Beginning Drawing Final Exam Digital Portfolio By: Rachel Prince

My name is Rachel Prince. This year, besides taking dance and a little of drama class, beginning drawing is my first high school art class. Out of my whole schedule, this class is definitely one of my favorites. I have always loved to draw, and spend a lot of time at home creating drawings (my favorite "type of drawings" are those based on inspiring or aesthetic song quotes). I'm not sure of what career I want to pursue after school, but I'm planning on attending GRCC for the first two years and then transferring over to GVSU.

This is the very first assigned piece we were required to put together. It really helped me in learning to utilize the seven different techniques/elements of art and served as a baseline inspiration to the pieces that followed. I chose a paint palette for color because it reminds me of how painters are able to blend multiple colors together to create different shades or hues, and I've always admired the abstract streaks they unintentionally create (even though mine aren't mixed in this picture). I love shading and watching a 2D sketch progressively come to life, even without hints of color, so I chose to draw and shade a flower (one of my favorite objects to sketch) for value. For space I attempted to draw a road with the illusion of it extending further away, meeting and curving with the vast mountain range, which was pretty challenging.
For the negative/positive drawing I drew my cousin's horse Woody, and really enjoyed the progression of this piece. The negative space (white background) contrasted the values of Woody's head, causing it to stand out, and when the negative space on the opposite side was darkened it also made the darker values of his face and neck pop out as well, although I wish I would've darkened the shadows of the positive space a lot more. This helped me to focus on drawing the lines and curves and overall shape of the negative space around the object, instead of basing it on what I "saw".
This drawing reminded me just how tough it is to create a realistic hand. Previous to this piece I gave never "set" the paper with graphite or used a picture plane to set the proportions. Toning the paper helped a lot with creating value, which in turn aided in creating form. Although, since I was inexperienced, I think the values turned out a little too dark, especially since I chose to erase and lighten the negative space around it. Overall it was a very challenging piece, especially thinking about only drawing the negative space around the palm/wrist and the curves and lines between each finger.
My favorite part of this piece was adding value to each feature. I struggle to look at a detailed picture and find the basic shape of each feature by first sketching simple lines (such as the eyes or outline of the lips, etc.) before shading, so beginnning to draw my profile after the paper was toned was super challenging. Because of this reason, I was surprised to take a step back and realize it actually resembles me. It helped me to realize the importance of a light source when adding value and texture, and how the physical features of an object affect values immensely. My hair was also a huge struggle for me to draw and replicate the realistic texture, and I wish I would've spent more time on it.
I am very proud of how realistic this piece turned out, considering I was skeptical that drawing with "dots" would look as lifelike. The stippling process was very interesting and very effective in (again) adding value and the illusion of form. This drawing helped me realize that there are infinitely more ways to add dimension and lighting, especially when utilizing one drawing utensil (in this case a thin sharpie). I wish I would've taken the time to add a shadow or texture to the surface beneath the boots.
I wish I would've made the different objects (flowers, vase, skeleton, etc.) stand out more in contrast to each other by defining their shapes/outlines more, maybe by adding darker values. Instead, they kind of blend into one another. My favorite part, however, was shading with the charcoal and adding highlights with the white charcoal, which I have never used before. It really helped add texture to the skeleton (especially the spine) which I was very proud of, and I also really like how the charcoal defined the bike and made it the main focal point. I also enjoy the unique look the bike captures because of the missing handlebars, wheels, pedals, and chain. It gives a new persepective, both to itself and the skeleton leaning against it, almost a lonely, forlorn look. This piece also helped me realize the importance of drawing something from real life rather than on a screen, as it is easier to capture the form and lighting.
I thought, because of the two colors (black and silver) and the use of a different utensil (exactlo knife) with no way to erase, it would be very challenging to create the illusion of the wolf's fur, but surprisingly the texture ended up looking more realistic than I thought. I was planning on only drawing half the wolf's face with the other side implied beyond the edge of the scratch board, but I accidentally misplaced the it as I began to draw the ear and fur along the side of his head. It looks unfinished, but I promise it's not (I was thinking of cutting the board where the "phantom" side of the wolf's face begins). I wish I would've planned the placement and proportions better, and used lighter/heavier pressure more to create value (I tried and that was very challenging as well). Because of the shiny silver material beneath, part of my reflection and the light of the room unexpectedly made the fur appear to have different hues, and I really like the effect it creates.
When I heard we had the option to draw a treehouse, a song quote by Twenty One Pilots (one of my favorite bands) immediately came to mind, so I drew this project inspired by their song "Forest". I never knew there was a specific technique for drawing 3D shapes from different perspectives. The concept was very challenging to me, as it was difficult to get a firm grasp of what steps came in what order, or even what they were. Eventually, thank goodness, I got the hang of the process. It was repetitive, connecting each line from the original vertical one to each vanishing point, but that was definitely what helped me understand the technique of horizon lines and the seemingly simple process. I wish I would have spent more time on creating value (especially with the fire and moon posing as significant light sources) and making the branches and roots of the tree appear more realistic.
I had never attempted to draw myself prior to this piece, so I was very skeptical and hesitant. The first sketch had no value or form whatsoever, and the features are very uneven and unrealistic. After many practices of drawing each feature, the final product looks as if a totally different person drew it (in a good way). I'm proud of how each feature looks more lifelike with value, such as my cheekbones, nose, and upper lip (just under my nose), but the hair still looks unrealistic to me. Again, just like the profile drawing, I wish I would've spent more time studying the texture and trying to replicate its appearance in the photo. I drew my eyes too big too, giving my portrait a more cartoonish vibe. Regardless, I'm still proud of how it turned out.
For the oil pastel drawing I am choosing to draw a still life with bright sunflowers as the main focus. I'm not finished yet, so I'm not sure on what else I want to add to the picture. I never realized how many techniques there are in coloring with oil pastels or that you can add a mineral spirit to create a paint-like texture, but I'm having fun putting these new techniques to use. I love adding colors and blending them together, and I am eager to find out how this piece will progress.

Overall, I'm so glad I took beginning drawing, and I can't wait to encounter what beginning design has in store. I have taken away so many helpful techniques, and improved on those I've attempted before. However, there is so much I wish I would've tried harder to focus on, but I'm satisfied with the progression of each piece and how they all turned out.

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