One of my projects over the last couple of months has been work on a couple of life-sized Pokemon papercraft creations. By scaling up the patterns provided by this site I’ve found an effective way to dispose of the many, many weeks worth of cereal boxes accumulating in our kitchen.
Bulbasaur was completed in January, and Charmander’s a work in progress. Here’s the back view of Charmander, showing the jar full of rice I’m using to attempt to make him balance on one foot.
A project for life drawing this term was to use collage techniques to create an image. The term’s work has consisted of less representational drawing work and more exploration into extrapolation of form and figure as well as different materials and techniques.
Here’s the reference ‘sketch’ I made:
And here’s the completed collage:
One of the things that struck me about the source image was the striking light and the contrast between highlights and shadows. When choosing materials for my collage I chose to go with bright colours, reflective surfaces and contrasted them against a black background. The hi-vis material was pretty fun to work with.
Oops, didn’t have stuff ready for today. But luckily, Connell has put together an extra-special guest post this week! I feel really excited and privileged to be able to share this with you all.
So, today I thought I’d share with you the creation of the wedding cake for myself and my lovely wife Helena. We’ve been married 3 months already! Time flies when you have an awesome wife~
So, our wedding was very geeky in theme, but not to a degree that it overshadowed the importance of the day. But for the cake, we knew that traditional was not going to cut it. Looking online, we quickly fell in love with the many Mario cakes that people have made over the years. The idea we had was to make a custom wedding topper made to look like us, and place that on top of a cake where each tier had the appearance of a Mario level.
The initial design for the topper was Helena and I high fiving, which we thought would be a very cute idea. To account for our rather amusing height difference, Helena was to be standing on a Mario item box:
We have a friend who makes his own toys, and had hoped he’d be able to hook us up with someone who could make a specific resin toy of this design. Sadly, for size we wanted, it was going to be expensive and time consuming, and instead, we found a local cake topper designer who uses wooden pegs and makes custom clothing for each topper, which all looked incredibly cute. We sent her descriptions of our clothes (including Helena’s wedding dress, so I didn’t get to see the topper until the night of the wedding), and I designed faces to look closer to my art style than hers:
With this being made, we had to find a cakemaker who would be up to the challenge of making our cake. A local cakemaker Helena found showed some pretty amazing talent, and once we’d met her and tasted her cake (oh my god her cakes) we knew we had the right cake craftsperson.
So, I had to design the thing. I wanted each tier to be unique, and thought it would be cute if each level was as if they were connected via pipes, making the entire cake effectively one Mario level. Firstly came a basic planning stage, the cakemaker and I had to come to an agreement on what was feasible based on the limitations of icing. Here’s the sketch we started with:
Initially it was only two tiers, but the cakemaker recommended a third (who can say no to more cake?). With that, the top tier was also going to be a cliff rather than the sky and trees I settled on. While the top tier could have been made with a darker brown, it really wouldn’t have been as unique as I wanted. From those decisions, an overall cake plan was determined:
With that worked out, I searched for as many Mario images as I could find. I ended up chosing the look of New Super Mario Brothers, the colours in that game have an almost… sugary feel to them already (for want of a better, more correct phrase). The first step was to create the building blocks that I’d be needing for all the tiers: blocks, goombas, pipes, pirhana plants, and so on:
And once that was done, I started building Mario levels, which was actually kind of fun! I made sure to keep in as many nods to classic Mario level design as possible. The final designs are quite large, as I designed to scale, so they’re linked below.
And with that, the planning was complete! And the result was completely and utterly worth it:
In the end, the cake designer took some liberties in the design, but that was to be expected. I loved how the colours came out, and of course, the taste… As for the topper, I think it is so damned cute.
Helena and I still have the top tier with the topper on it kept in a case – the actual tier is Styrofoam, and the sugar icing will keep for a very, very long time. Best wedding cake ever? I think so.
Thanks Connell! I hope you’ll provide another post about the other awesome cakes that made an appearance on the night, too! Every table was graced with its own original cake and an accompanying story. Our table especially enjoyed our Pikmin themed cake, but I couldn’t resist sneaking over to the Tetris brownie table and playing some pretend Tetris… I mean, uh, congratulations to you and Helena!
They’re a little heavy – the beads are glass – but I’m pleased with the outcome.
Unfortunately the people I bought the beads from didn’t have two shades of blue in the right bead sizes. I made do with clear for the light blue – and put pieces of blue paper between the glass so that from certain angles it refracts the colour. You can see hints of it in the above photo but it’s definitely most effective viewed longways.
I am thinking of making a necklace to match. My housemate suggested putting the blocks on tiers so they look like they’re falling. To go with that I had an idea of making a matching t-shirt design, so it would look like the blocks were falling into the t-shirt… hmmm, ideas!
I’m painting butterflies!
Inspired by butterflies created by Danielle Corsetto of Girls With Slingshots. Something that I’d always thought would be neat to do but didn’t really twig onto how to manage until I saw her versions.
The last time I attempted to draw a butterfly accurately was in year 7, and I found it pretty hellish then. This time, it’s been a real breeze, and painting them has been heaps of fun. When I did my research for the Ulysses swallowtail I realised that the tops and bottoms of wings could be quite different and interesting, so now I’m attempting to get the top and bottom sides of the wings relatively accurate. I’m not being pedantic, but it’s nice to have a grounding in reality.
These don’t take too long to make so I hope to be doing lots more. I’ve found lots of pretty butterfly and moth patterns and I’m hoping to do justice to them all.
Last December, I started making a plushy version of everyone’s favourite crazy clump – the Katamari. To summarise the Katamari games in a few words, “you roll around a ball, picking up anything and everything in your way”.
The Katamari ball is basically a truncated icosahedron (fun fact, “truncated icosahedron” was briefly my nickname in year 5 as I was too nerdy to be a “square”). If you don’t know what a truncated icosahedron is, think of a soccer ball. In the Katamari, the faces that are pentagons become the knobbly nodes. To make my Katamari, I created a truncated icosahedron net based on one from Wikipedia, as my truncated icosahedron would exclude the pentagons.
After cutting out the two main sections of fabric, I started sewing furiously! It took most of the day, but I was able to sew together the nets, and add ten of the twelve knobs.
After getting that far, I left it. I wanted to add magnets, but had none on hand. The Katamari went to the back of my mind, and I was lazy in finding where to get magnets from. Anyway, last Thursday, I finally ordered some magnets and have put them in the Katamari. The result is quite satisfying!
The Katamari can hold the scissors pretty well! It takes two magnets to hold them quite firmly, but the weight of the scissors can make the Katamari tend to fall over. This might behave a bit better when I add the final two nodes. For objects that it has trouble holding onto with magnetic forces, the nodes are distributed fairly evenly over the surface, so objects can be balanced quite comfortably between them (as is the case with the box of staples in the image above). Objects can also be balanced on ones that are stuck on, like the brush. So there are a few ways to make the Katamari hold objects, and the overall effect is exactly what I was aiming for. The Katamari makes a great pincushion!
There is still some troubleshooting left to go. I will have to think about how to colour the Katamari – whether to use a variety of coloured materials, or to use fabric paints. I will likely have to glue the magnets to the insides of the nodes. And I will have to work out how to get the last two nodes onto the Katamari neatly. After I get those things sorted out, I’ll probably make a number of Katamari and maybe even some Team Fortress 2 Sticky Bombs.