My Art Journey Jessica SLater

Semester One

Profile of Classmate
Beginning Self Portrait

I decided to take Intro to Art because ever since I was little, I have loved art. I wanted to take a serious course that would improve my artistic abilities and learn new techniques.

Blind Contour of Classmate
Blind Contour of Tree
Blind Contour of Classmate

We learned several drawing strategies in Intro. The one I think I learned most from is edges and contours. It taught me to draw what I see, not what I wanted to.

Profile Drawing
Vase/Face Illusion

I also learned about the importance of spaces in Intro. We use this in all of our projects but I think that we used it the most when we were doing side profiles of a classmate and when we were drawing a monster face/vase illusion.

Self Portrait

Another key concept we learned and exercised was proportions and relationships. By drawing faces many times and learning the measurements of the human face, I understood just how important they are. They can make or break the reality of your portrait. This skill was best exercised when we did a self portrait.

Vases With Overhead Light

My favorite thing we learnt about was shadows. They add a really nice dimension to a drawing and give it that realism you want. We talked about shadows a lot and did many projects on it but the most important was the vases, which looked 3D with shadows.

Beginning Portrait Vs. Most Recent Portrait

What I improved upon most this year is drawing what I see, not what I want to see. When I drew myself before, I would have large eyes and strong eyebrows. However, I do not possess these traits and comparing the two portraits above you can see that I realized this. Before, I drew cartoonish and exaggerated faces. Now, the faces are more realistic and not so idealized. Shading was something I knew before, but then in Intro I learned how important it is in creating realism.


Chiaroscuro is the use of light and dark in art to create realism. This was a huge focus this semester. Most of are projects focused on this strategy. Below are some artworks we did that focused on chiaroscuro.

Vase With Overhead Light
Self Portrait
My Hand w/ Tape

I Wish That...

Profile of Classmate

I wish that I had more time on this profile drawing. I think it was going in a good direction and could have been a very nice finished piece.

Areas of Improvement

My ability to use different mediums has improved drastically. This is most likely because I did not have access to certain mediums before but nevertheless I would never have wanted or dreamed of using charcoal to draw myself but now it's probably my favorite medium. Now, I also know many new techniques instead of just simply putting pen to paper. For example, cross-hatching which I really enjoy.

Another great thing I have learned is the importance of colors. We learned about the color wheel and about which colors would go nicely together and which would not. This just helps an artist make less mistakes and have to start over.

Fragmented Self Portrait

I end with this artwork because I think it is the best I have done so far. I really like it. There are flaws, but it really depicts how far I have come.

Relief Print

Semester Two

This year, the project I would say that I learned most from would have to have to be making our trivets. This project showed us that there are many steps an artist, or people in general, must take for a project to come out looking amazing. For this project, we had to research an artist and create a design for our trivet based upon that artist's style. Then we formed the clay trivets all on our own and learned about firing clay and using a kiln safely.

My trivet was based off the dotting technique used by Georges Seurat.

Color theory

Color Theory was used in just about every single project we did this year. We learned about the color wheel and what colors would mix well together, and which would not. This knowledge was exercised the most during our relief print project. We had to choose a couple colors to print out. Some of us learned the hard way which colors to use but most of the time the colors turned out beautifully. We also used the color theory in our most recent project, Heliograph watercolors. Everyone made sure to mix analogous colors. Analogous colors are colors that mix well together and are right next to each other on the color wheel.

This is one of my relief prints. As you can see, pink, purple, and blue mix well together to create harmony in this artwork.
This is one of my Heliographic Watercolor artworks. I used different shades of blue, pink, and purple.
Glass Pendant

My best and worst mediums

My favorite medium to use by far was tempera. I was able to mix the colors well and the paint was extremely easy to use. Plus, it was just really fun. We used this to paint some objects of nature on cardboard inspired by the American artist, Georgia O'Keeffe.

This is my O'Keeffe inspired artwork.

The medium I struggled with most was chalk pastel. Chalk pastel is really messy and I really couldn't find a different way of using it. Blending it was quite difficult, because it would rub off completely very easily. Needless to say, our small chalk pastel project was a fail for me.

Chalk pastel artwork.
Glass Coaster

Looking back at this year

This year, the two things I think that I have greatly improved upon are my creativity and problem-solving. When we worked with oil pastels recently, I came up with a much easier and efficient way to use them. I think that most of my artwork was unique from my other classmates and that I thought different ideas.

Ferrofluid Oil Pastel Artwork.
Reduction Print

What i discovered as an artist

This year what I learned most about myself is that I don't really do well when I am told what I'm supposed to draw or paint. I think I do much better under my own direction. I also learned that I much prefer using many colors and paint and illustrating things found in nature and people. What I really found this year was that I reallly do love art and want to continue along this journey and improve my skills.

A closer at my art from second semester.
Created By
Jessica Slater

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