Friday, December 9, 2011

Concentrations 5-6

I have just completed my fourth and fifth pieces for my AP concentration, both of which are scratchboard pieces representing my grandfather, Falfa, as child in the early 1930's.  I used old photographs my mother gave me for references for these pieces.  My fifth concentration piece shows my grandfather in the yard feeding a few birds that could be chickens or some other type of agricultural fowl.
         I used hard edges and clear lines to depict the birds and my grandfather, while I left many soft edges in the back ground for the trees grass and fences.  To create these soft edges, I used a combination of an xacto knife and just a regular nail file that I found under my bathroom sink.  I tested various tools from needles to screwdrivers to hairbrushes with metal bristles, before discovering that the nail file could give me the soft look I desired.  The contrast of the hard and soft edges brings the focus of the work to little Falfa and the birds. Additionally, foreground objects, such as the foreground grass, are sharper and have harder edges than background elements such as the fence, creating a sense of depth.  Furthermore, foreground objects have more contrasting values and more emphasized highlights than the background objects giving more focus to objects in the foreground. I used stippling and hatching techniques with the xacto knife to create the forms of Falfa, the birds, and a few background elements like the sky and the trees.   I made good use of diagonal lines in this work to create a sense of movement and life in an otherwise tranquil image. The diagonal slant upon which Falfa and the birds are situated implies that they are sitting on a hill and creates a slight sense of falling.  In addition, Falfa’s arm is a diagonal line pointing toward the birds, the birds’ tails sticking up in the air create more diagonal lines, the foreground grass is composed of diagonal lines and the hatched lines in the sky are diagonal as well.
Below are a few picture of the process of creating this work, from my original drawing to the scratchboard itself.

Concentration #6

         My sixth concentration piece depicts Falfa again feeding birds but in a different location-outside of a wooden house.  In this piece, many of the forms such as the house, the birds, and Falfa, are very detailed and have many values.  In order to break up the space and create balance, I added very dark, and very light areas, with little change in value. Also, as the objects recede into the background, they become darker and less detailed with little contrast, creating a sense of depth, and a sense that the house is going farther away from the viewer. The placement of the birds also creates an implied semi-circle around Falfa, creating a sense of movement and emphasizing Falfa as the center of interest. 
Additionally, Check out these other cool blog blogs! Links are also on my sidebar:

Monday, November 14, 2011

Concentrations 1-4

Below are the first four pieces that I have completed for my AP concentration portfolio.  An AP  concentration as noted by the AP board must  "demonstrate a depth of investigation and process of discovery" made by the artist while exploring a certain theme through their art.  The artist choses a theme and a medium and creates various works of art connected to that theme.  The theme that I have chosen to explore for my concentration is my family, specifically, my mother's side of the family, the Carters, throughout the ages.  I chose this theme because it is a subject that is very precious to me. Every since my brother was diagnosed with cancer at age 3, when I was only 5 years old, my family has become the most important thing in my life.  Therefore, as I grew up, I loved learning about my family history, and my mother always told me the best stories about her side of the family. Everyone had their own interesting history and personality, each person was unique and special. Their narratives really spoke to me and I when I did a scratchboard portrait of my great Aunt last year, I really just how much I loved expressing those narratives through my art. Therefore I decided on this theme of my family history, and I knew that I had to do it in scratchboard, though, due to the time difficulties that come with working in scratchboard, I have done a few pieces in other media.


Acrylic on Canvas Panel

Colored Pencil

Friday, October 28, 2011

Summer Art

This summer, I created three works of art to contribute to my AP portfolio. I painted a close up of a penny, drew a charcoal portrait of myself, and drew a still life of perfume bottles with colored pencils. Each piece I did was based on an idea created  by my art teacher. She gave us a few options to allow us to decide which ones we would most like to do.

            One of the pieces I did, the close-up of the penny, I chose to do because I wanted it highlight the unnoticed beauty of the object. The challenge for this piece was to take an ordinary object and make it extraordinary. I chose a penny because I feel that the penny is such an extraordinary object that no one ever sees or care about. We use pennies everyday, and they represent the monetary system of America. I chose to paint the penny green as a representation of the general idea of money and greed.  I used red violets and browns for the shadows to contrast the green. The red in the violet and brown complements the green creating contrast. A difficulty I experienced in this piece was creating the round shape of the penny and creating an interesting and exciting center of interest. To solves the problem of correcting the penny’s form I took pictures of my work and compared the shapes to see what kind of strokes made the form more accurate. 

To solve the center of interest issue, I decided to go with the theme of economic issues. I decided to turn the Lincoln Memorial in the center of the penny into a ladder. I chose to depict a hobo climbing the ladder to represent the fact that, in America, citizens have the opportunity to climb the economic ladder, going from poverty to wealth: the American Dream. 

The penny also demonstrates the phrase, “Every penny counts”.

            The second piece I did was a charcoal self-portrait. I took photographs of myself near the window in my room to create dramatic lighting for my portrait. The high contrast areas of light and shadow created an interesting composition for an otherwise uninteresting portrait of a face.  Then I use white and black charcoal on grey paper to create the portrait. I used simple household toilet paper to blend the marks.  I left many areas untouched by the charcoal to allow the grey tones of the paper to create the midtones for my portrait.  A difficulty I experienced in creating this piece was getting the proportions and forms right at the start of my piece. Because it was a large scale portrait, it was difficult to get those elements of the work correct.

            The last piece I did was a colored pencil drawing of a close up of some glass bottles. I kept the color scheme for this piece mainly to monochromatic blues however,  I used orange and brown tones to create the shadows because orange and blue are complementary colors.  I tried to highlight the shine of the glass to create a more dramatic mood for the work.  The most difficult part of creating this piece was creating a dynamic composition. 

I toyed with various arrangements of the elements on the page and I eventually chose this arrangement because the objects are arranged in such a way that there is a circular movement between the three largest objects of interest: the large bottle and the two perfume toppers.

Here are a few links to some other blogs that I enjoy and are an inspiration for me while I do my artwork. They are mainly illustration or concept art blogs because I usually try to create an illustrative style in my work: