An Art Journey Maddie o'Connor

I took intro to art because I have always wanted to be a good artist, but never felt like I had the skills. I wanted intro to art help me obtain the skills and teach me techniques to excel at art and become better.

Edges and Contours: This is a contour line drawing of my own hand.
Spaces (positive & negative): This is a drawing of a bicycle wheel completed by drawing the negative space (the black parts) which created the positive space as well.
Relationships and Proportions: This is a drawing I did of a corner of the art room using measurements to make it the most accurate. This drawing strategy I learned the most from because it can helped me really realize that drawing is not as simple as just drawing what you see/think you see , and it really makes everything I draw while utilizing it look so much more realistic.
Lights and Shadows: This is a still life drawing that I created using charcoal and drawing the lights and shadows cast on it for it to look as three dimensional and realistic as possible.
My drawing skills since taking intro to art have improved greatly. My first hand drawing, way at the beginning of the year without using any instruction is honestly pathetic compared to my last charcoal drawing, and even the line contour drawing. The first drawing is filled with symbols and has no resemblance to my actual hand at all really. The second drawing looks more like my hand because I focused on drawing what I actually see with line contour drawing, instead of what I thought it should look like. My third drawing is a charcoal drawing of my hand and that one greatly shows my improvement by showing my proportion skills and drawing what I actually see, making it look the most realistic and improved!
Chiaroscuro is the light and shadow in a piece of art, created by light falling unevenly from a certain direction. A good example of this is this portrait drawing because there was a light shining from the left side of my face, casting shadows across my face, most noticeably made by my nose, resulting in the piece to look more realistic and three dimensional.
This is my journey through portrait drawing. I think that I have definitely improved since my first drawing. I believe that my greatest improvement was with detail and making it so the drawing actually looks like me in at least a few aspects. The second drawing which was a test run is improved from my second one with accuracy, but is still definitely not the best, and the third one in my opinion is the most accurate and looks the best. I think my nose drawings have been the most improved feature because they look the most accurate and have definitely improved a lot.
This is a drawing of one of my classmates that I did, and I wish I could have spent more time on it because it has a lot of potential. If I could just tweak some things, like for example if I could move the ear back further and spend more time on the details I think it could have been better.
I think the areas I have improved the most in are, my drawing ability and technical skills. I think I have developed in my drawing ability because at first, as shown with image one, I never really drew what I actually saw, instead I just drew the symbolism and what I thought was there. But as I began to draw more and learn more, as seen in the last two images, I shook the habit of drawing symbols and began to draw what I genuinely saw. The second skill I think that I improved on is technical skills. I think my shading and cross hatching throughout the last two images are very well controlled and everything is in about the right place, I think they look fairly realistic and the lights and shadows are accurately placed. Overall, this class so far has taught me the techniques needed to become better at art amd feel confident in my art as well!


A project that I learned the most from from semester 2 was the relief print making project. This project was really interesting to me because beforehand I had never really thought about what an art print was even though I had heard it before. It was cool to learn by doing it instead of it just being explained and see a way where you could make multiples of the same piece of art, but with endless colors.
I learned a lot of things about color theory thoughout this year because it was such a prominent thing in all of our projects. The first artwork that I learned from was the Georgia O'Keefe inspired tempera piece. It was the first artwork that I made where I was confident in what I was doing and found out what colors I liked blending together the most such as, mixing blue and white to make a lighter blue, and creating gradations with yellow and white. The second piece of art that I learned from was my glass coaster pice. It made me reazlize that the color theory is applied to every medium, not just mixing paints. I thought it turned out nice and I used analogous colors throughout the entire thing, as well as choosing colors to create harmony throughout the whole coaster.
One technique that I thought I was able to master was stick blending with oil pastels which is blending with the oil pastel pieces themselves (pictured left). I thought that I made a majority of smooth blends thoughout the whole piece. A technique that I thought I did not master well was the graded wash using watercolors. I could never really get the pigment dark enough at first or transition the colors well, so I did not use it in my piece. (pictured right)
The areas that I have seen the most improvement within myself is problem solving and my attitude. I have noticed that when I mess up on a design or can not get the hang of a technique, I find a way to turn it into a good thing. For example, in my oil pastel piece if I messed up with baby oil blending or another form, I would try another technique out on the same area to try and blend it better, for the example shown on the top left, I tried out stick blending originally but then used baby oil as well to make it smoother, compared to during semester one in my charcoal piece, I just gave up on blending perfectly. For my attitude I have found that at the beginning of the class I was not very confident and I soon realized that I excel at different areas and just because I could not do one thing well does not mean I was bad at everything. For example, I was not the best at chalk pastels (pictured bottom left), but found I was much better at things such as watercolor (pictured far right).

This year I have discovered that I am better at absract type of art and projects where I have a lot of wiggle room. I enjoy myself a lot when I am making art that I feel says a lot about me and where I can individualize it a lot. I gained confidence and reasurance in myself as well as a new outlook on art and how its more than simply drawing what you feel like, you have to work hard to be good.

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