Saturday, January 11, 2014

Marble Drop

I made this marble drop by myself, receiving no help or advice from anyone else. My theme for the marble drop was one of nature and more specifically, water in nature. I came up with this theme because it is very, broad, and can be related to by anyone. The marble rolling down the track represents water or a rain drop. It runs down a mountain, through a forest, through a cave, over a plain, into a river, and lastly through a waterfall and into the great blue ocean. The most difficult part in making my piece was definitely the cave part. It took many tries to finally glue the popsicle sticks into the cardboard tube so that the marble could roll through it and not get stuck and even more tries to glue the actual cardboard tube onto the cardboard platform. My marble travels in a very intuitive way. It starts high up on a mountain in the top left and rolls down a series of alternating popsicle sticks where it finally pops out of a waterfall and reaches the sea at the very bottom of the marble drop. I did have to make my own tracks, and to do so, I took pairs of popsicle sticks and hot glued them together. Then after they dried, I took the glued popsicle sticks and glued them onto the cardboard platform. If I could change anything about my piece, it would be the "catches" at the start of each alternating popsicle track. These "catches" were put there to catch the marble and keep it from falling off of the track. However, during my final showcase of my marble drop, I realized that I didn't make the "catches" big enough, so the marble would occasionally fall out anyway. If I could change the catches, I would make them overly large, to prevent the marble from falling out 100% of the time. The thing that I am most proud of in my piece is probably the drawings/paintings and the appearance of it.  The drawings display my theme very clearly and I put a lot of work into painting everything. I also painted the track (popsicle sticks) to match the individual theme of each layer of the marble drop as the marble travels from one part of nature to the next.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Contour Lines

Happy Birthday

This piece was made with just paper and pencil. This piece and the piece below were both created as gifts for my parents. In order to be fair, I used pencil for both instead of using wallpaper or an unconventional medium for one of them and not the other. Using an unconventional medium for both of the pieces would not have suited both of them. The theme for this piece is: Wild. The planning process included finding a picture online as a reference and creating my own birthday party scene from the reference. After drawing the general outlines of the shapes I filled in the shapes with random contour lines to show the contours of the objects. The thing I am most proud of in this piece is how successful I got the contour lines to get. Since this was the first time I drew contour lines, I was confused at first and worried about how my contours would look. Turns out, they didn't come out as bad as I had originally thought. After I drew my second piece, I understood more about how to draw contour lines. If I could go back and change something about my piece, it would to be to emphasize the contours of the different objects even more with more lines.

Las Vegas

Exactly like the piece above, this Las Vegas piece was made with only using pencil and paper. In addition, this piece is also twice as large as the one above. As stated above, the reason this piece also uses pencil and paper is so that both pieces will be consistent and have the same mediums. The theme for this piece is: Urban. Also similar to the planning process for the previous piece, I went online and looked up a picture of the Las Vegas sign and an aerial shot of nighttime Las Vegas. When drawing the actual piece, I drew the sign first and then drew the background of Las Vegas around it. I drew the piece with the mindset of being as random as possible. Random lines combined with straight lines show the precision yet openness of the wild city of Las Vegas. Random lines are great at showing the general contours, darks and lights of the scene. The thing I am most proud in the piece would be how realistic it looks without me having to put in extreme efforts to do so. Contour lines make the piece very believable from a distance. However, if I could go back and change one thing, it would be to make the bottom of the piece less "messy". Much of the bottom of the piece is just filled with random lines, lines that are a bit too random. I think the piece would look better if I had made the lines follow the more of the contours of the pavement/parking lot in the picture than looking like pure random scribbles.

Saturday, December 7, 2013


For my perspective piece named "Frozen", I used two-point perspective, where there are two vanishing points, one on the left and one on the right. This gives an illusion of an edge in the center between the "O" and the "Z" where the two "letter walls" are coming together. To start my piece, I drew the center line in the middle of the paper, and drew four diagonal lines to the vanishing points using a ruler. Then, I measured off how much space each letter could take up, where the "O" and "Z" could take up the most space, and the "F" and "N" could take up the least space in order for it to have a two-point perspective effect. After drawing all of the letters with a pencil, I used chalk pastels to color the piece after erasing unneeded pencil marks. I obviously used blue pastels to represent snow and ice, but I also threw in a bit of purple on the border because purple and blue are analogous colors. Smearing and rubbing the pastels afterwards smoothed the colors out and made the letters pop out, the finishing touch to the piece.

Shadow Art

Shadow Art from Day 1

Shadow Art from Day 2

For our shadow art, we used numerous of objects to create shadows, including wine bottles, a skull, a phone, Popsicle sticks, string, diamond, and a PVC pipe with tape on it (see if you can find them in the shadows!). I thought the PVC pipe with tape was really neat and was a surprisingly good idea because when put against the projector with one end of it, the shadow on the board looked like a cross-hair. Hence why the first picture looks like we're duck hunting. Although not represented in the pictures, one image we created had a green background and water-like effect that was made by placing a sprite bottle that was cut open over the projector light, giving the skull a more evil look. The hardest and most difficult part about the project would probably be the idea part of it. It was hard to come up with initial idea of what to do, but once we had an idea, it was quite easy to piece together the necessary items to form the right shadows. Day 2 pictures were most definitely better than Day 1, we had a lot more variety of items to work with and the skull was fun to use as well.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Clay (3D Project)

This piece depicts a picture of the symbol for the Protoss race in the online PC game Starcraft II. I played as Protoss for almost a year and won over hundreds of games with it, so it forever holds a special place in my heart. The medium I used for this piece is clay and I based the 3D object off of a slab or tile. Clay is an earthy material that is made up of very small and fine particles of minerals (rocks, essentially). Clay is great for making tile pieces like mine. To create my tile piece, I cut out a piece of clay and wedged it. I wedged the clay by pounding it against a surface and kneading it with my hands in order to get all of the air bubbles out. Having no air bubbles is important for the process of firing or baking of the clay, where clays are slowly heated up to a very high temperature of about 1,700 degrees Fahrenheit. The high temperature gets rid of any water in the clay, making it stronger and harder, but still be able to be glazed. If there are air bubbles in the clay when it is fired, the air inside will expand tremendously and crack or explode the piece. The oven/furnace used for firing the clay is called a kiln. When I had to attach two separate pieces of clay together after two of the left corners of the piece broke off, I had to use a method called score and slip. I used a tool to "score" both pieces of clay, making marks in them and making their connecting surfaces rough. Then I took "slip", clay with high water content ("watery clay") and applied it to the surfaces. Slip acts as an adhesive when the two pieces of clay are joined together. I then used clay tool to carve out pieces of clay and raise certain parts of the piece. My piece was then fired, where afterwards I painted it the colors of the actual symbol of the Protoss race, yellow and blue with a black background. After the paint dried I applied a layer of glaze on it to protect it and give my piece a shiny look. The piece was then fired a second time to melt the glaze and turn into the amazing piece that I have now. I had a blast making this piece and was so proud of how it turned out!


This is a piece depicting the logos of modern and popular gaming systems and companies through the process of relief printmaking.

Thursday, November 7, 2013


Relief art is art that has subtle, yet varying degrees of depth on a two-dimensional background; in other words, the work of art has "layers" to it. There are three types of relief: high, low, and sunken. In high relief, the raised parts of the piece protrude greatly out from the background. In low relief, the depths of the layers are shallow. In sunken relief, the designs or pictures are carved into the background, making it somewhat hollow, rather than raising the designs above the background. My wolf  is an example of a low relief piece; you can barely tell that it has multiple layers of cardboard from the picture. I picked a wolf as the subject of my relief piece because it's been my favorite animal since first grade. I love their cunningness, gracefulness and swiftness, the bonding of the individual wolves in a pack and their sense of superiority as top-level predators. I am most proud of the colors that I put on my wolf. I darkened the parts that needed to be shaded, and I was able to successfully blend the many darks and lights of his fur. The direction of the colors also portray the illusion that he is in mid-run. If I could go back and change some things about my piece I think I would change the dark spots on his coat of fur that don't quite match the rest of his fur and also perhaps make his tail more elongated to better express his sleekness.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Stenciled Selfie

Non-objective art is pretty much any piece of art that is unrealistic. It is also known as abstract art. Non-objective art does not depict anything in the natural world, like realistic drawings or sculptures. Non-objective art usually uses many different colors, shapes, and brushstrokes/lines rather than definite shapes and lines and controlled shading. I used non-objective art in my piece of work as the background for my stencil selfie. I used multiple different contrasting and similar colors with a variety of lines and shapes to give it a disorganized and random look. In the end, the non-objective background even kind of compliments the contours of the stencil when the stencil is placed over it.

Land Art

Our group came up with the idea of making the letters AHS because they represent Apex High School, the school we go to. It was not very hard to design or make, yet its meaning was impactful. Because it was Land Art we used things that we could find in nature and around campus. We used leaves, twigs, sticks, mulch, weeds, rocks and flowers to make the art as colorful as possible. Using these materials give our AHS a very natural look along with many interesting and blended patterns within the ordering of the materials.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Face Swap Using Photoshop

This is the original photograph that I pulled from the Internet. It was found by Googling "two people" and looking through the images.

This is the photograph after I used Photoshop to switch the heads of the three men. Even after careful examination, it's still kind of hard to tell the difference between the original and the fake.
I took an image from the Internet to swap the heads of the people in the picture, and this picture was perfect for the activity. I used this link for instructions on how to actually perform the face swap: How to do a Face Swap in Photoshop. In a quick summary, you use the lasso tool to move the heads into general positions, then use the selection tool to cut off the excess background. By fine tuning some parts of the heads through changing their brightness and blurring the background, the new photo now resembles a completely different picture than the original. The activity was a blast to do and I thought I did a pretty good job of doing the face swaps. When I was finished with my new picture, I kind of liked it more than the original!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Color Project

The three objects that I chose for my Color Project were three characters that I really love and represent me. Their names from left to right are, Twisted Fate, an amazing character in the online game League of Legends, Iron Man, from the Iron Man series, and a Jedi Knight, from Star Wars. Twisted Fate has a smugness that I (think) I have and he also represents my love for gaming, Iron Man represents my interest in sci-fi, especially sci-fi that could be possible, like the making of his suit, and Jedis are very dear to my heart because of my name, plus I really enjoy the Star Wars movies. I used color pencils of a variety of hues to give my drawing its color. The reason I chose to use color pencils is similar to the reason I chose to use marker as my medium for the Name Project (see earlier post). Color pencils allow for more precision for coloring inside the lines, which were also outlined with black color pencil. The definite shapes along with the ability to show color contrast makes using color pencils a strong choice to choose when wanting to draw realistically, which is what I wanted when I started this project. However, if I had the chance to redo the project, I would use pastels to color my background instead of color pencils in order to give it a smoother look; smooth backgrounds are generally more pleasing to the eye than "choppy" backgrounds.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Name Project

The color scheme I used for my name project was complimentary colors. Specifically, I used the colors blue and orange, because I felt like that the two colors provided the coolest contrast. For my medium, I used markers to draw my name, using a lot of straight lines and connected triangles inside the letters to provide a more disorganized look. The use of markers allowed for more details and more precision, especially when drawing all of the triangles. If I had used pastels, my name would have had more blending of colors rather than the definite shapes I wanted to create.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Art Article #2: 9/25

Period 1
23 September 2013
Discovered Van Gogh Painting Art Article
The article “Newly discovered Van Gogh painting kept in Norwegian attic for years” by Mark Brown talks about how the painting “Sunset at Montmajour” painted by Vincent Van Gogh was found in an attic and will be put on display in the Van Gogh Museum. Finding the masterpiece was a true sensation and caught many experts off guard when it was shown to them. The picture was painted in 1888 and shows the wild yet beautiful countryside near Arles, France with a ruined abbey on the hill of Montmajour. It is now suspected that a man named Christian Nicolai Mustad bought the masterpiece through the advice of art historian Jens Thiis. However, Auguste Pellerin, a more prominent collector and also business rival of Mustad’s convinced Mustad that the art was a fake. As many art owners at the time were unsure of their art originality because of the increase of forgeries, it’s logical why the art piece was sent to the attic. The painting was then rejected twice as Van Gogh’s art after Mustad’s death in 1970. However, recent evidence, including a letter written by Van Gogh that describes the scene of the art piece, now suggests that the previous experts were wrong and that this was indeed an original Van Gogh piece. The current owner of the piece is anonymous at this point, but s/he has decided for the piece to be put on display on September 14, 2013 in the Van Gogh Museum.
It should be well noted that the finding of the “Sunset at Montmajour” is not insignificant in any way. The journey of the painting as it traveled from owner to owner is also extremely interesting by itself. Several articles, such as “‘Sunset at Montmajour’: Long-lost Vincent Van Gogh painting discovered” and “New van Gogh painting discovered: ‘Sunset at Montmajour’”, when pieced together, form the big picture of the background and history of the piece from the hands of Van Gogh himself to the museum solely dedicated to his paintings. Van Gogh made some of his best paintings during the time he painted “Sunset at Montmajour” such as “Sunflowers” and “Starry Night”. For an indicator of the price of “Sunset at Montmajour”, “Sunflowers” is now worth forty million dollars. Vincent apparently after painting the picture handed it to his brother Theo to add to his collection of almost 200 paintings. It was later found that this piece was number 180 of the collection. Mysteriously, there was no record of the painting after Theo evidently sold it in 1901. Mustad then came along and bought the painting, banishing it to the attic where it hibernated for sixty years. After passing through the hands of many other and more recent owners, the piece finally received the fame it was due after it was carefully examined and scrutinized by experts.
The discovery of this now famous painting is yet another testament to the ever changing world of art. People often undermine the value of art before new evidence is discovered. As is the case with “Sunset at Montmajour”, only after extensive research on Van Gogh’s letters regarding the inspiration for the piece and analysis of the brushstrokes and X-rays were experts able to confirm that the painting was indeed an original picture painted by Van Gogh. The discovery also shows the paranoia and insecurity people feel about possible great works of art that they own. This could be due to a fear of being rejected, ridiculed – especially with the amount of forgeries available, and possibly a waste of money and time. If art historians and experts are more passionate about finding old art pieces and work harder towards finding them, greater discoveries could definitely be made at a much faster pace, as well as not leaving perfectly well made art pieces to rot in attics spread throughout the world.

Period 1
23 September 2013
Works Cited
Mullen, Jethro. “New van Gogh painting discovered: ‘Sunset at Montmajour’”. CNN. 9 Sep 2013. Cable News Network. 23 Sep 2013. <>
Sterling, Toby. “‘Sunset at Montmajour’: Long-lost Vincent Van Gogh painting discovered”. WORLDNEWS. 9 Sep 2013. 23 Sep 2013. <>

Monday, September 16, 2013

Realism Project Art 1

The Gaming Shot

I've always loved to play video games and have recently started to play online pc games competitively. The monitor depicts a screen from the game Starcraft II, the mouse is a gaming mouse by Fierce, and the keyboard is a Blackwidow Ultimate made by Razer.

The Soccer Closeup

I've been playing soccer since I was in first grade and I love playing it. I play defense in soccer and it has always been my main sport because I love to run. The drawing above shows a closeup of a soccer ball in front of a goal.

The Flute Table

I've been playing the flute since sixth grade when I joined the band at Salem Middle School. I enjoy playing it immensely and it's also a crucial part of my life, especially now that I'm part of the marching band at Apex High. The drawing depicts the flute itself on a table with all of its details, but also its case and some sheet music. The values used in the piece make the emphasis on the flute very clear.