Fundamentals of Art By: Maille Mcgraw

Thematic Library Window Mural

Problem to Solve: Collaborate to design a painted mural on the windows above the library. Your design will be based on the FSD annual theme and will positively influence the FSD community.

Our group worked really hard to create a mural that spread out main ideas to the viewer. Our mural is communicating that positivity can spread to even the darkest of places. This can encourage and inspire the Fairview School District Community to be a light in the darkness. It shows them that even the smallest “seed” of positivity can reach out farther than ever expected and make a huge change in the world we live in. To show this through art, we had an array of positive items such as a rainbow, sunshine, and a giant flower in the center of our mural with a darker scene spreading towards the edges. To show that this positivity was spreading we used dandelion puff seeds. They floated across the scene and showed the positivity reaching to the darkness. We wrote “Positivity Spreads” across the left and right of the scene to further explain the ideas to the viewer. Our favorite part of making the mural was making mistakes. It was really fun making mistakes and turning them into something new. If we had to choose something that we are most proud of, it would be our teamwork and flexibility through the whole project. We really enjoyed creating a mural to share with the Fairview Community and hope that it’s positivity, as well as ours, spreads to our fellow students as well as everyone else in the Fairview School District.

While doing this assignment, I learned that teamwork and working together is a key factor in being successful. The four of us worked together to create our mural to help spread the "Be The Change" theme through the halls of the school.

Drawing Lessons

Problem to Sove: Create a reproduction of your chosen image (flower, tiger, or eye) by using graphite pencils on paper

" Pre-assessment/ Base Line drawing of a flower, tiger, or eye"

From doing this drawing, I learned that drawing is actually a lot harder than it looks!

Problem to Sove: Draw a person and self assess what drawing level is evident.

"Draw a Person"

Though I didn't get it finish, I observed my drawing as being at the "dawning realism" stage .

Problem to Solve: Practice the drawing strategy of switching to right brain dominance while accurately drawing the reflection of the face

"Vase/Face & Monster Vase/Face"

By doing this drawing, I realized it is also pretty hard to mimick certain shapes of something to be exact. We had to use our 'right brain' to help us draw this, rather than using our 'left brain' and comparing the shapes to body parts.

Problem to Sove: Allow your right brain thinking strategies to dominate while you accurately draw your chosen image upside down.

"Upside Down Drawing"

This drawing taught me that it actually can be easier to draw upside down. At first, it was difficult, but after I got the basic shapes down and got in a rhythm, the final product turned out very well.

Blind Contour Problem to Solve: Without looking at your paper, record all of the edges of your hand. Your goal is line specificity.

Contour Problem to Solve: Use the grid lines on the plexiglass view finer to help you replicate your contour line drawing of your hand. You are aiming for accurate proportions and line specificity.

"Blind Contour and Contour line drawing of a hand"

Blind Contour: From this drawing, I learned it is way easier when you don't know what you're doing. You also think your drawing is going to turn out way better than it actually does. // Contour Line Drawing: This was easier than doing the blind contour, and the grid also helped.

Problem to Solve: Increase your accuracy of proportion, foreshortening, overlapping, congruity, and specificity by practicing drawing contours of a minimum of 5 objects.

"5 Contour line drawings of objects from observation"

From drawing these 5 random objects, it helped me to become better at looking at an object and drawing it, especially with all the other contour line drawings I've done.

Problem to Solve: Transform your most interesting and best contour line drawing into a blotted contour line drawing inspired by Andy Warhol's graphic design work.

"Blotted Contour Line Drawing"

I enjoyed this drawing because I learned how to blot ink and it's pretty cool.

Problem to Solve: Train your brain to observe and record the shapes and angles of the negative space with the intention it will increase the accuracy of the positive space

"Negative Space of a Ram"

This activity really helped to better draw things. Using the spaces in between shapes to draw them really helps, and I think now I will use that strategy more often.

Skeleton Drawing

Problem to Solve: Select a section of the skeleton that is just above your comfort challenge level and utilize the rule of thirds and touchs 3 sides of your paper to create a dynamic composition.

"Skeleton Tracing on IPad"

This process helped to get my skeleton drawing started.

Problem to Solve: Apply your knowledge of right brain dominance, contour line techniques, negative space, and rule of thirds in order to draw a strong composition of the skeleton in proportion.

"Skeleton Drawing With Sharpie"

After the process, as shown above, the final product resulted in a skeleton with all the contour lines and negative space.

1st Quarter Sketchbook Assignments

Problem to Solve: Use the template paper provided to design an original "your name" artwork to be displayed in your ipad case.

"IPad Insert"

This helped me get a feel for what this art class was going to be like.

Problem to Solve: Explore the Procreate app by transforming your selfie into a unique and visually interesting image.

"Exploring Procreate Through a Selfie"

In this sketchbook, I learned how to use Procreate which was very helpful.

Problem to solve: Design and create an image that uses visual movement to guide viewer’s attention to your emphasis of a chosen image

"My Artful Image: Emphasis and Visual Movement"

This helped me on how to use movement and emphasis in pictures, which can also help if I'm drawing something to grab the viewers attention.

Problem to Solve: Create a conceptually meaningful composition by using Procreate to transform the SCALE of chosen object(s). The change in SCALE needs to change the meaning or story of the image

"Scale and Proportion"

This also helped me learn more about how to use Procreate.

Problem to Solve: Design a unique and creative composition relating to the theme, "All Things that Flower". Your artwork will be submitted into an art competition at the Tom Ridge Center.

"All Things That Flower"

I didn't really learn anything from this sketchbook, but I enjoyed just drawing a picture of this flower.

Problem to Solve: Activate the negative space by transforming it into part of the positive space. Find your own unique way of solving this problem.

"Negative Space: Active Transformation"

I learned how to use negative and incorporate it into pictures.

Problem to Solve: Invest an hour of “invest”igation into what you can transform this “O” design into while creating CONTRAST and BALANCE in your composition. I want to see how far you can push the design while maintaining the existence of the “O” form. What can you come up with? Surprise us all.

"Contrast and Balance in the 'O' Design"

This sketchbook helped me to know how to make a picture or of something else, which in this case was the letter 'O'.

Inspirational Icon

Problem to Solve: Pay homage to an inspirational icon of your choice by transforming a photograph into a segmented portrait with colored pencil.

Original photograph (left), black and white segmented photograph through photoshop (center), final project in colored pencil (right).

Artist Statement: I chose Kanye West because of him as a person. Kanye says what he wants and doesn't care what anyone thinks about him, or about what he says. He is also family oriented, and is the perfect role model, along with his talented wife Kim, for their two children and all his fans. He also has great bonds with other celebrities, like Taylor Swift, which helps give him creative ideas for his songs and music videos. Kanye West is a Grammy award winning, creative spirit, who influences pop culture with his inspirational songs and signature fashions.

"Inspirational Icon Mind Map"

Using this whole process helped me to draw my final drawing and make it more accurate. The black and white segmented photo helped to break everything down into shapes rather than pieces of the face. Using a grid on both my final picture and the segmented picture helped to make my drawing more accurate and proportional.

Perspective Activities

"1-Point Perspective Boxes"

"2-Point Perspective Boxes"

"Magazine Perspective Activity"

Problem to Solve: Visually identify how the rules of perspective function in our every day environment by labeling the orthogonal lines, vanishing point, and horizon line.

"Perspective IPad Activity"

Using perspective helped to keep everything proportional. It helped me to better see and realize how everything lines up in a picture.

Geometric Object Graphite Value Drawing with Zinger

"Value Scale and Value Gradation Worksheet"

Problem to Solve: Apply your knowledge and skills of creating proportion, perspective, value range, hard edges, soft edges, and value gradations to create an illusion of a three-dimensional environment on a two-dimensional surface.

"Geometric Object Graphite Value Drawing with Zinger"

This assignment helped me learn how to shade better and it really helped me out with drawing accurate proportions. I also learned how to shade something that is colored, which was a little difficult.

"You as Who?" Self Portrait

Drawing Problem to Solve: Apply your knowledge and skills of drawing to create a realistic self-portrait of you imitating a chosen individual. You are in charge of choosing someone to imitate, preparing your props and facial expressions for the camera, and executing a unique artwork.

"'You as Who?' Self Portrait"

This assignment helped me to shade more and to draw better. Drawing myself was different compared to drawing something else. Also, I had to pose and draw based off of a real picture. I feel as if now I am better at shading and making pictures more accurate and proportionate. (Progress picture of final drawing on right)

2nd Quarter Sketchbook Assignments

Problem to Solve: Pick a social cause that you feel strongly about and design an image to communicate your position on the issue. This is an opinion piece; it should express a view and try to persuade the audience (our class).

"Social Comment Image for Public View"

This sketchbook just helped me express that I think women and men should have all equal rights, equal pay, etc. A majority of the rights men have, women do too but there are some things that should be different.

Problem to Solve: Use the clues in this paragraph to help you draw your own interpretation of the story within one image/page.

"Bully Ball"

From this sketchbook, I learned that it is pretty difficult to try and imagine a scene in your head and then put it down into a drawing.

Problem to Solve: Create a dynamic composition by making the combination of that noun, verb, and adjective your emphasis.

"Strange Combos"

This sketchbook required me to be extra creative, and it was hard. Using random words to try and create a picture is a challenge. Like the Bully Ball assignment, creating a scene in your head and then putting it into a drawing is difficult but I learned how to do it. (Words were: revolting, cauliflower, eating)

Problem to solve: Extend the story line of a famous artwork by designing a scene which occurred before and a scene which occurred after your chosen artwork.

"Before and After"

From the assignment, I based my drawing off of Vincent Van Goughs painting "Sunflowers" and I also had to be creative. I drew the sunflowers from when they started blooming, the paining represents the sunflowers at full potential and the last scene pictures them wilting and dying.

Problem to Sove: Draw yourself as a cartoon character as if you were also in the TV show, movie, etc. Draw yourself in the same style as the animator did by repeating his/her visual schemas.

"Cartoon Portrait"

This sketchbook was fun because I drew myself as if I were Minnie Mouse. From this assignment I used my imagination and creativity to create it.

Problem to Solve: With whom, where, or with what do you feel most at "home"? Photomontage (artistically collage) at least 5 images of persons, places, or things which are reflections of your definition of your "home".


This assignment helped me to crop images and put them in a picture, it also made me realize what makes home home to me and I've never thought about that as deep.

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