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+


Still life on a 2nd-century mosaic, with fish, poultry, dates and vegetables from the Vatican museum

Over this unit, we are introduced to the concept of observing and depicting inanimate real-life objects. Still life is a genre of Western art emerged early since Middle Ages and ancient Greco-Roman era, and still remains a predominant work of art nowadays. With subjects easy to access in everyday life such as either natural flowers, fruits, plants, rocks, or artificial containers, tools, furniture, books, musical instruments, still life drawing is an intrinsic stepping stone to develop art skills to challenge to a higher level.

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

The composition is the organizations or grouping of the different parts of a work of art so as to achieve a unified whole.

Thumbnail sketch is a quick, concise description of drawing/sketch small in size.

Local shadow is the shadow on the object itself.

Highlights are the area of most intense light on a representative form in painting.

We primarily learned about skills to analytically observe objects in composition, shape, dark and light values and to be able to illustrate them.

The above figures are thumbnails sketches that I illustrated over this unit, this could be a very simple sketch which determines the approximate outline with full consideration of its proportion. It works as a reference or draft for the final drawing.

Pencil-based still-life drawing of a distorted coffee can

Material Used:
2H, 2B, 6B, 9B pencils
1 piece of sketch paper
1 coffee can

This is the first drawing of my final project. This pencil-based still-life drawing wasn't a challenge for me since I already have 3 years of experience. The first step is to determine the approximate shape by repeatedly sketching light outlines. According to the shaded area, find the optimum contour outline which maintains the correct shape and proportion of the original object. The following step is to fully erase the redundant lines and build on details on top of the previous step. Eventually, cast the shadow on the object itself in accord with the source of sunlight and depth (distance) of the different parts of the object. Erase wherever necessary to create highlights.

Reverse still-life drawing of a glassware on a black background using white chalk

Material Used:
White chalk
Black paper
1 glass

The second drawing was a challenge for me since I have totally no experience in chalk drawing, especially when the paper is black instead of lightly colored sketch paper. However, I interpreted the skillset to complete this drawing by following the similar steps as the previous drawing. Just like the previous one, I firstly used chalk to outline the object and erase the redundant traces. Since the object is a glassware, its edges and corners yield a darker color while the rest primarily highlight. I shaded the highlight area and erased wherever seems comparatively darker. Subsequently, I realized that the property of glassware is highly reflective of light and is translucent. As a reverse, the shaded areas of chalk become highlight rather than shadows as in pencil sketch.

I am proud of both of my drawings in this project. I have put lots of efforts into it and I believe I did well figuring out the accurate shape and composition as well as casting the shadows correctly. I am especially excited about this project because I got to uncover the property of still-life drawing, acquire essential skill sets and techniques.

Although the second drawing was quite challenging for me, it helps me understand that the principle of dark and light values is universal and never changes. With a great source of application and extension in other drawing methods, this still-life project is a great opportunity for me to experience various source of drawings such as chalk other than just pencil.

Art 1-Self-Portrait Drawing- A+


Mona Lisa with the ginger cat Zarathustra, by Svetlana Petrova, based on Leonardo Da Vinci

Portrait drawing is the depiction of a person's face which displays the personality, prominent facial features, and mood. Self-portrait, however, flourished since the Medieval Ages. It provides us an opportunity for us to better prepare for higher level illustration with more complex elements.

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

Framing: surrounding or framing in the main object in the picture frame creates a center of interest to the picture.

Proportion: still-life drawing or any drawing depicting real-life objects and features follows the rule of proportion in order to be in shape and recognizable rather than distorted. The facial features align with each other following the patterns below.

Grid method: a technique predominantly used by art beginners to divide the entire complex figure of an object into smaller, controllable, measurable squares in order to depict the most accurate shape and shades possible.

The standard proportion of human faces

This above figure is the standard proportion of human faces. By following this pattern, I tried to sketch a self-portrait without using the grid technique.

Rough pencil sketch of self-portrait

This is a rough pencil sketch by looking at myself in the mirror. The face seems to be distorted and not as accurate due to the human error in observation.

However, with the application of grid technique, the accuracy of the depiction of details, curves, shapes, and shades had significantly improved.
My self-portrait using grid technique (in progress)

The finished version of self-portrait drawing using grid technique

Material Used:

2H, 2B, 6B, 9B, and charcoal pencils



A piece of sketch paper

3*6 inch printed reference photo of myself


I am particularly proud of my final drawing which I did well figuring out the shape and casting the correct shadows of my self-portrait. I realized that grid technique is a great way for art beginners to figure out the accurate degree of curve and shadows. Great improvement can be seen from the first rough sketch to the final self-portrait simply by using the grid technique. Other than those pencils provided on art class, I used charcoal and 9B pencils to outline the shirt, hair, eyes, and cast shadow for the teeth. It is particularly helpful and formed a more distinct contrast with the other lighter value of shades, thus made the drawing look nicer.

Challenges:I struggled to finish the project since it took me a copious amount time and efforts, especially when I equipped with perfectionist mindset to improve the flaws. I erased the eyes, nose, and mouth for a few times even after the outline had been drawn. Therefore the partial surface of the paper almost tore, and deep pencil traces can be seen from the back of the paper. In the end I still could not make sure that it is the highest attainable accuracy, but there is still space for improvement. Despite this is really time-consuming, I believe that it is always good to keep trying. What I can further improve is firstly find a balance for the pursuit of perfectionism, and secondly to refrain from drawing dark and heavy outlines. For the next time I would like to try remove the grid technique or using bigger grids to challenge myself even more.

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.

Art 1-Linoleum 2 Color Print- A+


Reference photo

Linoleum cut - front detail

Linoleum cut - outline

Printmaking is the process of making artworks by printing as a mean of producing multiple images, which are created from a single surface, known technically as a matrix or a plate. The prints are multipliable, duplicable, easy to transport and exhibit. Although we had used reference photos to create our work, there is an element of originality through the process creating prints.

This printmaking (linocut) unit was intended to teach us the basic, necessary skills for carving linoleum and printing out prints from the finished double-side linoleum. We started out with the pencil tracing process to trace the outlines from the reference photo to the tracing paper. We then flip the tracing paper and rub its surface onto the linoleum, the pencil traces will be shown. Repeat the following step to print the details of pencil tracing. The carving process is divided into two steps, we firstly carved out the outline of the figure on one side the linoleum, and then carved the details on the other. In order to show the best results, I produced 6 prints and picked the 4 best prints out of them.

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

Offset lithography: The image is transferred from the stone or plate to a roller on the press, which then prints the inked image onto the paper.

Linoleum cut: A relief technique of printmaking, but using linoleum rather than traditionally used wood.

Inks used: yellow, orange, red, white

Inks used: black, grey

Inks used: blue, purple, red, white, green

Materials Used:

Brayer (A small, hand-held rubber roller used to spread printing ink evenly on a surface before printing)
Inks (Blue, orange, yellow, red, silver, black, green, purple, white)
Carving tools (sharp knife, chisels with U, V-shaped blades)
Bench hook (Around, smooth pad, either flat or slightly convex, used to press the paper against an inked wood or linoleum block to lift an impression from the block.)

I believe that I succeeded carving out both the accurate shape of the outline as well as the details. For the second print (silver and black), the details were nicely shown on the print. For the third print (blue, red, purple, and green colored one), I tried to use a mixture of multiple colors. The print turned out to be really colorful with a change in the gradient of color and is visually enjoyable. Consider my project as a whole, I not only further acquired the printmaking skills which I had experience on, I also produced fruitful results -- the four prints that I am particularly proud of.

Linoleum cutting wasn't a challenge for me, instead, the process of printing took me a few attempts to succeed. I originally wished to use creative backgrounds such as newspaper collage but unfortunately failed, since the paper mache made the surface of paper bumpy and unable to reveal the complete print. For the third print (colorful one), although the blending of multiple colors looks good, the excess ink made the details not as clear as the second one (silver and black). If I could do this project again, I would definitely wish to improve my actual step of printing.

Art 1- Dry Point Postcard Print- A+

Our third and final project in the printmaking unit used a technique called dry going printing. This involved using sharpened metal tools to carve into a hard plastic called plexiglass, applying ink, removing ink in non-desired places, and finally, rolling it through the printing press. As a bonus, we also chose one of our prints to paint with water color. The theme of this project was "destinations", and unlike our previous printing projects, we were to use a picture we had taken ourselves and turn it into multiple prints.

Part I: Carving

The materials used for this part were as follows: Printed and edited destination photograph, one rectangle of plexiglass, metal plexiglass carving tools, iPhone flashlight, duct tape, fine sand paper, and rough metal filer.

Before we began doing any actual work on the print, we first had to choose a picture we had taken during a vacation to fit the theme of "destinations". I eventually selected a picture I had taken in the Millbrae Japanese Garden of a Japanese stone pagoda-like structure. After uploading it to photoshop, we then tweaked the photo's brightness, sharpness, size, and eventually turned it black and white. After Mr. Laurence had printed these edited pictures, we then got to work with carving on the plexiglass. Despite its name, plexiglass is not actually a kind of glass. Instead, it's a hard plastic made from acrylic, and this hardness makes it an ideal choice for carving. In photoshop, we had edited the photo so that it was exactly the same size as our plexiglass piece, so we laid the plastic on top of it and duct taped it on the sides.

Next, we first used a thicker metal carving tool to carve the general outline of the objects in our picture. The key was to only use the picture as a guideline, so only the objects we wanted to include had to be traced. However, since it was difficult to see where you are carving on a clear, transparent piece of plastic, Mr. Laurence revealed to us a trick. Using the flashlight on our iPhones, we could shine them in direct contact with one of the plexiglass's corners, and all of the carved areas would shine white. After I had carved a general outline of the pagoda-like statue, I then used a much finer and pointier metal carving tool to carve out the finer details of the picture, like the texture of the statue and the tree branches in the background. Especially since my photo had such a strong contrast of light and dark values, I wanted to express this by putting a lot of thick dashed lines in the dark areas and fewer thin dashed lines in the lighter areas.

Once the entire outline was complete, we then used fine sand paper and selected areas of medium value to sand down. Since the areas I wanted to sand down were very detailed, I folded the sand paper and then only used the sand on the tip to create medium values. After a while, I found that sanding in a circular motion worked best, so that's how I created the circular texture in my carving's background. Since my original photo had so much stuff going on in its background, I only decided to include the trees and pagoda in my carving.

When the entire carving was complete, we then removed the duct tape and used the rough metal filer to feel down the sharp surface edges of the plastic. This way, when we rolled it through the printing press, it won't cut through the printing paper.

Some difficulties I faced during the carving process was the carving of the outline of the photo onto the plexiglass. This was because the plexiglass itself had a certain thickness to it, and looking at the photo at a different angle would alter the picture's outline. Eventually, I realized the best way was to keep my head at a comfortable position but to not move it too much. Additionally, I also found it hard to create the different light and dark values in my carving. But when I imagined that this was essentially the same thing as creating values with pencil on paper, I realized all I had to do was create more thick lines in areas of dark value and the opposite for places of light value.

Part II: Inking and Printing

The materials used for this part were as follows: Plexiglass with carved destination picture, a tub of water, thick printing paper, newspaper, thin waxed paper sheets, printing ink, a brayer, plastic inking surface, cheesecloths, Q-tips, plastic palette knives, and a printing press machine.

Unlike our previous printing techniques of screen printing and linoleum printmaking, dry point-printing was more of an ink-reduction method that created a print with very little ink. Because there wouldn't be that much in on the plexiglass while printing, we would need to make the printing paper more receptive to the ink. To achieve this, we submerged the thick, textured printing paper into a tub of water and let it soak while we prepared the plexiglass for printing.

First, we used a plastic palette knife to scoop a small amount of printing ink onto the plastic inking surface. We could either choose red, blue, or black, and I chose to use black ink. After this, we used the brayer to roll and spread out the ink. The ink we used for this printing project was especially sticky, and Mr. Laurence showed us how we should roll it out until it was both evenly distributed but still a bit tacky. Then, we used the inked up brayer to roll ink onto the carved side of the plexiglass.

Next, using a used piece of cheesecloth, we wiped away the surface ink from the plexiglass. Now, the ink was only in the carved crevices and sandpapered areas that we created earlier. Then, we used a cleaner piece of cheesecloth to get the desired un-inked areas cleaner, and for the finer details, we used a Q-tip. Once this was complete, we retrieved our soaking printing paper from the tub using a small waxed paper sheet. In order to get the excess water off, we then proceeded to place the paper in between a few sheets of newspaper and pressed on top, allowing the newspaper to absorb the water.

Now that the printing paper and plexiglass with ink was ready, all we had to do was place the damp printing paper on top of the plexiglass and sandwich it between the printing press paper sheets. Once we finished rolling them through the printing press, we then carefully lifted the paper off the plexiglass, placed the wet print on the drying rack, and washed our plexiglass piece. This process was repeated once more to create two prints.

Some difficulties I  experienced during this process included wiping the ink away with the cheesecloth and placing the wet inking paper on top of the plexiglass before printing. The first time I did this, I had removed way too much ink so that my print ended up being too faint. This was a problem because I had wiped away the ink too roughly, and this resulting in the ink inside the carved crevices to be taken away also. Eventually however, I solved this through being more mild with my wiping away of ink. I tried to only wipe away the general surface of ink so that I could see my carving's outline, and then used the cleaner cheesecloth and Q-tips to only wipe away places I didn't want ink. This left plenty of ink in my carved crevices. That is how my next print proved to be more successful with bolder lines. The only problem with this, however, was that in certain areas (especially in the bottom right of my print), I had wiped away the ink unevenly, leaving smudge marks. By then, it was too late to solve this, but if I had done another print, I would've paid more attention to these areas and wiped away ink more carefully.

Additionally, one of my prints (a third print that isn't shown in this blog post) had water marks streaking the entire print. Later, I realized that I had done everything correctly. The thing that caused these unwanted water marks was that when I placed the wet inking paper on top of the plexiglass, I moved it, smearing the ink disproportionally onto the paper before rolling it through the printing press. This, coupled with how the paper was wet to begin with, resulted in those unwanted water marks. I now know that if I were to create another print, I need to carefully place the inking paper on in one try and to not adjust it once it's on.

Part III: Painting with Watercolor

The materials used for this part were as follows: plastic bowl with water, water spray bottle, watercolor trays with watercolor paints, flat medium-sized paintbrush, thin and pointed tiny paintbrush, and paper towels.

In total, I had create three prints, but for my final presented two, I excluded the one that had watermarks. Out of the two, we were to choose one to leave in its original inked form and the other to paint with watercolor. I chose to use the first print I did since the lines were fainter than the other one.

First, with a bowl of water and paintbrushes next to me, I used the spray bottle to spray water onto the watercolor paints. This activated the gum arabic inside the paint, allowing it to be used for painting. Next, I used my wet brush to take some paint and put it onto the watercolor tray. Then, depending on how mild or strong I wanted the colors, I used water to dilute the paint. Using this diluted paint, I carefully painted the desired areas in my print with a paintbrush. For the watercolor painted print, I decided to make the pagoda-like statue red, the supporting structures orange-brown, the trees green and brown, and the background light blue.

I decided to make the darker-valued areas of my print have a bolder color, so for those shaded areas on the pagoda, I painted bright red. For the lighter-valued areas, I used more water to dilute my brush and only took a little bit of red paint to create a lighter tint of red. A similar process was repeated with my pagoda's support structures. With these two shades of red side-by-side, it successfully emphasized which areas were meant to be shadowed and which were not.

Despite this, I found it especially difficult to keep my printed lines visible. With the stark red popping from the print, I needed something to ensure that the printed lines beside them were still visible. I later solved this by using a thin brush and outlining the printed lines with the same bright red paint. Some of the areas I painted were still wet when I outlined them, so in order to prevent bleeding, I took a paper towel and dabbed the areas dry.

Additionally, when I painted the background light blue, I didn't put enough of the blue paint on my palette. This meant that when I finished painting one section, I would have to recreate the same tint of blue from scratch, and in certain areas in my print, you can still see how not all of the blues are the same. In order to even out the color, I decided to use a wet brush and take away some color from the bolder blue areas and add them to the milder blue area. Next time, I'll know to take enough of the desired paint so that I won't have to remix with water.

Although this project was probably the most difficult out of all the printing projects due to some very new techniques, my final product was still something that I could say I worked hard on. If given the opportunity, I would like to try this project again and create something I would be even prouder of.

Print #1: Black Ink on Printing Paper

Print #2: Black Ink with Watercolor on Printing Paper

Art 1- Map Color Scheme Painting- A+

We have now moved on from our printing unit into our painting unit. For the first two projects in this unit, we used water color. This first project used water soluble pencils, and when you applied water to the colored surface, it would become water color. Using scraps of maps and creating a collage with them, we created a reference for our imaginary water color maps. In addition to using this new kind of water color material, our other main focus was color composition.

Part I: Creating the Map

The materials used for this part were as follows: map cutouts, glue, a medium sized piece of paper, a medium sized water color canvas, H pencil, eraser, and permanent marker-pen.

Before we began creating our fictional maps, we selected several cutouts of real maps from Mr. Laurence's collection. Then, we overlapped them and glued them onto a medium sized piece of paper, creating a collage. The purpose of this was not to have something to copy "verbatim" (as Mr Laurence says), but to have a sort of reference to give guidance to our drawing.

Once we finished making our map collages, we could then proceed to making a sketch of our maps with the H pencil onto our water color canvas. Since I had chosen map scraps that had many different detailed lines, I chose to simply sketch the larger roads, routes, and landmarks in my map. For example, I had chosen a map of a piece of land by the ocean with a couple islands around it. It had several complex thin lines on the peninsula representing roads, but for my map sketch, I only chose to create an outline of the peninsula and islands.

Now that I had completed a general outline of my map, I could deviate from the collage and add my own personal charm to it. I wanted my drawing to be a hybrid world of all the places my original map scraps had been of: Kyoto, France, Munich, Chicago, and the Island of Mull (Scotland). At the same time, my map didn't have any important landmarks, so I wanted to add some of my own landmarks. In the end, my final sketch included a Mer-Lion-like statue, a Japanese temple with deer-like animals nearby, and a hot air balloon floating overhead. I also took inspiration from some of my childhood picture books and drew a treasure map with an "X" over my map's island.

When I had completed my sketch with pencil, I outlined and refined it with thin permanent marker. Once I had finished outlining, I erased all of the remaining pencil lines, leaving only the permanent marker.

Some challenges I had faced during this part was using my original collage as a reference point. At first, I was afraid to deviate too much from it, but once I realized that it was only meant to be a guide, I then created many of my own roads and landscapes. After my first draft was completed, I realized I still had some empty space where my map's ocean was. To solve this, I drew a compass, a whale, and mermaid tail (although it looks more like tempura), and a sail boat. This added my own imagination into my map, and I am very pleased with the outcome.

Additionally, when I first began outlining, I had accidentally taken a thicker marker instead of the thin pen-like one I was supposed to use. I was thinking of simply continuing on with the rest of the outlining with this marker but the realized it would be difficult to outline the smaller details later. In the end, I switched to the thin marker-pen. Despite this, you can still the bolder outline of some of my maps' features on the left side. Although this happened, I am still satisfied with my final outcome.

Part II: Coloring with Water Soluble Pencils

The materials used for this part were as follows: water soluble coloring pencils, a bowl of water, a fine-tipped water color brush, a flat-edged water color brush, and color wheel.

For this project, we had to demonstrate our understanding of three kinds of color combinations: split compliment, triadic, and warm/cool colors. To show these three kind of color combinations, I divided my map into three sections, designating one color combo to each section. There aren't any definitive lines or boundaries to mark these transitions, but you can tell where they are based on my map's more obvious lines. Firstly, the entire section of my map that includes the ocean and island is where I used the split complimentary colors of blue, orange yellow, and orange red. Then, moving to the right where my map begins on land, you'll see I used the triadic colors of purple, green, and orange. Finally, following the red road that ends with the Mer-Lion like statue and the trees beside it, I used warm and cool colors.

Before using any water and activating the paint inside the water soluble pencils, I first colored everything according to these color combinations. First, let's talk about the split compliment colors. On the color wheel, you'll see that on the left and right of each colors are colors that are a "step" closer to the next closest primary color. For example, on the two sides of orange, there is orange-yellow and orange-red. As you can probably guess, the orange-yellow is a "step" closer to yellow (hence making the color more yellow also), and the yellow-red is a "step" closer to red (hence making the color more red). For split compliment, we used three colors. At first, we choose a color, then look at the color directly across from it on the color wheel. Instead of using that compliment color, we used the colors on the left and right of it, the "split colors" of the original color's compliment.

For this color combination, I chose blue. Blue's complimentary color is orange, so then I would use the two colors beside orange: orange-yellow and orange-red. In order to achieve this color, I would first color down a layer of the lighter color, then layer on the darker color on top. This way, when I painted over it, the two colors would blend and create my desired color. An example would be first layering down yellow, then orange (since yellow is a lighter color). These three colors (blue, yellow-orange, and red-orange) were what I used to complete my first section on the far left.

The second color combination we had to use were triadic colors. These were any three colors on the color wheel that were evenly spaced apart, creating a virtual triangle when you connected the lines between them. For example, I chose the triadic colors green, orange, and purple. Like with the first section, I first colored in the roads and shapes with colored pencil before adding water. The only different thing I tried here was that I left some spaces white. Mr. Laurence said that it was good to leave some "breathing room" for the viewer in the face of all the color on our maps, so I decided to leave the footprints, the swan, the spaces between buildings, the spaces between my thin orange road lines (on the far left), and the walls of my stilted house free of color.

The last color combination was used from the top right corner to the bottom middle of my map. You can clearly see a red road dividing sections II and III. Here, we used warm and cool colors. Warm colors were colors that we associate with warmth and heat: red, orange, yellow, and the colors between them. On the other hand, cool colors are those we associate with lack of warmth: blue, green, purple. However, the colors between warm and cool, red-purple and yellow-green, can be either warm or cool depending on the colors around them.

Essentially, all of the colors on the color wheel are either warm or cool, so in that sense, I could use any colors I wanted. However, a focus for this section was to make certain items on our map pop, so in order to do that, I decided to color the objects I wanted to stand out either warm or cool, and then the background the complimenting color combo. For example, I wanted my temple on the far right to stand out, so I colored it in warm colors. In order to make it pop, I colored the surroundings in cooler colors. While I did used yellow-green for the grass, in this case, it acted more of a cool color since the tree trunks were blue. I also wanted the trees and the deer-like animal to kind of stand out (but not as much as the temple), so I also colored them a warm color: yellow. Since this color was rather close to yellow-green, it didn't pop as much as the red and orange of the temple. However, it was still a warm color, so it did give a certain extent of contrast.

Now that everything had finally been colored, we could then proceed to using the water and water color brushes. All we had to do was, for the larger areas, dip a flat-edged water color brush into water and slowly drag the brush around the section. This would activate the water soluble pigment inside the colored surface and create a smooth-like consistency: water color. For this, it was important to only color one section of the same color at a time. Otherwise, your brush could spread the color into an unwanted section. For finer details, I used a fine-tipped water color brush. I then repeated this process for the rest of my map.

Some challenges I faced during this part was the actual coloring with colored pencil. At first, I found it difficult to only color with three colors for my first two sections. If I wanted to color my ocean blue, then what about my whale? What if I wanted my whale to also be blue? I later solved this by realizing that although I could only use three colors, I could use an unlimited number of tints of that color. That is why, for my ocean, I only colored in lightly, but for my whale, I pressed down more, creating a darker blue. I did the same when I encountered difficulties with the yellow-orange and red-oranges also.

Additionally, I found myself wanting to create more variety within a section, but like with my first challenge, I felt limited to only three colors. Instead of changing the pressure of my coloring this time, I decided to only color one section of an object and then later pull that color across with water to the rest of the object. An example would by the purple tree right below my Mer-Lion. I had colored the far left side of it purple, then used my wet brush to drag that purple color across to the right side. This created a sort of ombre effect.

Overall, while this project was very different from my previous experiences with water color, I am still happy with my final product.