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Posted On 2008-05-08 , 5:23 PM
So, spring semester at college just ended. I have to say that my favorite art project for the semester was a Styrofoam art, self-interpretation head. We were given Styrofoam model art heads and told to use paper cut-outs and glue to make the head into an interpretation of ourselves. As I am opt to doing, I didn’t go to art class while we were working on the project (don’t worry, my teacher never minds that I skip some classes). I hate going to class and seeing how the other students are creating their projects because it tends to influence what I do with my own.
Instead, I created the Styrofoam art head from home. I took cut-outs of
I then covered then entire Styrofoam art head in light blue tissue paper and pasted my cut-outs on top of the tissue paper. I saved all of the word and phrase cut-outs and used them to cover the face. The images I used on the neck, back, and sides of the head.
The words were placed on the Styrofoam face because that tends to be where people look to discover who you are. They take what you say at face value and often never look deeper than what is shown plain…never interpret the images when words are presented.
- cartoon characters,
- as well as the logo from my favorite hockey team
- and many words or phrases that I felt describe me
When I got to class to turn in the Styrofoam art project, I discovered that my own self-interpretation was very different than the others in the class. I discovered that most every other student had turned their Styrofoam art heads into themselves, placing cut-out eyes where eyes belong and cut-out hair where hair belongs. They were all very cute, and mine stood out for the originality.
My self-portraits are generally like that – abstract rather than practical. I prefer the abstract art (at least for self-portraits) because, no matter how many times I draw the shell that is my face and body, the part that makes me who I am is never there. The only way I really know to show who I am is to show an abstract version of my personality.
I wish my school offered a class on abstract art…maybe I should look into it on my own and add something here about it.
Anyway, the college liked the projects so much, that the Styrofoam art heads were exhibited in the yearly art gallery at our school. The ironic thing here is that the theme of the gallery this year was the environment. Styrofoam art, environment? Anyone see the conflict there? Styrofoam is definitely not environmentally friendly.
Posted On 2007-11-29 , 3:26 PM
I am taking a new class at my college focusing entirely on color schemes in art. We learn about how different shades and hues enhance the entire picture, bring out emotions as well as depth and shape.
So here is my problem: the final project of the semester is to paint a symbolic self portrait using a color scheme of 4 tints. Four! I have to create my “self color scheme” by creating 4 hues that are purely my own (shades of red, green, brown, etc.) and give the new hues names that express my personality traits (like “determination red”). So, how to create a decent painting with a 4 color scheme?
My original thought for the symbolic self portrait was to draw the figure of a woman rising from flame. The woman would be nude, but with no body details, instead being like a carving of a figure made of wood. Her arms and hair would be raised to the sky and stem out into the branches of a tree.
Unfortunately, I can not think of a four color scheme that will do the image justice. I thought of using variations of
The fire would have a color scheme of red and yellow, the trunk (or body of the woman) would be brown and black, and the leaves of the tree would be yellow and brown (creating the feel of gold). But I don’t know how this color scheme would look in the finished illustration.
- and yellow.
The color scheme sounds too basic for the feel that the image. I feel as if more hues are necessary. Maybe that is the point, to limit us to the simple so that we really have to focus on what we are really forced to focus on these four tints.
Whatever the point, I am still not sure about using a four color scheme. It makes me feel claustrophobic, as if someone has tied my hands and feet and I am unable to move. An artist shouldn’t be limited!
But an artist should be able to accomplish anything. Isn’t that the real definition of an artist? A creator? An artist should be able to take any images, color schemes, media…anything and make it into something new and intense.
This is my goal. Create the image in my mind, using the restrictions set upon me, and paint something emotional, beautiful, unique. I will beat the limitations set by this four color scheme!
Here is the image, decide for yourselves if it is any good. Sorry about the crappy state of the picture, my digital camera didn't like the lighting. After talking to my teacher, I discovered that I somehow missed that we could use 4-6 colors. I ended up using:
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Posted On 2007-11-01 , 3:50 PM
How it Started:
White shading on black paper is perhaps my second favorite art form (my first favorite being oil pastels). This is something that I have spent so much time on that I was actually given a sketchbook of black paper for Christmas two years ago.
I was first introduced to white shading in an art class at college. My teacher gave us all a white graphite pencil with black poster board and set up a still life of a Greek statue, the oh-so-famous one with no arms, by a black backdrop. He set the spot lights, and then set us to work. When I started, I felt I would hate it. It was very difficult to pick up, because errors were not easy to erase.
As I got going though, I loved it for just that reason. White shading is extremely difficult for beginners, which made my initial sketches improve. I was so used to creating horrid sketches and editing them as I went, that this forced improvement became a god-send.
Where I took it:
Now I have created many different black paper and white shading drawings. I have drawn dragons, wolves, and unicorns all in this media. My most recent white shading picture is my favorite, however.
With a black poster board, I created a dreamscape. The bottom third of the picture was where the white shading was located, and it illustrated an adolescent female character asleep on her homework. The top two-thirds of the picture was done in oil pastels and formed a rainbow nebula (colored cloud). Inside this nebula was the image of the white shading characters dream, ocean waves breaking against the beach.
The illustration is entitled “Freedom” and is the favorite of most who see my artwork. Everyone I know loves all my pieces done in white shading on black paper, because this form is rare to see.
What I have learned:
One thing that I have learned from doing white shading is that you want to start with a regular graphite pencil. This creates a light, hard-to-see outline of the picture and the white shading can be placed on top of the outline. Also, most errors can be covered with black colored pencil or lightened with a gum eraser.
I hope that one day everyone will try this media, and bring white shading into popularity!
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