Art 2 Final

Hello world!  I know you've been waiting for this.

1.  Which project was your most successful?
       I think that the clay foods project was definitely my most successful this semester.  That was a process, let me tell you.  I really enjoyed that.  I don't know if I've mentioned this previously, but the thought of clay always seems so easy to me.  Like, one should just be able to take a piece of clay and bend it to look like the real thing, and bumpf!  There you have it.

     The real thing is actually a lot more complicated.  Especially with the apple. I tried about six different ways to get it to work, because you want to make sure that the apple won't explode, but you also want to make sure it looks like an apple.  (I'm going to try not to repeat myself here, but excuse me if I am).  This is what I wound up with.  I took a ball of clay and hollowed it out, because that's what Anam said she did in elementary school, and then later she was like, "I never did that!  Why are you doing that!"  And I spent a very long time going over the shape of the apple over and over again, refining the curves and dips.  I spent longer on this piece than on any other, several days just going over the shape alone, I think, so that's probably why it's the best of all my pieces.
     My other clay food was quite nice as well, the lettuce and the carrot both.  The technique I used in panting them -- covering them in the brown wash (I've forgotten the specific color), and then again in white, made all the colors really stand out, which  pleased me.  I was also able to blend the colors together in some places, which was also really cool.

To make the lines on the carrot, I took a little sort of hoop with a flat end (I don't know what that's called either), and just dug it into the surface. I went over some of the lines with my finger, and redid them so some weren't so deep, but I think they came out okay.  I then worked brown paint into the crevices.  Anam also suggested that I mix yellow paint into the orange onto where the carrot was sliced open, and that also worked very well. I want to also make a little carrot slice, but it dried up and crumpled before I could fire it.

2.  Discuss one project where you felt you were the least successful.
Original picture.
       I think my most least successful piece was the up-close drawing.  For starters, I chose to do something particularly difficult -- I love representing light, but I have no idea how to do it.  Also, I chose to represent a glass light fixture, with the light coming out of it and hitting something else. The fixture was glowing, so I didn't think I could shade it, but how else was I supposed to show that it was curved?  Beyond that, I chose a difficult focus.  I chose a dream catcher, which is like a web, so you have to draw the strands of the web in a way that accurately represents the real-live web.  I don't think I did that well, because I'm not good at representing space without having landmarks to anchor me, if that makes sense.

I don't think the drawing was horribly terrible, just a passing terrible.  If I could re-do this project, I would probably choose something less difficult.  My brother acquired a drinking bird over the holidays, and I think that maybe that would've been a better choice, because it's both interesting, and I understand how to drawing.  Just for example.  But I should've chosen practically anything else.
     I had the flash one when taking this picture, which is why the shading is off on the beads.  There were two sources of light, when in the drawing I only represented one, another bad on my part.
     Also, people told me in commentary that my drawing looked unfinished, which was incorrect.  It is very finished. There were supposed to be feathers coming down from the blue beads, but it was dark, so I couldn't see them.  And also, the picture is angled more steeply in the picture than in the drawing, which is a problem.  So, yeah.  If I could do this project over, I would choose another picture, and barring that, I would try to give myself better landmarks so I could plot out my space.

3.  Look at your body of work over the past semester and choose 2 pieces that that show your growth as an artist.

Perspective Piece vs. Final Collage!
       Let's just go down the list here:  Application of materials.  Personally, I don't think that this is applicable (haha) in this case, because I used several different mediums between the two pieces.  I supposed you could compare the Faceless Man to the Perspective piece, so that's what we'll do. I think that the application of the graphite was about the same n both places.  With the Faceless Man, I didn't strengthen the shadows as much as I did on the Streets drawing.  I don't think I needed to, but that is something.  Also, the Faceless Man didn't smudge that much because I modge-podged over him, while the Streets were hopelessly smudged because I just ran my hand all over them while drawing.  Pretty much.
     Techniques and skills:  (I really should have chosen other pieces, but these two showed the most dramatic difference!)  I used perspective (or at least attempted to use perspective) in the second piece, while it was required in the first, so the knowledge from first projects did carry over into later ones.  The techniques used in creating these two pieces were completely different, though, and don't know how I can compare them.
      Use of the principles and elements:  I used the elements of art, which are lines, forms, shapes, etc, in both pieces.  Space specifically, I think, because I was trying to communicate a place in both of them.  I was trying to use perspective to give the viewer a sense of where they were looking at.  In the first piece, I did it through line and shading, attempting to add depth to the drawing, while in the second piece, I used space by layering the trees, hopefully giving the viewer a sense that the scene was receding.  I also tried to imbue the first picture with a sense of texture, so viewers would be able to see the roughness of the cobblestones and the smoothness of the pillars.  In the collage, if you run your hand over the paper, you can feel everything I put on there (I also rubbed some places with sandpaper, to make it extra soft).  For principles, I tried to balance everything in both pictures, though that might be more evident in the second piece. I also attempted to use gradation, to show depth in both pieces, with the shadows in the first piece, and the places where the trees overlap in the second. Variety also shows in these pieces, I think, because the first piece has different shapes making up the houses, and the second has different shapes making up the Faceless Man, the Carapace, and then the trees.
     Creativity:  The second is far more creative than the first, I think.  The second was actually what was one my mind, while the first was what I would like to be thinking about.  What I would like to create.  So, it didn't look very good, because I was straining to imagine it, while the second one was already there for me.
     Intuition:  The same goes for creativity.  I tried so hard to plan out the first one, and I got so many mess ups and bad ideas and things that just couldn't happen.  By the time I did my final piece, I was just letting it happen, and though maybe my intuition wasn't as strong as it could've been, it still looks fairly fantastic with much less planning and stress than the first piece.
     Subject matter:  As I said before, the first one was what I wished it could be about, while the second was what it had to be about.  I know that's very confusing, and maybe there's no distinction at all, but there is one to me.  The first one was what I wanted to be inside of me, while the second one is what's already there.  So the second one is way more meaningful than the first. And, also, I'm more connected to the second one's characters, while I don't really understand anything about the first one, if that makes any sense at all.

4.  Choose 2 mini lessons that you felt were the most beneficial in your learning for that particular project.
      I really enjoyed the mini lesson about contour drawing and blind contour drawing (I will put pictures up shortly).  I know that that wasn't related, exactly, to any particular lesson, but the lesson itself has helped me in drawing other things.  Both the skeleton and my own hands were more interesting to drawn than I thought that they'd be, and they were so full of interesting shapes that it made them difficult to draw.  I've been looking at things closer before I draw them now,  and noticing their smaller details. My pictures outside of class hare looking more complete, and I'm very proud of myself for that.
     The candy mini-lesson was also very helpful, especially when it came to using oil and chalk pastels.  And, while doing these, I only managed to get a minimal amount of drawing supply on my clothes!  Hallelujah!  That is a miracle.
     I was really proud of my chalk pastel attempt.  I got the wrapper to look there but see through!  I was so proud of myself.  I was fairly cocky for quite a while.  (And then I did the up-close drawing.  Oh, well.)  I didn't realize that you weren't supposed to rub it in, and my chalk pastels have been looking so much better since!  Though, they have been messier.  This is just something my family will have to deal with.

My jolly rancher looks a little bit like a beta fish. Don't say it doesn't.  The ends so do.  I wasn't so sure on how to do the highlights in the wrapper either, so I just sort of wung it.  I was very proud of myself for figuring that I should just put a light blue line through the dark blue logo, to make it look like a bit of the logo was raised up. Too proud, I think.
     And my final project for this mini lesson was the dum-dum.  Someone kindly pointed out to me that it looked like an upside down knight's head, and I have never been able to unsee that.  It was my first experience with prisma-colors, though, and I was pleasantly surprised with how the colors blended together.  Of course, there were things I could've done better, and I think I discussed that in the blog post, but I was pleased with the prism-colors, and I really enjoy using them against the black paper.

5.  What medium was your favorite to work with?
  I still really enjoy graphite, but I also would like to work more with clay. And, as always, modge-podging was very fun.  So, I know that doesn't answer the question, but please let me continue.  We didn't do so much with drawing this semester, so I'll probably be signing up for drawing to continue working with that.  Of the mediums we focused on this semester, I think I liked clay the most.  I would enjoy working with it in a class exclusively for that, but maybe that will come along later in life, because I don't know if I want to take sculpture next year.  I enjoyed clay, though, because it seemed so lifeless-- a gray blob of nothing, and then I turned it into something that someone could recognize.  It's a sense of creations that nothing else has afforded me.
        The same with mixed media.  The physical act of putting things together makes me feel more fulfilled in some ways than drawing.  Maybe this is because it's quicker than drawing.  I can put things together and right away get an idea of what I've done and how far I need to go, while sometimes drawing is really hit and miss for me.  Collaging is like a puzzle only I have the answer to,  while clay is just waiting for my input.  Pencils have a life of their own, which can make them horrible frustrating sometimes (though, occasionally, that challenge is half the fun).

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