Sunday, December 18, 2016

Opacity Project

1. Overall I don't think my piece came out as well as it should've. Chalk was very challenging for me and I had difficulty blending and making certain lines well defined. Some of the bottles blend together making it hard to tell that they overlap. If I understood how to work with chalk and overlap what I'm drawing I could've produced a better quality piece.

2. The soda cans, soup can, milk carton, ect. are what make the piece look  more like the inside of a recycling bin. By putting cans and such underneath my clear glass and plastic bottles I incorporate opacity and make the items look layered and staggered like in a recycling bin.

3. The colors I chose were based on the colors of common recyclables such as popular soda brand. There are a lot of greens, blue, orange, brown and of course white for the opaque bottles. I tried to spread the colors out to create contrast within the recycling bin.

4. Like I said before I spread out the colors I used and put dark or bold colors next to the light and bland colors. I also tried to put different type of bottles or items around each other to create contrast through what was in the bin.

5. I had trouble adding shadows because it came to a point where no matter how many times I went over the paper with chalk no more color would come off on the paper. The shadows I put on the bottom silver of the soda cans made them look more three-dimensional. Also the shadows on the soda bottles and beer bottle made their shapes more round. The highlights on the plastic bottles created the plastic and 3-D look.

6. I chose the dark green background because that is the color of recycling bins and it's a dark contrasting color that would make the objects pop more.

7. After this project I get why it's important to understand the media and how to use it to create a successful piece because if you don't you can't achieve a realistic look. You have to know how to layer and blend and not add to much color at first. I think practice and experimentation is key in this situation.

8. I had trouble layering color and adding as much color as I wanted. For example you can still see brown paper in the background behind the green because the green stopped coming off on the paper after a certain amount of layers. Also I couldn't draw over an object with a different color, especially with white, because the colors just ended up blending and looking like one. If I understood how to layer chalk pastels my piece would've turned out a lot better.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Facial Features

For this exercise I learned how to draw and shade facial features to make them look realistic. To do an eye you need to make the eyeball look spherical by shading around the edges. You also need to shade under the eyelid to make it look like it's standing out over the eyeball. For the ears it's key to shade dark in the insides of the ear and light on the parts that stick out. Also to make the ear look round you need to shade around the outside edges. To draw lips you first need to draw the outline of them then draw what looks like hair coming out either side of the middle line. After you do that you can shade making the area around the middle line and edges darkest (depends on where the light source is) and the middle of each lip lightest. For the nose you first draw the outline of the nostrils and bottom of nose then you can begin shading. To form the rest of the nose such as the bridge you just shade according to wear the light source hits. This exercise has reminded me that shading is necessary to make something look realistic.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016


This assignment had to do with opacity and learning how to create it on paper. Everyone was given a smarties and the task of drawing it in chalk. Personally I don't like using chalk because I find it hard to layer and work with without all the colors blending together or smudging. The individual smarties inside the wrapper had to have value to create a three dimensional look. The wrapper itself wasn't too hard to draw but figuring out how to create all the folds and twists I saw on my smarties was challenging at times. Drawing highlights on the wrapper over the candies was also challenging because the white wouldn't show up in some spots. Overall I enjoyed this project because I gained practice with creating opacity which is an important element in making a piece look realistic. I think my piece could have come out a little better if I had more practice with chalk but it's a good start.

Monday, November 14, 2016


For this project we used Prismacolors to draw a candy wrapper of choice. I chose a brown M&M wrapper but drew it in yellow. This project was a challenge for me because I couldn't get the shading and the creases in the wrapper right. The highlights look like random lines and the shaded regions didn't create the depth I was looking for. The M&M is the only part of the wrapper I like. If I were to do this project over again I would take more time figuring out how to draw folds and creases in a wrapper especially because I struggled with the same thing for the fabric drawing.


For this assignment we had to draw and shade a Dum-Dum with Prismacolor colored pencils. This was my second time doing this project so it came pretty easy. To shade the wrapper I used purple because it was one of the colors in the wrapper. Shading was key to make the lollipop look 3D. I expected drawing the letters to be harder but they were pretty simple. Prismacolors are definitely one of my favorite mediums to use after doing this project. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Look at that View

Inspiration Pictures

 Compositional and final sketches

Final Piece in-progress (not finished yet!)

1. For my project I chose to draw the front of my car looking from the grills level. The picture does have an interesting point of view but I don't think it has as much perspective as I wanted because it's one larger object in one point.

2. Perspective is important because it's in everything we see every single day. If we want to draw what we see in perspective it's essential to understand where you are in comparison to that object so the lines go in the right direction.

3. Practicing with colored pencil helped me understand how to layer colors to get the effect I want. It also taught me which colors to use to get a good variation and that it's okay to use colors totally opposite of the color of your object. In my piece I made sure to use at least 2 different colored pencils for each different color area I shaded.

4. I think my coloring came out pretty good but I struggled with creating depth and variation in the black portions and blending my colors together. To color my piece I started with the main color of the car and then added dark and lights variations over top and then went back with the main color again.

5. There are three main parts to my car which are the windshield, hood and grill. Those three things separate the piece but I don't think they create very much depth since it's just one large object.

6. This project was actually very fun for me because my car is something I am very passionate about. Being able to observe it so closely and explore mixing different colors helped me improve on problems I've had with shading for previous projects. I struggled with coloring the hood the most because the only color I had to be a contrast on the black hood was silver and not grey so some spots look metallic when the light hits it.

7. I think I would've felt a little more adventurous when picking my topic for this piece if we had practiced drawing different objects in perspective a lot more. I also would've liked more practice with prismacolor colored pencils so I could experiment before doing a final.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Still Life Final




1. I think my final Still Life project turned out to be a good quality piece of work. The objects are all well defined and most of the page is clean and well-blended. One thing that I could've improved on is the amount of smudges throughout the piece.

2. A few objects are more realistic than others but you can tell what I have drawn. I included as many shadows as I could for example there's a shadow behind the card and in multiple places behind the fabric. Also I definitely could've used a wider range of values and made the whole piece darker but my style of art tends to be lighter and softer.

3. You can tell that the light source is in the top left because the right of the page is darker and the fabric at the bottom is darker. 

4. The compositional sketches are very important because they gave us practice with getting shading and proportions correct. There were so many objects on the table that you had to really study all the their details in order to include all the shadows. By drawing the table over and over again I grasped the main elements of the objects in view.

5. The most successful parts of my drawing were the cards, the fabric and the shadows. The fact that my cards were so much lighter than the rest of the piece and had shadows made them stand out. Also my fabric has good movement because of the way I drew and layered the lines.

6. The proportions and perspective of my final piece turned out pretty accurate after practicing with the compositional and final sketches. I finally figured out where to place the large can in the front and how large to make it in order for the rest of my objects to fit in correct perspective on the page. 

7. My eye is drawn to the top/middle right of the page because of all the shaded objects and layers. If the wall decoration to left on top of the fabric was finished the piece would've been a lot more balanced but it still has a pleasing composition. 

8. Like mentioned in question 7 the eye is drawn to the top/middle right of the page. The large can in the front creates a center of interest because of its size and the amount of shadows that surround it.

9. This project took me a while but most projects do because of how particular I am. Shading takes me a while and I've always had problems with getting it just right especially on round objects. I could definitely improve on creating a darker range of values.

10. Like I mentioned before I really struggled with shading and creating value. To fix this I had to keep going over the areas I shaded and make them darker. Another thing I struggled with is keeping the piece clean because it constantly smudged and ruined the light parts of my piece. The only way to fix the smudging was to erase and redefine any shapes that got messed up.

11. Still Life has taught me I need to work on shading and perfecting shapes. It has also helped me better understand value and how to create it. I can now look at an object and more easily figure out where the light source hits and the shadows form.

Shading with Prismacolor Practice

In this exercise we practiced shading objects in color using Prismacolor colored pencils. The spheres were the easiest because there was only one spot that the light source hit and you didn't really have to figure out how the value changes as the shape changes. The pumpkin and pear were a little harder to shade because it's hard to tell how the value changes especially on the pumpkin. Also I think I could use a little more instruction on what colors to use for the shadows and how to layer those colors because I'm not happy with my shadows. Overall this exercise was very insightful on how to add color.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Still Life Sketches

Four Compositional Sketches

Final Compositional Sketch

 For this project Mrs. Rossi set up a table of objects stacked upon each other and the students were to go around and draw the table of objects from different angles. The first four were my sketches from different angles and the larger last sketch is the angle at which I chose to do my final piece and that is my final sketch.

Shading Shapes

For this exercise we were supposed to correctly shade a set of 3D shapes in front of us. I think my shapes look pretty three dimensional and there's a good range of values. I am happy with this as one of my practice pieces.

Fabric Drawing Practice

If you can't tell by the pictures I had a really hard time with grasping the concept of how to draw and shade fabric properly. I started out using way too much dark and barely any white. After Mrs. Rossi helped me see what I was doing different I realized where my mistakes mostly were and improved for final piece.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Fabric Drawing

1. A wide range of values is evident in my piece where the fabric folds and the light hits. I believe the folds are pretty dark in contrast to the highlighted parts and the shadows fade very smoothly.

2. I struggled a lot with the practice fabric drawings. I had to do them about 3 times until I started to actually capture the illusion of hanging fabric with shadows and highlights. My final piece was the first piece I was happy with out of the 4 that I had done.

3. I used a charcoal pencil to darken the edges of the fabric where it folds to create shadows and once I finished shading I didn't even need to use a white colored pencil to highlight because I had shaded those parts so lightly. I started out with more pressure along the edges and then used less pressure as I worked towards the middle. Personally, I find it easier to not use a lot of pressure on any of the piece but to layer the charcoal as I expand out so the edges become darker through layering.

4. Without the correct texture someone could interpret your object as something completely different! Texture is key to taking the final step in bringing your object to life and creating a realistic look.

5. If I were to do this piece over again I would practice shading more (since I understand it now) and master how to read the object and it's shadows better. Basically, I would do what I did but with more practice and more understanding of where to shade.

White Pencil Shading

For this exercise we practiced shading curled up tape but with white colored pencil on black paper. By using white on black I got a better idea of how to shade with different colors and values.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Contour Backpack

Contour Backpack

For this exercise the class drew a contour drawing of their backpacks in pen. Including all the detail on the backpack was difficult because of course you couldn't lift your pen. I lifted my pen more than I should have and I still didn't get as much detail as I would've liked to in my picture. I think if I wasn't so focused on making the picture look neat and perfect I would've better achieved the detail I was looking for.

Contour Rooms

Practice Contour Room

Final Contour Room

1. In all honesty I wasn't very fluent with drawing my lines. I lifted my pen way more than I should have and you can tell where the lines stop and start especially on the counter.

2. By drawing contour hands and a backpack I learned how to observe an object as I draw it in order to get the proportions, perspective and detail right. In my final piece this enabled me to fill the shelves with the books and art supplies that are actually in the room. Also, getting the proportions of all the objects right became a lot easier by my final contour room drawing.

3. An outline drawing captures the basic shape of the object while contour drawings allow tons of detail to be added to the shape of the object. 

4. It is important to not think too deeply about what you are drawing but to rather think about the lines you are drawing. If you focus on the size and shape and length of each line your piece will come together so much easier because you aren't overthinking it. I have trouble with overthinking my art.

5. After this piece I have realized how concerned I am with how it will come out rather than focusing all my attention on the aspects of my piece while I am drawing it. I am afraid to just go with it and let my pen lead me. If  I were to do this piece over I would think less and lift my pen less. 

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Contour Hands

Blind Contour

To do a blind countour hand drawing we had to place our pen on the paper and draw our hand with our eyes only on our hand and without taking the pen off the paper until we are finished. It was very challenging becuase my pen wasn't moving at the same speed as my eyes were.

Modified Contour

Modified contour hand drawings are the same concept except you are allowed to look at your hand. This was still challenging for me because I couldn't lift the pen!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Final Exam

1. My favorite and most used tools this year are the needle tool, ribbon tool and slab roller. I know it sounds dramatic but I couldn't of made it through the class without the needle tool. I've used it to cut clay, score and slip, add detail and even poke holes in my parachute. The ribbon tool has saved many of my projects from turning out lumpy and lopsided. It's used to shave away clay which was very useful for the sgraffito tray. The slab roller made every clay project so much easier and less time consuming. It is used to flatten the clay out to an even thickness. This tool also saved my projects from being lumpy and lopsided.

2. Before this semester I don't really remember using any of these tools. The slab roller was the scariest to try out because it looked pretty complicated but in actuality it's easy to get the hang of. All you need to know is which way to turn the wheel and where the clay and cloth goes. After using the slab roller a few times I can now help others figure out how to work it. The needle tool and ribbon tool were easy to use and I have gotten better at using them for both their intended uses and more creative uses.

3. What is a technique you used in your artwork that worked well? Explain what technique it was and why it was successful.
Pit firing my pot was the coolest technique I used this semester. This technique uses other materials such as pencil shavings, grass and wire to create unique patterns and colors on pots. To do this you cover the pots in materials and wrap it in foil and then pots are placed in a hole or pit in the ground, covered with more combustible objects and burned. When I got my pot back it had such an original placement of browns and blacks. It almost looked like it was an ancient artifact.

4. Describe a project where the choices you made regarding material, size, technique, etc helped enhance this project.
My vessel piece was probably my favorite out of all the pieces I made this year. A few of the choices I made while creating the piece are what made it turn out so well. The first choice was with how I sculpted the body of the fox. I made the head, ears, body, tail and legs separate and then stuck them all together instead of sculpting it all at once out of one piece of clay. This made the body shape look more realistic and 3-D. The size of the body and the hole inside is perfect to hold a small plant or anything really. Another choice that made the piece so unique was layering the glazes. Although I wasn't fond of how the streakiness of the layered glazes looked, I got a lot of compliments on the color and how cool it looked.

5. What was your favorite material that you used this year? Why do you like working with it?
My favorite material that I worked with this year is definitely clay. Your options are endless with clay. There are so many different things you can make with clay and so many different ways to make them. I made bowls 3 different ways this year and I even got to sculpt my favorite animal! Another reason I'm so fond of clay is because of how forgiving it is. As long as it's wet you can re-sculpt something as many times as you need because it's so easy to mold.


Unconventional Material Challenge

Unconventional Material Challenge

The material I was assigned was square tiles. After running through a number of ideas I decided I would make a mosaic out of tiles.There was not an abundance of colorful tiles but I had enough blues, blacks, tans and greens to piece together desert scene. First thing I did was smash a bunch of each color tile into a bunch of smaller pieces using a hammer. Then I cut a thin piece of wood into a rectangle so I had something to glue the tile pieces to. Now I am still in the process of fitting together each tile and it's taking way longer than I expected. I think the reason I'm still not finished is because I'm a perfectionist so I'm making sure each tile fits perfectly before I glue it down. Also, I made the tiles super small so it's taking a lot longer to cover up the wood. If I were to do this over I would smash the tiles but prevent them from flying everywhere and keep them in a square so I can glue the smashed square on and the tiles will all fit together perfectly. Even though this project has tested my patience I think it will look really cool and abstract when it's finished.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Wire Tree

Wire Tire

First I found a rock and cut eighteen 24 inch pieces of wire. Then I folded the wire pieces in half, made a loop in the middle, twisted it in between the loop and wire and then separated the loop into two more loops and twisted again. After I had done this to all eighteen pieces I twisted the pieces together and then took strands out for branches as I went up the tree. It's confusing to explain but when you're actually making it it's easier to understand the process. If I were to do this project again I would make the tree bigger and add more branches because it looks kind of bare and dead. Overall I think the concept of this tree is really cool and I would love to do another.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Parachute Installation

First I blew up a balloon and cut up plaster strips. Then I dipped the plaster strips into a bowl of water and then smoothed the wet strips onto the top half of the balloon. Once I had about two layers of plaster strips all over the top I let the balloon sit over night and dry. The next day I popped the hardened plaster off the balloon and cut it into the shape of a parachute. From there I proceeded to paint the entire parachute a pink color I mixed up and add sparkle. To add the sparkle I rubbed a glue stick on a majority of the parachute and sprinkled on some glitter trying to add more glitter on top and less as it fanned out down the sides. After I decorated I installed all the strings using a needle tool to poke holes into the plaster. For the man hanging I wrapped multiple pieces of wire around each other in the shape of a stick figure and added a bottle cap as the head. The entire piece was kinda just thrown together as I went. For example the bottle cap was left over from my lunch and I added it because the wire man itself wasn't heavy enough to weigh down the string. Overall I am pretty happy with the way my piece turned out I think it looks very glamorous and I don't think I would change anything about it.

Sgraffito Tray

Sgraffito Tray

Sgraffito is a technique in which layers of colored slips or underglazes are applied to a piece and then different layers are scratched off to create a pattern or picture or reveal a contrast in color underneath. With this piece we rolled out a slab of clay, layed it over top a foam tray and cut off the excess. Then I coated the top of mine with red underglaze. After the underlgaze dried I carved away all the parts of the tray I didn't want to be red. Finally I waxed the bottom of the clay tray and dipped it into a bucket of glaze for it to be later fired in the glaze kiln. The finished product wasn't exactly what I had hoped it would be. I'm not very fond of the contrast in color between the white and red glaze. I also don't like how streaky the red underglaze turned out. If I were to do this project again I would keep more red in the picture and put a thicker coat of underglaze on top. Maybe the picture I chose to carve was a little too complex but I think the concept of this piece is very very cool and I would love to do another tray. This project was a good reminder of how including relief can create so much more dimension allow creativity to transpire in your piece.