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: