Art III Portfolio Kali Harrison

Ring of Stars

“Ring of Stars” depicts twelve different Zodiacs, the front showing their constellation in the galaxy sky, and the back presenting their symbols. All twelve are hanging down from a mobile, forming a ring. The color scheme is based off of a cool palette of blues and purples a hint of pink as an accent. The front and back are inverses of each other in color. The front has more color to it, whereas the back has more white space to it, adding to the interest.

This piece has a mixture of medias, from paint, modeling paste, wire, and yarn. With the paint, I used a dabbing motion to add texture and blending to the galaxy on the front. On the back, I applied two different colors on each side of the same brush to create a dual color stroke for the symbols. The constellations were made out of layered modeling paste to make them raised and stand out from the rest of the sky. I used the wire to form into a ring shape for the constellations to dangle. After that, I wrapped the wire with dark blue yarn to make it blend with the color scheme. I also used the yarn as a way to hang it on the ceiling.

The big idea of this piece is that you get the impression that you’re looking up at the stars. I arranged the individual twelve components in a mobile form to try and enforce that idea. Not only does this work show the night sky, but it also displays all of the Zodiac signs. People looking at this work will be able to learn things about astrology. They will be able to visually see the order of all the signs on a smaller scale than the vast night sky. Another thing is that you will be able to find out what your constellation looks like based on the sign, or vice-versa, by observing this piece.

My goals I had for this project was forming a way to paint the galaxy, adding details to emphasize my idea, and creating the constellations. In general, I wanted to come out of this work feeling accomplished that I have tried and done something new. With all of the new techniques and obstacles I have overcome, I do believe and feel confident that I have met all of my goals for this project.

Overall, I really enjoyed working on this piece. I have learned various different techniques as I went along that I will definitely be using in the future. Also, this was a challenged to me because not only was it a very large 3-D piece that I have never done before, but I have also worked with a lot of new materials and means of doing things that I have never used before. Beyond art lessons, I have also developed a better understanding of astrology and zodiac symbols.

Growing Up

This work, titled “Growing Up” is a series of self-portraits sculptures made out of cardboard. The portraits, one of a younger version of myself and one of an older version, follows a monochromatic color scheme of the box brown. Using the more extreme ends of the palette, white and black, created a bit of a contrast between everything.Within the cardboard, there is a variety of different textures going on to make the piece seem more realistic and interesting. For the background of the younger version, I ripped up colorful magazines that represent a positive vibe and covered in a glossy top coat, whereas the older one I tore up newspapers that had negative headlines written on them, covered with a matte top coat.

While the main media in this piece is cardboard, there is some others mixed in, including newspaper, magazine and a tiny bit of charcoal. With the cardboard, I used printed out pictures of myself as stencils to create the basic shapes. I then layered these shapes to create a 3-D effect and glued them together. On top of that, I used an x-acto knife to carve and scratch out some of the textures found in my hair and shirt. By only taking out one or two layers of the cardboard, I was able to create interesting textures. For the background, I simply cut out different newspaper headlines for the older version of me and magazine pictures for the younger and glued them onto paper to create a collage. The cardboard sculpture was glued to the collage background.

The big idea for this piece is the effects of growing up. As a young child, you were never subjected to anything considered bad. You were always sheltered and protected. Your mind was pure. However, whenever you grow older, you begin to see the world more and more for how it really is. You begin to hear, and maybe even see, some of the terrible events that happens throughout the globe. This piece tells that story and shows age comes with some negative side effects and a different view of the world.

My goals for this project were creating unusual textures, using a monochromatic color scheme, and making an interesting display. I think that I succeeded in challenging myself to incorporate all of these goals to make a finished product. Using all of these objectives together helps express the big idea I had in mind. Also, I have completed the goal of implementing strategies I have used in the past for cardboard and strengthened them through this project.

All in all, I am satisfied with how this artwork turned out. I think I did a good job challenging myself with something relatively new. While I have done projects that incorporate some of the techniques I have used here, I have never used them together. This has helped me build upon those previously learned skills and become a better artist. Another thing is that I really think I did a good job of expressing a story through this work. In the future, I hope to continue using these techniques as well as continuing to have a message behind my projects.

Look Deeper...

"Look Deeper..." is a work that uses many different techniques to create a final product. Each paper cube is 3'' x 3'' x 3'' and glued onto a cardboard surface. On one face of each cube, a detailed zentangle is drawn, each one conforming and interlacing with a letter. The background that each cube is glued onto is composed of scattered book pages. They are toned down a lot by the translucent coat of black paint in order to ensure the primary focus is on the cubes. Overall, the piece follows a dreary, black and white color scheme.

The first step of creating this work was to make the cubes. To start out, I started out by making a basic cube stencil, making sure that it is as accurate as possible by using a ruler. After that, I used that stencil to trace and cut out the amount of cubes I needed. Letters were then traced onto one of the cube faces and I began to draw the intricate design with sharpie. Once all of the drawing was completed, I assembled the cubes into their 3D form. For the background, I used ripped out pages from a chapter book and carefully scattered and glued them onto a cardboard surface. I then painted the pages black, but not too opaque that you could not recognize that they were book pages. In order to create this effect, I used a paper towel to dab the paint onto the surface instead of using a paint brush. Finally, I arranged all of the cubes in their order in the best way possible onto the background and hot glued them together.

There can be many different "big ideas" for this piece. Overall, the message literally written in the title as well as the artwork is "Look deeper... read between the lines." Instead of expecting everything to be obvious and right in front of you, you may have to look a little. This message is not only stated, but it is also in a way experienced. At first glance, most people are probably not able to read what is written, so they may have to take some time and "look deeper" at the work in order to fully understand it. This meaning can be applied to life. Sometimes, there are going to be things that are going to distract you, and it may be sticking out right in front of you (just like the cubes are), but you just need to take some time and process what it actually going on instead of simply skimming over it. People may be distracted from all of the smaller things instead of looking at the big picture.

For this project, I had three main goals I wanted to achieve. First of all, I wanted to be able to send out a message. I think through the various ways I have tried to implement symbols and meanings makes this goal a success. Another goal I had was my zentangling skills. Since I have been doing that kind of stuff for a while, I wanted to try and make it better. I not only used previous designs I have done in the past, but I have also tried to do some new patterns, growing my zentanble capability. Lastly, I wanted to work on the presentation of everything, whether it be flat, 3D, etc. For this, I decided it would be a challenge if I went with doing something 3D rather than making it all flat. I think that it adds more meaning to the piece. It was also something different than doing something flat.

Overall, I really like how this piece turned out in the end. It looks very different compared to other things I have done and has a unique message. I feel like I have grown as an artist, and I am challenging myself with more in-depth projects. I was able to incorporate more meaning into my work than before. Also, I was able to experiment with different techniques, such as drawing and painting skills, that I will be able to implement in future works. In the future, I still hope to continue adding more depth and meaning into my projects as well as discover new art techniques.


First photo: 1 - 4 in series || Second photo: 5 - 8 in series

Click on each photo to enlarge & see entire picture

This piece, titled “Planetary”, is a series of eight different paintings depicting each of the eight planets in our solar system in order. Each one of the paintings in the series has a different scale to them to emphasize the difference of size, the smallest size being 3.75’’ x 2.5’’ (first in the series) all the way to the biggest 18’’ x 12’’ (fifth in the series). To go along with showcasing their differences, they all have varying textures, whether that be smooth or rough, to correspond with their actual textures. Each one of them as a black frame around them in order to make them stick out more.

To begin the creation process, intensive research had to first be done. Since all of the planets are different, I had to look up their texture, color, and size in order to create the most accurate representation of them. Once that was done, I began the actual art-making process by cutting out pieces of paper in the size that I needed for each one. After that, I began to give them texture by painting on modeling paste in either smooth strokes or rough dabs, depending on the planet’s texture. I did a couple coats of this to build up the texture. Then, I began to apply on the colors with tempera paint. Paint mixing became a part of the process in order to match up the colors. I attempted to create even more texture by adding various colors to the work using dark and light strokes. Whenever everything was painted and dried, I went on to creating a special ring for Saturn (6 in the series) by cutting out a ribbon and gluing iridescent flakes to it, then proceeding to glue it onto Saturn as a finishing touch.

The main idea behind this work is simply a view of the abstract planets. They will be able to view how they are different they are. The scale, texture, and color of the paintings give the people viewing it a sense of how the sizes of the planets compare to one another, how the rocky and gas giants display different textures, and how each one radiates their own unique color scheme. For me, I wanted to create something a little different than I have created in the past. I thought that using modeling paste and more in-depth painting was the way to go.

My three main goals for this project was implementing textures, creating scale, and conveying color. For texture, I used the modeling paste. As I went on, I discovered new, successful techniques to create varying textures for each piece in the series. Next, I worked to create scale by doing math to correctly and accurately make each piece of paper to scale with one another, just making them bigger or smaller to correspond. Finally, I studied pictures of all of the planets and their colors and patterns as well as spent time mixing together different colors to create a final color that best matches the actual color. Overall, I thought I was pretty successful in my goals and created a work that best shows my skills in those areas.

All in all, I really enjoyed doing this project and I liked how it turned out. I have learned new useful skills that I will be certain to implement in my future works, such as modeling paste and tempera painting. I also like how I was able to challenge myself with an extensive project that took lots of planning. It feels even more rewarding in the end whenever I finally complete it. Because of this, I will continue challenge myself further in my works and push myself to learn new things as well as strengthen the techniques I have learned here.

Now That We're Men

Photos shown in the order of the series

“Now That We’re Men” is a series of three mixed media portraits of three different guys looking in varying directions. Each one in the series measures at 11’’ x 17’’ (not including the frame). The pictures have been edited so that they have a dark, black-and-white color scheme. The mixed media element, the beards, have a colorful marbled look to them made with shaving cream and watercolor that contrasts with the dark vibe of the portraits to give it a color splash.

The first step I took in creating this series was asking guy subjects to pose for me for the photographs. I positioned them in front of a wooden door for texture and asked them to look in multiple different directions. Then, I took the best photos of each guy and the photos that flowed best together and edited them on Photoshop to desaturate them and darken them. After that, I went on to making the marbled beards. First, I took shaving cream and sprayed it into a pan. Next, I took liquid water color and added multiple drops of different colors to the shaving cream, swirling with a paintbrush to make it marbled. After that, I took colored tag board and pressed it onto the shaving cream to create a print of the water color. Once I lifted it up, I set it on the table and scraped off the shaving cream to reveal the marble print. I let each one dry and went on to making the stencils for the beards. I printed out unofficial photographs of the men in order to draw the beards and cut them out. I then traced this cutout onto the marbled paper and cut it out to finally glue onto final prints of the guys.

The big idea I had for this project is that there would be a contrast of different elements. Physically, the bright beards contrasts with the dark portraits to create a color splash. This could be taken in a more abstract sense because the serious tone of the photographs contrasts with the lightheartedness of the beards. It could represent that even though becoming men is inevitably more adult like, there will always be some child left within them. I was partially inspired by the “Now That We’re Men” song from the SpongeBob movie.

My goals for this project was to create a visual story, combine various medias, and directing my subjects. I completed the visual story goal by picking out photographs that flow well together and creating the story of having a bit kid left in them. For combining various medias, I tried the new technique of creating prints from shaving cream and liquid watercolor to glue onto the photographs. Finally, for directing my subjects, I had them stand in front of a wooden door to create some texture in the background that correlates with the mood of the photos and had them look in multiple different ways in order to have various options to create the best flow between the series. Overall, I think I have met all of my goals for this project.

To conclude, I am satisfied with how this project turned out in the end. It was something relatively new to me with the photography while still being mixed media. I have also felt like I have learned a lot from this piece. I have learned various new techniques, such as creating prints with shaving cream. I plan on creating more pieces implementing this skill in the future. I will also be trying to do more photography and mixed media works as I have really enjoyed doing it this time. I thought that this was a very successful project, both in creating a solid piece and developing my artistic ability.


“Retro” is a digital work measuring 17” x 11” that depicts a portrait my boyfriend and me with cubic coloring. The portrait looks like line-art from a comic book. The color scheme of the blocks is composed of faded primary colors. Over the entire thing, there is a texture that makes the piece look even more older and faded. All of the elements combined make the piece have an old, retro comic book vibe.

To create this work, I first chose a picture I have taken. I decided to go with the one I did because it had an interesting and different pose for both of our faces. I then uploaded the image to Photoshop, lowered the opacity, and began to trace over the key features on a separate layer. Once I was done with that, I took it to Illustrator to use "Image Trace" and make it into a vector image and make it a better quality. After that, I imported it back into Photoshop to create the grids. I experimented with different color options until I found the perfect retro color scheme. Finally, I applied a textured image over top the entire top and applied a layer style to make the work have a dirty, grungy appearance.

The big idea of this work is to look at it and receive an old, retro vibe. The line art makes it look like a comic book, where the color scheme looks like something one would see back in the day. The faded colors and dirty appearance would make one think that it was from a long time ago, and adds to the effect that it is a retro piece. The subjects from the piece could be people from back in the day, whether inspired from an old advertisement or from an old book is up to the viewer.

My goals for this project included the color scheme, the photograph quality, and the use of Photoshop. I think I achieved the goal with the color scheme went well with the theme, as the colors play well together and add to the meaning of the work. I also think I did a good job on the photograph quality with making it into a vector. The only thing I would change about it is to draw the image a bit better and to include more detail. Finally, I thought I did a nice job using Photoshop. I have used it to the best of my abilities and I think I got the job done neatly and effectively while learning new techniques. I am also pretty proud of myself that I created a file that could be changed in some ways at any time (say, I wanted to change the colors or the textures).

In the end, I really like how this work turned out. It is definitely at the top of my list of favorite projects I have done so far. This was the first project I have done in this class that I have done completely with Photoshop, and I feel accomplished doing that. It was something I have always done in the past and outside of this class, and I am very satisfied that I chose to do something like this. I have developed a new liking for doing the lineart thing, and I plan to continue and improve in the future. This artwork was definitely a significant change in my art style that I plan to continue.

"Trees Made of Trees"

"Trees Made of Trees" is a 12" x 9" magazine collage. The piece follows a cool blue, almost monochromatic color scheme with pops of brown. The main subject of the work is a tree made up of cut-up articles, showing the words. The picture shows a snowy mountainous landscape, with coniferous trees to complete it. The sky follows a blue to grey gradient. In the landscape, the magazine pieces get smaller the closer it is to the foreground to emphasize detail. There is a slight grunge detail within the entire piece.

To create this, I first started out with making the sky into a slight gradient since it would be the very back of the game. I made it very blue at the top and slowly made my way down to grey at the end. Next, I started creating the layers of the work, first starting with the objects most in the background working my way up to the foreground. The farther away it was from the foreground, the less detail I would add to the object. I then added the trees, paying special attention to the one in the front and adding more detail. Once all of that was completed, I used turpentine to give the work a more dirty look and sort of blending things together, particularly in the sky. I finished off with a layer of glossy mod-podge over the time to seal everything in.

The main idea for this piece was to see how trees were being used. The words from all of the articles shows how much paper we use on the daily, and how much trees that could take. The grungy sky shows how the pollution caused by today's industrialized society created a negative effect on the environment. This should make people realize just how much paper and other resources on the daily, and how they should be more conscious about their every day decisions. There are some things everyday that we take for granted.

My goals for this project included creating space, showing value, and using turpentine or glue. For the first one, showing space, I thought I did okay. I attempted to create it by adding more detail as I got closer to the background, but I think I could have made more of a distinction between everything. Secondly, I knew I could have done better with showing value. I thought I did good on the sky, but I could have added more shading in the land areas. Finally, I used turpentine to create a grungy look, particularly to the sky, and I like how it turned out. The only thing is that I could have done more experimentation with the glue.

Overall, I thought this project was okay. I did not have much time to think about how I would have liked to have done this project or enough time to create a quality project. I really like the idea I had going for this work, I just didn't have enough time to properly execute it like I would have wanted. This would definitely be a project I would be willing to do again. I would spend more time on it, ensuring the quality is better, and think about different choices, such as the color scheme and the layout of the piece. Although this was not my strongest piece, it was definitely a learning experience.

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