-Gray Radford Art- -Art 2 Portfolio-

In my second semester of art at Northwood, I got to hone my skills in creating detailed art that can convey stories and themes. This semester challenged me and my art more so than in the past, and was a difficult yet rewarding experience. A lot of the work I did centered around myself, my past, and how I view both of those. It was a really educational experience for me, and the ability to use a variety of mediums and learn how to use them helped me push my art further. Even though I won't be going into art as a career, I still enjoy doing it and seeing what things I can create with it, and being able to learn these skills this semester has helped me push my art to the next level and sparked my creativity.

Gesture drawings of my fellow classmates that I did with crayon
Facial study of a friend.
Comparison between my two self portraits, which are about 5-6 months apart from each other. The one on the left was from December 2016, and the right is May 2017.
Get a nonbinary who could do both.
For the second half of my final project, I chose to do a small (7" x 9") acrylic painting to practice blending and also detail work with paint. I took a surrealist approach to it, and added a lot of eyes- nine to be exact, partly to challenge myself and also partly because nine is a lucky number for me. I went with a monochromatic color scheme, yet changed the color of the eyes to give them emphasis so that they could draw more attention for the viewer.
Process pictures of my final acrylic piece
Rough concepts for my final acrylic painting.
Screenshots from the padlet I created to collect images that inspired me for my independent project.
Several sketches of myself from throughout my sketchbook- sometimes I just like to draw myself to get practice drawing faces, and since my face is the one I know best it's easiest for me to draw it. (Note- the beautiful girl with the long hair that's also featured with the drawing of me in green marker is my girlfriend).
An artist from history who inspired me was Max Ernst (1891-1976). He was a soldier during WW1, and like many of the veterans he came home with not a sense of nationalism which caused the war, but a cynicism which spread through the world like a common-sense plague afterwards. He worked mainly with surrealism and DADAism, and also used biblical motifs in his works.
For part of my final project, I did bookbinding. This is a coptic stitch book, 7" x 9", and has a watercolor cover. On the front, I dedicated it to my dad with gold paint, and after I completed it I filled it with photo collages of me and my family and gave it to him as a birthday gift (not pictured).
Rough concepts for the album art of a podcast me and my friend are doing- it's a collaborative project between the two of us due to both of us being artists.
Some stills of my favorite characters from the animation I did above. The audio is from this Dungeons and Dragons podcast titled "The Adventure Zone."
Process of the underpainting for an acrylic piece that I'm working on in my down time.
Environmental studies of places within my house
Prints from my printmaking and storytelling project. My story is about a difficult time in my life, which is represented by the tarot card "Death" (number 13, the skull, and they scythe). The reverse meaning of this card is also "transformation," or "escape from death." The snake is representative of me, and can also be used to represent transformation, which fits into the overall story theme of the card. To add a biblical illustration aspect to it, I added the radiating light coming from the snake and the skull. I feel that the biblical imagery really comes out in the creative print version of the piece, with the watercolors and the bright yellows and warm oranges.
Test prints for my printmaking project.
Concepts for my final print.
For my Art 21 artist, I was inspired by Trenton Doyle Hancock. His storytelling narrative between the Painter, Loid, the Mounds, and Torpedo Boy reminded me of the own stories that I enjoyed telling and related too. He uses a mixed media for his storytelling, and is heavily inspired by comic book art.
The final poster which was submitted to the Vans Custom Culture contest- Jennifer Dowden did the background (brain included), and I painted the hands (all digital)
Concept and color blocks for the final technology and design poster.
The concept that stuck out to me with this prompt was the idea of new-age technology and classical design coming together to create art. Running with this, I split the shoes between design and technology, and used certain colors to differentiate the two. The color palette for the technology palette was greens, gray, and black, while the color palette for the design/classical art half was yellows and blues. Yet in order to unify these two concepts again, I used the technology palette with the painting for the design shoe, and vice versa for the other shoe.
Concept sketches for the technology and design shoes.
In the beginning of the semester, we started off with learning about the Stanford design model using empathy. This project was based around the idea of that we had to "invent" something for a fellow classmate. I based my "invention" around the idea of letting my classmate be able to converse with his dog and other animals, due to him wanting to be a veterinarian one day.
10-minute warm-up thumbnail sketches that I did each day before class. These were designed to help me practice concepts like pointillism, foreshortening, shading, and texture. Some of the things I found really challenging were the ones focusing on different art styles, such as cubism, and also cross hatching was a good challenge for me too. I really enjoyed doing the portrait ones, and also the ones where I got to put in details.
Elements of design mind map
Principles of design mind map
Moths- I drew one of each, then I copy and pasted them into position onto the page (these are meant to be sticker sheets)
Collages that I made within my sketchbook.
A commission that I took of an old school mate- she requested to be drawn like a Harry Potter character with her patronus
Mini comics I did to practice sequential art- all of these feature me and incidents/experiences from my life, and is a way for me to discuss my mental health and interactions with the world.
Drawing of a friend's original character for his birthday
Mothman character design.
Drawing of my friend's Dungeons and Dragons character for her birthday
Hand studies.
Figure studies.
Pomegranate in colored pencil (kind of old but it still looks good)

Throughout the first semester, our art class learned how to work with many different mediums, mainly focused on drawing and composition. We used pencils, collage, acrylic paint and colored pencils, and charcoal to learn techniques such as line, gesture drawing, and creating form through light and value, and also worked with digital mediums to practice composition. Whenever we started a new unit, we also learned about the history behind the art- such as for our surrealism unit, we learned about the history of surrealism, and also about the type of art itself. The same was done with our portraiture unit- we learned about the different portrait types, and also how throughout the years new interpretations of the art form arose.

My school did a puppet show where the proceeds went to charity- I worked on one of the main characters, which was the Ancient Eland. For the Ancient Eland, I choose to emphasize the eyes on them in order to make them look all-seeing and wiser, and a character that would be respected. In order to emphasize this I also added white highlights to show age and copper highlights to show a more supernatural element.
Analogous self portrait with surrealist aspects- shows process from original concept to photo reference to final product. I used a monochromatic color scheme mainly comprising of reds, pinks, and magentas. I decided to be ambitious and add on a surrealistic aspect, and used one of my personal symbols from our surrealist art unit. The personal symbol I used were moths, which represent determination, concealment, vulnerability, and dreams.
Art growth- the one on the left was from the first day of school back in August 2016, while the one on the right was from December 2016.
Facial expression studies from pixelovely.com
Art growth- I have worked in digital art mediums, and decided to showcase some of my art growth there too. The one on the left is from August 2016 and is fan art of a cartoon I enjoy, and the one on the right is from January 2017 and is of my friend as a Pokemon trainer.
The final project in our surrealism unit- we made masks out of clay then painted them with topical glazes. The personal colors emphasized in this piece are purple for faithfulness and gray for intelligence (and also my name). The color scheme is dark and subdued save for the white and yellow, which is meant to pop out and emphasize my personal symbols used in this piece- stars and eyes.
Moth studies, partly for practice concerning some of my surrealist projects and partly because I enjoy drawing moths. The fuzzy thing on the bottom of the page is a flannel moth caterpillar.
Another collage from our surrealism unit- the violets represent faithfulness, and were also given as signs of romantic love between two women in the early 1900's.
Digital surrealism collage based off of personal symbols. For the personal symbols in my surrealism collage, I chose stars which represent self-reliance, eyes which represent awareness, and a snake which represents rebirth. The personal colors I emphasized were pink and green- pink representing optimism and green representing endurance. The "halo" on the snake is really a candy lifesaver.
Digital art of my pet crested gecko, Jumper
Pop art style self portrait with digital medium
Figure and gesture drawings based off of classmates. Gesture drawings are traditionally quick, sorta sloppy drawings that are mainly used to get down the main movement that the subject is exhibiting.
Line drawings- both observational with blind and regular contours, and exercises with line weight and emotion. Contour line drawings are line drawings where you don't pick your drawing utensil up from the paper, making the entire piece one continuous line, and the blind version is where you don't take your eyes off of the subject that you're illustrating.
Observational drawings of tone, form, and shadows
Observational drawings of various facial features- the lips and noses were modeled after some of my classmate's.
Hand studies from pixelovely.com, which is a free online artist reference database
Goal cards I made at the beginning of the semester to showcase my aspirations for this school year. The theme I chose was to shine by not being afraid to express myself and to take chances.
“I'm not trying to make sense yet. I'm saving that for later. So for those of you who lack the patience to wait for my sense, use yours. Cheers.” -Carrie Fisher
Cy Twombly's work- especially his series featured above, "the Coronation of Sesostris," is inspiring to me because while it's minimalistic, it still evokes emotion and curiosity from the viewer. Also, the installments of the different paintings in the series shows that there's a story that he's telling. My personal favorites from this series are the first two, partly because of how I adopted eyes as a personal symbol, but I also enjoy seeing the open eye before it then closes and turns into the bright yellow sun and then finally the writing. I chose Cy Twombly because I enjoy his impressionist style, and how simple, scribbly, and loose it looks, and also because he identifies as gay and I enjoy seeing artists like me, because often that aspect of artists are often erased in history.

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