Becoming an Artist By: Alex Steinbaugh

I initially took Intro to Art so I could use proper techniques that real artists use when making their artwork. I, honestly, also wanted to see if I could live up to my mom, who does art and studied it in college. I've always believed that I had some raw artistic ability, and considered myself a creative person. I felt that in taking intro to art I could not old prove this to myself but to my mom as well, who was not the biggest fan of my highly stylized artwork at the time that I had skill. I figured if I learned some real techniques could impress both my mother and help myself extend my artistic education .

Edges and Contours

In the edges and contour drawings we focused on the object we were drawing rather than the paper that we were drawing on. It helps us forget the preconceived notion we have of how things and lines are supposed to look. This was our first project of the year.

Positive and Negative Space

In the positive and negative space drawings we did the primary focus was on outlining the negative space rather than the positive, which is how things are normally drawn. Drawing the negative space helps with proportions and making sure the positive space looks correct. If the negative space is correct than the positive space is correct.

Relationships and Proportions

In the relationships and proportions section of our art class we learned what a unit was and how to use it to measure in order to make our drawings more accurate. His is probably the drawing strategy that helped me the most during the class because I learned how to actually measure the space and angles I was drawing rather than just guessing. This later helped me with my facial drawings because I used units in order to make a proportional face

Shading and Four Parts of Light

Using shading and four parts of light, which are highlight, reflected light, crest shadow and cast shadow. This helps artworks look three dimensional rather than flat on the paper.

A specific way that I've improved in my art work is that my edges and contours have really improved since my first drawing. In my first drawing I used perfectly smooth lines and focused on how I thought a hand should look rather then how my hand actually looks and capturing all the little lines and creases on it and within it. In the second drawing I focused on every crease and curve of the hand doing so I drew what was actually there not the untrue preconceived notion of what a hand looks like.
Another way that I have improved as an artist is in my shading and control of my mediums. In the first picture has very hard edges and there is very little shading. In the second picture on the right the edges are dissolved into the background and the shading is more developed. I also learned to control the charcoal better. In the first drawing we had to put a layer of charcoal down to begin with and take out the highlights with an eraser so that our smudges wouldn't be as prominent. In the second portrait we only shaded the areas that needed shading and left the white part blank. The second one shows that I had no smudges in the highlight parts of my still life showing that I had learned how to control my charcoal and shading techniques so I didn't shade where I didn't want to.
Chiaroscuro is the use of light and shadow to make objects look three dimensional and give the allusion of space. In chiaroscuro the four parts of light are used to show edges and the crests of the figure. You use cast shadows for the places that are completely blocked from the light, and highlights to show the spots in which the light directly hits the object. Reflected light is where light bounces off one thing and is reflected back onto an object. Crest shadow is the shadow on the object that in the artwork . These four things in chiaroscuro give artwork dimension and depth and an allusion of being three dimensional
The first day of art class I didn't even know what a unit in art was and my first weeks test run artwork showed that. My eyes were on my forehead and they were way too big. My head was too small in comparison with my neck and my shoulders were too narrow. A decent hairline was also missing from the portrait. In my second portrait I had improved greatly, my face was more proportional to my head and my head was more proportional to my neck and shoulders. My hair also looked like real hair. However there were still some issues, like my chin was too small and my shading was too splotchy. When it came to the third and final portrait I was pretty confident on my proportions and my shading ability had improved as well. I had even improved so much that I chose to do an expression for my final fragmented portrait.

I personally believe that my cross hatching was my worst artwork. I feel that if I had even one more class period to work on it the transitions between the highlight and the shadow would be both smoother and and more defined. I also think that my background would be neater if I had more time as well. Overall I believe the appearance of the piece would be better quality and not have such a feeling of being crunched for time and sloppy.

Improvements I've Made

I've have learned to accept myself as an artist. I don't criticize myself quite as much when it comes to my artwork. I've learned that I will never be like my mother in an artistic sense and that I'm okay with that fact. I actually like being different now. The artwork that helped me learn this was my impasto painting. Overall, during the corse of the painting I had such a fun time completing it and in the end I myself was proud of the piece and I didn't need approval to know that it was good.

I also improved in my design skills, specifically creating a strong composition. I know how to fill a space evenly and well in a still life. I learned this by using measurments and proportions, techniques that I learned in class. I can now fill a paper with a drawing without it looking crowded and disproportionate

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