Drawing Final Portfolio

1.  I think the most difficult piece I did this semester would be my blue ringed octopus.  The theme of this project was 'Look at that animal move!' and when I started to look at underwater creatures the color of the blue ringed octopus really stood out to me.  I had pages full of references for this project to get the shading, colors, anatomy, and coral surroundings right on this project, and the seaweed especially took me a long time to fill in and shade so as to keep it realistic.  I think the black paper I used for this project was really beneficial because it makes the colors pop despite the dark environment, and overall I'm very happy with the materials and choices I made completing this assignment.
2.  The project I feel I overcame the most obstacles with would be my 'Enlightenment' piece.  Prior to this I wasn't familiar with using ink at all let alone combining it with watercolors, and it was a challenge for me to learn to appropriately use stippling.  Before I started this project I practiced and practiced and practiced everything I planned on including in my piece to make sure it'd come out exactly as expected, and learning to draw lotus flowers took me a good chunk of my time as well as the fabric on my deity.  This project made me better as an artist because it forced me to get out of my comfort zone and learn and struggle and eventually succeed.

3.  I think these two pieces best show my progression as an artist this semester.  My moth was the first project I did and before I started this I was clueless on how to shade and make pieces look realistic with hair and anatomy of pieces.  I knew off the bat that I wanted to do an insect for this assignment, and while initially I was set on bumblebees I saw an up front picture of a luna moth online and thought it'd be really neat to show them from a different perspective.  Using a lot of references and through the in class activities which focused mostly on values and shading at the time, I was able to grow a lot very quickly and make my best piece up until that point.  The second piece I think best shows my growth as an artist would definitely be my octopus.  Over the semester we had a heavy focus on shading and the focus on light and it's source, and I feel it really paid off when I went to make this piece.  I thoroughly enjoyed the prismacolors during this project and they were especially useful doing the shadows and highlights on my creature as well as on the seaweed. My artistic vision for this project initially actually was not an octopus but a jellyfish or cuttlefish, and after researching online I came across the blue ringed octopus and was just so blown away by the color contrasts I knew I had to use it for my assignment.  I was super happy with my final result on this one.
4.  I think the freedom of choices was very beneficial in this semester because it teaches one to think for themselves and have their own creative process.  Prompts are nice as a starter but I think true art mostly comes from within and how people perceive situations and assignments.  I know I for one learned a lot over this semester and definitely broadened my artistic horizons from techniques to material choices.  Over the semester I switched from pencil to pen to prismacolors to watercolors, my favorite being prismacolors because of their versatility.  Before I took this class, I mostly taught myself stuff as I went and didn't think in the same way I do now towards projects and their requirements/expectations.  As seen in my moth project at the beginning of the semester, I had trouble with shading and making a piece look three dimensional, and by the end with my octopus and characters, shading is my favorite part of a piece.  Freedom within a classroom, much like freedom within a country, is a spark for creativity and constant development, and I believe the learning style should stay as it is.

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