Beginning Drawing Portfolio Rachel MArsh

My name is Rachel Marsh and I am a junior at Zeeland West High School. Other than taking interior design last year, I haven’t been in an art class since seventh grade. I’ve always been considered a creative person whether that be through writing, dance, photography or music, but it has never been through art. It wasn’t until I took this class did I know that all it took was an amazing teacher and hard work to develop the skills to become somebody who could draw.

What do I want to do with my life after high school? I’ve been asking the same question. I know I want a degree in either business management or entrepreneurship. I know I want to go to either Central, Northern or Western Michigan University. What I don’t is what I want to do after that. I know I want to own my own business but I don’t know what that business will be.

Elements of Drawing

Contour drawing, is an artistic technique in which the artist sketches the contour of a subject by drawing lines that result in a drawing that is essentially an outline of a piece. Blind contour drawing is a drawing exercise, where an artist draws the contour of a subject without looking at the paper. The point of the exercise is to learn how to access and use the right side of your brain which helps you accurately observe and portray your subject.
Upside down drawing is an exercise to teach an artist's mind to look more at how contour lines of a drawing are in relation to each other on the page instead of looking at the picture as a whole.
These exercises may seem like busy work at the time, but they help you exercise your brain and develop techniques that will help make your drawings more accurate to the original picture.

Negative and Positive Spaces

Positive space is the areas in a piece that are the areas of interest. Negative space is area around the subjects, or areas of interest.

The positive space of this piece is the body of the otter while the negative space would be the water around it. This is made clear on the right side of the drawing where you see just the contour of the body surrounded by an area shaded black.

Hand Drawing

When drawing a hand, the shading is what makes it come alive. The negative space around the positive space is the defining ingredient that will determine if it will leap off the page or if it will remain a flat drawing.

When comparing my preliminary and final drawings, you can see a huge improvement. I was able to improve on the proportion and shading of the hand. However, in my final drawing, you can tell that I hadn’t mastered the technique of blending the positive and negative space. I needed to blend around the hand more to give it a lifelike appearance.


Stippling is the shading of a contour drawing using only small dots. The closer together and greater number of dots, the darker the value of the area will be. The further apart and fewer number of dots, the lighter the value of the area will be.

2 Point Perspective

A 2 point perspective is a piece in which parallel lines along the width and depth of an object are represented as meeting at two separate points on the horizon which are called vanishing points.

Something that proved to be very difficult for me were the bricks. The closeness of the lines and many vanishing points made for a very challenging drawing experience.

Self Portrait

The improvement from my preliminary portrait and my final portrait is astounding. Before, I had absolutely no clue as to what to do to create lifelike facial features. By the time I drew my final portrait, I was had developed the skills to create lifelike objects of the face that were correct in size. Despite the spacing of my features being a little off from the actual picture, it's a very close representation of myself. Something that I need to improve on would be the value of my skin tone and my hair.

Conceptual Art (Ruscha Ribbon Drawings)

Conceptual Art is art in which the idea presented by the artist is considered more important than the finished product, if there is one.

I made it more difficult to shade when I made my original letters so thin. I needed to blend my areas of darker and lighter values together to make it appear three dimensional. My areas of shading are more separated than they are in the original picture. Despite the choppiness of my values, I did improve on my shading quite a bit. I had darker darks and lighter lights than I had in my previous pieces.

No matter how my day was going, I could always count on this class to put me in a good mood. I looked forward to it everyday. It could be stressful at times when mastering a skill was difficult but overall it was fun to be able to come into this class and relax.

I think what I improved on the most on was shading. I had no clue whatsoever as how to shade before this class. The shading of the different values of a piece is what really makes it come alive. I think your proportions could be off a little off but if your shading is good, your piece will be a success.

I used to think you were either born with the ability to draw or you just weren’t. Never did I think I would be able to have the ability to draw. I have come a long way since the first day of school but I also have a long way to go. I’m looking forward to continuing to practice and further improve my skills.

Created By
Rachel Marsh


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