A Richardson Art I & II Portfolio

Art II Portfolio

The Exquisite Corpse Game

The History of the Game

The Exquisite Corpse Game is a game created by surrealists as early as 1918. It was created to pass time as well as to show how childlike art could be as artists of the time often viewed war as childish. The game is played by a group of individuals, who each draw or write one part of the random "exquisite corpse." The result is an often chaotic mixture of techniques and styles, which is only viewed as a whole when it is completed. It originates from one of the sentences assembled by the game's creators, "the exquisite corpse drinks the new wine."

Exquisite Corpse, Jake and Dinos Chapman, 2000
Cadavre Exquis (Exquisite Corpse), Yves Tanguy, Man Ray (Emmanuel Radnitzky), Joan Miro, Max Morise, France, 1927, MOMA

Artist's Statements

One of the most powerful elements in this work is the use of color as combined with the principle of emphasis. For example, the area under the eyes is emphasized using a bright purple in opposition to the lighter shades of violet and red on the cheeks. This combination is further enhanced by the use of the element form. The use of form in the subject’s under-eye area allows the area to appear as if it is receding or acting as a shadow, whereas the forehead and the bridge of the nose are painted only with a wash of watercolor so as to add dimension while also keeping those areas highlighted and in the foreground. This work is also disproportionate and asymmetrical. In terms of disproportion, the head and neck take up roughly the same amount of space as the rest of the body, giving the piece a sense of chaos. The work is not symmetrical due to the mismatched shoes and precariously perched snake hair.

This piece is a successful work of art. This is because of the cohesive color scheme of the work, which plays a major role in the work’s unity. Reds, blues, and violets grouped together are close enough in tone that they can be used to color not only clothing and items, but also skin. While this piece is surrealistic, the lack of realism is intentional and does not affect the work negatively. Instead, the surrealism allows the artist’s message of turmoil. The subject of the painting seems bored and helpless against its surroundings. Overall, the combined elements and principles, such as color combined with form, make this piece successful. This piece is effective because of its use of surrealistic techniques and balanced elements and principles.

Doodle For Google Submission
Concept Boards for Doodle for Google

Artist's Statement:

This piece is a representation of global unity and diversity. I wanted to combine diversity with a sense of individuality. I showed this by making the people in my project as colorful and different as I possibly could, and by showing them all joining hands together, young and old, from all different backgrounds. In the background, I added the flags of many different countries. To create a more "full" feeling of the work, I added colorful shapes. Overall, this work is successful because it combines color, shape, and balance. In terms of the Studio Habits of Mind, I developed my craft in this work by using mixed-media.


Process Pictures: Sample Block Test Prints with Notes for Improvement
Lino Blocks
Process Pictures: Planning Pages & Interviews
Printmaking Vocabulary Layout
Edition Print Color Print

This linocut block print is titled Generations of Strength, because I created it as a symbol of my family history. The woman in center is representative of the many positive female role models in my family, and the Celtic knots in the background and in the woman’s hair represent my family’s Irish lineage. I started the process of this block print with a collage, which I then traced on a piece of tracing paper. When I had finished that, I transferred the graphite from the tracing paper onto a small test block. I printed a sample print, then repeated my first steps with the full collage. After transferring the outlines, I began carving out the white areas of my piece. After this, I inked my block for a test print. Noting problem areas, I went back to carving. When I felt satisfied with my progress, I printed an edition of four prints and a creative print.

Art 21: Kara Walker

Examples of Kara's Work

The Emancipation Proclamation, Kara Walker, 1999, Paper Silhouette, MAXXI National Museum of XXI Century Arts
A Subtlety, Kara Walker, 2014, Molded cement covered in sugar, The Domino Sugar Refining Plant

Independent Projects

Planning Pages
Planning Pages
Planning Pages
Planning Pages

On My Rationale and Planning Pages:

For my project, I wanted to make something that would mean something to me, so I decided to paint my sister. She is going through a lot right now, and I wanted to make her feel special. I chose to do the project in watercolor not only because it is my favorite medium, but also because I wanted to strengthen my proficiency in it. I chose to make a multi-page planning page layout because I wanted to do as much research as possible for my independent project. I also added multiple pages of extra photographs of my subject so I could really understand her proportions and features. In my other planning pages, I researched several artists and their techniques. Finally I completed several studies of my sister to help me get used to drawing her.

My Process

The SHOM I employed in this project were mainly developing my craft and engaging/persisting. To develop my craft, I learned new watercolor techniques, and focused on glazing. When I used colored pencils, I worked on line variation and burnishing. For engaging/persisting, I spent time at home watching videos and doing studies to work my way around roadblocks. My process and the steps I took to create this work are featured as captions of my progress pictures below.

First, I sketched outlines in light pencil, and started glazing the skin.
Then, I added more base tones to the subject's face and hair.
Next, I started on the background.
As I was close to finishing, I added more details.
Lastly, I deepened shadows and added final touches.
Final Image

Artist's Statement

My independent project was a portrait of my sister, Margaret, in the style of watercolor realism. I also added colored pencil details. I worked on developing my craft and avoiding roadblocks by watching videos on technique and color theory, and applying the techniques to my work. Through researching the artists Liseth Visser and Ardith Starostka, I learned about painting skin tone and shading realistically with paints. From the work of watercolorist Lisa O’Regan, I learned about realistic watercolor portraiture. My composition, which was of my sister from the shoulders up, standing in front of the woods near my house and wearing an antique necklace, was meant to evoke a feeling of mystery and wistfulness. I created this feeling with my sister’s expression in the painting. She is looking at something out of the frame, and smiling subtly. This is emphasized by her red lipstick. I recognized my growth and successes, as well as my shortcomings, throughout my progress with reflections.

This is my other independent project, which is a botanical drawing in pencil and water-soluble graphite that I created after finishing my first project.

Sketchbook Assignments

Acrylic Technique Layout
Watercolor Technique Layout
Hand Study Spread
Visual Journal 1: I used pictures with a dark and moody color scheme combined with water soluble graphite and a light watercolor wash to create a cohesive moodboard.
Visual Journals 2 & 3: In these journal pages, I used soft colors and a repeating floral motif. I wanted these pages to seem really girly and sweet, so I faded out the watercolors and used a lot of pale blushes, blues, and yellows.
Visual Journals 4&5: I used watercolor and magazine collage to create a dreamy, nostalgic effect. These two pages are based on one of my favorite book series, called the Raven Cycle, and I wanted to convey the mood of the books. The series is about a group of teenage boys who attend an exclusive and prestigious school, a young psychic medium, and the search for the tomb of a dead Welsh king. I added images and drawings that I thought represented the characters and events well, and the raven on the page to the right represents one of the character's pets, a raven named Chainsaw.

Art Inspiration & Art History Connections


Growth Statements & Wrapping Up the Semester

Throughout the course of this semester, I have learned more about printmaking, watercolor, acrylic, water-soluble graphite, and colored pencil. During the printmaking unit, I learned valuable skills, including how to carve lino blocks and print multiple colors layered together. During my independent projects, I stretched what I already knew about watercolor and colored pencil, and really took the opportunity to grow as an artist. I also practiced techniques with water-soluble graphite for my second project. This semester, I have learned that I really enjoy collage and watercolor, and that I have a good sense of what goes together. In my work, I have developed the theme of meaningful work. In many of my projects, from my google doodle to my independent project to my visual journal, I have made things that have significance to me. Continuing to build my skills, I will work on more visual journal collages, more colored pencil and graphite drawings, and more watercolor paintings. I would like to continue making meaningful works.

Art I Portfolio

My goals for this semester were simply laid out on my goal card. Get more sleep, focus on math and art, and think "out of the frame {box}".

Observational Drawing Unit

Pretests: Self-portrait, hand, and hallway perspective drawing

Looking back at all of these, I can honestly say I've improved at ton since then. These old drawings mean a lot to me, because you can really see my issues with proportion and perspective. I have since learned things that I thought I already knew, like the proportions of the eyes in comparison to the rest of the face, how to draw things (fingers) in perspective, and how to draw in one and two point perspective, which would have helped out when drawing the hallway.

Gesture Drawing: A gesture drawing is a quickly drawn sketch of nothing more than a scene/character's action, mood, or feeling.

My gesture drawings, while far from impressive LOOKING managed to capture what, in essence, a gesture drawing is meant to be. From this exercise I learned to use many lines drawn quickly to emphasize actions.

Contour Drawing: A drawing made by sketching the contour, or outline, of a subject, usually using a couple (or sometimes one) lines.

This was the first contour line drawing I drew. It is a sneaker, and it was made up of only 3 lines. I scumbled lines to add depth and texture.
For this assignment, we drew our hands in one line, blindly (looking at our hands, not at the piece). You can see that this was my 6th attempt, and it still looked funny.
These are some quick blind contour drawings of a flower (left) a vase (middle row) and an alarm clock (right). Since you can't look at what you're drawing, it's hard not to draw over previous sketches. Oops!
This was our final assignment in contour drawing. We drew animal bones in black wax crayon, and then added depth and shadows with water soluble graphite afterward. Below is another example of the water soluble graphite.

Value: How light or dark something is.

Chiaroscuro: Contrast of light and dark, and how light falls on a subject.

Value Scale: A study in the values between light and dark.

Form: A three dimensional shape. Can be real or illusional (drawings, paintings, etc).

We drew forms in chiaroscuro, from a variety of light sources. Cones were the trickiest, as well as the cylinder lying flat.

Perspective Drawing: To draw a three dimensional object on a two dimensional surface so that height,width, depth, and juxtaposition are shown.

These are perspective drawings. The one on the left is a one point perspective drawing, which means everything goes to one point, the "vanishing" point. The drawing on the left is a two point perspective drawing, meaning everything goes to TWO vanishing points.
To do this project, we drew drawing mannequins, and shaded them from the light sources we saw.

Puppet Show 2016

Working on the puppet show was honestly amazing. The show, a story of peace and unity straight from South Africa, combined multiple storylines, both human and animal. Beyond that, being a part of the artistry behind the impressive masks and costumes was mind-blowing, especially knowing how many volunteer hours (and how much love!) went into the production. My class (3rd period) created penguin puppets, and worked on smaller hand puppets.

DOnovan Teaches us

Adding Support


The penguin dance!

Our last day!

Cast Photo

The final product - the cast becomes the characters

Surrealism and Symbolism Unit

Surrealism: A 20th century art movement dedicated to utilizing techniques such as dream imagery and juxtaposition to create visual and literary pieces that illustrated the free and/or unconscious mind.

Surreal Personal Symbolism Digital Collages

Technique Collage- Our first digital collages were to practice using both digital collage as a media, and surreal art techniques as an outlet. We selected images, and then put them into powerpoint slides using the "remove background" setting to cut the pictures out digitally. I also mirrored the woman's profile, filtered the colors on the individual pictures, and added a glow to the moon. I used inspiration from dream imagery to create a dreamlike hazy glow from the moon, as well as combining unlikely images in juxtaposition. My favorite part of this collage is the contrast of the woman's jawline with the smooth lines of her slicked-back hair.
Symbolism Collage-My surrealism powerpoint layering project is based on my personal symbols. It is a photo-collage of my symbols, prominently showing a fawn, corn chamomile flowers, and eyes collaged as a forest floor. I used the surrealist techniques of visual metaphor (an all seeing eye as the moon), symbolism (each image used is a personal symbol that depicts a part of my personality), and distortion (the fawn’s legs are stretched longer). The elements and principles most evidently used in my works were color (in symbolism and in general), and space (in the overlapped photos). To create my layers, I started with a background. Though it was a bit pixelated, it worked out fine since so many other layers went on top of it. The layer was the eyes on the forest floor. Each eye was added separately, and then the color changed, layered, and the transparency changed. After that, I added the flowers the fawn would stand on, and the moon, which was made up of a photograph of the top of a pinecone, a flower, and another eye. Finally, I added the fawn, changed it’s color, and stretched it to distort it. The last step of the project was to add a “glow” to most of the objects in different colors. Probably the biggest aid in working on the project was the “remove background” feature on Powerpoint, which definitely saved me a lot of extra cropping! My personal symbols influenced the artwork. The first layer, the forest, symbolized mystery and curiosity. The second layer, the eyes, symbolized watchfulness, awareness, and introspection. Corn Chamomile flowers showed nature, simplicity, energy & action, purification, and sleep. The flowers radiating around the “moon” were also meant to show styles similar to aboriginal art patterns. The fawn was a symbol of watchfulness, peace, creativity, and intuition. The color that I changed the layers to were also symbols, the sea/forest green means serenity, the yellow in the moon is a reference to creativity and intellect, and the orange is a symbol of change. I was also inspired by two surrealist artists, Dorothea Tanning, and Julien Pacaud (who makes collages himself). First, I wanted to research my personal symbols, and find some to use more frequently in my artwork. I also wanted to use inspiration from my artists (Pacaud and Tanning), and my world culture (Aboriginal/Australian). I think I accomplished these goals through the fashion photography in my first collage, and the pattern of the flowers in my second collage (symbolism). My main goal for this project was to portray my personality through images, colors, and effects in a layered Powerpoint slide. I also wanted to improve my understanding of how to create layers, and diversify how I use Powerpoint, and what I use Powerpoints for. I think I definitely reached my first goal, and I think I’ll be using Powerpoint as a tool for collages more frequently. Overall, I think I did well with this project. It opened up a new media for me to use, ands so I think it definitely influenced my future artworks. While making this piece, I not only learned about my symbols, I also learned valuable techniques in Powerpoint, which can probably be applied to other digital platforms for art, like photoshop.

Symbolism Clay Mask

Our clay masks started out with simple 10-minute sketched ideas, but evolved into tangible clay works. I used personal symbols such as chamomile flowers (forehead; symbolizes youth and happiness), tree roots (head; regrowth, connection to nature), deer (facial structure and antlers; awareness), eyes (deep connections), and the color sea green (for hope and mystery). The circular impressions in the clay are inspired by Aboriginal art, in which the same colors and patterns are repeated.

Self-Portrait Unit

Analogous Colors: Colors that are next to each other on the color wheel.

To make our self portraits, we first took reference photos of ourselves. We then sketched outlines of our features onto tracing paper grids, and transferred those sketches onto watercolor-painted marker board. Finally, we filled the outlines with acrylic paints in a chosen color scheme (single shade or analogous) and added accents with colored pencils. I chose an analogous color scheme of red-violet, violet, and blue-violet.

Growth Statements

I walked into art class at the beginning of this year not really knowing what to expect. Art has been pretty much my favorite class since, well, forever. My main goal this year was to grow as an artist, and I think I definitely accomplished that.

Not only did we learn about several different art movements and styles, from surrealism to pop art to dadaism, we experimented in many of them. Besides this, we went back to basics, which was really helpful for me. I’ve made pretty much a complete turnaround with my approach on shading, and I think my line confidence has improved a lot. Our color theory exercises were really interesting, and I learned how to correctly combine cool and light primary colors to make secondary colors less “muddy”. Learning about the elements and principles was a super helpful refresher course, because I hadn’t talked about them in around 3 years, and the initial focus on them helped me to maintain an omnipresent focus on them throughout the course.

My observational drawing skills have also definitely improved, probably because of our focus on the importance of quick, “warm-up” activities such as gesture drawings.

I was so excited to get to fit in so much new media this semester, especially the water soluble graphite, and further explorations in clay. The puppet show was also a great experience, and I learned a ton about papier-mache and stage/set painting, like how to use only around three values in a mask, because fine blending gets lost on stage, and how to worry the cardboard to make the bends seem more natural. This semester has been a great experience.

Little Dancer of Fourteen years

Edgar Degas, 1879-1881, Tate Liverpool, Multimedia Sculpture (bronze, wax, muslin, linen, wood, silk)

Edgar Degas' "Little Dancer" is one of my all-time favorite pieces of art. I love how docile and demure she is, standing in fourth position with her hands folded behind her, a braid secured with muslin ribbon at the nape of her neck. I also really like her chosen pose, because, as a dancer, it reminds me of waiting in the wings before a performance, or waiting by the side of the studio while an instructor fixes someone else's exercises. Patient. Watchful. Waiting. When Degas displayed it publicly, critics hated it, but I think it's really very beautiful.
"I never Paint Dreams or Nightmares. I paint my own reality." Frida Kahlo

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