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Crop Art diary

A journey to the Minnestota State Fair Crop Art Competition

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"How's that crop art coming along?"


This year's crop art diary.
Soapy the Chicken 2006 crop art diary.
Please note: These are large downloads.


Sunday, July 10, 2005

At this time of year I get rude.

No, I can't meet you for lunch. No, I can't go to a movie. No, I don't want to talk to you on the phone. I'm busy!

My friends and family don't like it, but they understand. It's crop art season.

I don't like it either. I do want to go to that movie.

This year I thought I'd do something in response to the question, "So, how's that crop art coming along?"

Okay, let's get you up to speed.

I've been working on this year's picture of Maggie Cheung for a couple weeks. First I had to get the right picture. The Internet usually makes this easy. I got a really nice picture of Anita Mui off the Internet for last year's portrait. But I got last year's Buffy the Vampire Slayer image off a DVD box.

Anyway, I found the best quality and best pose for Maggie on the Internet. It's a computer wallpaper picture from a Chinese-language Web site promoting last year's movie, "Hero."

Once I've got a picture I like, I copy it using FreeHand. Taking the image down to as few lines as possible. Also using a thick line on FreeHand approximates how the picture may look rendered in seeds.

I take a printout of this picture and use an Art-O-Graph to copy the lines on to a masonite board painted white.

Now I have a starting place outside of the computer.




I use a printout of the original picture to help me paint a likeness of Maggie. I want to have a painting to suggest what the picture will look like when it's done. Also, the colors under the seeds will help define the edges of the picture. While the lines from the FreeHand drawing give me a starting point, I have to really look closely at the printout picture to see where the shadows fall on the face.






I decided to get rid of the hair blowing past her mouth to clean up the image. But that has created a problem because I don't know what the shadow on her cheek should look like. I'm going to have to play around with that some more. It's just not quite right yet.

I'm not sure I can start pasting seeds until I get that cheek worked out. Hopefully I'll have it looking right soon, 'cause I'd really like to get pasting some seeds today!

I'll continue to refer to the printout of the photo as I paste. Adjusting as I go along, hopefully I'll get the picture to look more and more like Maggie as I go.

--David Steinlicht


Monday, July 11, 2005


Still messing around with the painting. I think the cheek shadow is better this way. A little.

I've started pasting seeds. Canola, birdsfoot trefoil, white clover, wild rice. I usually start with the eyes. Because they are small it seems like you've accomplished something without doing too much work.

--D.S. 1 hour


Tuesday, July 12, 2005


Working on the shadows using amaranth. A small seed. It takes a while to cover any area when you are pasting one by one. I break it up into rounded shapes, trying for a random smooth pattern.

--D.S. 1.5 hours
(I'd like to take a moment to thank my pal Doug for the gift of the camera I'm using to record these photos. Thanks, Doug!)


Wednesday, July 13, 2005


--1 hour

Thursday, July 14, 2005


--1 hour

Friday, July 15, 2005


--1 hour

Saturday, July 16, 2005


Breaking up a large area into little pieces.

--1 hour

Sunday, July 17, 2005


--2 hours

Monday, July 18, 2005


--3.5 hours

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


--2 hours

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


--1 hour

Thursday, July 21, 2005


Finished amaranth shadows on the face. Painted face light areas to prepare for millet. Continuing amaranth on neck shadows.

--1 hour

Friday, July 22, 2005


--1.5 hours

Saturday, July 23, 2005


--1 hour

Sunday, July 24, 2005


Lips (white clover and birdsfoot trefoil), eyebrows (wild rice), reworked the pupils (celosia), closing in on the end of the amaranth.

--3 hours

Monday, July 25, 2005


Finished with amaranth. Starting on wild rice and canola in hair.

--4 hours

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


Canola in hair.

--1.5 hours

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


--2 hours

Thursday, July 28, 2005


--2 hours

Friday, July 29, 2005


--2 hours

Saturday, July 30, 2005


--1.5 hours

Sunday, July 31, 2005


--4 hours

Monday, Aug. 1, 2005


Starting the millet.

--4.5 hours

Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2005


--2 hours

Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2005


--2 hours

Thursday, Aug. 4, 2005


--2 hours

Friday, Aug. 5, 2005


Starting wild rice in hair.

--2 hours

Saturday, Aug. 6, 2005


--1.5 hours

Sunday, Aug. 7, 2005


Red millet background.

--5.5 hours

Monday, Aug. 8, 2005


Going back over hair with more wild rice.

--2.5 hours

Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2005


Red millet.

--2 hours

Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2005


A little millet here and there. Mostly red millet.

--5 hours

Thursday, Aug. 11, 2005


--4.5 hours

Friday, Aug. 12, 2005


--2 hours

Saturday, Aug. 13, 2005

--0 hours, taking a break

Sunday, Aug. 14, 2005


--2 hours

Monday, Aug. 15, 2005


That's it for the seeds. Painted the edge of the board to match red millet.

--2.5 hours




Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2005


Put into frame.

--0.5 hour




Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2005

Made 4 x 6-inch legend card.

Put hanging wire on back of picture.

Attached legend and official State Fair entry tag to hanging wire -- using plenty of string so the tags can be hung to the side of the picture.

I'm done! Maggie is ready for the Fair!

--2 hours


Back to this year's seed art diary


[tiny seed] Images on this page ©2005 copyright by David Steinlicht. Crop Art web site ©2006 copyright David Steinlicht. Use of these images without permission is prohibited. Questions or comments? Write to steinlicht@pobox.com.