So I’ve made it to the end. I went from drawing inanimate objects to still life. The whole point of doing so was to learn about proportions, form, and space relationships to one another. I learned about the importance of paying attention to the shadows of objects to help with the value shifts. Before college, I probably never would have considered or even thought about these ways. When I look back at it, I call it a narrow sense of looking at art. Taking this foundations: form/space relationships and figure& motion have really opened my mind up to the grand scheme of things in the art world.
I remember during the first weeks of college my class went to the Llewellyn art gallery. We were looking at the self portraits of the freshmen from the previous year. I thought to myself, “I would never be able to do something like this!” But now, I see why the self portrait was assigned at the very end. We are supposed to bring everything we learned to the forefront. The self portrait is supposed to be the one of the best works of art we do in college.
Original Black & White Photograph
Finished Charcoal Self Portrait
I compared this project to the two other charcoal projects. The chair and skeleton within. When comparing this project to them, I realized I had a much smoother time making them. The chair was physically in front of me and the skeleton was just playing around with different charocal values. This one had me looking at a picture in black and white. I had to keep paying attention to it to keep it consistent to the original. It is not 100% accurate, but I tried and I feel it paid off in many respects. I really wanted to put my skills to the test.
The values are what really create the form and the shape of the portrait. I did this particularly well near the nose lips and chin. It does not look flat. You can see how the values shift as you look more to the right of my face. It creates the 3-dimensional form.
I love how the whiskers came out. Taking the charcoal and adding individual dabs all over was time consuming, but it really paid off. I went back and blended it a bit, but not too much. When you look at if from afar, it does look like what I want it to be.
The hair was the most challenging part. I didn’t know how to approach it and it left me at a standstill. What I ended up doing was making it dark with subtle hair strands you can see inside it. On the left, I applied a value shift that gradually became darker as it went in.
The shirt and neck were pretty straight forward. I started from the bottom up. When the shirt was done, I pulled some of the charcoal up from it to help with the neck.
The closed eye was challenging at first. I noticed how the value was similar to the nose in the picture. So i mimicked it.
What I took away from this project is what I call direction. This doesn’t just apply to this class. It applies to all of my others and everyday life. When I have clear goal to reach I work at it until I’ve done it perfectly. If don’t see an end in sight, I struggle and/or give up. What I mean by this is how I struggled on this project. Getting the whiskers, nose, lips, etc. right was driving me crazy. It wasn’t what I wanted to see. It brought down my spirits and gave a me a gloomy sight. However, after receiving feedback and getting help from my classmates I was pointed in the right direction. I was taught new ways to help with values and how to handle the medium. It raised my spirits and got me to finish this project satisfied with the result. In the end, it took about 10 hours to complete this.