Catherine's Blog

"Talk Less, Smile More" -Burr, 1776

Art: Unit 2 Reflection

This unit has been really fun! I have really enjoyed it since we have done a lot of “making” and “doing”!

On my final motif, I think some of the strengths of my piece are how I placed everything and where I put them. For example, I placed half tree on the side of the piece so it would interlock and create a whole tree when put together. I also like how I put a few of my favorite things such as Harry Potter and swimming kind of hidden in different images that don’t come to your mind as the first thing when you think of these topics. I did this because I thought it would be cool to have some secret images, and not all of them were even intentional! I am proud of how I thought of a solution to put together my piece by pulling different images together to make one big image and putting my thoughts and personality into my work. For example, the bubbles indicate how I swim a lot and enjoy it enough to put it in the motif. I feel like I had to work really hard while putting my final piece together because I really wanted to express myself and what helped me become me in these prints. Some of the weaknesses of my piece are how I wanted to express more of my cultural influences in my motif because the images I used to express them are small and not really related to how I feel. For example, the design I took from the Islamic motif looks nice but doesn’t relate to me at all, while the interlocking tree I took relates to me but isn’t very big and representative of an influence as I want it to be. I think I could improve my personal interest by making the shapes and lines of the images bolder and bigger so they really stand out and show how I really feel about these influences that made me who I am. I also want them to be clearer so people know what I am trying to show with just a quick glance at it.


(Something else that’s cool is turning the motif sideways and you might see a fish face, hint: the bubbles are the eyes)


I made sure that all of my shapes were the same size on each side to make sure that they would interlock nicely. I think it is pretty accurate because I kept remeasuring to make sure that they would interlock. But I am kind of nervous about the final tree interlock because of how I may have messed up a bit when I carved, for example, I may have carved a bit to high up. I also wish that I had a few more interlocking patterns. For example, I only have the interlocking corners and sides. But the interlocking images on the sides aren’t big and aren’t very noticeable. Something that I like about my interlocking images is that they create designs when they are put together, for example, the corners make the resurrection stone and the tree looks nice when put together, also when the sides are connected they make an evergreen tree that symbolizes, Mercer Island, where I used to live. The colours that I chose were blue on green and turquoise on yellow. I chose these colours because they are some of my favorite colours and I thought they describe me well. For example, yellow describes me for all the positivity I have, green shows me that I have a balance of happiness and sadness, since it is a colour made by combining blue and yellow, blue to me explains sadness, since sometimes I do feel as if I need some time to myself. Blue also describes water and the ocean to me and one of my personal interests/influences are swimming and these things have made me who I am now. I think my colours are organised because they are all analogous colours, or, at least close to analogous colours so they look nice and compliment each other when they are unified.

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Art, Unit 1 Reflection

Q1: My learning helped me throughout this unit, by reminding me to use different techniques while drawing. For example,  when I was blending the darker parts of my face I had realised on my photo that it was not all one colour, but lots of different values throughout that one part that I was blending. So, I took the skills that I used while I was making my value scale to match the certain colour I was looking for. But, after I did that I realised that the colours weren’t blending nicely and had to transfer my knowledge from when I made my gradation scale to what I was drawing. We had also learned about how we didn’t always have to ask Mr.Reed, but how we could ask our friends around us for help and feedback, so we could get different perspectives on what we were drawing. Something else that we learned was that highlights and shadows are really important and how these two things make your piece more realistic and 3D. Contrast was also a really important part because instead of having a bland 2D portrait of yourself, you could use different skills such as blending, adding in shadows and highlights, using different values and asking for peers advice to help you make your portrait as good as possible.

Q2: If I had a chance to re-draw my self-portrait I would make sure my grid lines are dark enough to not get erased because I had realised while I was drawing my grid lines were slowly fading into nothing. This was a big deal because it made me distracted from what I was supposed to focus on and made me spend time on something that was important but not as important as shadowing or highlights. This also messed up some of my shape, place and proportion work so I had to redraw some of the eyes, nose and mouth parts of my face. Something else I would re-do is probably the materials I used to draw my portrait. I would do this because when I was erasing to do my highlights I used a round eraser which also erased some of the other parts of my face. I would probably use a tissue instead of a blending stump because it would allow me to get the smaller parts and details without chipping away any paper either, also, in my opinion, a tissue does a better job of blending than the blending stump itself because it has a softer touch that makes the features look more subtle and natural. For the last thing, I would change is the pencils that I used, for the first half of my portrait I used an 8B pencil but then switched to HB. This helped me get different values, but it made it harder to use the gradation which took a lot of time. When I realised that I could get a dark enough colour with the HB pencil it felt like a huge waste of time, so next time I would stick to one pencil but when I really need another one I would use it.

Q3: I think that the two words communicator and open-minded describe me the most this unit. I think communicator describes me well because I had to communicate with other people for feedback that impacted my portrait and made it a lot better. These communication skills were really important for me because this was one of the first times I ask so many different people for such different feedback, which really benefited me later on. Open-minded was also really important for me because I had to take all of these different suggestions from different classmates and see if it worked out or not. I couldn’t have just listened to Mr.Reed’s suggestions because getting different suggestions that were making me try new things worked really well sometimes. Also being open-minded to different perspectives and angles really helped while I was working because knowing that some people noticed different things made me go into further detail while I was drawing.

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Tech Day! 11/14/17

Technolgy is used to solve problems. Today was tech day! Tech day is when we do 2 activities for the whole entire day. (Not including break time or lunchtime.) 5th and 6th graders worked together the whole entire day, as well. In the morning we had an assembly and we were given a challenge, which doesn’t count as an activity.

At the morning assembly, the challenge was to try to make a paper airplane that would fly the farthest out of all the teams. The teams were made out of 2 people, my partner/teammate was Amy, from 5th grade. We were given 4 materials, tape, A4 paper, cardstock and 1 yen coins. You did not have to use all the materials. Amy found a website to make an easy and far flying airplane. Then we taped some 1 yen coins to the plane for fun. Even though our plane did not go the farthest we had a lot of fun working together.

The first activity I did was paper crafts. We all worked individually but talked while we were working. We went to the website,, to print out templates that we cut out and folded. I made 2 characters, Octobear and Puppycat. This was a really fun activity and our 9th-grade teachers/advisors were really nice. This activity was really calm and enjoyable.

My last activity was pin-hole photography. This activity was really awesome. We took photos with paint-cans and had to develop them with really bad smelling chemicals. We had to develop them in really a dark room, or else it wouldn’t work because of the special paint paper that was light-activated. We got to develop 2 pictures! My first one was much more clear than the second one, all of the images were in black and white.

I really enjoyed Tech Day this year and I am looking forward to doing it next year!


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ATL Skills for Blogging

Today Phebe and I made a brain frame on ATL Skills. We watched a few of the 7 to 9th graders videos on ATL Skills. We wrote down the ATL Skills first them wrote what we thought fit into them. Next to that we wrote who’s group we got it from.  We thought of how they used key words, text and examples to show their key idea. One of the things we noticed from the videos were how there was a lot of background noise and how they didn’t speak very clearly. Ms.Clifford and Mr. Broughton talked to us about how the ATL Skills could help us while we were blogging. I learned a l0t more about blogging today then I new before.

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