Thursday, March 8, 2018

Compositional Device Project Student Example

Compositional Device Project


The theme I chose for the compositional device project is the color red. When looking for theme ideas, I noticed there was a lot of red on campus, at home, and on the streets. My theme of the color red allows me to go about my daily life and be able to capture images in a variety of locations. Red is a very powerful and energetic color that draws attention from the eyes due to its vibrant emotion. Also, there are many different shades of red which allows me to play with the emotion of the picture.

Plan of action:

My plan of action is to use class time to go all around the school, looking for red subjects that I can capture for any of the 9 compositional devices. Over the weekends I plan on taking more pictures of red objects at home and outside of my house (streets, sports training). I will try to take most of my pictures in the daytime for better lighting and I'm not going to use a tripod so that I can have a more flexible angle of the camera. I also want to focus on adjusting the aperture of the camera to have either a deep or shallow depth of field. When editing, I'm going to make the image black and white, and just paint in the color red in order to have more of a focus and emphasis on the color with minimal background noise.

Images of Inspiration:
I like this picture because it shows how you can capture an image of a simple object, yet make it very appealing to the eye. I can draw inspiration from this picture of a red rope because it represents the compositional device of rule of thirds and it has a shallow depth of field. It also shows how even though the background is green, our eyes are drawn to the ref rope because of the way it is in focus and sharp while the background is soft.

I like this picture because a rose is one of my favorite flowers and this shade of red is really bright so it draws attention. I can draw inspiration from this picture because it is a good example of the compositional device of filling the frame. The camera is very close to the rose, therefore the majority of the frame is of just the rose with a little bit of background which doesn't distract you from the main subject.
I like this picture because it is also of a simple object, however the camera angle and depth of field makes it more interesting to look at. I can draw inspiration from this image because it represents several different compositional devices such as lines, leading lines, fill the frame, symmetry and pattern, and point of view. This shows how some of the images I take can have more than one compositional device but I have to choose which one fits best. This picture also uses a large aperture so that one part of the image is in focus and the rest of it is blurred.

Digital Contact Print (all 9 Compositional Devices):

I have taken about 150 images in total for this project. In this digital contact print, I have narrowed down my pictures to my top photos of all the compositional devices. The pictures in the squares are the final 9 images that I chose to edit. Below are 9 digital contact prints of my top 3 images for each compositional device.

Fill the Frame Digital Contact Print

These are my top 3 images for fill the frame. I found this compositional device one of the simpler ones to shoot because I understood this concept from the beginning. I ended up choosing the coca cola piggy bank image because it was different than a typical fill the frame with a flower photo.

Follow the Eyes Digital Contact Print

These are my top 3 images for follow the eyes. I thought this compositional device was a little more challenging to shoot but it allowed me to capture a variety of images. I ended up choosing the statue image because it was different than following a real persons eyes.

Rule of Thirds Digital Contact Print

These are my top 3 images for rule of thirds. I also found this compositional device quite simple to capture because I just moved my positioning to have the main subject in one corner. I ended up choosing the water bottle on the field image because I like how the size of the water bottle is large in proportion to the rest of the field.

Leading Lines Digital Contact Print

These are my top 3 images for leading lines. At first I had some trouble finding objects to shoot for a leading line, but in the end I found some things. I ended up choosing the image of the slide because of its angle and the brightness of the color red.

Symmetry and Pattern Digital Contact Print

These are my top 3 images for symmetry and pattern. I understood this compositional device, however had some trouble finding objects that fall under this device. I ended up choosing the playground image because of the angle and how bright the red is compared to the background colors.

Balance Digital Contact Print

These are my top 3 images for balance. I also found balance another difficult compositional device to shoot because I didn't really understand it until later into the project. I ended up choosing the vending machine photos because it was the best photo I had for balancing the color red.

Framing Digital Contact Print

These are my top 3 images for framing. I had more trouble finding things to capture for this compositional device because I didn't really understand how to frame objects until later in the project. I ended up choosing the tennis court image because it was the best image for framing that I got.

Lines Digital Contact Print

These are my top 3 images for lines. Once I understood the difference between lines and leading lines, I was able to capture more images. I ended up choosing the umbrella photo because there is a variety of lines going in different directions, which makes it more interesting to look at.

Point of Perspective Digital Contact Print

These are my top 3 images for point of perspective. I understood this device very well but had more difficulty finding red objects that I could do a point of perspective on. However, I ended up choosing the lantern photo because of the light that is coming in from behind the trees that enhances the red.

Final 9 Images
These are my final 9 edited images for this compositional device project. I captured all 9 of the compositional devices using the theme of the color red. I edited almost all of the photos by making them black and white, and then coloring in the red.

Fill the Frame

This is my final edited image for the compositional device of fill the frame. To capture this image of a red coca cola piggy bank, I lied down on the floor and got close to it in order to have it fill the frame. I used a small aperture to have the piggy bank in focus, and the simple background of the floor and wall to be blurred. In camera raw I enhanced the color red by increasing the exposure and saturation, and in photoshop I made the image black and white, and colored in the red piggy bank.

Rule of Thirds

This is my final edited image for the compositional device of rule of thirds. To capture this image of a red water bottle on a field, I lied down on the ground in order to have a more interesting angle and to make the water bottle large in proportion. This image displays the device of rule of thirds because the water bottle is in the bottom right of the picture. I used a large aperture to capture this image, therefore everything is in focus. In camera raw I increased exposure, clarity and saturation, and in photoshop I once again used the black and white adjustment to have the eyes drawn to the red.

Follow the Eyes

This is my final edited image for the compositional device of follow the eyes. I captured this image of follow the eyes on Orchard Road of a red statue reading the newspaper. I kneeled down a bit in order to get a better angle of the statue to be able to see his eyes. In camera raw, I increased the exposure and brightness of the red and in photoshop I used the black and white adjustment. I also cropped this photo on the right side because there was a person sitting that was distracting from the main focus of the image, the statues eyes.

Symmetry and Pattern

This is my final edited image for the compositional device of symmetry and pattern. This is an image of a piece of red playground equipment that is symmetrical down the middle and creates a pattern on both sides. When capturing this image, I got down low in order to create a more interesting angle. In camera raw, I enhanced the color red by increasing the exposure and saturation. Then in photoshop I used the black and white adjustment tool, and colored in the red, which took some time because the lines are thin. I think the black and white really worked in this photo because nothing else besides the red is symmetrical or show pattern, therefore the black and white reduced the background noise and pulls focus towards the red.

Point of Perspective

This is my final edited image for the compositional device of point of perspective. I captured this image of red Chinese New Year lanterns hung up on trees outside of my apartment. Since I was on the ground, I just aimed the camera directly up to the sky, to capture a low point of perspective of the lanterns. In camera raw, I increased the exposure, brightness and saturation by a lot since there isn't much red in this photo and I need to draw attention to the small lanterns. In photoshop, I made the image black and white, colored in the red lanterns, and adjusted the properties of the colors green, yellow and blue, in order to give the trees and sky more texture.

Leading Lines

This is my final edited image for the compositional device of leading lines. This image of a red slide displayed leading lines because there are the side lines of the slide, and several lines on the slide than lead towards the top of it. I decided to take this picture from the ground leading up to the top to give it a different angle, as most slides are usually going from the the top to the ground. In camera raw, I enhanced this color of red to make it more bright by increasing the vibrance and saturation, and in photoshop I used the black and white adjustment tool, and colored in the red slide.


This is my final edited image for the compositional device of balance. I captured this device with two red coca cola vending machines right next to each other. I like how the shades of red of the two vending machines are different but balance each other out. I used a large aperture in order to have everything in the photo in focus and to have more of a balance. In camera raw, I enhanced the color red by increasing the exposure, and in photoshop I cropped the image to have it balance more equally. Then I used the black and white adjustment tool and colored in the red parts of the picture.


This is my final edited image for the compositional device of lines. This is an image of the inside of a red table umbrella. The device of lines is displayed in a variety of ways such as its size, thickness, and direction. I used a large aperture to have everything in focus, and I zoomed in to reduce background noise. In camera I enhanced this shade of red by increasing the exposure and saturation. In photoshop, I found the trying to just color in the red and not the lines under the black and white adjustment tool was too difficult because of the lines were thin and coloring it by hand doesn't allow for the lines to be perfectly straight. Therefore, this is the only image which is not in black and white, however I don't think it is really noticeable because the lines are a beige white color.


This is my final edited image for the compositional device of framing. This device was the hardest for me to capture because I didn't clearly understand the concept at first and I couldn't find anything that would fall under the category. However, the tennis court at my apartment turned out great for this device because I was able to frame the red court with the black lines of the net. To capture this image, I kneeled down, got close to the net and used a small aperture in order to have the red court in focus and the net blurred. In camera raw, I enhanced the red color of the court by increasing the exposure, vibrance and saturation because it was a faded red at first. In photoshop, I used the black and white adjustment tool and painted in the red court.

Editing Techniques

This is the image I edited for the compositional device of follow the eyes. First, I started in camera raw to enhance the color red by increasing the exposure, vibrance and saturation. I then increased the contrasts, highlights and clarity of the photo, in order to sharpen the statue and make it stand out more.

The first thing I did in photo shop was crop the image. I cropped the right side of the image because there was a person sitting that was distracting from the main focus of the picture. Cropping her out, reduced background noise and draws attention to what the statue is looking at.

Then, I used the black and white adjustment tool to make the entire image black and white.

I then adjusted the preset properties by increasing the colors yellow and light blue, and decreasing the colors green and dark blue. By doing this the black and white affect will change to be darker or lighter on those corresponding colors.

The last thing I did in photoshop was to used the paint brush tool to color in the red statue. This step was pretty time consuming for all the images because I had to zoom in and out, and adjust the paint brush size in order to color in only the red accurately.

Successes and Challenges
I had many successes and challenges throughout this compositional device project. One of the successes I had was coming up with a theme and sticking to it. I thought the theme of the color red was simple but still allowed flexibility because I was able to find a variety of things with different shades of red. While taking photos, I had the most success in capturing the devices of rule of thirds, fill the frame, follow the eyes, and symmetry and pattern. While editing, a success was my technique of enhancing the color red and using the black and white adjustment tool really worked out, and all 9 images looked good together in my final document. One of the challenges I had while taking photos was capturing the devices of balance, point of perspective, and leading lines. Some of the compositional devices were also a little confusing to understand, and it took me some time and practice to understand it. While editing, a major challenge I had was painting in the red on each image because it was quite a difficult task, and very time consuming. Overall, I really enjoyed doing this project because it was challenging, yet interesting and different to choose a theme and capture images based off of devices for that specific theme.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Compositional Device practice

Lines (horizontal)

Leading Lines (lines on track and fence)

Rule of Thirds

Fill the Frame


Point of Perspective (high vantage)

Follow the Eyes



Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Art 1-Perspective Drawing- A+


Application of linear perspective
A church interior showing the vanishing point
Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

Over this unit, we learned about the concept of linear perspective by creating two projects: one point and two point perspective drawings.

Linear perspective is a concept of realistically creating the basic three-dimensional illusion of space and depth on a two-dimensional flat surface. The idea of linear perspective along with three dimensionalities started to emerge since Renaissance (14-16 century). This revolutionized the way artists perceive the surrounding world considering the depth of objects rather than just roughly drawing outlines which are commonly found distorted and lacking the sense of three-dimensionality in Medieval art pieces. The principle of linear perspective further helps us understand the composition of contemporary artworks and serves as a building block for learning more complex art techniques.

The following are some key terms and main ideas introduced in this unit:

Depending on the number of vanishing points, the direction where objects extend their depth varies. The closer is the object to the vanishing point, the farther it appears from the viewer.

horizon line represents the eye-level border of the drawing and is usually invisible. It differentiates whether more of the bottom or the top of the object would be seen. Therefore any object placed above the horizon means that we are taking a perspective of looking up, whereas an object below the horizon line is the opposite.

A set of parallel lines or converging lines (extend from the edges of the objects) appear to converge at the vanishing point(s).

A one-perspective drawing is the easiest three-dimensional drawing. I started out labeling the vanishing point, drawing an invisible compositional horizon line which represents the eye-level and gets crossed with the vanishing point at the center of the paper. Next, I drew different shapes on blank spaces and converging lines joining the edge of the shapes with the vanishing point. Since I drew the outlines with light, technical pencil, I later used the fine marker to draw the final draft and erased the pencil traces. Subsequently, I used vine charcoal of a few different colors (pink, green, purple, turquoise, blue, yellow) for background and used a paper towel and blending stick to blend them. Eventually, I left more space by erasing color charcoal on the surface of the crate-like objects in order show the contrast.

One-Point Perspective Drawing

Material Used:
  • A 50cm ruler
  • Liquid Ink Fine Marker
  • An eraser
  • Vine charcoal (Yellow, green, blue, turquoise, pink, purple)
  • A3-sized drawing paper
  • 2H technical pencil
  • A blending stick
  • A paper towel

By adding another vanishing point in the vision, another variation of three-dimensionality is created. Firstly I drew a horizon line and spot two points at the two end of the horizon line, and then I connected the converging lines to the vanishing points. Based on the lines I drew cubes with edges overlapping the converging lines as well as the window openings of the cubes by a fine marker. I eventually used black ink to color the background to show contrast. Inner cubes are colored with pink, orange, and blue which represent the top, bottom, and side of the vision respectively. On the upper half of the paper above the horizon line, more pink (top) color can be seen. On the lower half of the paper below the horizon line, more orange (bottom) color can be seen. The color blue is always visible. I left the unopened cubes and outer surface white since it looks more simplistic. 

Two-Point Perspective Drawing

Material Used:

  • Pink, blue, orange colored markers
  • Liquid Ink Fine Marker
  • A3-sized drawing paper
  • 2H technical pencil
  • A round brush
  • Black Ink

For both drawings, I believe that I did well for not only completing the task but also challenging myself to the next level. I created more complex shapes with openings for the one point perspective drawing and made it colorful by blending a few vine charcoals for the background. For the two-point drawing, I challenged myself to color different internal sides of the opening of the cubes. For both drawings I did well illustrate the cubes accurately, erasing the horizon and vanishing points, fully coloring the background, and finding the correct orientation and framing.

For the one-point perspective drawing, I realized that I drew too many crates which filled the drawing so the converging lines are barely visible. For the two-point perspectives, I found it difficult to color the background without accidentally painting a little bit onto the cubes. Therefore I had used some whiteout tape to fix this. Although with some minor imperfection, I believe that these two drawings are successful as a whole, therefore I am proud of my project.

Art 1-Still Life Drawing- A+

For our second project, we practiced drawing still life objects. The techniques that we learned included positioning objects using compositional devices, rendering, outlining, shading, highlighting, and using erasing techniques. Our first part of the project was learning how to quickly render object's general outlines onto paper, while the second part of the project included shading, highlighting, and more refining.

Still Life Drawing Project Part I

The materials used for this piece were as follows: 4B pencil, cow stuffed animal, light bulb, football, and a large piece of drawing paper.

Human's brains are divided into two hemispheres: the right hemisphere and the left hemisphere. The left hemisphere controls speech and rational thinking, while the right hemisphere is where creativity and spacial cognitive functions come from. In order to accurately and realistically portray still life objects, we need to ignore the left side of our brains that tell us "no, this is what a light bulb looks like" and tap into our right hemispheres that view objects for what they are. That is why, when artists draw still life objects, they actually have their eye on the object 80% of the time, barely glimpsing down to check their own work.

Before we were to tap into our right hemispheres, however, we first had to determine our dominant eye. When we use our eyes for target or aim related functions, most of us have a dominant eye that we use to "zone in" on the object. To determine our dominant eye, we created a triangle by connecting our thumbs and index fingers, then, with both eyes open, center an object in the distance in the middle of the triangle. Then, we close one eye at a time and see with which eye the object remains the closest to the middle. This is then determined to be your dominant eye; mine is my right eye.

The next step was to choose three objects and place them in "visually interesting" positions using compositional devices. There are four main compositional devices: triangles, rule-of-thirds, cropping, and framing. Triangles are when you place your objects along (stable triangle) or around (unstable triangle) the three points of the triangle. Rule-of-thirds uses a similar photography concept to divide your picture into thirds both horizontally and vertically, then placing the objects at the intersections of these lines. Cropping ran objects off the page to create a more dynamic feeling of depth, and finally, framing had the other objects frame and surround the main object.

We had folded and divided our large canvas paper into four drawing spaces, so our aim was to make one drawing for each of the compositional devices. For my chosen piece (displayed below) however, I chose to use both cropping and a stable triangle. After placing our objects accordingly, we then proceeded to quickly render the objects onto the page. The objective of this was to ignore fine details and focus on the general shapes and outlines of each object. For example, when drawing the light bulb, I simply drew a circle first, then connected that circle with a rectangle-like shape on the left. The key with this technique was to use very light pressure with your pencil and to just make a very rough and general sketch of each object's position. Following this, we would then use our dominant eye and the pencil to "connect" the objects to one another and then compare that angle to the objects on our paper. This allowed us to draw the objects accurately in accordance to each other while maintaining each object's proportions.

After around 30 seconds to a minute of quick rendering, we would then use more pressure on our pencils to outline each object. We would start on an easily identifiable point on the object, then use our eyes to "track" the outline of the object while our pencils moved. During this process, our eyes are to be on the object most of the time. Mr. Laurence said to "imagine that there's a tiny ant crawling across the edge, and that your pencil is trying to follow it". Only once in a while would we glance down to make sure that our pencils were in the correct place. After this outlining, we could have done more to refine the drawing. However this was meant to only be an exercise, so for now, our exercise was complete.

Some challenges that I faced during these rendering exercises included creating the general shapes of some difficult objects. At first, I had actually chosen the cow stuffed animal, a pear, and a shoe. While the pear was made up of simpler shapes and was easier to render, I had the most trouble with the shoe. I tried simplifying its shape, but it ended up looking like a elongated rectangle. It was very difficult to also draw the other structures on the shoe, especially since rendering was meant to be a quick and rough sketch. For some reason however, I didn't have this problem with the seemingly more complex cow stuffed animal. This could perhaps be credited to me having more practice drawing people and animals. But I think it also had to do with how the cow could be simplified into circles and ovals much easier. In the end, I decided that I shouldn't run before I walked, so I traded the shoe out for a football. I wanted to draw something similar to a pear, so I traded out the pear for a light bulb.

Another problem I faced was outlining. I was accustomed to rendering and often refined it with more "detailed" and darker rendering on top of that. That was why outlining came as something entirely new to me. However, it was just a matter of taking my time and practicing it before I kind of got a hang of it. I found that the trick was to outline slowly and to not be afraid to glance down more often to check your pencil's position.

Still Life Drawing Project Part II

The materials used for this piece were as follows: 4B pencil, fake apple, vine charcoal, charcoal sand paper/shaver, paper towel, white chalk, eraser, blending tool, and a piece of drawing paper.

Like in the first part of the project, the second part also included rendering and outlining. However, the main differences in this certain piece were that there was only one object and that we were to incorporate shading and highlighting. For this piece, we didn't have to worry about compositional devices (as there was only one object), but we did have to worry about refining the still life drawing so that it was more realistic than the practice ones we did before. 

We first began with the vine charcoal and used the charcoal sand paper to "shave" a scattered surface of charcoal on the white paper. Mr. Laurence explained that many artists are sometimes afraid to "mess up" a perfectly blank piece of paper, so by intentionally "messing up" the paper, that fear is prevented. This shaving of charcoal was then followed by crumpling up our paper towels and smearing that black dust around in circular movements. We now had a cloud of smeared charcoal in the middle to work with.

Next, we followed the same steps of rendering and outlining on top of that charcoal surface. Once we achieved a general outline of our object (an apple for me), we then used out erasers to erase outwards from the outline, making the positive space of the object pop out. Then, using the vine charcoal, I looked at the apple and created a dark shadow below it, making sure to have the values darker near the start of the shadow and lighter as it extended outwards. It was very important for us to keep observing our object when we began shading, because we wanted the shading to be as accurate as possible.

Using a similar technique as our second piece in the two point perspective drawing, we added in dark and light values with the vine charcoal and white chalk. One thing that Mr. Laurence asked us to pay extra attention to, however, was shading and highlighting along the shape of the object. For example, the shading on my apple would be rounded like the actual object, not in vertical or horizontal lines. There were also different shades of dark value, so I had to change the pressure on my vine charcoal and white chalk according to whatever intenseness of value there was. If a medium value was required, I could use the blending tool to smear a surface of medium gray in whatever area I needed to. During this process, we also had to continuously redefine and the object's outline using the eraser.

Some difficulties that I faced during this project included shading and highlighting the stem of the apple. Unlike the rest of the apple, the stem was in an area of depression. I found it especially difficult to identify different shades and tints of value near and in the depression since my brain was naturally distracted by the apple's color. However, I finally achieved a relatively decent stem and depression by creating a dark surface first, then building up or taking away shaded value from that area. The blending tool also helped me a lot creating the value on the actual stem.

Another area that was difficult for me was creating the highlights and the shadow. The left hemisphere of my brain kept on thinking "no, this isn't what the shadow should look like" or "that doesn't look very right", so I had a habit of creating whatever my brain thought was a proper shadow or highlight instead of what I really saw with my eyes. This problem took a little longer to solve, but I eventually found that, by constantly reminding myself to actually look up at the object, I could successfully ignore that rational part of my brain. The key thing was to just put down whatever you saw, and then later decide if what you drew looked like an apple. 

In the end, my apple came out pretty nicely, and I was proud of my work.

Art 1-Self-Portrait Drawing- A+

Our third project in the drawing unit was creating portraits of ourselves. There were two different techniques that we tried out this time: the grid technique and the observation with mirror technique. The skills we learned included shading, close observation, drawing face proportions, rendering, and using basic photoshop tools. The first drawing required us to break away from what we thought facial features looked like through "zoomed in" grid techniques, while the second drawing called for more intense observation.

Self Portrait I

The materials used for this piece were as follows: 6B pencil, printed black-and-white posterized photograph of self, triangle eraser, ruler, square view blocker, and a piece of drawing paper.

When most people draw themselves or other people, we tend to "make up" things on the paper that aren't actually on the person. The picture or person in front of us may reveal that their nose looks a certain way, but since we already have a fixed image of what a nose looks like in our heads, we tend to go off of that instead of using observation to create a more accurate drawing. That is why this first technique seeks to avoid inaccurate "creating" through abstract shading, gridding, and covering.

First off, Mr. Laurence took portrait pictures of us. After he had uploaded the pictures, we were to open them in photoshop and begin basic editing. The first step was to crop the photo so that our faces pretty much filled up the entire photograph. This was followed by using the "posterize" feature (I scrolled mine to around 10, which is very close to being completely posterized) to bring out the contrast of the light and dark values of my face. We then saved it as a PDF file and put it into Google Drive for Mr. Laurence to print.

Now that we had a cropped, posterized, and printed picture of ourselves, we could then begin using the grid technique. Using a ruler, we drew an outline of the picture and then make increments at each inch across the border, making sure to also draw a small increment in the middle of the picture also. Then, we connected the increments to make 1 inch by 1 inch squares that became our picture grid. We then numbered the rows 1 through 8 and the columns A to F, totalling to 48 grid cubes. On a piece of drawing paper, the same process was repeated, except this time, we had to measure out the same height and width of the photo onto the paper before drawing the grids.

Using the square view blocker, I would choose a square on my photo and bring it to the corresponding square on my drawing paper. By covering up everything else except for that one square, I was forced to only look at that one area and copy what I saw onto my drawing square. Close up, the square on my face just looked like a jumble of abstract shapes in different shades, so it helped my brain break away from that image of what I think certain facial features looked like.

To copy whatever I saw, I first drew light outlines of the abstract shapes into my own square. Then, I determined which shape was the darkest and lightest, and then shaded them in accordingly. After one square was finished, I would move on to another one. This next square didn't necessarily have to be next to the previous one, as it shouldn't matter in the end. For me, I started out in the center of my face by my nose. I knew that I wanted to get the more difficult squares done first so that the rest (which was just my hair and shoulders) would be easier to complete.

Once squares that were next to each other had been completed, I would remove the view blocker and correct any lines or shades between them that didn't match with each other (I would also have my photo nearby to compare). This was done so that my final product wouldn't look too much like a bunch of grids drawn individually, but like a cohesive drawing that looked pleasant from afar.

When all of my grids were drawn and shaded in, I then repeated the same process of removing the view blocker and smoothing lines together, using my actual photo as a reference. Then, Mr. Laurence told me that the lines on my face were too harsh, so I used my triangle eraser to soften the edges of the abstract shapes and make my face look more natural.

Some challenges that I faced during this project was the shading and drawing my eyebrows. When you have a view blocker on so that your focus is only on one square at a time, it's difficult to create the same shading in a spot that spans several squares. In one square, you might color that one patch darker, and in the other, a little bit lighter. This might be the case even if, once the view blocker is removed, they are supposed to be the same shade part of the same abstract shape. I eventually solved this by comparing the shades to each other without the view blocker, then adjusting them to match through erasing and more shading.

The second challenge was drawing my eyebrows. Unlike the rest of my face, my eyebrows weren't blobs of abstract shades. Instead, you could see in the photograph that they were little individual hairs that blended and grew in a unified direction. I found it difficult to recreate this effect, especially since my pencil was a 6B pencil (in hindsight, I really should have used a harder pencil) with softer lead. Eventually however, I was able to achieve this by marking the general outline of my eyebrows when I used the view blocker, and then filling in the hairs without the view blocker later on. It took a while, but my final product looked pretty much like me.

Self Portrait II

The materials used for this piece were as follows: 2B pencil, small mirror, triangle eraser, and a piece of drawing paper.

Human faces are a fascinated subject. We see them every single day, so they don't seem all that remarkable. But once you look into our facial proportions, you'll discover that our faces are a marvellous example of natural symmetry. There's a reason why a professional artist's depictions of human faces appear so much more realistic than an amateur's version; a professional artist pays close attention to facial proportions and includes their observations into their drawings, while amateurs do not.

That is why the first thing that Mr. Laurence had us do in this second self portrait was to make observations of our own faces. First, we quickly sketched an oval that would be our head onto our paper. Then, in the mirror, we took our pencil from the top of our head to our eyes and then measured (with a finger to mark our placement on the pencil) the distance from our eye line to the bottom of chin. Surprisingly, this distance was the same! This meant that our eyes were pretty much exactly in the middle of our heads. This might not seem the case, but this is because most of our heads are covered with hair, so it creates an illusion that our eyes are higher up in our faces. On our drawn ovals, we sketched a halfway line to draw our eyes on later.

Then, we took our pencil again and measured the distance between our ears and the outer edge of our eyes, the outer edge to the inner edge of our eyes, and the distance between our eyes. Once again, we were all pretty surprised to discover that all of these distances were the same, meaning that we could technically fit five eyes in a row on our faces! In response to this observation, we then divided that line we drew in the middle of our ovals into five equal parts, then took the first and fourth ones and boxed them to show that the eyes would go there.

A similar process was followed to determine the different positions and proportions of the rest of our facial features. However, as Mr. Laurence also said, not everyone's facial proportions would be the same, and I especially noticed this with my mouth. Usually, a person's mouth starts and ends in line with the middle of our pupils when looking directly forward, however mine was smaller than that. Instead, my mouth began and ended in line with the inner edge of my iris. In addition, mouths were usually located at the halfway point between the chin and bottom of nose, but mine was a bit higher than that, leaving more room for my chin. I made adjustments to my drawing based on these observations so that I would stay true to what I really looked like.

Unlike the grid technique drawing, this project really relied on basic artistic skill and real-life observation. It was so much more difficult because of this, and in the end, it didn't even look as much like me as my grid drawing. My first attempt didn't work out so well, so I actually took the materials home and completed it in my own time. One thing that I really noticed was that this drawing was so much more time consuming. I kept on having to erase and redraw and erase and reposition my facial features. Using the grid technique, I kind of ran away from the issue of using my presumed mental images of facial features using the square view blocker. But with this drawing, I really had to internally battle with that side of my brain that screamed, "No silly, your eyes are supposed to look like this."

Even more disheartening was how, if I focused too much on one part of my face, I would look up to realize that it was out of proportion and had to readjust or entirely erase it. Without a doubt, drawing my mouth and lips were the most difficult of all. Perhaps this was because of my not so usual mouth proportions, or maybe it was because I was so tempted to just draw a line (when I doodle in my own time, I usually "chicken out" on the mouth by doing just that). This truly was my most gruelling project in Art Foundations yet, and whatever the reason for my difficulty was, I am glad that I pushed past that to achieve a drawing that I can at least say I'm proud of.

Art 1- Screen Print Project- A+

With our first unit of drawing now complete, we are now moving on to our second unit: printmaking. Our first project in printmaking was screen printmaking, a technique that requires knife-cutting skills, knowing how to use printmaking ink and a brayer, and finally actual screen printing skills. For this project, we created two prints, the first a positive of our image silhouette, and the second a negative image of our silhouette.

Part I: Printing Background

The materials used for creating the print background were as follows: apron, printing ink, palette knives, small ink cups brayer, rectangular plastic inking surface, rubber and plastic ink removing tools, brushes, print roller, rectangular paper border, permanent marker, and printing paper.

Screen printing involves spreading ink across a screen onto a desired flat surface, however before we began this process, we were to create a background on our choice of flat surface: printing paper. In printmaking, the concepts of negative and positive space are very important since there is no "outlining" of shapes and silhouettes until the embellishment stage. That is why for our printmaking background, we focused on creating negative spaces by taking away ink in desired places.

After wearing an apron, the first step was to decide what colors of ink to use. Using plastic palette knives, we scooped preferred colors of ink into small ink cups and then transferred them onto the rectangular plastic inking surface. We then used the brayer to roll the ink all over the plastic until the entire surface was covered in ink. If you wanted, you could use more than one color and create different gradients of color. The trick here was to use just enough ink to cover the plastic, but not too much that the ink stood up in a clumped texture. Then, we could use different ink removing tools like the rubber-tipped tool and the flat plastic zig-zag edged tool to create negative spaced designs into the ink. Mr. Laurence encouraged us to be abstract, so I used the rubber-tipped tool and just ran it along the inked surface to create a random-looking shape.

When we were finished inking and creating negative space with different tools (you could also use a dry brush to make smear designs), we headed on over to the print roller with a piece of printing paper and a rectangular paper border. At one end of the roller, you place your plastic inking surface facing upwards, and then place the paper border around to create a frame. Finally, you set your printing paper on top of all of that. This is followed by putting the heavyweight cloth on top of your print and rolling it through the print roller. The reason why it was so important to not have any ink "standing up" was because the print roller would just flatten it across your paper. When your print is going through the roller, the ink is slowly being pressed across your printing paper. Once on the other side, you can then lift the heavy cloth away and peel back your printing paper with the newly printed ink on it.

Once our first printed background was completed, we could then proceed to a second or even third print. I wanted to have all of my three backgrounds (I created an extra just in case) a different color, so my first one was mostly orange, my second one was purple with shades of pink and red, and my last one was a gradient of hot pink to light pink. After rolling all three through the roller, we placed them on the drying rack so that they would by dry by the next class.

In creating the print background, one of my biggest challenges were mixing the ink on the plastic with a brayer and allowing my negative designs who up on the print. Using a brayer instead of a paintbrush to blend colors proved very difficult for me since I wasn't used to it. At first, I really wanted to create a nice blend of colors that were blended but still remained a little distinct. However, I found that the brayer usually just blended all the colors together into one. It was really hard to create a background that I visualized since the brayer seemed to have a mind of its own. After looking around at how other students in my class were dealing with this issue, I discovered that if you didn't roll too many times, you could allow your colors to mildly blend without overpowering each other.

The second issue I faced was getting my negative spaced designs to show up on the printing paper after it went through the roller. My first two prints turned out well, but the designs on my last print didn't even show up at all. I had used the plastic tool to create wave designs all across the plastic surface, but once it went through the roller, they were only visible in one patch on the bottom right corner. Although I never got to solve this problem, I realized that the designs I made were too thin, and that next time, I should make them thicker. Despite this, the final backgrounds of all three prints turned out pretty well because the color combinations I chose really looked pleasing to the eye.

Part II: Screen Printing

The materials used for screen printing were as follows: apron, plastic printing film, black permanent marker, cutting knife, cutting board, Baymax reference photos, paper envelope, fine mesh screen, rectangular paper border, printing ink, small ink cups, palette knives, inking squeegee, and background prints (the ones made in part one).

For part two of this project, we didn't use the printing roller anymore. Instead, we were to do things manually with a fine mesh screen, printing ink, and a large inking squeegee. First off, however, we had to choose what silhouette to print. As an avid Big Hero 6 fan, my printing silhouette of choice was Baymax. Using reference photos of Baymax on my computer, I created a sketch using a black permanent marker onto the plastic printing film. Then, with a cutting knife and a cutting board underneath, proceeded to cut out this outline.

It was very important to keep everything that you cut out since we were going to make both a negative and positive print. We learned that, to cut more successfully, it was best to cut towards yourself with the blade at a 45º angle. This way, more of the sharp cutting surface area would touch the plastic, making it easier and smoother to cut. For me, I cut out the outline of Baymax first, and then cut out the details inside the outline later.

Since it took an entire class for me to cut out Baymax, I had to keep the smaller plastic pieces inside a paper envelope to prevent them from getting lost. Actually, I had already lost one of my smaller pieces, so to solve this, I simply outlined the piece onto the edge of my plastic film and cut another piece out. As the plastic film was larger than the printing background, I wouldn't have to worry about the additional cutout from showing up.

The next step was to put on an apron and choose either the negative or positive cutout and place it onto one of the background prints. I chose to do use the positive cutout of Baymax to print first, and I chose to use the complimenting color green on my orange background. Since my cutout was positive, my resulting print would be negative. Using palette knives to, once again, scoop the desired color into small ink cups, I then placed the fine mesh screen over my background print, Baymax cutout, and paper border frame.

Next, I placed blobs of ink across the top of the mesh screen and used the squeegee to spread the ink down and across the entire mesh screen. While doing this, Mr. Laurence reminded us that we had to keep one hand on the screen to prevent it from moving. It was also dire that we put enough pressure on the ink to spread it. If, after the first sweep down, there were still spots with no ink, all we had to do was place blobs of ink there are squeegee it around again.

After the entire screen had been squeegeed with ink, we pulled them up and peeled back any remaining pieces of plastic. Despite already covering the entire screen with ink however, there was still one patch on Baymax's right arm that wasn't covered with ink. Since I had already removed the screen and plastic however, I simply took a paintbrush and painted over that area with the same colored ink. Then, we simply put it back onto the drying rack. The print was a negative print, so this meant that the green ink I put on would fill in the space surrounding Baymax's silhouette.

This process was then repeated twice (since I had one more extra print), except this time, using the negative pieces of plastic cutout to create a positive print. This one was be harder since there were more loose pieces of plastic. All I had to do different however, was position these pieces on the background and then carefully press the mesh screen on top to keep them in place.

For my second and third prints, I chose to use white ink. The surprising thing however, was that once I lifted the mesh screen and lifted away the plastic pieces with a cutting knife, you could still see my background showing through the white ink. At first, I thought this was because I didn't put enough white ink. But after realizing everyone else who used white found the same results, I came to the conclusion that, because white was a more translucent ink color, the stronger colors behind it would show through. Although this was unexpected, I quite liked the result. Especially after it dried, you could still see the designs I made with negative space showing through the white-turned-pink ink.

The final step was to embellish our prints with designs of our choice. We could use anything we wanted, whether it be markers, paint, or colored pencils. I chose to simply outline all three Baymaxes with permanent marker, and then embellished them with lines, swirls, or stars.

Some challenges I faced during the screen printing process included getting all the exposed background spaces squeegeed with ink. The first time, it was an easy fix with that paintbrush, but the second time, it was a bit more difficult. This was because I was using white ink, and there was a caky concentration of it in one area, so when I painted over it, it created a textured patch that stood out. I asked Mr. Laurence what I could do, and he suggested that I use a sponge tool to lightly dab at the excess white paint. This worked, so when a similar problem arose in the next print (also with white paint), I used the same "fixing" technique.

Additionally, I had some very small pieces of plastic when creating the positive print. After I lifted my screen, I didn't know how to lift those pieces without smearing the ink any further. I contemplated just letting it dry like that and then taking it off later, but Mr. Laurence recommended I use a cutting knife to lift it. Since the cutting knife had a precise edge, I was able to successfully lift and dispose of those plastic pieces without smearing any ink.

Print #1: Negative print, green ink on orange, yellow, and silver background. Embellished and outlined with orange sharpie marker. 
*Note: the star on the lower left was painted in, but since that would've taken too long, I later chose to continue with sharpie marker only*

Print #2: Positive print, white ink on purple, pink, and red background. Outlined with black sharpie marker.
*Note: I chose not to embellish this one since it would have distracted the eye from the already-prominent swirl designs*

Print #3: Positive print, white ink on pink gradient background. Embellished and outlined with black sharpie.