Leah G. Artist Statement
My work as an artist has always been about growth and going about whatever means possible to reach it. I came into this class knowing only the simplest of anatomy with subtle skills when it came to drawing the figure. My one goal the entire time was to push myself each week. I finally began to understand the form more when I threw out all the rules. Rather than focusing on the form, I began to focus on the shading, the lights and darks. Drawing the shapes rather than the actually body. Rather than drawing with pencil, I began to get messy with charcoal.
As each week progressed not only did the marks on my face increase, but my work did too. The work I did in class became building blocks rather than masterpieces to me. The mistakes I made, I dealt with. Looking at them from the positive side, seeing what they could add to my piece rather than how they took away from the true form. The key thing I learned about my work in this class that I will apply to my professional career is that all art you do is growth, and the more you do it, the more you will succeed. If you push your boundaries, you will eventually figure it all out. It will one day makes sense, like it did for me with the focusing on the light and darks rather than the form. This focus even helped me with my facial pieces, which has always
been something I’ve tried to stay away from. But I faced the demon focusing on what I had previously learned in the 10 weeks before and came out with a piece I am proud to call mine.
And last but not least, the advice I would give any student arriving on their first day of class would be don’t be afraid to get messy, to get ahead of yourself. Throw yourself into your work and test yourself daily. Because it’s in those moments of testing, that you really begin to find yourself as an artist.
Jeff T. Artist Statement
The medium I have chosen throughout the quarter is charcoal and it wasn’t because I favored the medium, but because I had difficulty drawing with it in the past. I believe that if I always stick to what I am comfortable with, I will never improve, so I chose charcoal to increase my range of usable medium in future projects.
I have moved on from drawing small and inaccurate figures with simple wrist and finger movements to utilizing my entire arm to catch a large and more proportionate anatomy. My light logic has never been better and helps me to present more realistic figures and objects.
As an advice to future students to this class, I suggest to do the same as I have, to challenge themselves and use different techniques and mediums to forever improve their skills for further use in future endeavors.
Austin R Reflection
My goal is to be the best animator i can be creating visually realistic and interesting characters in my works of art, and to achieve this requires a strong foundation in anatomy. When I first came into this class I merely just drew someone without giving much thought to their anatomy if I used a reference I just eyeballed it instead of trying to find specific landmarks. This class has greatly improved my skills at drawing the human form by giving me knowledge of what I'm drawing and helping me develop a process and technique for doing so. I have learned how to properly proportion a person and how to look for general planes and shapes on a figure. I also learned a great deal about giving my figures good light logic and composition development which I believe will go a long way in making believable characters in my animations.
Josh W Reflection
When I started this class, Observational Drawing, I wasn’t thrilled. I had never really gotten my hands on anything outside of a simple pencil and pen. You can imagine my lack of comfort when we jumped right into charcoal and drawing from sight using still life. Since the beginning of this class I can say I have become much less resistant. I have come to enjoy other art supplies such as India Ink and Water Color. Using wet and dry media or Ink and water colors combined really lets a person show a lot of contrast and value in their images, possibly giving their piece that extra pop. I also learned how the contrast in value and the overlapping of objects can give an illusion of space. Speaking of space I never realized how important negative space is to making a piece of artwork look accurate, as before I was focused solely on the positive space. I dare to even say that I had no true concept of positive and negative space in art until this class.
Those things have proven to be fun and interesting, but they weren’t the best part of this semester. I most enjoyed working with black paper and cloth textures. My black paper art may not have come out exactly as the items that were presented to me appeared, but my drawn images came out so vibrant. The Black paper also helped give our glass drawings a feeling of transparency much easier than white paper. The Patterns in cloth, such as zig-zag, were interesting. In fact since that class I have started thinking about the different types and begun practicing drawing different folds. There are supplies that I didn’t use in this class, but I did in the Sandboxes. I look forward to using more of those different supplies in my future when I have more time to myself… maybe as a hobby. The one tip I would give an individual starting this class would be, “Go to sandbox!"
Guillermo V. Reflection
One thing I know I will be using later in the future Is the proper way to place a picture. I have always placed what I'm drawing dead in the center but this semester I learned that by not doing so it changed the entire look of the picture. It has a big impact on how well your final picture looks and makes the image a lot more interesting, it sometimes gives it a story. In graphic design you have to make a lot of decision on where to place things and I know this class has been a lot of help with that. The 3 pictures I am presenting capture light logic, human proportions, and illusion of depth. In my monkey you can see clearly where the light source is coming from. The highlights, mid-tones, crest shadow, reflected light, and cast shadow are easily visible on the monkey. In my sketch I did outside I capture the illusion of depth. There is some foreshortening in the road and the size scale of the tree have a big difference. Ass the trees get further away down the road the trees get smaller and have less detail. In the far distance of my picture you can see the effect of diminishing. On my last picture I did a 30 minute sketch of a classmate. I capture the human proportion very well and for my technique for doing so was starting off with basic shapes. I started with basic shapes, then adding detail, and finishing off with some rendering. This was one of my weakness because I have never done sketches of real people with out using a grid, but in the end I enjoyed my final picture. In conclusion I think what matters the most to have a successful finish picture is, have a good placement in the picture,use correct light logic, and have proper perspective when working with sketching outside.
Steve B Reflection
As one of the only professional artists I know, I have viewed you as my mentor throughout the semester. I have learned a tremendous amount from this course, though I still have a lot to learn and master in order to be able to create the quality of compositions I wish to be able to achieve.
During the semester, I learned so much about what I had previously seen as I looked at objects, but not consciously recognized. I learned how to analyze what my eyes are actually seeing, and not what my brain thinks it sees. What surprised me most about my drawing technique is that my flat, disproportionate drawing (what few I’d attempted prior to the course) took on a whole new look as the semester progressed. Looking at my early drawings, I can see a definite progression in accuracy and realism as the semester unfolded. I also progressed from simple to complex objects, achieving a level of realism that I would not have thought 11 weeks ago that I could have achieved. I think the key techniques that have contributed most to my improvement are the use of light logic and chiaroscuro, showing texture and contour, and using tools for depicting proportionality.
My favorite medium to draw with is definitely charcoal. I started with and liked graphite, probably because of the comfort from being accustom to using pencils to write. I actually dreaded the first time I would have to use charcoal thinking I would be clumsy with it, errors would show more and it would be messy to work with. However, I found that charcoal is much easier to apply, manipulate, and remove (I fell in love with my kneaded eraser!). I am better able to shade with it and show texture, as well as correct and cover mistakes. I have also learned to work more cleanly with it. By far, charcoal is now my preferred drawing tool.
As a future web designer, I have learned how to look at artwork with a view towards whether design elements and principles are accurately applied, and not just whether it is “pretty”. This will help me in selecting the best images to include in websites, which will help to enhance the design. It will also help if I need to create images myself, whether they are hand- or computer-drawn. The more realistic a non-photographic image is, the more professional the site will look. Images that possess accurate light logic, and show depth and proportion will look more realistic and appealing than those that are flat, even if it is just a simple push-button icon. It will enhance the user experience, even if only subconsciously.
The advice I would give a student for the first day of class is to be prepared to learn. Preparation should be in two forms. The first is physical preparation: have the requisite materials with you, and be rested and awake in order to be able to engage mentally. The second is mental preparation. Do not come in with the idea that you know it all; a person can always learn something new about a subject, even if they are an expert in the subject. Learn the terminology not just to be able to pass a written test, but to be able to translate that knowledge from your head to the paper. While you need to be able to “speak the language”, talking does not draw pictures. It is also more difficult to draw what you observe if you do not understand what you are observing. Understanding the various terms and concepts helps to be a better artist. Have fun—and bring some baby wipes!
Kathy A Reflections
This term has been an eye opener. I have been a creature of habit. I used graphite pencils and varied little, venturing into watercolors infrequently. It surprised me how easy it was to stretch those invisible boundaries and use big, messy all-in, hands-in–the-dirt techniques for blocking in and blending only to reach in with an eraser tease something out of it that was pleasing. Oh how invigorating it is! On my first day of class, I was a pencil girl. I felt adventurous just using a 4B pencil. Now I am torn between charcoal, pastels, eraser and India ink as my true mediums. Today. I have a sense that over time my true medium will be as unpredictable as my ideas. My husband recently told me I may need to learn welding because I see found art in the deconstructed shapes of our gazebo lost to wind storms this winter. Though I mourned the gazebo it is also an object lesson that no piece is too precious and something new can grow from something you think is ruined. This is an important lesson. Not just in this classroom but others. When you think trying something new or incorporating another’s suggestion you will ruin what you have created - that is exactly the time to try – this, I believe, stretches us as artists and helps us discover new avenues of expression. I hope to carry that forward into my future art, assignments and jobs. The advice I would give to new students to this class? Be willing to open your eyes to observe objectively. Uncover your ears - not just to hear, but to listen. Open your heart to insights and your ego to learning. Open your mouth to share your thoughts, couch them in terms that are constructive - they are valuable. You are safe here. Explore.