Monday, December 2, 2013

Portrait Project

I chose to do my portrait of a Calavera or a Day of the Dead sugar skull. It is a craft that is done in Spanish- Speaking countries where children make little edible skulls out of sugar for el dia de los muertos. I however, did it a little differently. At first I sketched out the outline of the skull that I wanted to make. I then determined how high each of the point would be. By doing this I was able to stack the sugar cubes to create a rough base for the skulls. Once I had done that, I made a paste to fill in the gaps and make the face seem smoother. I used a mix of sugar, egg white, glue, and a little bit of water to make the paste. After letting this dry, I was able to use a Dremel (drutter) to carve out some of the parts and smooth out corners. This was a very tedious part of the process.

After finishing this I was able to go in and paint on the decorations. This was the most fun part and I really enjoyed using the bright, vibrant colors. At the end, I decided to mount it on a mirror. This was a portrait project so the mirror would make any observer look as if they had a sugar skull as a face.

This whole project was pretty much a risk. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. The sugar was really hard to work with and I had no clue how it was going to turn out. Luckily, it all worked out okay.
This might have been my favorite project just because of the lack of limits. I had never worked with any of the materials before so there was no stress about perfecting them. By trying something new I was able to step out of my comfort zone and work with some crazy stuff.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Sticky Situation


For the theme “sticky situation”, I first thought of things that are sticky, such as honey, syrup, glue, gum, etc. Then I went on a tangent about hard, difficult, or “sticky” situations such as the Great Molasses Disaster, or a car stuck in the mud. I decided the composition would look better if there were multiple little things rather than try to make repetition in a situation. So I went with a still life. I liked the gum stuck to a shoe idea, but repetition would be hard to incorporate, and gum packets and honey seemed too original so I went with maple syrup. The media I used was acrylic which worked really well for the syrup colors. I could mix the colors to match my references, and the colors also blended well, allowing me to show the highlights and lowlights in the syrup. The paint also dried relatively quickly so I could put a layer of paint on and move to the highlights all in one day. I also got to use the matte medium which allowed me to thin the paint a little, and help make the shadows more bendable. I really liked using this media, even though it was a risk I took in the project. It was hard to work with, and blend, but it made the different colors of the syrup a challenge. To incorporate repetition I did a still life with multiple bottles (3) each had a different shape and darkness which made it interesting, but they were all maple syrup bottles, creating repetition. The mini lessons also helped a lot during this project, because I learned how to add highlights and low lights without just adding white or black to the paint. I learned to add colors that are opposite on the color wheel to darken, and add a yellow, or lighter shade of a color to highlight. The bottle painting on the black paper help to teach me how to use the white as a high light, and the watercolor lesson helped with layering and incorporating in other colors.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Up, Close, and Personal

While developing ideas I was thinking a lot along the lines of looking very closely at someone of something like in someone’s mouth or up their nose. 
Then I was thinking about things situations where people are intruding on personal space. With this I thought of busy city streets, packed subway cars, and a full elevator. Being in an elevator is one of the most awkward situations because there is no personal space. At this point I had the “close and personal” part but I didn't have the “up”. Then I realized that elevators obviously go UP and down so I used a large bright upward triangle to stand out in the picture and emphasize the upward direction of the elevator. 

By using partially-dull colors for the picture the bright yellow creates a lot of emphasis because its difference in value. I chose to use watercolor and pen and ink to do this project. I felt the watercolor would create the dull color I was looking for and does not involve much detail. I wanted the picture to remain impersonal so I made the shapes of the people very rough and did not include their eyes. The pen simply helps to show the figures better and add value by using crosshatching. The risk I took in this assignment was the watercolor and pen. I had no idea how it was going to turn out and did not know how to use it very well. I had experience with the pen and the crosshatching but I had never tried to use watercolor the way I did.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


What's the Point?

Some of my ideas for “what’s the point?” included, pencils and pens, needles, pointing, sword fish, hedgehogs, narwhals, compasses, and unicorns.  I chose the narwhals for my project because I felt like the pointy horns on the narwhals really demonstrate the theme. The horn/point is the focal point of the artwork. I showed contrast in my work by using a black and white theme. Both of the pages have very dark backgrounds and most of the picture is dark. The contrast is shown because the point of the narwhal is completely white, creating contrast against the dark background. I also used a black and white border creating even more contrast, and tying the two pieces together by using the opposite color as a border on each page (black border on white, and white border on black). I used a black and white color scheme. With the white paper I decided to use black charcoal because it blends well and can create the rich dark color. I also did the same picture on black paper with white chalk and white pencil. The white chalk blended well like the charcoal did on the other picture. I also used the white pencil to help make really sharp, contrasting, white lines that the chalk was not able to do. I used a lot of blending and value work in this project. Because I only used black or white charcoal/chalk the value of the charcoal was important in making the different parts of the pictures. The blending helped to make the water look more life-like.
I took risks in this project by using different mediums. I had never worked with charcoal or white chalk before and I didn’t know how it would blend or look on the black/white paper. I also experimented with the black paper. I finished the white paper narwhal first then decided to make another one but on black paper. It was a risk doing this without planning for it in the original thumbnail.