A Week Filled with Drawing

Hi everyone!

How was your week? Honestly, this week was probably the most stressful five days I have had in this semester. I have just had so much going on school-wise and also in my extra-curricular activities, I barely had time to breathe. Since I’m doing a double major and a certificate, I have to overload my courses every year – and let me tell you, I really felt the weight of all my courses this week. I had my second portfolio due in drawing class on Wednesday and I really want to share with you what I created and talk a little bit about each of the four drawings.


Portfolio 2

In our portfolio, we had to hand in four drawings, each based on a different concept: extrapolation, translation, speculation and documentation.



Extrapolation using graphite pencil

Extrapolation is a grid enlargement method. It is a technique used to allow artists to accurately copy a very small image and enlarge it to a much greater scale. In order to do this, you have to first take your original small image and divide it into a grid that is made up of equal length squares.This is what my original copy looked like:


Extrapolation Small Copy

This technique of enlarging images is actually not very complicated at all after this step. All you have to do is create a grid on your large piece of paper that has the same ratio as your small copy. In my case, for every 1 cm. x 1 cm. square in my small copy, this was a 2 in. x 2 in. square in my large copy.

After making the grid, I carefully isolated each square in my mind and copied the contour lines I saw into the larger squares. Since every component of the image is subdivided into small components (like pixels), it is much easier to retain detail and accuracy since your mind only has to focus on getting the proportions right in each small square.

This technique is commonly used to maintain proportions and render areas quickly. This was my first time using this method so I found it a bit difficult to render the facial features – especially because there is so much detail even within the small squares. The image is a picture of my boyfriend and his mom on her birthday. It was really hard for me to get the proportions just right in their eyes, nose and mouth. Even if the angle is slightly off by a tiny bit, it can completely change whether it resembles the person you are drawing or not. In the end, I would say I’m quite happy with it – it was a lot of pressure for me because I’m hoping to give it to his mom for her Christmas and I really want her to like it.


The next drawing I did used the concept of taking an existing artwork and making something new using influence from the original artwork. Translation allows the artist to build on an already existing idea, possibly to question the idea further. If you read my first blog post, you might recognize what original artwork I used and who the artist was: Colette Urban. I loved her figural painting and collage works so much that I really wanted to create my own on a larger scale. This mixed media piece is on 22 in. x 30 in. Stonehenge paper.

Instead of keeping the figure in small brush strokes, I wanted the figure to be more realistic and have more dimension. I used water colour to first create the planes of her body, starting from the bright yellow to a darker turquoise. I chose this pose because I really love how her long arms suggest the movement of flying.

I used india ink to highlight some areas on her body where there are shadows and to increase the depth and add shape to her dress. Next, I went through a couple of fashion magazines looking for a variety of colours and textures. I cut the pages into triangles and diamonds because I think these shapes really emphasize the direction of movement. The collage aspect of the piece gives the viewer the feeling that the figure is soaring through space while she leaves a trace of energy behind her.




The next drawing I did uses the concept of speculation – which means creating a project that you can’t actually create in this moment in time. Perhaps this is because of financial restraints, technical restraints like not having the knowledge of how to engineer the project or not being able to have the materials to create the piece. Speculation draws on the common use of sketches to quickly jot down ideas. In doing so, an artist can archive their ideas for future reference and also to refine the idea. A sketchbook is like a visual diary of an artist.

My idea for a project that I can’t actually create right now is to create an installation of an important moment in my life. Music was a huge part of my childhood and when I was in grade 5, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to play the first movement of Mozart’s piano concerto in A Major, No. 12, K. 414 with a mini orchestra. I have always wanted to learn to play strings and I clearly remember during that performance, seeing a double bass in real life for the first time. My speculative project is to create a double bass that is twice the size of a real one. I want to paint on canvas to create the illusion of a piano on one side of the double bass and paint the actual piano score from the concerto on the other side. I will have a projection of the video recording I have of the actual performance beside the instrument.

For me, this installation is a way for me to remember a memory and to express my love for music.




My final drawing uses documentation which allows the artist to record a time, place or event. An event refers to a combination of time and space that creates a definable moment. I chose to paint a memory from the last days of summer when I went to Wards Island with my boyfriend to celebrate our two year anniversary. We had a picnic on the beach and even though it was deathly hot that day, it was a lot of fun! I have always loved sitting by the water because of how peaceful and calm it is. It was a perfect day to walk along the boardwalk and see the city of Toronto while riding a ferry.

If you have tried any of these techniques yourself, please share them with me in the comments. I would love to read about them! Also, check out Adelle’s blog to learn how to create some really cool art and DIY’s. She has ideas about home decor, fashion and even has art lesson plans to teach you how to create your own art. I really love her idea about creating nature collages.

Even though I only got two hours of sleep on Tuesday trying to finish all of these drawings, I’m really happy with how they turned out. I guess the stress was worth it?

Click to tweet if you know how it feels to have a stressful week! Hope you have a great weekend!


Who is dolceinspiration?

Hi everyone!

My post today will be a little different from my previous ones. Instead of doing a tutorial, I want to tell you a little bit more about who I am as an artist and how I found my passion in art.

Growing up as an only child, I had to find ways to entertain myself. Art was the perfect way to express myself. I would spend hours making cards for imaginary events and making them as realistic as possible by putting fake barcodes on the back. My parents supported my continuous phases of new hobbies, through making jewelry, knitting, crocheting and scrapbooking. By the time I was in Middle School, I had experimented with web design and eventually coded my own subdomain. I taught myself Photoshop and was quite proud when I won the Agenda Cover Design contest at my school in grade nine. It was the first ever graphic design submission. Towards the end of high school, I struggled with trying to decide whether I really wanted to pursue my dream to be an artist or if I should study something more traditionally stable.  My parents supported me more than ever which meant that I had to truly make this decision myself. I have always had a strong passion for visual art but I also have interests in other subjects like English and Biology. I guess I ended up with the best of both worlds since I am now studying towards receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts Honours Specialization, Major in English Language and Literature and a Certificate in Digital Communications.

Art is only limited by a person’s imagination and it means so much more to me than just visual elements on a page. My work allows me to explore new ideas and ways of thinking. It gives me the opportunity to take chances, challenge basic assumptions and build on good ideas to make better ideas. In experimenting with new techniques and creating art that is outside my comfort zone, I am able to accept that there may not only be one answer to every question.

The following video is a short introduction that explains why I started this blog, what I will be writing about and shows a few examples of my own work as an artist:

This blog is like an artistic diary for me. It is an outlet for me to share with you fun craft ideas, to express my own thoughts about how I am growing as an artist and to learn about other artists as well. I still continue to wonder sometimes if I made the right decision to study art, but I know that at the end of the day, no matter if I become a successful artist in the future – what is truly valuable to me are the ways that art reveals things about myself that I didn’t know before and how it constantly pushes me to keep exploring the world around me.

If you don’t know where you’re going, all roads lead there.

– dolceartist 


DIY Envelope Cards and Jason McLean

Hello everyone! It’s been two weeks, but I have a lot to share with you today!

When I visited Museum London a couple of weeks ago, besides seeing Colette Urban’s exhibition, I also had the chance to see a collaborative art exhibition called “L.O. Today”. This exhibition features a group of artists including Marc Bell, James Kirkpatrick, Amy Lockhart, Jason McLean, Jamie Q, Peter Thompson and Billy Bert Young. Most of these artists grew up locally here in London and I have even had the chance of meeting Jamie Q and hear her talk about her own work and her experience with zines. The name of the exhibition stands for “Hello Today” which emphasizes the optimistic energy in this particular show. The art that is displayed ranges from posters, printmaking, sculpture and drawing. This particular exhibition will be running until December 15, 2013 if you’re interested in visiting!

Here are some pictures from the exhibition:

After visiting the exhibition, I did some further research on one of the seven artists, Jason McLean. The first time I encountered his artwork was when I visited his exhibition “if you could read my mind” last year, at the McIntosh Gallery that is located on campus at Western. Since then, I have been fascinated by the dialogue he creates in his art and the concepts he aims to question. McLean’s work is stylistic in his use of graphic lines and figures used to convey real emotions through the use of humour. I was really impacted by his work in the exhibition last year because of the way it seemed like the viewer truly was taking a peek into his mind. His drawings are like visual mind maps that jump from one space to another. His work ranges from  simplistic doodles to chaotic masterpieces, but they all have a similar effect on the viewer; They give the viewer the ability to see a person’s inner thoughts. He uses colour and shapes to create movement throughout the page and leads the viewer’s eye in many different directions. I love the way he uses text because it emphasizes the randomness of thoughts that go through everyone’s mind. It makes me wonder about the way people present themselves in outer appearance and how much we filter out what we are really thinking. This is one of McLean’s artworks from the exhibition I went to last year:


Artwork from “if you could read my mind”

My favourite part of the work is where it says, “This is a stone falling from the sky maybe actually a large rock it will hurt me for a little more but I’ll get better.” The way the text is written as a run-on sentence is an accurate depiction of the way our thoughts are in a constant flow.

This week I will show you how to create this gift card:gift-card-diy-envelope

I was inspired by McLean’s doodles and decided to create my own, which is what I will be using to create the little envelopes – but by all means, you can use your own drawings, patterned paper or even images from the Web to personalize your envelopes.

Here are the materials you will need for this DIY:


TIP: I have made a template that you can print out to make your envelopes!envelope-template-cut-out

Step 1: Fold your cardstock in half. This will be your card. step-1

Step 2: Cut out your envelope template and then carefully use the template to trace the same shape onto your other images/paper. Cut out your envelope shapes by following your pencil guideline. step-2

Step 3: Fold each envelope according to the dotted line. step-3

Step 4: Use your gluestick to create your final envelope shape. The best way to do this is in two mini steps. First, fold in sides 2 and 4 of the envelope. Next, only put glue on side 3 and glue this side down onto the other two sides. step-4

Step 5: Glue your envelopes onto the cardstock. At this point, I felt like my card was a bit too long so I cut it down in length. It’s completely up to you if you would like to do this or not. step-5

OPTIONAL: Write a short phrase to describe the intention of your card.


That’s all there is to it! Hope you had fun doing this DIY. Comment below and show me how yours turned out!

Also, as I was browsing other DIY blogs, I came across this awesome tutorial on how to make snow globe necklaces. Since Christmas is coming up kinda soon, I thought I’d share this with you:

Have a great weekend!