Wednesday, May 29, 2013

M. C. Escher Inspired Drawing

This project was inspired by an artist named M. C. Escher. Escher created very abstract pieces, and they normally leave the reader thinking. We were asked to come up with a drawing that resembled the works of Escher, and included a two or three point perspective building. I'll admit, this one took me a while to come up with a composition for. I wanted it to make the viewer think about the layout and what was going on within the drawing. I finally came up with an idea. My perspective building was in three point perspective, and it was a small house held up by four stilts and rope. The mountains, ocean, and fish make the viewer think that it is placed on Earth. But, when the viewer looks into the sky, you can see Earth in the distance and Earth's moon behind it. This portrays that it is on a completely different planet.
   When I was constructing the mountains, I really wanted them to stand out, because most of the focus was going to be on the house. I decided to incorporate value into the mountains by shading and blending out parts of the mountains that I wanted to represent ledges, cliffs, etc., so that it looked more three-dimensional. I used this same method on Earth and the moon. This was my favorite project because out of all of them, it allowed the artist to really put in a good creative effort.


    During this project, our class was asked to go outside of class and take an expressive photograph. This was one of my favorite projects we did during this class. It was very different than what we do in class normally, and was a really cool experience. Me and my partner Hannah went outside to take this picture. You can see how the background vanishes to one point behind where I am standing. This is called the vanishing point. The railroad tracks seem to go on forever, which I thought made the photo very interesting. 
    Once I decided that this was the composition that I wanted to use, we took the picture and added it to our dropbox accounts online. We then added the photo to a computer program called photoshop so that we could change it to monochromatic format (black and white). Photoshop is used to edit and alter pictures and photographs.While in photoshop, we used effects like burn and dodge to alter the lightness and darkness of our photos. I was able to use the burn effect to brighten my face so that it didn't appear so dark.

Pastel Still Life Project

    The pastel still life project was where art one students in my class were told to draw an arrangement of items using oil pastels. We had our own freedom to choose what items we used for the arrangement. I chose to use 5 Twix bars for several reasons. Their rectangular shape made them easily arrangable, the reflective wrapper would make it easy for me to pinpoint where to put highlights and value in the pastel drawing, and I could eat them after I completed the assignment (Just kidding!). 
   My class was asked to draw thumbnail sketches as guidelines for how we wanted to arrange our items. A thumbnail sketch is a small drawing that portrays (in less detail) how an artist is going to arrange the final product. An artist sometimes composes more than one thumbnail sketch to see which setup is ideal for the final project. A useful tool when making a thumbnail sketch is a viewfinder. It gives you a perspective on how much room an artist will have available for the final result. 
   When attempting to compose a 3-dimensional drawing, an artist has to keep the idea of value in mind. Value is the portrayal of the lights and darks of an object in a painting or drawing. In order to portray value, I used different amounts of pressure when working with pastels. This can help create rounded edges, cast shadows, etc. Creating a light source is important because it shows you where highlighting and shadows need to be placed. I created my light source in the corner of the pastel drawing because it was similar to the lighting I had in real life.

Acrylic Landscape Painting

   I particularly enjoyed this project because I knew from the start exactly what the composition of the project was going to be. A few weeks before the project, I took a trip to the mountains. While I was there I took a photograph of the mountains from our deck. The layout of the mountains in the photo was perfect to incorporate into the painting, and I added an ocean in front of the mountains to add something special to the painting. The view is seen from a grassy area looking out at the mountains. When picking a color scheme, I used an analogous color scheme to portray the original colors as best as I could. 
   You can see in the picture below that the farther objects are viewed from a distance, the more the color changes. This is an example of atmospheric perspective, which is the effect the atmosphere has on an object as it is seen from a distance. When I was painting objects that were at a greater distance, I added more white to the original color. This adds a hazy effect to the atmosphere. When I was painting the sky, I had to decide where to place the sun. You can see in the displayed picture that there is an area in the sky that is lighter than the rest. This area is where I placed the sun behind the clouds. 
   In class we learned how to paint using brush strokes that displayed different textures. For the grass I used small, upward brush strokes. When painting the sky I used long, horizontal strokes. In order to add value to this, I used the same stoking method but adding different amounts of blue and white to the sky. The same method of adding value was used in painting the ocean.