|Full of Grace (acrylic)|
Art is a from of expression, but it can come in different forms. Different artists work with different mediums and in different styles. Personally, I consider myself as an analyst with a preference for acrylic paints. I think of myself in this way because I tend to paint exactly what I see and strive for it to be as realistic as possible.
Practice sessions are extremely important in art because quick rough drawings act as a dry run or trial leading up to a finished piece. If I'm unsure how to do something or not confident on the model's pose, I try it in my sketchbook. The practice sessions are there to get all your idease out and mess around with materials to see what would look best. Gesture drawing in particular provides excellent practice in drawing a subject quickly and sketching out ideas.
Light can be utilized in art to create depth in a picture. The light bouncing off an object gives the subject it's three-dimensional appearance in an artwork. In my candle painting I utilized light bouncing off the glass to create its 3D look. The firelight was particularly hard to replicate, but by using watered down acrylic paint, I was able to accomplish the warm glow in the picture.
Light sources also provide an interesting contrast between the darks and lights of a picture. In a photograph I took of my friend Cameron the shadow contrast with the highlights on his face, creating depth and texture. My plan was to turn this pictur into a painting and to expand my artistic ability by tackling this unique piece.
In order to keep drawing as accurately as possible, an artist must use proportions. There are occasions when an artist is purposely distorting proportion, but otherwise, keeping things in correct proportion ensure a higher quality of work. In my own sketches I have been practicing the proportions of the human face in order to learn how to better draw portraits. I've found that after you draw the basic head shape and separate the face into different sections, the rest of the details come easily.
My friends will often ask me, "Can you teach me how to draw this?" They want to learn to draw something and think that it is a muscle memory trick you can learn. This could not be more wrong. The most common misconception in art is thinking that all you have to do is force your hand to make a shape. The truth is art is about learning to see. It is all about perspective and truly seeing what is in front of you. Honestly, I have always struggled with putting what is truly in front of me on paper. Our minds change the shapes and colors we see to what we think we know. I've learned from my painting Full of Grace that atmosphere is the hardest thing to convey in a work. I am proud of the hours I put into that painting and ended up submitting it to Scholastics.
Once I submitted Full of Grace, I started on a quick second piece to submit. I had never painted a portrait before, so thinking it would be easy, I used a dark picture of my friend to paint. I quickly realized I was in over my head! Matching the skin tones and the fur collar in particular gave me some grief. I managed to pump out the painting just in time to also submit to Scholastic, and I enjoy the idea of competing against other artist, and definitely want to enter more competitions. Even though I did n ot win anything, I got to push myself to make deadlines and work under some pressure. Perhaps there is a lesson to be learned about composition in picture as well. There may have been too much darkness in my portrait, unbalancing the painting. Although I am fiercely proud of the technique I used in my paintings, perhaps the focal point was not clear. Overall I do think it was a successful experience because I can learn from it and continue to grow as an artist.
In class we discussed how "success differs from person to person". For example, I consider a work a success if I learned something from it, and can enhance my own skill. While some might feel successful by sales of their work or recognition, I define success as personal and relational. What's most important to me is what the art means to me personally. It's relational because I like painting things that my friends and family come up with. In general, I do art because I enjoy it. I'm not looking for fame or money. I simply do it for the sake of making myself and others happy.