Art of the Arts: An Ocean Away

Welcome back to my column! If you haven’t already figured it out, the next medium I’ve included in this piece is a PEN. Pen gives off a different feeling when used, because you know it isn’t erasable. But that’s a good thing, because you don’t have to keep erasing to make it “perfect”. Sometimes, it looks better imperfect.

As you can see, there’s two sides to this piece. Not only is one side using a different medium, but the other side represents different locations. As I am writing up this post, I’m in the humid country of China on a family vacation. So, I thought to myself, why not do a two-sided piece featuring my two homelands? I’m Chinese, and was born in San Francisco, California, where I’ve lived my entire life. That makes me Asian-American, also known as ABC, American-born Chinese. Though sometimes I feel as if I don’t fit in either cultures because I’ve lived in America all my life because I lack some knowledge of the Chinese culture and I’m not exactly American American, if that makes any sense. Anyways, if you couldn’t tell, I like doing collage-type of drawing, as you can see in my previous post. This is also a collage-inspired drawing of a few different landmarks that represent America and China.

Here’s a photo of my progress on my piece, started in SF finished in Guangzhou.

To create this piece, I used basic tools, because I didn’t want to carry so many supplies with me. I used a HB sketch pencil, 2B sketch pencil, 0.5mm mechanical pencil, 0.35mm black pen, 1.0mm black ballpoint pen, and a black micro Uni-ball pen. I also used a regular eraser and knead-able eraser to pick up on excess pigment, and to erase more detailed parts without it smearing. I started out each drawing with a quick sketch or outline of what I wanted using a lighter/thinner tool, and getting darker adding depth to it. I had to redraw many iterations of the statue of liberty to get it the way I wanted (took a LONG time) so don’t give up just because it doesn’t look the way you want it to the first time.

(HINT: this next medium is two words. The first word is in the first two paragraphs and the second word is in this last paragraph but is basically a freebie. Don’t forget to unscramble the words!)

In this photo the two different sides are right side up for you to get a better look.

If you were interested in the coordinates written:

Statue of Liberty: 40.6892 N, 74.044 W

Transamerica Pyramid: 37.4952 N, 122.4028 W

Empire State Building: 40.7484 N, 73.9857 W

Golden Gate Bridge: 37.8199 N, 122.4783 W

Great Wall of China: 40.4319 N, 116.5704 E

Canton Tower: 23.1075 N, 113.3402 E

Oriental Pearl TV Tower: 31.2397 N, 121.4498 E

Temple of Heaven: 39.8822 N, 116.4066 E

Terracotta Warriors: 34.381 N, 109.2785 E