Art 1 Final Portfolio

1. My favorite and most successful project this semester was the clay tile.  I think this is because it was the last one I did and I learned so much from other projects that I used in this one.  It took a long time because we had to actually sculpt the clay and let it dry and harden in the kiln, and after that use acrylic paints to make it colorful.  I drew a sketch based on two references of the rainforest and toucan that I found online and eventually got to start building it with clay.  Before I could do anything with the clay, I had to wedge it to get all the air bubbles out.  I started creating the background first, and eventually moved on to the foreground and focal point, the toucan.  In order to make it look 3 dimensional, I rolled up some paper towels and put it under the toucan's body and beak, so when it dried it would look like it's popping out.  The texture that I added to the flowers and trees made it look a lot more realistic.  The painting was the best part though.  I started out with a burnt sienna light wash before I started adding in the real colors because the clay is porous and absorbed the first layer.  After I mixed and added all the bright colors, the clay tile started to look really good and that's why I consider it to be the most successful project of the semester.

2.  The project that I learned and developed the most from was the value portrait that we did near the beginning of the year. It definitely wasn't my favorite project, but I definitely think I learned a lot of important skills from it.  Basically everything we do in art involves different values, whether they're black and white or in color.  As the class went on, I found myself using values in other drawings and paintings and I was so glad we did the value scale and this portrait.  It took a lot of blending and erasing to get the right look for this drawing.  We started out using a grid and transfer paper and sometimes it was hard to see the lines through the paper, so I had to hold it up to the window.  After drawing in the shapes of the values, I got to start the real shading and that was pretty difficult. The kneaded eraser and blending tool help a lot when you are drawing in black and white.  Eventually we did oil pastels with values, chalk with values, colored pencils with values, and paintings with values, so that's why this project was so important.  It created a foundation for the rest of the class.  

3.  The game drawing that we did in class used many techniques that we had learned from previous projects.  Of course, it was also fun to be able to play the game before we took pictures of it!  I chose the "Sorry!" board game and had to draw it in two point perspective.  In the days before, we had been working on drawing cities, objects, and letters in one and two point perspective in our sketchbooks using a ruler.  This was difficult for me to learn how to do because I'd never tried to draw something like that before.  When we went to draw the hallway at school, mine was not very good because I had no idea how to draw something that went off in the distance.  In the project, I used the skills I learned for perspective drawings in class.  After I got the pencil drawing done, I had to add light washes of color using water colors.  I learned that skill from the stencil that I added watercolor to previously.  The most important thing about watercolor paint is to make sure you don't add too much ink because you can always darken the color, but you can't make it lighter once its on the paper.  After the paint dried on the paper, I didn't think the project looked very good because it just looked messy, but then I started adding colored pencil values and everything changed. I learned values from the portrait and anamorphosis drawing, so I was definitely prepared to make it look better.  I think the best thing to do when adding colored values is to make sure you add colors that you wouldn't necessarily expect to be using.  For example, it looks good to have a purple shadow on the game piece rather than a black one!  Also, you don't want to have everything be one bland color, so on the big green part of the board I added a lot of yellow and blue to make it look more interesting. 

4.  The project that I think was the least important for learning the concepts that were being taught was the spray paint and stencil project.  I found a beautiful picture of the Golden Gate Bridge online and changed the threshold of it on photoshop so it would be dark.  I learned about positive and negative space from this project, but I don't think that was a huge concept in the class overall.  I enlarged the picture and drew the basic shapes on a huge piece of white paper.  The hardest part for me was figuring out which shapes to cut out with the xacto knife, I just didn't know how to cut them in a way that would make sure they didn't just fall out, so I ended up using a lot of tape to hold my stencil together.  Making the collage was definitely fun, I enjoyed finding the pictures in the magazines and making the newspaper different colors with the water color paints.  The spray painting was also fun because I sprayed the background neon orange and pink so the black stencil would show up better.  I honestly think mine turned out pretty bad, but I worked hard on it anyway.  I just don't think that I would use the concepts of this project in any other art I would create because it was pretty confusing.   

5.  I chose my landscape painting as the piece of artwork that has a subject matter that reflects me as an artist.  I have a personal connection to this painting because the beach is probably my favorite place in the world.  It's so relaxing and beautiful there, and if I had a choice I would live there.  The coastal towns are so cute and the people are so friendly, I just love it there and I'll probably go there a lot when I'm older.  When I figured out we were painting a landscape I automatically knew I would choose the beach.  The colors also explain me because I love blue and the sky is the cobalt blue and the water is a color that I mixed that is lighter, but also has some green and purple in it.  I mixed my paints on a pallette and my painting stood on an easel while I was working on it.  The sand was the hardest color to mix because I had to make brown by mixing the primary colors together and then add a lot of white to make it lighter.  My horizon line is where the ocean meets the trees and goes up to the sky.  I used shades of green in the trees because some places where light, where I used yellow-green, and some places where dark where I added some black to the green.  I also like the way the foam looks as the wave touches the sand.  This was one of my favorite projects and I think it was really successful!

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