When we started the painting project in art class, we had to plan first. Most of my planning is in here. At first I wanted to paint a realistic still life, but I later decided to paint a forest since Edward Hopper and Emily Carr inspired me. From Hopper’s ‘Road in Maine’, I wanted to draw a landscape and by Carr’s ‘Indian Church’, I wanted to draw a forest. In my preparation I looked at several websites giving tips about painting forests. Only later on did I decide to paint my forest purple because I wanted my painting to be different.
Some of my difficulties that I had were the contrast between the brown and the purple was very little so it easily blended together. I did not want the tree branches to blend in with the leaves so I tried to darken the branches to make a bigger contrast. I did this, but when the paint dried it changed the shade to a lighter color. Also the branches before I changed them looked flat. I fixed this be visibly showing my brush strokes to make it more realistic.
For the forest floor, I don’t think that I painted it well because it is not very detailed, and we are able to see clear brush strokes. I don’t think I painted the leaves well in this project because they blend the tree trunks in as well. The colors don’t match well and they seem to be placed randomly on the paper. If we look at the painting we cant immediately tell where the leaves are placed, and how the sunlight is hitting them. We don’t see much depth. I don’t think I have that many strengths in this painting. I think that I was able to place the trees in the right places.
In the painting unit, I learned more about how to mix paint and how to make a specific color such as light purple, only using the primary colors and white and black. In my practice paintings, I was able to practice painting trees. I learnt the basics of painting forests such as adding small shades of green to make it more realistic.
To improve my painting skills, I would research more things on the Internet such as painting tips, techniques and other paintings, so that I could get influenced. I would plan more before I started a new painting, and I would use my time wisely without wasting any time. Maybe doing one part of the painting every lesson would be a good idea.
I gathered information at the beginning of the pastel unit so that I could be more knowledgeable about the tools that I was going to use. We tested the two different types of pastels- soft and oil. I decided I liked oil better because the feeling was better. The soft pastel got my hands dirty, and it got smeared easily on the paper. Oil pastel was able to stick to the paper and not get smeared easily.
I think my strength in my work was the coloring of the stone steps. I was able to show the gradient and texture of the stone by adding different shades of colors to give a sense of depth. Also, as the path goes out further, the shading of the stone becomes lighter and lighter.
I found it difficult to draw the water in the stream. It was hard to create a ‘reflective’ looking surface with pastels. I also wound it hard to get the right color for the stream. It is quite obvious on the stream, that there is a difference in color between the top-half and bottom-half.
The banks of the stream also turned out to look weird. I did not press the gray pastel hard enough to make it look dark. I didn’t add enough shades of colors to make it realistic. It looks flat and boring. I should have also added more details such as the texture, moss, cracks and other things. The bridge also looks bad. It is two-dimensional.
Another weakness is the leaves on the trees. I could not find the right technique to draw a lot of leaves on the trees to fill up the background. It looks messy and unrealistic. There is only a portion of it where you can see the light blue sky behind it.
After the path, there are some buildings that we are able to see. I rushed them so they turned out bad. They look boring and dull. They are not colored well either. There is no detail added to the buildings.
To progress in my pastel skills, I would take more time to research on the topic before I start drawing. Then I should draw a proper, accurate outline where I can draw over. This is so that I won’t find mistakes in my rough outline in the middle of my work, meaning that I will have to make major changes to my work. I would use my time usefully so that I could finish my work leisurely without rushing.
My composition is mostly made up of pencils. There is light coming from the top-right corner. The pencils are all pointing towards the bottom, except two on the top-left. I made the pencils a little too long, and I also stretched the picture compared to the original photo.
I used tones to show the shadows and reflections on the pencils. I think that I was able to achieve around eight tones. I used a tortillon to smooth out and smudge the shading to make it more real. I tried to re-darken the smudged lines so that it would be clearer. Smudging makes the shade a little lighter so that is another reason to re-darken.
I think it was a little hard trying to get the proportion right. The photo was on an A4 so it was hard to guess the size on the sketchbook. I overcame this by stretching the picture a little. In this project, I improved on my shading skills. I learnt how to smudge and blend. I learnt how to draw more realistically than before.
If I had to repeat this project, I would have taken more time on the empty place on the left hand side. That place was a little untidy. The place on the top left was a little off, so I would have taken more time to correct the angles and lengths of the pencils.