Lexi's Portfolio A journey through the DEVELOPMENT of art skills

I took Intro to Art because I've always considered myself a creative person. I also do not like sitting at a desk and listening to lectures all day and I knew Intro to Art would give me the opportunity to do something that I enjoy. I've always wanted to improve my art skills and Intro gave me the chance to do that. When I first signed up for the class I expected to work on projects a majority of the time. I had never had a proper art class so it never occurred to me that I would actually be learning art terms and different techniques. I was expecting to learn about various artists though. But I also expected that I would enjoy this class a lot and it has become a sort of stress reliever for me.

Positive and Negative Space

ReLationships and Proportions

Relationships and proportions is probably the drawing skill I learned the most from. This is because it taught me how to draw things that are proportionally accurate so that all the lengths and widths of an object relate to each other. Before I was taught about proportions everything I drew looked awkward and not quite right, but now that I have learned proportions that aspect of the problem has been eliminated.
Edges and Contours

LIGHTS AND SHADOWS

DRAWING IMPROVEMENTS

There is an immense amount of improvement from my first hand drawing to my second. The first one is drawn without actually paying attention to detail because it is easily noticeable that my fingers look like sausages. They also do not look proportionally correct and my hand as a whole definitely does not look like my own hand. However in the second one that changes a lot. You can see how my second attempt starts to look like an actual human hand because I started to draw the real contour lines and not just look at the general shape. It's also a lot more noticeable that I put in the creases and ridges of my hand to make it look like my own. The second drawing also uses a little bit of lights and shadows to make my hand look more realistic and three dimensional, compared to my first one which looks one dimensional with not shading or anything.
Chiaroscuro is the contrast of light and dark to create the illusion of space. One of my pieces that I focused a lot of time on the use of chiaroscuro is my first charcoal still life. I saw it especially in this particular object because the cast shadows and crest shadows make the object look three dimensional. Also my use of chiaroscuro on the actual object makes the object appear round and it makes it look dimensional rather than just a shape on a piece of paper. The contrast between the cast shadows and all of the lighter shadows and high lights really makes the object pop off of the page which gives an illusion of space.

Comparison of Portraits

The comparison between my first day drawing, my test run self portrait, and my fragmented portrait accurately shows my improvements in portrait drawing. My first drawing does not look life like at all. It vaguely remembers a face, but it definitely doesn't resemble me. Then you transition into my test run. This has a huge improvement jump. For the most part my face accurately resembles my face, however my use of charcoal was messy and not neat. You also see the use of chiaroscuro in my test run. It may not be super noticeable but it is definitely there compared to my first drawing. There is also a definite focus of the finer details on my test run. Then we transition into my final fragmented portrait. You see even more improvement. The thing that stands out to me the most is the control of charcoal. My fragmented portrait looks so much neater and the transitions between highlights and crest shadows is so much smoother than my test run. There is also even more detail because the fragmented portrait is zoomed in so you have the ability to add more detail. Overall from my first portrait drawing to my fragmented portrait you see my skills go from barely anything to way more developed. I was able to pick out and pay way more attention to detail and I learned how to use chiaroscuro to my objects pop out from my paper, like I did with my nose.
If there was any one project I could have more time on it would be my charcoal still life. This is for a couple reasons. The main reason is because I distinctly remember myself rushing on this project and I remember handing it in with mistakes that I knew were there but I did not have time to fix them. The main mistake I noticed was that my tall object was definitely not tall enough. Also I realized my transitions were kind of choppy and could have been a lot better. So if I could take more time on any project I would do this one because it's the little things that I noticed I could have fixed if I had had the time to do it.

Areas of Most Improvement

The two areas where I have seen the most improvement are my drawing ability and my attitude. The pictures above show 3 comparisons of how my drawing ability has been improved. The improvement between my two separate hands was described previously. You can tell from my second attempt that I actually paid attention to the details and tried to make the hand look like my own. From my first profile drawing to my second profile drawing you can also see improvements. The main improvement for this one is that I was actually able to finish because my model was readily available. You can definitely see improvements on the ear because I actually out some shading in the ear and I was able to add hair to make my model look like herself. The final comparison between my first day portrait and my fragmented portrait shows the most improvement. In the fragmented portrait I actually look like myself and I look human. In my first attempt I look nothing like myself and there is no dimension, where in my fragmented portrait I was able to add dimension to it and make my nose pop out. In addition to my drawing ability improving my attitude had also improved quite a bit. Even though I've always considered myself creative, I had never thought I was good at drawing but now that I have finished a semester in Intro to Art I feel way more confident. I now think that if I try hard enough I can actually draw something and make it look realistic. The one piece that I had more pride in than any other piece was my fragmented portrait. I had a lot of confidence going into it even though I knew it would take a lot of effort and it would not be easy. I just knew if I told myself I could do it I would be able to do it. I actually had faith in my own abilities.

SECOND SEMESTER

The project that I learned the most from was by far the trivet project. Before this project I had had absolutely no experience with clay. So through this project I learned terms I had never even heard of before, like wedging, greenware, bisqueware, and all of the stages clay goes through. I also learned about silica and how harmful it can be to the lungs. Going into this project I was really nervous. I was afraid I would not be able to work with clay correctly. However, this project taught me that I can work with clay and work with it well. I also learned that I have a lot of patience. I learned this because this particular project had so many edges that I had to glaze precisely. I spent at least a couple hours just glazing the trivet!

COLOR THEORY

Two of my linoleum prints and my glass coaster (from left to right)

Color Theory was a very prominent aspect of my art class this semester. It was used in every project of second semester, so naturally I became very familiar with it. I learned a lot about analogous colors, especially. Analogous colors are colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. These colors can be blended and will still form colors that are pleasing to the eye. For example red and purple can be blended to form a red violet, as seen in my linoleum print above. Analogous colors looks good together and form pretty colors when blended. Complimentary colors on the other hand do not blend in equal amounts. They can be added to one another in minuscule amounts to create a tone, so that a color keeps its intensity. However, if blended together in equal amounts they will form unappealing colors. Although they do not mix, complimentary colors compliment each other nicely as seen in my second linoleum print above.

MASTERY

Out of the given mediums, I felt that I was able to master chalk pastels the best. My improvement is evident from my practice sheet to my final product. In my final product I felt that I did a good job of making sure I have the right colors, since the chalk pastel sticks did not have the exact colors we needed. I also feel like my blending gradations were really good. You can definitely see the difference from my practice sheet. On my practice sheet the blends were kind of choppy, whereas on my final product they are a lot smoother and more realistic. I also thought I did a good job of making my objects look relatively three-dimensional, by creating darker tones for the edges of my objects.

The medium that I do not think I was able to master was the tempera painting. It was odd because I remember feeling like I did really well on my practice sheet, so I went into my project pretty confidently. However the beginning of my project started off extremely rough. Throughout the majority of this project, I felt like I just could not get my gradations right. I always felt like they were too choppy. There was a specific section that I think I painted over at least three times. I think my inability to erase played a part in why I could not master this medium. In chalk pastels I was able to erase, and it is a safe bet that erasing mistakes was my saving grace.

--Improvements--

Over the past year, and especially this past semester, I have seen a lot of personal improvement in my art. One of the most prominent improvements that I have seen in myself this semester is my design skills. This especially includes my ability to create a strong composition. One of the projects where I saw this the most was my oil pastel/ferrofluid project. In the first photo, you see the actual photo of my ferrofluid. That is the picture that I based the second image off, which is my oil pastel project. In my recreation of the image, I added some color gradation in to make the composition more interesting. Considering I was also in charge of placing the colors in the ferrofluid, I also created my own composition in a way. I was also able to create a strong composition in my glass pendant. To give it a strong composition, I used my principles and gave my piece balance and emphasis to make it interesting.

I have also seen so much improvement in my attitude. At the beginning of the year I was extremely timid, thinking I would not succeed in the projects we would undertake throughout the year. However, when I reached second semester with an attitude that I would succeed. I would get excited for our next projects and I looked forward to coming to art class every day. Because of Intro to Art I have now obtained the attitude that I can be successful in art if I truly apply myself and have an interest in it.

SELF DISCOVERY

I have really learned a lot about myself as an artist over the past school year. One of the most important things I've learned is that I have the ability to be artistic and creative, which is something I didn't know I had before. However, I have also learned a lot of other things. For example, I learned that I prefer to work with three dimensional projects, such as clay and glass. I also learned that I really love linoleum printing. I think it may have been my favorite project of the entire year. I've also learned that I REALLY like to take my time. I took extra time on every single one of my projects this semester. I always had to come in after school to finish up a project. I also came to the conclusion that I am a little messy. I would constantly find smears of color on my hands and arms as I was leaving the art room. Finally, I learned that I have a passion for art. The more associated I became with the art mediums, the more I want to go buy some supplies. I have seriously considered buying the supplies for linoleum printmaking. Art has been a sort of stree relief for me this semester, and I look forward to taking 3D Design next year!

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