Friday, January 27, 2017

Most memorable experiences

One of my most memorable experiences in this class was working on the still life drawing. I felt like I learned a lot of things in that unit that will be crucial to know if I want to keep drawing. We covered shapes, angles, ellipses, determining different shades, placement, texture, and many other things. When I finished, it was amazing to look back on my pre-instructional drawing and see all the differences. There were so many things I was doing wrong that I was unaware of. Even though my final drawing didn't turn out great, it still was a large improvement from where I was before.

Another memorable experience was working on the value self-portrait. It was a fun and unique project, while at the same time, it taught you how to differentiate shades of color from one another. I thought it was cool how you could give your portrait an entirely different mood by changing the color. I also liked the concept of how the portrait was split into different chunks of color, but at the end, all of these chunks came together to from a detailed, recognizable, face. Overall, I really liked this class and feel like I learned a lot from it. I'm excited to take drawing and painting next semester!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Project that I am most proud of

The project I am most proud of is my Oaxacan bowl. Even though it looks cross-eyed, I am happy with how it came out. The colors go well with each other and stick with the color scheme. The designs are interesting and neatly executed. I like how I did a leafy design as part of the face to show the habitat. Although I am proud about how this project looks, I am more proud of how I persevered to make it. This project took a lot of planning and decision making that really put me out of my comfort zone. When we had to split up the animal into parts and make a pattern for each part, I had no idea what to do. Although I got some inspiration from looking at Oaxacan artwork, I got stuck when it came to applying that to my animal. I was worried that a design I put down would not look good when I looked at it later. Eventually, I realized that I just had to make a choice in order to be able to move on. I ran into many problems like this making this bowl - what colors to use, what animal to do, how to include the habitat, how to include the black and white design - and I realized that sometimes it is better just to make the decision so you can keep moving. Creativity is not effective if you do not have limits.

Personal Space Box

Purpose: The purpose of this project was to look closely at the work of Winslow Homer so that I could better understand who he is as an artist as well as learn how to describe, interpret, and evaluate works of art. In response to looking at Homer’s work, I created a relief sculpture that is inspired by his work and concepts.
Artists Studied: Winslow Homer

My place is Prouts Neck Maine. It is a small beach community by Scarborough that is located on a peninsula. For as long as I can remember, my family and I have always gone on hikes there. We would walk around the peninsula on a trail along the water that would go over the rocky coastline. My brothers and I always used to play on the rocks and hunt for hermit crabs and shells in the tide pools. This place is important to me because many of my happiest childhood memories are here. When I think about the ocean, I picture my family and me climbing over rocks by Eastern Point with sea spray in our face. For a picture of myself, I've chosen one with me and my brothers crouched on the rocks. We are smiling but still acting a little silly.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Value Self Portrait


    1. To determine where values change when light moves over an uneven surface by using a range of values to paint the different values in a realistic, monochromatic self-portrait;

    2. To use your knowledge of color to choose a color that matches the mood of your pose.
    3. To effectively communicate an image that looks like you through careful examination of the values and structure of your face.

On this project, the aspect I am most proud of is how I broke up the face. I feel like I split it up in enough segments to show facial features, but not too much that it made the face overwhelming. I think I did a good job recognizing areas on the face that were different shades and deserved to be in different colors.This helped make the painting look like me and contributed to the fact that I didn’t have to outline any areas. Instead of lightening the pupils of the eyes to make them look more like me, I was able to leave them as they were in the picture. Another thing I thought (my partner and) I did well was mix colors. For the most part, our shades/tints had an increase in darkness/lightness that was gradual. I was proud of this because it is important to be able to tell one color from the other.
The most challenging aspect for me for this portrait was figuring out where to put certain values relative to the entire painting. It was difficult to be consistent with seeing the different shades/tints on different parts of the photograph. I would start writing down everywhere a certain value should go, and then look back and realize that the places I put it in are different shades on the photograph. Other times, a certain value would look to be suitable for multiple places, but in one of those places there would not be the right amount of contrast with a neighboring value. It was difficult to hold the same perspective for different parts of the painting, because often a value would look darker/lighter somewhere because of the colors around it. While planning out the portrait, I ran into many times where I was unsure whether to put a color somewhere. When this happened, I would look at the photograph as a whole. After I finished planning out the values, I looked back and made sure that every area I put a certain shade was the same color throughout the painting. Another thing I struggled with was the hair. It had a complex texture which would have had to be composed of many, many small lines if I had chosen to make it super realistic. Instead, I simplified most areas so I didn't have to spend 10 hours drawing out every separate shadow mark. I also blocked in the hair with an entire color and then went back and made some marks showing the texture.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Winslow Homer Analysis: Sharp Shooter, 1863

To become familiar with Winslow Homer, a Maine artist;
To look at Homer’s work as a way to inform and inspire your work.

Oil on canvas

  1. Describe as much as you can about the artwork (over the phone to someone who has not seen the painting).  What is happening?  How many people and/or animals are in it and what are they doing?  Describe any buildings that you see.  What time of day is it?  What colors are used?

A man with a gun is sitting in a tree. The tree is a large, thick-trunked fir tree with many branches and pine needles. The needles are greenish-brownish with some yellow and orange here. The man is sitting on the largest branch. He is not comfortably sitting, but engaged and ready to shoot. One of his legs grips the tree and is dangling over. The other is pressed taught against the place where the branch and trunk intersect. With one of his hands, the man clutches a small branch at eye level for support. With his other hand he holds his large rifle which is also stabilized by the branch. He wears a dark, greenish-blue uniform and brown army boots. He has the same color hat with an orange dot. He holds the gun to his face, looking down the barrel. The gun covers all his facial features. His hand is on the trigger, ready to shoot. The painting itself is backlit, with the background being almost white and the man and tree being dark.

  1. Point of interest/Composition – What attracts your eye first?  Where is it located? How does Homer draw your attention to this area?  (color contrasts, lines, location, changes in pattern, etc.)

The man is where the eye is attracted first. Homer uses the red dot on the hat to draw attention to the face, as it is the only vibrant color in the picture. He also puts a dark background (the tree canopy) for most of the man (the man is dark but the tree is dark and dulled). The man also disrupts other patterns such as the pine, and tree branches. He also has a contrast to the background dark green and brown with his black shirt and dark blue jeans.

  1. Balance - Is there symmetrical or asymmetrical balance? Explain...
This painting is asymmetrical. The man is relatively in the middle but his position is not symmetrical. The trunk of the tree is off to the right and the branches go up to the left. There is more sky visible on the left side than there is on the right side.

  1. Depth/Perspective- Is there a horizon line?  What is in the foreground, middleground, and background?  Is the background very deep and far away or is this painting shallow and close up? How do you know; describe it.
There is not any horizon line. The background is a whitish-yellow color visible through the trees. The foreground is the man and the tree. There isn’t much of a middle ground, other than the tree visible in the bottom left corner. The background appears close because of its brightness. It is a whitish yellow color that pops up behind the dark foreground

  1. Mood – What are the feelings, emotions and/or mood you get when you look at this painting?  How do the colors, lines, brushstrokes, composition, subject matter contribute to the mood?

The mood is very sudden and short. It seems like it is a single second in time, the man seems to be lining up to shoot something. The position he is in looks like he was quickly jarred, as if he saw what he was looking for. He is grabbing on to the branch and as if to stop himself from falling out of the tree with his foot stuck in the crook of the tree. The painting itself is very dynamic and conveys a lot of movement.

  1. Interpret - Now that you have looked closely at the artwork and have read the title, describe the story of the painting. What do you think Homer was trying to communicate?
The painting tells the story of a civil war shooter. Perched in a tree, he spies enemies and fires at them, sometimes ending lives. This is his job. We think Homer was trying to show the many ways people fought in the Civil War. By focusing on one person, we think he was trying to communicate how the war forced ordinary people to become soldiers.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Oaxacan Animal Bowl

Purpose: To create a clay bowl with an endangered species subject, decorated in the style of the Oaxaca painted animal sculptures.
Art Culture Studied: The Oaxacan Culture from Mexico

For my Oaxacan bowl I chose the Florida Panther. The Florida Panther is a subspecies of the Cougar, which was the species I was focusing until I realized it was less of a species and more of a grouping. I was generally drawn towards the big cats because I find them very interesting animals. They are dangerous predators and have amazing strength and stealth, yet share a large part of their DNA with ordinary house cats. They are also very rare, and I have yet to see one (or know anybody who has seen one) in the wild. Lastly, I think it shows a lot about the effects and power of humans when you see big cats who are at the top of their food chains being killed off so easily, like they merely weak, helpless creatures. Once I decided I wanted to use a big cat as my subject, I had to decide upon the many options within that area. I settled on a type of cougar, which are less populated than lions, tigers, and cheetahs but face the same situation. There are 32 subspecies within the cougar category, three of which are endangered. The most at risk is the Florida Panther, which has been recognized as one of the most endangered mammals on earth. Florida Panthers used to call eight southeastern states home, but now they can only be found in the southern tip of Florida. This is mostly due to loss of habitat. Human developement and growth is destroying and fragmenting their habitat. A number of Florida Panthers are also killed in automobile accidents every year. I've incorporated the habitat by making a design with leaves, vines, treetops and shrubs which depicts the jungle the Florida Panther lives in.

My color scheme was analogous from red to green. The red is an ordinary red, maybe a bit on the orange side, which I made from the the orange red with some normal red and yellow. The orange is a slightly yellowish-orange which I made from the really bright obnoxious yellow, the dulled yellow, and the reddish orange. The yellow is a very, very bright yellow made from the really bright obnoxious yellow and the dulled yellow. The green was an ordinary green, if not a bit blueish, which I made from the dull yellow, the blue, and the very bright obnoxious yellow. Red, orange, yellow, and green are all next to each other on the color wheel making them analogous. For the most part I like how the colors look. If I were doing this again, I would probably try and tone the yellow down a little more (make it less obnoxious) by adding more of the dull yellow. I would have wanted also to make the green on the yellow side, but every time I did this it looked way too bright. If it were a choice, I probably would have not included black and white in my bowl because they don't coexist perfectly well with my other colors and also make things very complicated.

For me the most interesting part of this projects was learning about Oaxaca culture and designs and then creating a design of my own. I really enjoyed watching the video on how oaxacan sculptures are made. How slabs of wood are carved into animals which are then brought to life with beautiful designs and colors.The intricacy with which the artists painted was amazing and really lowered my self-esteem. Looking at the websites filled with Oaxacan animals was entertaining, and it amazed me how many different patterns there were. This whole type of artwork is different from anything you would see in the United States, or anywhere else in the world. While I was creating the design for my Florida Jaguar, I tried to keep in mind these designs I looked at. One design that I found inspired the big, circle-base design on the forehead of my Florida Panther.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Fabulous Faces


  • To look a bit deeper at a variety of portrait artists who use a variety of media
  • Develop understanding of different artists’ work through inquiry, research, and synthesis