Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Work of Art that I am Most Proud of

The work of art from this semester that I am most proud of is my realistic self-portrait drawing. I feel like I did a good job at capturing myself in the drawing and I feel like I achieved all of the criteria for the drawing. I think I did a particularly good job on the eyes, ears, and hair in this drawing to make them look as realistic or as close to my features as possible. Overall, I am proud of this work because it looks like me. This drawing impacted my learning because while working on it I learned to use good line variation and a range of techniques to create a range of values for in my drawing. I learned how to create a good range of values and how to use them to make my drawings more realistic.

Revisiting my Goals for the Semester

My first goal was to work on using different marks to create value, which I feel like I did achieve. This can be seen in my realistic self portrait where I used many different marks to create value from hatching and crosshatching to line variety, so given this example I feel I did improve in this area. For my second goal of working to paint in a looser manner and not restricting myself to one idea I feel like I didn't improve as much. There are some examples of improvisation in my work, but not much, and I feel like if I was more confident in my ability to creatively improvise in my work there would have been more. I did accomplish my goal of learning about different types of painting mediums and techniques through our various units in acrylic to watercolor painting. For my last goal I feel like I did achieve it because of my hours of working after school on some of my projects. My final goal was to take my time and work to the best of my ability on each piece this semester, which I feel as though I accomplished. 

Watercolor Techniques


  • To experiment, explore, and learn a variety of ways to paint with watercolor.

Some important concepts I learned from doing watercolor painting were to work to use a wide range of values and to use a variety of techniques to bring the painting to life. When you see most professional watercolor paintings they use a wide range of values from white to a very dark extreme of their chosen colors. By doing this they can actually seem to capture a scene like a photo in their painting and it just overall makes the painting appear more realistic. When first learning watercolor in this class we were taught a wide range of techniques to use while watercolor painting. This can again be implemented to create a realistic scene, but also just makes the work more interesting. Seeing how an artist captured their vision using many different techniques is much more intriguing than an artwork that just uses one technique. 

Sketchbook Assignments

Imitation Drawing: Still Life

  • Purpose:
  • To gain a basic understanding about the Realism Art Movement and to identify Artists who work(ed) in this style;
  • To practice drawing in the realist style by "imitating" a professional, realistic work of art.

Still Life Drawing
  • Purpose:
  • To practice creating 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 between black and white;
  • To demonstrate quality craftsmanship and good composition skills in a drawing.

Imitation Drawing: Portrait
  • Purpose:
  • To become familiar with past and contemporary portrait artists:
  • T use critical thinking skills to analyze artwork;
  • To understand how and why artists create portraits;
  • To practice drawing in a portrait by "imitating" a professional work of art.

Half Portrait Drawing
  • Purpose:
  • To look closely at half of a portrait and complete the portrait by drawing similar features;
  • To practice drawing facial features: eyes, nose, and mouth.

Autobiographical Collage
  • Purpose:
  • To create an autobiographical collage that tells the story of an experience that took place in the artist's life. It lets the artist express his or her thoughts and feelings about any aspect of his/her life.

Mandala Design
  • Purpose:
  • To become familiar with Mandala designs and it's meanings;
  • To create your own, original Mandala.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Unsung Hero

I started out just as everyone else did; with no clue what I was going to do. During the first assignment I began to know I wanted to chose someone who interested me personally, which eventually led me to Dr. Shoemaker. His story captivated and inspired me to push myself and make the most of every situation. I first looked at Lt. Colonel Tran Ngoc Hue and Andrew Higgins, but the name of the piece on Dr. Shoemaker drew me in. “Ashes on the Moon” told me the story of Dr. Gene Shoemaker, the only man to have been buried on the moon. My interest in space made me choose Dr. Shoemaker as the Unsung Hero to be featured in my painting. My work expresses the character and heroic acts of my Unsung Hero in many ways. In the background is the Barringer Crater, where his incredible journey seems to have begun. He was the first person to discover the origin of the crater following earning his PhD from Princeton. He would later go on to found the scientific field of astrogeology by creating the Astrogeology Research Program of the U.S. Geological Survey. I depicted a large, yellow moon in the sky because many of the largest events of Dr. Shoemaker’s life corresponded to the moon. Shoemaker was to be the first geologist to walk on the moon, but after he was diagnosed with Addison’s disease he was disqualified. He continued on being heavily involved in the Lunar Ranger missions by training Neil Armstrong and several other U.S. astronauts for the early Apollo missions. He even served as a CBS commentator for the live coverage of the flights. As I mentioned before, Gene Shoemaker has been the only buried on the moon for his great contributions to planetary science. Also shown in my painting is three meteors, streaking across the night sky. After his work on the Lunar missions, Dr. Shoemaker began his search for Earth orbit-crossing asteroids. Through this research he discovered the Apollo family of asteroids. Much later in his life Shoemaker, his wife Carolyn, and astronomer David Levy observed a comet hitting Jupiter. This comet was then named the Shoemaker-Levy comet and it was the only time a comet striking a planet in our solar system was witnessed by humanity. Shoemaker predicted, and through some disagreement was later found correct, that the debris would spread throughout the solar system and could be seen by the human eye. Dr. Shoemaker died in 1997 in a car crash while looking for more impact craters in Australia. I painted Dr. Shoemaker with a smile because he was always pushing forward in his scientific field and in life, even with his setbacks. He approached every situation, no matter how difficult, with enthusiasm. I specifically painted the night sky a dark purple to represent the mystery of space and Dr. Shoemaker is wearing a lighter purple shirt to represent how he embraced the unknown and worked to bring light to those mysteries. His shirt is also purple to represent the wisdom and creativity he brought to every situation. Dr. Shoemaker holds a ruler in his right hand to show his hard-working nature and attitude and the rocks he stands on top of represent how he was at the top of his field in geology. In this painting, I used the knowledge that I gained from the landscape paintings to paint from front to back to create depth in my work. I also used layering to create the right colors for my painting and to also provide a more realistic depth, especially with the crater and the ridges. I used different painting techniques such as dry brush for the rocks to give a more rough feeling. In creating this piece of artwork and especially learning about my Unsung Hero, I was inspired to always strive towards innovation and creativity, to work-hard and not get discouraged, and to push the boundaries of society, just as Dr. Gene Shoemaker did. His story has shown me that I should always believe in myself and I should always strive for greatness.  

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Landscape Perspective Painting

One perspective strategy I used in my painting was layering and overlapping. Using this strategy taught me the first thing I learned from doing this painting, which was to paint from top to bottom. I painted the sky, then the clouds over the sky, then the mountains over both the clouds and the sky and so on. By starting from the top, I was starting by painting the objects farthest in the distance and layered on top of them. Another thing I learned from doing this painting was to paint straight on the canvas. By painting straight on the canvas, while the paint was still wet, the colors flowed together well and worked especially well in the clouds. Two more things that the painting taught me was to use a variety of brushstrokes in my painting and to not disturb them by blending colors too much on the paper. I used smooth brushstrokes for the clouds and tried to not touch them afterwards unless necessary and I used shorter, choppier brushstrokes and almost pointillism for the bushes.

Some challenges I faced while working on this painting were creating realistic clouds, finding the right values, and painting very small details. For painting realistic clouds, I solved the problem and dealt with the challenge by painting straight on the canvas. This made the brushstrokes flow better and made them look more realistic. I would start off with using this method from the beginning next time. For finding the right values I used experimentation directly on the canvas and I would just paint over any values that didn't fit. These methods worked very well for the paint medium we were using, but that may not be the case next time, so I would probably experiment on a separate sheet of paper to find the right values next time. Finally, for painting the small details, after I switched to a smaller brush this task became much easier, so again I would try to start out with a smaller brush from the beginning.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

LMC Unsung Hero Planning

The story of Gene Shoemaker, the founder of astrogeology motivates and inspires me. Dr. Shoemaker had an incredible hard-working and determined persona and was one of the greatest scientists of his time. Even though he wasn't able to be the first geologist on the moon due to a medical problem, he still worked incredibly hard in training the astronauts like Neil Armstrong to be prepared for their journey. Some visuals from his story are the Barringer Crater because he was the first person to determine its origin, the moon because he remains to this day the only person to have their ashes been buried on the moon, and meteors because he spent the later half of his career studying Earth orbit-crossing asteroids and the comet that collided with Jupiter in 1993 is named after him and fellow scientist David Levy.