Friday, April 23, 2010

Self Portrait Finished

Well, the Spring 2010 semester has officially ended at the American Academy of Art. I was actually a little sad to see it go, but I know that I'll be back there in September to start the Fall '10 semester. That's right, I've got a long summer ahead of me. That of which will hopefully be filled with artwork for me to share with you guys.

Anyway, here is my self-portrait that I did for Advanced Figure Drawing:

I rather like how it came out in the end. I think that I could have been rendered better. For some reason, I just look kind of flat. But my favorite parts of all are the shadows on the table under the still-life. I feel like I achieved the realism of those well. My classmates, during the critique, said I did a nice job of actually seeing different colors in the wall and in the table. That's one of the things I've been working on ever since I took watercolor; looking at something and not just seeing the local color, or the color something actually is. If you look hard enough, you'll notice that a red shirt isn't just red. Depending on the light, there are blues and yellows, and greens and violets mixed in there.

Also, I should show my Master Analysis (watercolor/gouache and micron pen) on here that I also did as sort of a final project for Advanced Figure Drawing:

One of my favorite artists is Alphonse Mucha, if not my top favorite. Lately, I've been so inspired by the poses that he draws and the flowyness (I guess in technical terms you could call that the Arabesque) of his compositions. My instructor suggested that I study him for my Master Analysis piece. She told me not to choose a piece that included a woman with flowers. I really don't know why she said that because, in my opinion, some of the most beautiful pieces of his include flowers or floral patterns. I would like to know what the world has against beautiful images, but that's another rant for another time (and place). So I ended up choosing this one, which I would assume was an ad for Luciline Lamps or Luciline something. It was unfinished in the book I found it in. Only a rough sketch, not colored. This gave me a lot to work with. The concept of this assignment was not to copy the work of the master, but to analyze it and get the feel of the colors, line, and composition of their work. Since my piece was not colored, I looked off of Mucha's other works for inspiration. I became frustrated at times because I started putting my own deep shadows into the piece and my instructor did not like that. Also, I was using too bright of colors. Mucha, though his pieces are colorful, used muted tones and neutral shades and very little shading. So this is in no way what the piece would have looked like, had Mucha finished it. But I ended up learning a lot. And I don't hate it. The line, once I added it in, tied everything together. 

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