Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Eyes, nose, mouth exercise

What are things that are working well and what things do you think need extra attention? These are things you want to remember before you begin your final, realistic self-portrait.

One major thing that is working well is creating the shading of the object well. Creating the light and shadow from the light around the subject helps the object look more convincing to the viewer. Using this technique can also make the object look more rounded. Using it can make the areas on the nose, lips, and eyes look rounded. This can be done by highlighting the light and dark areas of the object. One thing that needs extra attention is creating the objects to look more like my face. I feel like that I've created the objects well, but I need to focus on the shape specifics so they look more like my face. I may have done this well in the nose, but the lips could use a little help, and the eyes could definitely use some attention to look more like my eyes. This is very important for the realistic self portrait so the features on the face that I draw look more like me.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Intro to Portraiture

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Old Man with a Black Hat and Gorget, 1631
Rembrandt van Rijn
Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn was born in Linden in 1606. Despite being enrolled in the University of Linden, Rembrandt took up studying art due to lack of interest in the program at the University of Linden. After six months of training as an artist, Rembrandt became a master at all he had learned. When he returned to Linden, he was regarded as a great artist and took on his first pupils at the age of 22. He then moved to Amsterdam, married, and had four children. His wife and three of his children died while living in Amsterdam. Many of his paintings were in high demand and his studio was filled with pupils, some of which were already trained artists. He was forced to sell his house and declare bankruptcy in 1656. He was also forced to auction off many of his belongings and works. The results that the auction yielded were disappointing. The problems that he faced in his life may have improved and inspired his work. Rembrandt died at the age of 63 in 1669 in Amsterdam.

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Americans Who Tell the Truth, 2003
Robert Shetterly
Born in 1946 in Cincinnati, Robert Shetterly graduated with a degree in english literature from Harvard College. After college, he moved to Maine in 1970 and began to teach himself drawing, printmaking and painting. In conjunction with his art, he also published in multiple newspapers in Maine and wrote about 30 books. In the last ten years, he has been painting a series of paintings called Americans Who Tell the Truth. The exhibit has been displayed in many areas across the country since 2003. In 2005 he published a book with all of the portraits inside. The series focuses on the obligatory ideals of the citizens of america, the importance of truthful democracy, and sustaining U.S history. 

From this painting, I can definitely tell that there is a story behind the artwork and the subject. From the expression on the face of Ella Baker, I can tell she is almost worn-out from something from her past and has a story to tell. One thing that eludes to the exhaustion displayed in this piece, is the look in and around her eyes. Her eyes look tired and worn-out which is shown by the bags and wrinkles under and around them. Another thing that eludes to the historic feel of this painting, is the writing on the wall behind her. This shows how there is definitely a significant past to the subject of the painting. The overall feel of this painting is one of history and intrigue.

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Linda Nochlin and Daisy, 1973
Alice Neel
Alice Neel was born in Marion Square, Pensilvania in 1900. She took art classes in Philadelphia and later enrolled in the Fine Art program in Philadelphia School of Design for Women and graduated four years later. She later moved to Cuba after marrying a cuban painter, Carlos Enriquez. She later moved to New York where she continued to paint. Alice Neel is known for her portraits of family and friends. She also painted many nude paintings throughout her career.

From this painting painting I get a sense of revealing and disclosure. I can see that the older subject in the painting, Linda Nochlin, is rather relaxed and comfortable in contrast to what seems to be her daughter, Daisy. Linda seems to be more and farther back on the couch. Daisy, on the other hand, seems more excited and eager. This is shown by how she is very forward on the couch and is sat very upright. Also her mothers hand is wrapped around her to convey she is trying to get up.  

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 Madame X, 1884
John Singer Sargent 
John Singer Sargent was born in 1856 in Florence Italy. After studying painting and art, he caused a commotion with his painting Madame X in 1884. After this he moved to England to establish himself as the nations leading portrait painter. He visited the US to create decorative pieces for places such as libraries or museums. He displayed is skills in 1879 with his portrait of Carolus-Duran. This piece was both a tribute to his teacher, and an advertisement for his portrait skills. Many of his paintings were full length portrayals of women where he continued to receive praise and positive feedback. 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Still Life Drawing

One major challenge that I faced while creating this still life was the composition of the piece. Being able to create a well composed piece can make all of the difference in creating convincing still life. The sighting technique was very helpful for this. Using this technique I was able to overcome the challenge of being able to create the shapes accurately. Another problem that I faced while creating my piece was creating a range of values to convey that the figures were 3d. I found that I was not using enough shades of white to create the figures. This resulted in more outlining than I had wanted. I tried to solve this by adding more of a range of values to the drawing.

I think that I was able to create proportional shapes in my piece. By using the sighting technique, I was able to create a convincing drawing. I also think that I framed up my perspective of the drawing well on the page. It wasn’t too small for the page, and it wasn’t too big that I couldn’t fit everything on the page. This was something that I struggled with at the beginning of the unit and I am happy that I was able to improve in this area. I also think that I created the shapes of the figures accurately in terms of the angles that are created and the overall shape of the objects. Doing this is the basis of the whole piece so I worked hard to create the shapes well.

Purpose of the Assignment
  • To create a still-life drawing that demonstrates understanding of drawing in perspective, along with using a variety of mark-making techniques to describe form;
  • To understand value by creating a good range of values to help make the objects appear 3D;
  • To demonstrate quality craftsmanship and good composition skills in a drawing.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Art Movement, Realism

The realism art movement is considered the beginning movement of modern art. Realism focused on things like: social and cultural structure, economics, and politics. These aims lead to the artwork to sometimes be considered ugly due to their honest representation of life's unpleasantries. The realist artist took their talents to speak out about issues. For example, they targeted the members of the bourgeoisie and monarchy who were patronizing the market. This movement arose in the 1840s at the end of the Age of Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution. These time periods greatly influenced the subjects depicted in the artwork.

The Stone Breakers (1849-50)
Gustave Courbet

Harbor front, Old North Wharf (2013)
Sergio Roffo

I chose this oil painting by Sergio Roffo. The scene depicts about five boats on the water on a wharf. The time of day appears to be dusk or dawn. This scene is very different than the one done by the mater, Gustave Courbet. The subject of Courbet's piece is two men rather than the simple boat and town scene in Roffo's piece. Although they both are realistic scenes, Roffo's piece seems lifelike than the master piece. Personally I prefer the contemporary piece because I really enjoy the reflections on the water and the calming scene it depicts.

Monday, January 30, 2017


One interesting aspect about the mandala is what it represents. I find it very interesting how the mandala can be seen as a representation of the organization of life. I found the part about the connection between the body and mind and, the world beyond us very fascinating. I also like how parts of life are integrated into the mandala. For example, the sun, moon, and celestial bodies are all inspirations that can be translated into the design. Another interesting aspect is how it can be thought to improve the lives of those exposed to it. It's interesting how it is being introduced in western cultures as a representation of peace and awareness.  

Goals for the Semester

For this semester in Drawing and Painting I hope to get better at many things. I would really like to refine my drawing skills and develop them to a higher level. I would like to be able to add new details and learn new techniques for my art work so it can be improved. I would really like to improve my painting skills. I would like to try different styles and different subjects to broaden my horizons and improve my overall artwork. I want to be able to connect my real life experiences to my art to add depth and meaning to my art. I think using different techniques on my drawing would be very important to adding depth and detail to all of the art I make in the future.

To produce my best work, I think we should work to improve many things. I really think that giving and receiving feedback from peers and the teacher is imperative to learning and improving the art I create. Listening to other people's opinions is very important because they can bring things to the table that you haven't thought of. I also think that learning about other cultures and styles from around the world would be very crucial in refining my skills as an artist. Introducing other techniques from different places can improve the art we create and it can make a piece more interesting. I hope that the feedback receive and things that I learn will improve my art and allow me to produce the best art that I can.