Greetings from my boring apartment

Greetings from my boring apartment - student project

I LOVE living in Phoenix, Arizona. It's sunny, the cacti are cute and always waving at me, and the sky stretches forever. But I'm also a homebody, so I experience most of Phoenix from my apartment, balcony, and apartment complex. So I decided to focus there. I think it's sort of funny that instead of making postcards that represent the incredible sunrises, sunsets, mountains, and desert of Phoenix, I'm representing my basic (but cute) apartment. Here's the life of my project:

G E T T I N G   I N S P I R E D

Greetings from my boring apartment - image 1 - student project

(going clockwise)

  • (original source unknown) I love the lines that make up the light source in the bottom left. The lines are energetic and fun, almost sparkly, while still conveying value
  • (Olga Gamy) I'm so inspired by these simple marks that perfectly make up the form of this bear. Masterful placement and spacing of marks creates all the values needed to make a big cuddly friend
  • (Christoph Niemann) Love how the character of this scene is conveyed through very simple and thoughtful brush strokes, I also like the high contrast of the marks and white paper
  • (Guo Chuanzhang) The atmosphere created in this piece is magical, and again, made up of thoughtful, but not overly complex, elements (a wash to create the rock formation coming from the fog, brush strokes to create tree limbs, dry texture to sharpen the rock features, etc)
  • (Trina Hyman) I love the high contrast, with the relief being the focal point. So much is shown and communicated in this scene (the house in the background, the figures in the dark being lit up by something they're holding, the dark woods before them, the tangle of trees) and yet it still feels easy

Greetings from my boring apartment - image 2 - student project

Blown away by the simple marks that make up these rich scenes. 

Greetings from my boring apartment - image 3 - student project

All three of these images represent a contrast level that I'm really drawn too. I also love the use of brush work and thoughtful highlights

Greetings from my boring apartment - image 4 - student project

These three represent an energetic and character-filled line that I'm really drawn to (no pun intended)


I'm surprised to see that my inspiration, for the most part, is either all pen work, or all brush work, with only a few featuring both. I especially love when soft brush shapes are aptly describing a shape, without further detail needed, bu then again, I love a blank page with a bold line blobbing across it. 

B A S I C   T E C H N I Q U E S

Greetings from my boring apartment - image 5 - student project

I really looked at my basic techniques time as a warmup to get things flowing. The only things that I noticed were my findings from above (values being painted in with thoughtful strokes OR energetic line work being my favorite) were reinforced. The apple in the middle with the thoughtful value brush strokes and the apple in the bottom right with the energetic lines are my favorites from the bunch.

Greetings from my boring apartment - image 6 - student project

Greetings from my boring apartment - image 7 - student project

I also enjoyed adding to my texture catalog. In the image below, in the upper left there's a texture where I started drawing tiny little x's and quickly realized it looked like a flock of birds flying away.

Greetings from my boring apartment - image 8 - student project

Greetings from my boring apartment - image 9 - student project

R E F E R E N C E   P H O T O S

Greetings from my boring apartment - image 10 - student project

Wanting to keep the pictures authentic to my story (kind of boring homebody), I walked around my apartment complex and took some pictures. I tried to consider composition, while also looking out for interesting use of value, or things I felt I could accomplish with my ink techniques. Reference photos clockwise: shot from balcony, shot of balcony, shot of sign from front of complex, side shot of our building, front door, Roger my cactus plant, my studio shelves, my desk, the stairway leading to our door


Greetings from my boring apartment - image 11 - student project

I'm glad I took the time to explore some thumbnails because otherwise I would've realized too late that some of the reference photos didn't really work as well as others. The side of the building shot ended up being way more boring than I thought, while the sign of the building and roger in front of the window ended up winning me over.

F I N A L   A R T W O R K

Greetings from my boring apartment - image 12 - student project

I ended up redoing this postcard and am way happier with the one on the right. It feels less tortured, and fits better with the set now

Greetings from my boring apartment - image 13 - student project

Greetings from my boring apartment - image 14 - student project


Dylan Mierzwinski
Illustrator & Lover of Flowers
Top Teacher