Thursday, December 19, 2013

Mixed Media Mash-up

     For this project, we were create an art piece using different materials and amusement as the theme.  I chose to do a swing in my picture because I love swings and they're very amusing and fun for kids.  I used magazine paper, water color, pen, printed pictures of flowers, paperclips, oil pastels, and painted paper in my piece.  I connected the pieces all together by using the pastels to sort of mesh the grass and flowers, and water color on the magazine paper to blend it together a little bit more.  The visual journaling we did was cool, but I didn't use that style in my art.  I enjoyed using the different colors of tissue paper and then made my product very colorful as well.  I had some trouble coming up with ideas that I could execute well, but I kept trying to make the piece look alright.  I think it was cool because I painted the paperclips on white paper, and when I lifted them up there was black paint strokes on it and I decided to use it.  This shows that you're never done with art and new ideas can show up unexpectedly.  This was not my favorite project, and next time I'd like to come up with some more expanded ideas.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Just Noodling Around: Non-traditional Portraits

       For this project, I chose a picture of my brother. He makes incredibly silly faces, so I knew that one of his signature expressions would be fun to work on. I created a list of materials that I thought would work for this project. My favorites were sequins, pony beads, and colored noodles. I chose the noodles because they were unique and cost effective. I also knew I needed something I could work with and break for curves and small places. My choice made my project look like a bunch of random noodles up close but a person from far away. This goes along with why it's non traditional. Some risks were coloring the noodles (I didn't know how), and I wasn't sure if it would come together as one piece in the end.  My choices were very good when it came to the colors because they went well together. I also did a nice job of fitting the noodles together and filling most of the empty spaces (some were left as highlights).  Overall this was a fun and time consuming project, and now Mrs. Rossi will be buying many new glue sticks!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sticky Situation: Slippery Steps

     For this project, our theme was Sticky Situation and we had to incorporate repetition.  I thought of many ideas for this that were actually sticky, such as gum, candy, food, mud, and things figuratively sticky like police lights and a dog with a newspaper full of holes.  My ideas at the end of brainstorming were banana peels on a tile floor and a creepy staircase with lots of holes and darkness.  It was very difficult to think outside of the box because a lot of people were coming up with very similar ideas.  I ended up combining the banana peels and the staircase to come up with a sort of abstract idea of a sticky, or in this case, slippery situation.  I added in the repetition by painting multiple banana peels, steps, and stripes on the walls.  A lot of the shapes and patterns are also repeated.  I chose acrylic paint because I know how to manipulate it and the different colors and shades for value.  My favorite parts of this piece are the shading and values in the bananas and stairs.  Although I found it difficult to keep mixing browns that would work with the other shades, I found a way to make it work.  I like how this is unique and an interesting concept that leaves you guessing about what actually happened to get the banana peels on the stairs and where the mysterious door leads.  The mini lessons were important because they helped me practice with the different mediums, water color and acrylic, and they helped me to decide which one I would be better at working with.  I am happy with the outcome of the final product because it is different than my other creations.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Up Close and Personal: "Eggquisite" Eggs!

For this project, we had to use oil pastels, chalk pastels, or colored pencils to draw something up close or zoomed in.  I developed ideas for this by looking up pictures on Pinterest.  I found a lot of interesting things like flowers, dogs, pencils breaking, and more.  I narrowed it down to a horse nose and apple and a birds nest.  When I drew my sketches, the birds nest had a  more interesting composition so I went with that.  I demonstrated emphasis in my work by making the eggs the most interesting point in the drawing.  They have the brightest colors and highlights because I used pink, purple, and white, and that makes them stand out inside the nest on the tree.  I decided to use oil pastels because when I practiced with all three mediums, I thought that I was most successful using them.  I've had experience with all three mediums, but I love the oil pastel texture and how you don't have to be so exact but just layering colors and shapes will give the desired effect.  My risks in this piece were just trying to work with the oil pastels in a way that would make the birds nest look like a birds nest without have to draw any individual pieces of straw or anything.  I also had to work hard to make sure that I included a lot of highlights.  Even though it feels weird adding those bright lights and darks and colors, it does make it look more realistic and more like the picture you're trying to draw.  Another risk was bringing my own oil pastels in because I'm so protective of them and I was really worried I would lose or break them!  I used medium as a technique of art in this drawing because the oil pastels worked really well in my picture and their colors and properties brought a lot more to the drawing than a colored pencil or chalk pastel would.  They brought much more texture that you can see.  This was a fun project that didn't take so incredibly long, and I liked it very much!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

What's the Point? Popping Perspective!

For our first project in Art 2, we were required to brainstorm ideas for the theme "What's the point?"  When I brainstormed, I came up with ideas such as point of no return, breaking point, arrows, pencils, perspective, and point of view.  I selected perspective and point of view to elaborate on and drew a sketch of a tree from an ant's point of view, yet my final decision was to draw a picture of Disney World using perspective.  I drew Main Street, USA in Disney because it was an interesting location.  With perspective, every line is drawn with a ruler and goes back to the "vanishing point," thus explaining where the "point" relating to the theme comes from.  Also, a lot of the buildings and the Cinderella Castle have points on them.  I drew this in pencil because I knew it would take a lot of erasing and redrawing to get it perfect.  This way I could also add shading to show contrast.  The contrast is easily seen in the road lightening, the black Mickey Mouse balloons, the roof, windows, sides of the buildings, light pole, shadows, and trees.  I tried to exaggerate the lights and darks, but I know that this is something that I can keep working on because I tend to use a lot of similar greys, not "black" or "white".  But that will be a goal to keep working towards.  My techniques for this piece were just shading with a pencil, darkening and whitening areas to give the picture a realistic look.  I did not take many large risks, but it was a risk doing the whole perspective idea to start with.  My only experience with them is two drawings at the end of Art 1, so I don't really know all of the odds and ends of them.  Furthermore, since I was drawing from several pictures combined and it is an actual place, I wanted to include as many details as I could.  With trying to get the view perfect, I ended up taking my sketchbook home every night and just drawing a few lines or squares took almost twenty minutes!  I think you can really tell that the message in this drawing is that Disney World/ Main Street is a beautiful place that is only the beginning of a wonderfully fun and terrific vacation destination!  It was a time-consuming drawing, but I think that the end product is totally worth it because I look at it and see my dream home...Disney World!!!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Perfecting Printmaking

     We explored printmaking in Art. This was a very intricate process. To start, we researched two animals and drew sketches of them in their environment. We then used a viewfinder to pick a unique view and do only a portion of our sketch. We then traced and transferred back and forth with tracing paper to get the image onto a piece of linoleum.  Next, we carved out pieces of the linoleum to create raised areas that the ink would touch and texture for emphasis. After that, we rolled ink out with a brayer onto a tablehook and rolled it evenly onto colored paper. This was a very cool project, and even with a tedious procedure the end products looked really cool! I enjoyed exploring what color inks would go with the colored paper. But it did take me a while to finally find a color scheme that worked for my piece. From the way I had carved my linoleum, if I used dark ink on lighter paper it created a "negative" affect. From that I learned that the turn out was much more realistic looking if I used a darker paper with lighter inks. The coolest part was using multiple inks. All you had to do was squirt them out and roll the brayer up and down and to the sides a little bit to blend them, and the result was amazing! I learned that you had to put a pretty good amount of ink on the linoleum to achieve the look you were gong for. I also learned how house painters feel with their paint rollers!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Photoshop Frenzy

     This week in Art, we learned how to use the program Photoshop.  I have used this a couple of times before, but not in great detail.  We watched videos detailing the different functions and settings in Photoshop, and we created a morphed image using that knowledge.  I thought the final products were really cool because angry, vicious pancakes or a lady with a frog tongue are totally unexpected!  I was glad to have the videos with step by step instructions because I would've been lost without them!  I am a person who needs directions to do something, so I found myself rewinding and re-watching a lot.  There were times when I got frustrated with the program though.  At one point, I was not in the right layer and it wasn't working out.  But I especially felt extreme distaste for the polygon lasso tool because it stuck to every spot on the screen that I clicked on and I couldn't figure out how to get it to deselect unless I went to the internet window and then went back and canceled it.  It was so strange and annoying, and I was told you had to reconnect the ends to deselect it.  I personally think that is crazy because I wanted to deselect without have to click a bunch, but I muddled through.  Since I had to go back to the video so much, I ended up working pretty slowly.  But I am happy with the results and I think they are so funny to look at.  I'm going to send my brother a picture of angry pancakes--I'm sure he'll never look at breakfast the same way again!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Spray Painting Pizzazz

     For this project, we spray painted a picture of an expressive face. I chose a picture of my dog, Chloe. First, we put the picture into photoshop in the cut out setting and changed the color scheme. We then printed the picture, projected it on paper, traced each color, and cut it out. After that, we spray painted each color on painted cardboard with the different stencils. This was a very exciting project because I have never used spray paint before. Because of this, I was excited to try it out. When I started with my first color, pink, I found the spray painting very difficult. This was due to the very tiny amount of paint in the can because the pink was running low. I didn't want to get behind, so I jumped at the chance to spray paint. But I struggled because I had to hold down the nozzle really hard and shake the can the whole time I sprayed. Unfortunately, some spots were sprayed that later dried fine. Luckily, with my other colors I had a much easier time. It was really cool to spray paint for the first time! I enjoyed it once I got full spray cans, and I'm glad that I could expand my knowledge of different types of paint. Another thing I had to have during this project was patience.  Each step took a lot of time, and to make the end product look good, I had to go slowly and make sure I was doing everything right.  I thought this was a really interesting project, and I've never done anything like it! I think my project was a success when I finally finished because I like how the colors were really solid and bright!  If I had to change anything, I would probably pick more colors and do a human face.  Other classmate's projects look really neat, and I think it would've been cooler if I used more colors and had more of a background spray painted as well.  Overall, this was a super cool project, and though tedious at times, a lot of fun!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Contour Connection

      For our contour line unit, we learned how to draw objects by following what our eyes saw with our pen.  We were instructed not to pick up the pen, and to draw everything we saw.  We started out drawing our hands, and we couldn't even look at our paper!  But we later did modified drawings, and they started to dramatically improve.  It was still tricky even at the end, but at least you could get the feel of drawing all of the lines and getting it proportional.  When I started out, my hands were scribbles all jumbled together and you couldn't even tell what I was drawing!  But with each drawing, I learned to take my time and keep my pen and eyes going at the same rate.  It was really cool how with each progression my drawings looked more believable.  This was a very tricky unit, but I thought it was a good thing to learn.  I thought that the backpack and the shoes were the hardest to draw because they were bigger with more lines and features.  It took some perseverance to keep drawing even though it grew tiring, but I managed to keep up with my concentration.  Contour line drawing is a different method than anything I've done before, but it was neat to learn and to see my skills increase with each drawing. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Value of an IPad

For our study in value, we experimented the lights and darks in a drawing and how they affect the outcome of it.  I really enjoyed learning to draw value using the different pressures of a pencil to blend the colors into a gradation.  To expand on this concept of value with pencil drawings, we incorporated oil pastels and the IPad app 'Layers Pro'  to create similar effects on drawings of cones, cubes, and spheres.  I found it pretty easy to blend the colors together with both the pastels and the IPad, and they both created interesting effects with vibrant colors.  What I found similar that seemed strange was that with the IPad as well as with the oil pastels, you could control the drawing utensil and still achieve the look you were going for that you got with the pencils.  But the feel of drawing with these two things was very different.  With the oil pastels, I could actually touch the drawing.  But with the IPad, it was very electronic in that the drawing didn't seem there until you really looked at the screen for the drawing.  I feel like I succeeded in blending the colors for the effect I wanted.  For the cone in my first IPad drawing, I imagined a setting in the pink clouds.  So I used pinks, purples, and blues to create a fairytale sort of setting in the clouds.  Then I stuck with the theme and included a pink and purple cone with value.  As for my second drawing,  I placed a cube in the grass.  Unfortunately, I was pressed for time on this one and was rushing a little bit to finish it.  I realize I could have blended the colors a little bit more so that you could tell the edges by the value, not the outline, and I would have remembered the shadow!  But I thought I would include it just for fun, to show another way to portray these shapes on the IPad.  I learned a lot about how to use the different pressures of a pencil to create blended value, whereas I normally use a blending tortillion.  This was the first time I've used oil pastels in a long time, so I learned how to get used to them and how to put pressure and layers on the drawings with them so they'd make the proper look.  I also learned how to blend down into the other colors, and I had to keep switching colors to blend them well.  This was my first time using 'Layers Pro,' and I really liked it and thought it was a cool app.  I learned how to maneuver the app, and how to use the colors and the blending on the shapes.  I found out that technology can be very useful in art.  With resources like the IPad, you can create new and unique pieces of artwork that you wouldn't get otherwise.  I found this to be very interesting and would like to look into the oil pastels and the app even more so that I can draw other various things.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Mushu: From the Inside Out

    For one of our first drawings in Visual Arts, we were to choose a cartoon character and then draw the skeleton for it.  We had previously drawn a human skeleton, and now we were translating those bones and the similar bone structure to an animated character.  I chose Mushu from Disney's Mulan because I thought that with his skinny, flexible body, his long tail, and his funny face, that it would be cool to see a possible skeleton of him.  For this drawing, I made sure to draw a full set of bones, and I based them off of ones you would see in a human.  My drawing features a skull, a rib cage, a pelvis, and very long vertebrae for his neck, back, and tail.  I also used my imagination to create some of my own bones for the hands, feet, arms, and legs.  They are similar to a human's, but they differ in shape and size just a bit.  I exaggerated the eye sockets because of Mushu's large eyes, and he has a large spot for his large nose.  I also thought it would be interesting to add little bones into his two whiskers and his tail because I know they have a lot of movement and flick around a lot.  This led me to believe that there must be something there to structure them.  I believed it would be fun to create a skeleton for his gong and mallet.  I know that Mushu's job depends on his job, so it is a part of him, in a way.  Thinking of this, I imagined the skeleton of his gong and let his skeleton hold it.  Another thing that is different is that for the ends of the fingers, toes, and tail, I included some long bones that seemed like nails because they give him the needed shapes.  Overall, I think my final product was an impressive one that gave me more confidence about my drawings, especially the ones of skeletons!  This was a very fun project and I think it's a great way to be introduced to drawing and to skeletons!