three-dimensionality. I really love the way it is turning out.
Day 7 – January 7, 2018
I spent a lot of time painting the box that will feature my paper art and did not get much time to work on paper art. I also made the hole for the lights to go through. I attached the lights and then attached the middle-ground with the background to the box. This day was a fail in terms of practicing paper art, but I made up for it the following day, by devoting an hour to making my first character.
Day 8 – January 8, 2018
I started working on the little boy character. For this project, I decided I wanted to use more layers of paper to get more of a 3-D effect, which I feel I am achieving. The issue I have with these small pieces is the detailed work. I need to keep practicing in order to get better. So far, I am happy with the way it’s turning out.
Day 9 – January 9, 2018
I continued working on the little boy. I only worked on him for the minimum amount of time I said I would work on paper art in a day (30 minutes). I changed the positions of his arms, added hair, added a back pocket and fixed his shoes and face. So far I am liking the details even more. I am a bit iffy on the hair and how I will construct the face, but I will cross that bridge when it comes up.
Day 10 – January 10, 2018
I worked on the boy some more. I also made the rose and started working on the doll. I am not completely thrilled with the way the boy came out, particularly his face, but it’s a work in progress. I’ll get better at making faces with time. Overall, I think the piece will be beautiful.
Day 11 – January 11, 2018
I continued working on the boy (I added the final details) and I continued working on the doll. So far, I am pleased with the way it’s turning out, but I need to figure out how to add more details with paper, for example, on the hair or the fabric folds.
Day 12 – January 12, 2018
I started working on the base of the Tree Woman. She has been more complex to create than I anticipated, but I like the way she is turning out. I think the entire piece will end up looking amazing. I want to make sure her branches look like branches, but also like horrid extensions on her body. I will work on that this weekend and hopefully have a finished piece by Monday, so that I can start working on the next project. The picture is found below.
Week 1 & 2 Review
I think I work best when I have a project in mind. I was much more excited once I got the idea to make a shadow light box inspired by my story of Tomás and the Tree Woman. I felt like there was more of a purpose to what I was doing and I had more ideas to create more dimensionality than I have before with paper.
I also did research on other paper artists and their techniques and I got a lot of great practical information that will help my pieces look a lot more polished and professional. I was inspired when looking at their pieces, because it made me see some amazing creations that are possible to make with paper.
My goal for the next couple of weeks is to try to create a finished project every week or two weeks. Ideally, every week. However, I need to devote more than 30 minutes each day to complete a piece in one week.
I am excited to see what this finished piece looks like and eager to expand my paper art skills.