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.