Thursday, January 26, 2017

Most Memorable Experiences

Overall, I really enjoyed this course and I learned so much from it, whether that involves traditional drawing and painting or learning about different artists and doing paper sculptures! Two of my most memorable experiences from this class were the value portrait and the still life drawings that we did of our hands holding objects. The value portrait was a memorable experience because it was so unlike anything I've ever done, yet at the same time, something I had often seen before in abstract pop art. I never imagined that a monochromatic painting could turn out to be so detailed and realistic, especially since it was the first painting I had ever done with value! I loved the whole process of mixing the tints of the colors, creating the tints of the colors, and finally, painting it! I found that painting was so relaxing and calming, since everything had already been planned and I felt confident in what I was doing. Overall, I was so pleased with the result and how realistic it looked!

The second highlight of this semester were the still life drawings we did of our hands. Each one of these took from five to ten minutes, but I found it so fun to play around with the different views of my hand in each position, and each curve and line in my fingers. Both of the processes of either creating a blind line drawing or actually being able to look at the paper, were good experiences to be able to focus on an object and really look at it like I never had before. I think that this is definitely an exercise that helped me improve a lot in my drawing ability, since I had to look so closely and really analyze how my hand was doing what it was doing. I think it was because of this activity that I improved so dramatically in my perspective and proportion from my pre-instructional to post-instructional still life drawing.

Project That I Am The Most Proud Of

The project I am most proud of from this semester is my still life drawing. I think this is because truthfully, before joining this class, I was afraid of having to draw and be graded on it - which I had good reason to be, as you can see on my pre-instructional still life! However, after the exercises we did and your instruction on how to add value (which I think is definitely what I struggled with most, since I only knew how to smudge), I improved so much and I am so grateful to have been able to grow this much artistically over the course of our short time in the drawing unit. After this unit, I have also learned how much work goes into creating a drawing. Previously, I thought that creating a still life drawing was effortless (either that you had skill to draw it quickly or you did not draw it at all), but after this, I have realized that it takes a long time only finalize the proportions of your objects, before even starting to add value! This was very eye opening to me and I have learned that in the future, I should wait and take time with my artwork, rather than discouraging and judging myself at the beginning.

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

The place I chose is the Red Square in Moscow, Russia. I chose this space because when I was younger, my family and I would go to Moscow during vacation and visit the Red Square. I’m an only child, so when we would go, we would meet up with all our extended family there. I remember it always being very exciting to be surrounded by family that I would rarely got to see, especially since all of these people were all in the same place at once! The memories I have there are so happy and positive, and whenever I think of this place, it puts me in a better mood. I have included a photo of myself from when I was four, because that was one of the ages I was when we went on vacation there. I also think that in this photo of me, I am as happy as I always was when we went to the Red Square, so it helps set up the bright and lighthearted mood of the box.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Winslow Homer Analysis: The Gulf Stream (1899)

To become familiar with Winslow Homer, a Maine artist;

To look at Homer’s work as a way to inform and inspire your work.
Title: The Gulf Stream
Date: 1899
Medium: Oil paint

  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?

The painting is split into thirds, where the bottom two thirds are a dark, stormy sea with sharks and a man on a broken sailboat, and the top third is a cream-colored cloud and another sailboat in the distance. Additionally it looks like this man is in trouble because of the three sharks in the foreground, the blood in the water, and broken mast of the boat. The water is turquoise and rough with a lot of waves. The only one on the ship is one African American man with cuffed pants on.

  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.)

When you first look at this painting, your eyes are attracted to the man in the boat, since this is in the middle of the painting and is a different color from most of the surrounding turquoise ocean. It is one of the biggest things in the painting and is one of the only things in the painting, besides the busy ocean in the back.

  1. Balance - Is there symmetrical or asymmetrical balance? Explain...

This painting is symmetrical because if you were to split the painting in half, besides a few differences is pretty much the same. The boat is in the middle so it would be pretty much equally split in half.

  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.

Yes there is, it is around two thirds up from the painting. It occurs when the sea meets the clouds, and you can tell it is far away because there is a distance ship on the edge of the horizon line. In the foreground, there are three or four sharks circling the ship. In the middleground, there is the ship with the man laying on it. In the background, there is the rough sea and the sky which contains a lot of low big clouds.

  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?

When looking at this painting, it is a very gloomy and scary scene. The colors represent this because they are very dark, dull, and mysterious. Also the component that adds to the mood are the sharks and the blood in the water. The stormy sea is also a component that adds to this feeling because of the color and the large waves.

  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?

I think that Homer is trying to communicate that this man does not have a chance against the intimidating sharks that are circling around him. They have probably eaten his crew members and broken his ship, which means that he will probably die soon. There is a ship in the distance which gives the viewer a little bit of hope for the poor man but the ship will probably not make it in time.

Saturday, January 7, 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.

I think that the eyes/eye area and the mouth are what I am most proud of for this project. This is because although I had difficult time with adding the details in the eyes, I did well with making the eyes look realistic and being one of the first things you are drawn to when looking at the painting. With the eyes, I think the small white dot (the reflection of light) in the eyes helped in making them look more alive and “pop”. The small details such as the crease line of my eyelid and the eyelashes also made them look realistic. I also think I did well with my mouth by adding depth on my lips through using darker and lighter colors around my lips (such as the chin, to make it look more three dimensional.

I think that drawing the nose was definitely the most challenging part of this assignment. This is because in the photograph, it was hard to tell the difference between the tip and the outer edge of the nose, making it extremely difficult to draw. This was also due to my lack of experience with drawing any kind of nose besides a direct view of it, so the fact that my face was tilted in the photograph made it even more challenging to draw. I dealt with this by making the tip of my nose more visible than the edge, by outlining it a little to show the shadow it projects onto the side of the nose. I also made the outer edge of the nose cast a small shadow on my cheeks to show that that is where the nose ends.

Saturday, December 17, 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

I chose the Island Fox as my endangered animal. This species of fox lives on the Channel Islands off the coast of California, although it has six different subspecies, which are unique to each different island. The main reason these foxes are endangered is because of the spread of disease. In the late 1990s, a wild raccoon was brought over to the islands, however, it escaped and brought with it a disease called canine distemper virus. Currently, 90% of the Island Fox that have lived on the islands have died to this disease. Another reason why it is endangered is because of insecticide poisoning, from the insecticide that humans spray on the islands. The final reason why the Island Fox is endangered is because of predators such as the Gold Eagle.

When I first began doing this project, a major decision for me was deciding which color scheme I wanted to use. I decided to use a primary color scheme, since you do not often see paintings using this scheme. I mixed and tinted the three main colors I used (red, yellow, and blue) and I am really glad that all these different tints look good together, even though they are from all different areas of the color wheel. I am overall really pleased with how all the colors work together to make certain ones pop (such as yellow) and emphasize certain key parts of the bowl. If I were to do this project over again, I would like to try experimenting with other color schemes (such as analogous or warm color schemes), since I think that each of these different color schemes would produce an overall different impression of the bowl when looking at it.

The most interesting part of this project for me was getting to research many different kinds of endangered species and to learn more about them. In my free time, I used to love learning more about animals, meaning that doing this as a project and later getting to also incorporate painting into it was very fun for me! I think that because of this project, the people that painted the bowls and also the people that will view the bowls will be more aware of the growing problem of endangerment. After watching the TED Talk at the beginning of this unit, I realized that one of the biggest ways to stop endangerment is awareness, which ca be done through viewing and learning more about the animals featured on these bowls. I also really enjoyed getting to learn about color and paint, since in the past, I have not done much with this. Overall, it's hard for me to choose which pat of the project I enjoyed the most since each aspect was so unique and exciting in its own way!

Saturday, December 10, 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