Thursday, November 21, 2013

Portrait/Foreign Material Project

    In this project, we were required to make a portrait of a person using a medium that is not a typical material used in art. I immediately knew who it was that I wanted to create a portrait of, Elton John. I chose him for a few reasons. Musically, he is a huge inspiration for me. I grew up listening to his songs, and Empty Garden is one of my favorites because of the story it tells (all about John Lennon and such). Physically, I love the fact that even when he wasn't performing, he was famous for having glasses on ALL THE TIME. He had funky glasses, normal glasses, big glasses, small glasses, etc. It was iconic, and I always thought that was really cool.
    Originally, I was going to use crayons and melt them, thus creating "Meltin' John". While I was starting painting the canvas for the project, the idea to use coffee grounds sort of came out of nowhere. The actual method I used to use coffee grounds as a medium was pretty complex. I used construction paper to put it on, and then drew very lightly in pencil a rough sketch of Elton John. I then (oddly) sprinkled coffee grounds onto the paper and dipped an eraser in a cup of water. I used the flat side of the eraser to fill in large, solid areas of space, and used the side of it to draw the thinner lines. I worked on it mostly at home, because my dad drinks coffee and she didn't want me forgetting the coffee grounds at school.
    I definitely think that I took a risk when completing this project due to the fact that I had no idea how the pigment of the coffee-water would turn out in the first place. It could have come out lacking any color at all, yet it also could've been much too pigmented for the portrait itself. I hadn't ever tried to make a piece of art using coffee grounds. I'm more than pleased with how the color actually ended up turning out, I like that it almost resembles watercolor paint in a way.

Also, random fact. Through the completion of this project, I discovered that coffee grounds don't taste all that terrible.