Art III has been an interesting road to improvement, as it focused more on exploring than honing in on specific skills. While I found new areas of interest, I did not work on improving too much. However, with practice comes perfect, so naturally some improvement did come through just doing art in general. I find that my treatment of foreshortening has improved, as has my willingness to take risks, and my mark. I still need to improve on figure drawing and perspective, as always. I hope to use much of I learn in my future works.
My first figure drawing of the year looks proportionally accurate and has a nice mark, I think. However, I did not take much risk and the composition is rather boring. While I avoided drawing the figure in the middle of the page, I simply shifted her left, and did not crop her at all. The foreshortening on the arm is a good effort, and doesn’t look bad, but it does have a flatness to it. The middle of the year’s figure does not look particularly good, in my opinion. The proportion is fine but she looks generally flat. There is improvement in risk-taking, though, as I used multiple colors and tried to use the paper as a color within the work. This shows my improvement in noticing hue and value, and how they work together. The composition is still dull. Finally, at the end of the year, there is noticeable improvement in risk-taking and composition, with an interestingly cropped figure and strong foreshortening. While some proportion is off, the value and hue also work together well. Altogether, I still need to improve in proportion and foreshortening, but I am getting better at taking risks, forming compositions, and translating hue and value. I think the greatest improvement was composition, because I also improved this on my oil painting and abstract expressionist painting.
In more general skills, I learned how to oil paint, which was a fun experience. However, I do not think I would like to continue oil painting, as it is too tiresome for me. It is also a medium for which it is hard to correct any mistakes. I enjoyed the abstract expressionist painting, and learned how to use acrylic media, including heavy gel and GAC, which I hope to use in the future. This year, I discovered abstract expressionist painting is something I really enjoy, though I would have to work on risk-taking for that, since I only did three layers on my painting this year. On my own, I did a lot of work with portraiture, and I learned how to draw the face from different angles. Comparing my current personal work with my self-portrait from the beginning of the year, I have improved greatly. I also explored my own style, and have brought it to a point with which I am very satisfied. My mark has also improved – both in my self-portrait and in my still life, I paid no attention to mark and it has a chicken-scratch like quality to it. I think my work now has a more elegant mark, with more confidence and meaning. This will help my pencil drawings in the future.
I think I still need to improve on drawing the figure, especially from varying angles and perspectives. Most of my practice is drawing faces, so figures are still rough. While I do think figure drawing is a strength of mine, I still have much improvement to do. Since I most enjoy drawing characters, my improvements in composition, mark, and portraiture will certainly help me in the future. My newfound interest in acrylics is also exciting – I have a few canvases and plan to do some acrylic painting in my free time over the summer. Art III has been an interesting time of exploration, and I hope to improve my areas of interest in Art IV.
Kristin Hines - Student artist at Maggie L. Walker Governor's School