Monday, June 2, 2014

The Grand Finale

Because I can't believe my senior year of high school has already come to an end, I decided to do a blog post for just that. Art IV and AP art have helped me realize what I'm good at and what I'm terrible at. Had I not had such a wonderful teacher to help me push my boundaries, I would have never discovered my muse. 

After comparing the first water color I did, to my better two, I couldn't believe how much I had improved. As much as I will always love my first painting, I can tell that practice certainly does make perfect. 

Even though it was definitely a struggle for me, between problems at home to problems at school, I don't regret anything. If I could have had it my way I would have been able to go to school everyday and push out more quality art prices. But the good thing about art is that it's a stress reliever. Many of my classmates saw AP Art as a stressful class, which it indeed would have been had I taken the AP test, but because I knew everything I was going through I decided to use my AP art class as a stress reliever. I cant explain how many days I would come home from a stressful day and whip out my water color and sit on my back porch for hours to create something beautiful. It helped me over come some of the most difficult times. Art to me is something i do to relax, something that will help me remind myself who I am. And even though I'm not going to be in an art class anymore, art is something I will carry with me through out life. And I want to thank all my teachers, especially Mrs. Rossi ( not being a teachers pet haha) for working with me and helping me discover myself through my art. 

Trial and Error

For one of my last projects, I wanted to do a water color of my boyfriend and I together. As silly as it seems, in the last 6 months I've been dating with him he's helped me over come some very touch situations and helped me grow into a better person. I wanted to do a peice that showed just that. 

I started using a lot of hard, heavy colors, and after finishing, I realized it didn't look like me or my boyfriend at all. There was no way to go back and fix the features, so I had to restart. 

I noticed that instead of using the heavy colors to show emotion, I wanted to use lighter, wash colors to show the feelings. 

This time around I think it's safe to say I got the proportions right. I liked the positioning of or faces, because he's lifting me up, and I'm looking to him. And I liked to show that. I didn't like, however, how the features were so light. I almost felt that if I darkened them, it would ruin the entire picture. 

So I took a picture of it how it was, just in case I liked the simple version better. Then I added an extra step. Maybe adding some crazy color like I did with my other pictures would make it look better. 

After doing so, I realized I liked the dark heavy colors or even the light colors better than this. But art is about learning, and also trial and error. Though I liked the heavy color peice the most, the proportions were off so much the peice will never bee seen again. But, the light colored, middle peice, is my favorite and final peice. After using my boyfriend as a reference in multiple projects, it's safe to say he knows he inspires me. 

Hands from heaven

One day, after looking trough all my old sketch books, I realized I had done a lot of hand sketches growing up. I drew my hands, my moms hands, I drew hands with no reference and hands with a reference. I was always so fascinated with hands and touch. To me, not only do they allow us to feel physically, they connect us emotionally to our surroundings. 

Anyways. I knew for this project I wanted to revert to my old ways and incorporate hands. 
I began by taking about fifteen pictures of my own hands (very difficult...) 

Here's just some of my references. 
After that, I sketched it onto my water color paper. The hand position was important in it's spots. I wanted to show the growth of love within the hands. 

At the top of the painting you can see the hands are holding a budding flower. That flower represents love and emotion. Holding it delicately, or pulling on it's petals will result in two differnent outcomes. While the flower doesn't bloom after pulling in it's petals, the hand holding the delicate flower grows into two hands entiretwined, forming a bond. It leads down to the single hand, dripping with emotion. 

It's almost as if the hands are reaching down from heaven for people of earth to grab onto. And I liked that. After showing my peers I got multiple opinions. One of love, and one of heaven. And the purpose of my art is to provoke thought and emotion and I was happy to see it was doing just that. 

Leaving The Nest

After taking one of my pen portraits and turning it into something new, I decided to use pen and water color together for a project. I had an idea of using a bird on a tree, forming all from a basic white background. I liked the simplicity of the white, to me it added room for the viewers imagination. 

I began by drawing in pencil where I wanted everything to go. I had trouble with this and even referred to one of my class mates when asking about how to use water color and pen together. When using pen, it can't be a basic line, it has to have some curve to it, some would refer to this as sloppy pen man ship, but when coupled with water color it gives the shapes a more defined look. 

After I thought I was done, my favorite art teacher told me I did need to do something with the background because it looked unfinished. The only reason I had trouble doing this, is because the picture is so simple itself I didn't wanna take away from the bird and tree. By adding a basic blue wash in the back, it gave some difinition to the peice. 

To me, this picture isn't just something that looks good together like a bird and a tree. The two flowers coming off the branches represent my brothers and their forming lives. The single flower towards the bottom represents the amount of years I spent finding myself, until I actually did. The bird, of course, is me. And the tree represents the home I've had that's shapen me. 


One sketch I always loved was a pen sketch of myself. I loved the way a few lines made a beautiful, shapely face. 
Instead of letting this sketch lay around, I decided to do more with it. 

I took a water color wash of my favorite color (pink if you couldn't tell) and ran it all along the face. The ink mixed with the water color, giving it a variation of blue. At first I thought it was a mistake, but after adding orange and purposely adding blue to the other side of the face, the blue from the ink actually gave the face a nice variation of color. 
I like being able to take old things I've done in the past and using new skills to turn it into something beautiful. The sketch was great itself, but adding the water color mix to the portrait gives it an extra touch. One thing I've alwYs known about art since I was a little girl, is that no matter what happens, a mistake can be turned into something better than before. And that was shown in this peice. 


I knew I wanted to do an abstract portrait. And what better person to do it of than my wonderful boyfriend. I took this picture of him and edited it to show the lights and darks and colors that normally aren't there. Then I started to sketch it out on black paper. 
I didn't use a skin colored pencil in any of this. I wanted to use yellows, reds, and whites to create the skin color. I only used 4 colors; magenta, yellow, white, and black. I changed up the direction of the pencil multiple times to create a layer of color. I didn't want it to be smooth, I wanted some roughness to the skin. 

I liked the variety of going back and forth between something abstract as water color and something as real as colored pencil. One, you have hardly any control over, the other you have control over every stroke. 

Sunday, June 1, 2014


Back to water color this time. Realizing I use more blue than any color when painting I decided I wanted to do something differnt. I also wanted to refer back to abstract. 
Using myself as a reference, I sketched out my eyes, my profile and my cheek bones. I knew I was going to have to use a combination of realism through the features, but depend in on the colors to give the art the abstract appearance I wanted. 

Deepening the colors behind and below the face brings the face forward. Adding a hint of color where a shadow would be from the nice and lips make the face evident. 

What's amazing to me about water color is the simplicity of it. Once you understand the paint, you're able to take a few brush strokes and create something beautiful. Something that regular acrylic paint can't do. 

This painting didn't have as much meaning to me as the last one, but her eyes looking up can sumbolize whatever the viewer infers. I wanted to capture they're emotion with my color choice. 

Breaking Down

After realizing in most of my paintings I focus more on the person that anything I wanted to do a portrait that made the background just as interesting as the portrait itself. 

I started with drawing out the face and doing the basic wash. 

Then I took the colors and darkened them, adding some colors (yellow, orange) where they didn't need to be. 
I then took the yellow and tied it into the background by adding some red to create a rainbow, color wheeled affect. I took the blue from the eye and brought it into the background. 
Many layers later, I finally deepened up the colors enough to show the features and the background. The yellow in the cheeks gives them not only color, but tie it into all the other colors. 
I love this peice, I love the abstract of the colors and the paint positioning. The year dripping down the cheek, and the face fading into the background give this meaning. A person blending in with their surroundings will hide their emotions, will smile and act as if everything's fine. Then one day they break down. But they're colors are so bright. 

Naturally Hidden

Inspired by my peers, I decided to do something different and try using prisma colored pencils for this project. I wanted to incorporate things I loved, like flowers, but also something to represent the upcoming choices I had to make. 

I began by Sketching out the picture and choosing what colors I would use and where. I didn't want to use the same type of flower, or flowers that grew in the same habitat for instance, to represent the differnt paths in life I could take. 

I used tropical flowers, and more indigenous flowers too. 

Prisma colors can be difficult because you have to color layer by layer. If you press too hard to begin with, the colors won't blend right. Just like with paint, the colors you use will mix a certain way. After using a variety of blues for the butterfly, reds for the top left flower, purple for the top right, and pink for the remaining flower, it was time to begin working with the face. This was the part I was most worried about when it came to messing up. It carried the whole meaning of the picture. 
I practiced multiple times with eyes to perfect my technique. 

When looking at this I'm sure the average eye would see something like it, average, but if you know me as not only an artist but a person you can understand it so much more. Senior year has been one of the roughest years for me. I've been given many opportunities and been forced to turn them down, as well as hurdled many obstacles. The fact behind the flowers is me (obviously) not so much hiding behind, but coming forward, and finding myself through the opportunities and obstacles I face. The butterfly represents my freedom, freedom to choice who ever I will become and where ever I will go. 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Portrait of A Mother (In Progress)

This is a water color portrait of my mom. My mom and I have a relationship where one second we're very close, the next we're not. Sometimes she makes me angry, most of the time I make her angry. But 100% of the time we love eachother. I decided to do a portrait of her because I've never drawn her before. She's never been a subject in any of my art. Most people look at themselves as the creation, but don't see their parents that way. People will paint things for their parents, but I don't know anyone who has actually painted their parents. 
Anyways, I had a vision in my head for the type of painting I wanted to do. It took a bout 30 minutes just to get her to take a picture the way I wanted it. She couldn't keep a straight face (Bashful Kasey) 

Once I started painting I immediately found I had a problem. I wanted to stray away from the blue color scheme I had been stuck on. I started using reds and yellows, then green for the reflection in her eyes. Then I noticed her proportions were off, and that got me frustrated. But it's all a time game. As I continue I will straighten out her features, and darken the colors in the face. I will add her hair and reduce some of the light coming from the focal point. This painting is a bigger painting, almost as tall as me when typically I work small, so it's a stretch for me. I do like it though, I like the challenge very much. 


Art to me is about pushing boundaries and always trying something new. I may still be using water color, but atleast this time it's not a portrait... right? This time I decided to use natural objects to paint with water color. I watched many tutorials and "How To" videos on how to use different weights of the paint to create a representation of nature and not necessarily the flower itself. These were just practice to break away from portraits and the realism I was going back to. 

I love the tree I have created, I love the look of the bark and the top of the tree. The only thing I dont like about the tree is the "amateur"ness of the branches towards the bottom. But, I did learn how to better spread the paint and shade it accordingly. I figured it out as  I worked up the top of the tree, but the bottom was too far gone to save. 

The flowers at the bottom were actually a test run for my "Feeling Blue" water color painting. My plan was to do a dramatic flower at the bottom (previous blog post) to represent the emotions of the girl. But, her eyes did that and a flower would have been too much. I went back and found this test run flower, and added a few more strokes to it. Then I added another flower, and another, and a water mark, and I realized how much I liked the randomness of the flowers and the paint. It kinda expressed my thoughts at this time, scatterbrained and stressed as I searched for new art ideas. 

Sweet life (In Progress)

Yet again, another water color.
 This one I'm not finished with, but I like the way it's coming out. 
I'm a very head on type of person, I like doing portraits straight from the front because doing a profile to me is a struggle. To be honest, I thought I was finished with this piece. But then my biggest critics (my friends) told me I was far from done. And now I can see that. Sometimes artists need other artists opinions to make something great. 

Roy's Portrait

After I did my first water color I was surprised how well I could use that media. 
This time I decided to do a portrait of my younger brother Roy. He's so melancholy and sweet, I wanted to use the soft and light water colors to capture that. Had i used a different media such as acrylic or oil, the paint would have been heavy and boring, instead of light and full of energy like a little boy is. My brother is a very important person in my life. He's only 11 years old but I can go to him with anything and he never fails to make me smile. He's always been a subject in my art.
I chose to use mainly yellows in this painting to represent his happy go lucky aura. 
He's always in a good mood. 

My last water color was mainly abstract, but this time I tried to combine the use of realism and abstract to create this. I went by the picture for the stature of his face and positioning, but when it came to color and detail my mind went wild. My favorite part about this peice is his eyes. They show so much and are so bright, I feel like I captured them very well. 

Feeling Blue

My art reflects who I am and how im feeling during the time period I'm working on the project. This water color was a self portrait I chose to do. At the time I was stressed and upset, there were a lot of different things going on in my life when I started this project. From losing friends, to my parents divorce, it was a very depressing time for me. 
In my opinion, self expression finds it's way into art in small but dramatic ways. When I first mixed my water color, I used my basic bright colors such as yellow, red, and blue. As you can see blue one out in this peice, and that's very significant considering the meaning behind the painting. It wasn't intentionally supposed to be different variations of blue, but art and self expression go hand in hand. This idea came to me in the middle of the night when I couldn't sleep. I had nothing better to do... So I took a picture and began painting. 

When it comes to art I love realism. I love making things look exactly like the picture or still life. This project I went out of my comfort zone on and decided to go abstract. Surprisingly, I find myself doing more and more abstract water color painting than realism now. I love the way the colors overlay each other in a "separate but together" manner. 
When I asked my friends what they thought if the peice they loved it, which was surprising to my considering my friends are my biggest critics. They'll tell me when I'm slacking off, when a project goes hay wire. 
I'm very proud of this project and im glad to have the opportunity to show it off. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Project #10

This piece is the first I have centered around my concentration. One of my two favorite things to do when it comes to art are plants (trees, flowers, etc) and people. So what better idea than to combine the two? 

I've always believed people and Earth are connected, not just spiritually but physically too. In this piece, i drew your average man, representing man kind. The only thing in color on the man is his heart, because that's what keeps him alive; his source of power. His heart connects to his veins, and that branches out to his limbs, ultimately turning into a blossoming tree.

I call this piece, "Branch Out" not only because his heart branches, but because the tree and the colors represent a developing personality.

I imagined this idea before even putting it on paper and knew immediate I'd have trouble deciding on a medium. Once I started, it became clear water color and ink (my favorite) was my way to go.
I wanted most to include a lot of detail in his heart and to make sure it was atomically correct. I used roughly about 6 different pictures of the heart and 3 diagrams of veins through the heart.
Branch Out to me shows the connection of man and Earth. It also demonstrates the beauty of a person, turning into their own colorful tree.

Project #9

This was my first time using oil paints, ever, so bare with me here. I knew this project would be a struggle, just because I'm a "Drawer"... not a painter.

My initial plan was to take the easy way out and paint as many flowers on a canvas as i could, But my great art teacher decided I should challenge myself (even more than I already was) by doing a portrait.
I chose to do my cousin, John, only because he'll be two in February and I know how much his parents will appreciate the painting.

(As you can see I painted more on the actual picture than the canvas itself... just to get a feel of what I needed to do.) 

I first drew his portrait onto the canvas, and thought to myself, "hey, this is looking pretty good!" (False hope) i forgot i still had to paint...
But I forced on. The beginning layers were the hardest, and I cant explain the frustration I had when working on this project. I single handedly asked for help more times on this painting than any other. I took picture of the process, and of course deleted them out of embarrassment.

After days and days, I finally came to a stopping point. It took a lot to even show my co-art 4 people, just because their oil paintings turned out so well. In the end, i know I tried. I worked as hard as i could and even if the result wasn't what I was expecting, I'm just glad I kept working on it. And on the bright side.. my uncle loves it.