Unit 2 Art Reflection

Overall, I am quite happy with the way my project turned out. I think that I did a pretty good job at carving the actual plate, because I had no experience in the area and I was having a lot of trouble at first. I am very happy that all three of the countries that mean most to me are represented in this piece as my cultural influence. Russia is represented in the design because the pattern is split in three parts, similarly to the Russian flag. The Japanese flower motif in the middle represents Japan, and the stripes at the top and the bottom represent America, similar to its flag. All these countries are very important to me, because my mother is Russian, my father is American and I was born and raised in Japan. I feel that the placement of each these features also tell something because Russia and America are represented at the top and bottom of the pattern, and the Japanese motif is in the middle, to symbolise Japan meeting in the middle of both countries, like my parents did. For my personal interest, I chose to add “rest marks” on some of the lines to subtly hint towards music. Music is very important to me because whenever I wasn’t feeling very well, or I was just having a bad day, I would always listen to music to help me through anything that was happening to me. For example, if I was having friendship issues or I felt pressured by something at school, I would turn to music. I think I could improve my cultural influence slightly by making the Russian representation a bit more clear. I feel that if a person were to look at my artwork and analyse its cultural influence, Russia may not necessarily be something that they would come up with. I feel that I could improve the personal interest portion of this project by also making it a bit more clear. If someone was looking at it, they might think that I added it for aesthetic reasons because rectangles are not generally associated with music. However, if a person looked at it a bit more carefully, they might be able to understand the intended meaning behind it.

I am very happy with the way the interlocking aspect of my project turned out. I think that it is pretty much consistent and accurate in terms of how the lines connect with each other. I feel that the lines at the bottom and top of the pattern connect well because they create a diamond shape when you put them together which contrasts well with the smaller diamonds on the sides. I chose five of my pattern prints to be magenta ink on black paper, and the remaining four to be black ink on magenta paper. I chose these colours because I feel that they contrast well when put together. I chose to only use two colours in my project because I felt that it would add a level of simplicity but still have a standout feature with the bright shade of magenta. I feel that my colour plan is balanced and displays a good example of unity because the colours contrast well against each other and are repeated to keep a uniform look.


Art Unit One Reflection

I think that I improved a lot on my drawing technique and skills. Before this project, whenever I tried to draw any human facial features, they would look very much like a cartoon character’s eyes, nose and mouth. But now, whenever I draw facial features, there is a huge difference from what they used to look like. I also think that the way that we learned the different techniques was very effective. We watched videos that were suggested by Mr. Reed on the Art Wiki on how to draw realistic facial features. I feel like this was a very effective way of learning the techniques because you could actually see how people’s hands were moving, how they held the pencil, etc.

If I were to redo this project, I would make a point to take my time with all of the different elements and details of the process. During the project, I would sometimes feel like I was rushing particular parts so that I could catch up to the other people in my class. This made a big impact on my self portrait. You can see that I rushed especially near the mouth area because there is a mark of where I kept on erasing a bit to hard and using the blending stump a bit too vigorously. This made the paper tear, making it harder to draw, erase and blend. Another reason that I was rushing my self portrait was because I had to start over for the same reason of rubbing too hard. This meant that I had to hurry the entire process all together to catch up to where I should have been. Another thing that I would change if I were to do this project again is to watch more of the suggested videos by Mr. Reed. I feel like I was very anxious to start the work on my portrait that I didn’t practice drawing the different facial features enough to know the way to properly draw an eye, nose or mouth realistically. Although I do think that my self portrait’s facial features look realistic,  I feel like the whole thing doesn’t look entirely like me or my photo which probably means that I should have looked more at the photo than just drawing from memory. But overall, I am very happy with how it turned out.

Our statement of inquiry for this unit was “The process of artistic creation can lead to self-discovery”. I feel that the two words that describe me the most as an artist in this unit are communicator/collaborator and commitment. I showed my skills as a communicator during this unit while I asked different people for their opinion on the work that I had done and asking them how they think I could further improve the placement, shape, proportion, shadows, highlights and three-dimensional aspects of my drawing. Also, I learned that I work the most effectively when I am sitting with other people while I work and collaborating with them for their ideas and suggestions. This really helped me because it made me look at my drawing through a different perspective which helped me judge my drawing in ways that I did not originally think to. For example, one of my classmates suggested that I look at the tiniest of details such as where I should start blending and how hard I should blend. This came especially useful to me especially because my photograph had a shadow along half of my face. My first thought was that this would be an easy part of my portrait because all I would have to do is shade in half of my face and not worry about any of the facial features on that side. But as the unit progressed, I realised that it was much harder than I thought it was. In my photograph, you can clearly see some highlights on that side of my face and even part of my eye. This proved to be a challenge for me especially for the placement and shape of the highlights and my eye. I feel that I showed commitment as an artist in this unit because I persevered throughout all the things that I had difficulty with and made sure that I only produced the best work possible. Another way that I showed commitment to this project was by coming to open studio before school. This really helped me not only because I got extra time to work on the project, but it gave me a chance to ask a variety of people about my drawing like the people from other classes that I don’t work with.

*Photo coming soon!