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Midterms and the BOG

Dear Winterites,

Let me tell you about the BOG.

Sounds like something crazy, right? Something intense, perhaps, or maybe even dangerous. It has an ominous ring to it. Well, about as ominous as a Scooby-Doo villain. And I suppose it could be counted as a sort of monster as it took two weeks to conquer.

I’ll begin on Tuesday, October 11. After the Thanksgiving weekend, classes started up again. We all were collectively energetic from the long weekend and exhausted. We stood out in the hall, our classroom locked, and waited for security to show up with the key. Once class got set in full swing, the classroom grew loud with excited chattering. It happens.

Our assignment: the BOG. To dispel any illusions that this is some heinous beast, it’s a blade of grass. That’s it. We’re to animate a single blade of grass whipping back and forth. Week one is getting the lines of action all drawn up as a map for the actual animation, which will be tackled in the second week. This assignment is our midterm exam, hence why we get so much time to really understand this waving motion and the distortion tool. More on that later.

Once class had ended, I spent the rest of the day being as productive as I could on other projects. There are still stories to write and books to publish.

(After a couple sketches that were flops, I'm very happy with how this one turned out. I hadn't intended on drawing a background for it, but the image didn't feel complete without, so that's what happened.)

Wednesday. Continued on the assignment. Continued in personal project productivity. Ended up not going outside at all. Probably not the best plan, but whatever.

(Perhaps not my best but drawing that octopus on the goblet was a lot of fun. If it weren't for the hand, I would have enjoyed trying to detail it more. Oh well.)

Thursday brings diversity to our classes, as I’ve mentioned before. For our first class of the day, we focused on learning about the spine. Aside from our gesture exercises, all our drawings were centred around understanding how the spine curves and twists. As always, we’re constantly adding layers of knowledge on top of each other and hoping that eventually they’ll all gel. Week by week we’re adding new tools to our belts and learning how to operate them. Well, trying to.

(Above is my practice with drawing the curvature of the spine. To the left is my long study of Mr. Skelly. I think he turned out a lot better than the last skeleton long study we did.)

In the time between our two classes, I worked on some homework. May as well get it done during the “workday” so I can still have my evening free for fun. Then on my way to class I ended up meeting my classmates in the cafeteria and chatted with them for a bit.

Our task in our second class was drawing shrubs. Unfortunately, the day was a rainy one, so we went out to take pictures and then just ended class early. I felt rather tired, but I worked on art stuff anyway.

(This is probably my favourite sketch so far. It turned out great and I had a lot of fun working on it!)

On Friday I finished the traditional drawing for my blade of grass. I also finished the pendulum assignment from the previous week. That’s a pretty good start to the day and a strong finish to the week.

(Just a hand drawn line moving back and forth. Looks a bit like a mouse tail or something.)

(Back and forth. Back and forth. You are getting veeeeeery sleeeeeeepyyyyyyyyyy. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz)

I received some excellent news today! Finally! I got to talk to someone directly about my Communications exemption, which had gotten denied, and it was determined that I do not, in fact, need to take this course. So, despite the age of my transcripts, the exemption has been extended and I no longer need to waste my time studying English. Thank goodness!

Once again, the remainder of the day was focused on getting other projects done. Book stuff, mostly. Comic Con is coming, and I have been working diligently to get my next book ready for publishing. It all happens so quickly, I tell you! Plus, I foolishly decided I wanted to write a short story within this month as one of my goals. I did get an idea, but as usual, it’s an idea that could be a novel. So, we’ll keep trying to think up other ideas for that project and pray there will be time to get it done.

(Okay. I'm also super in love with this one. She kind of reminds me of Thumbelina, and I couldn't be happier about that.)

On the weekend I met some new people. They’re not from school, though one of the girls I talked with is a graduate of the course I’m currently taking. It was such a great feeling socializing again. Trust me when I say that school doesn’t fully count. I’d been a little bit nervous going in, but I was welcomed quickly and joyously, so that put me at ease. Everyone was lovely, and I can’t wait to build friendships with them over the next few years.

(This is the only sketch I did over the weekend. The Grimm Reaper is a pretty intense dude. Some monsters just aren't willing to accept when their time has come, and that's when he has to take things into his own hands.)

Back to classes as normal for another week of studies and projects.

As usual, our Monday class was a review of the requirements for the week’s workload, specifically the second half of the BOG assignment. We also went over the next upcoming assignment, which is a box fold. I think that one will be fun

Spent my afternoon on the Enviro drawings due this week. I’ve been having a hard time getting myself to work on them, so today I forced myself to get as far as possible. I’m determined to use the next couple of days to get it done. Early, if possible!

(I'm not really used to drawing trees, and I honestly don't think I did a great job of understanding the full shape of this particular maple giant, but overall, I'm pleased with how it turned out. Even if I had to interpret a few portions of it.)

Since the month is drawing to a close, and I won’t have time to write a new short story, I realized there’s one I haven’t posted anywhere yet. So, I’m giving that an edit, and it will be posted on the website before month’s end. Is it cheating? Maybe. But, in the words of Scrooge McDuck:

Work smarter, not harder!

Tuesday was back to the BOG. It’s a tedious assignment, but fun. I’ve been quite pleased with my progression. I got the whole thing setup and now it’s just down to tweaking and adjusting. Then I continued working on my Enviro drawings after class.

(Detailed portions of the tree. We have a leaf, a segment of bark, and something special or unique. I don't think the bark turned out all that fantastic, but the moss at the base of the trunk was fun. I thought that part worked out nicely.)

On Wednesday I got to hang out with one of my classmates after class. Our mini quest: book café!

Our main purpose was to chat and just hang out, but also to work on our Enviro drawings. My goal, to get them finished. Mission accomplished.

(The two above are plants of my own that I have in my room. I loved drawing them. It was a pleasure, and they modelled beautifully. Below was a plant I found elsewhere. Honestly, hated drawing it. It turned out, but I did not enjoy the process.)

To reward ourselves for our hard work, we explored the bookshelves. The store had so many lovely old books that I wish I had the money for . . . and a fancy home library to put them in. They even have a basement book labyrinth, which we only got a few minutes to explore because everywhere closes early during the week.

(Such beautiful old books, some of which look as though they might fall apart if you touch them. And a gorgeously bound collection of Shakespeare. Of course, what's a trip to a cafe without getting a hot beverage.)

Next time, Gadget. Next time!

(If you don’t read that with the voice in your head . . . wait . . . I think I just aged myself. Never mind.)

It was about the dinner hour, but as I said, everywhere closes early. We decided instead to get takeout back at his place. This meant I got to play with the dogs who, after freaking out about new friend, allowed me to sit with them and give them pets. So happy!

Thursday is always the busiest day, and I’m always super tired. Everyone seemed to be feeling exhausted during our first class as we worked on the final piece for our midterm assignment. To warm up though, we drew our gestures at first using our non-dominant hand, then without lifting our pencil from the paper, and then without looking at the page. Mine are absolutely all atrocious. Unfortunately, I seemed to just be having a day and even my long studies didn’t turn out as my best ever.

(Seriously. Neither of these worked out well. Sure, they still look semi-decent to someone who doesn't do art, but I know I've done better, so this was just disappointing, especially since I'll be getting graded on this . . . Unfortunate.)

Between classes I sat with some of my classmates where the conversation was typical randomness. Everyone was somehow more energetic for this second class, though perhaps it was a combination of it being everyone’s favourite class, and everyone being just way too tired. Either way, it was a bit more of a disruptive class atmosphere and our prof even shot the unruly with his nerf gun. Which, honestly, just made everyone even more energetic because they thought it was the best thing ever. Truth be told, it was pretty funny.

Ended my day by actually drawing something just for fun. I had skipped a few Inktober days due to scheduling and life, but I got another one done. Felt good.

(Harpy Hag!! Hahahahaha! This one was a lot of fun, though I sort of gave up by the time I got to the wings because I really just wanted to go to bed. Still, she turned out absolutely fabulous!)

Finished my BOG on Friday, then went for a walk with my little dragon companion because the weather was just so lovely. I did also manage to work on some of my writings before the day ended despite being, surprise, surprise, tired. At least it’s now reading week. I hope I can use my time wisely.

(Took out a couple frames so it no longer matches the traditional drawing, but I think it's got a cute little wave. One of my friends says it makes him feel ticklish. We were told not to spend too much time on the front element, so I didn't. A quick clump of dirt. Voila.)

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