In this portrait project, we had to paint a portrait of ourselves or person who I personally know, or a person who can stand for a broader social issues. We could use different medias like underpainting, acrylic and oil paint for our portraits and I chose to do underpainting first and use oil paint for the smooth blending.
The title ‘unforgettable: 18’The number 18 means the ages of the students who were on the ferry. On the ferry, there were 325 Dan won high school students and 250 of them never came back home. And I wanted people to remember the saddest day by looking at my portrait.
[ Hae Kyeong Lee ]
The girl in my portrait wearing a uniform is one of the victim of the sinking of MV Sewol. Her name is Hae kyeong Lee and she could never escape the ferry with her 20 classmates. April 16th, the day she died, was her 18th birthday. That day, which had to be the happiest day, she had to face the most extreme fear in that large ferry.
The uniform she is wearing is Dan won high school’s uniform. On her uniform I painted a yellow ribbon, which symbolizes the lives of the Sewol ferry victims. Also, she is showing her hands with water; the water in her hands symbolizes tear, sorrow, and the cold underwater. Finally, her face looks sad, but she is not crying. I tried to convey the deepest sorrow when you can’t even cry anymore, when there are no tears left to come out.
[ Carl White’s portrait ]
I was influenced by the artist Carl White, his portraits were mostly smooth and soft. So I tried to use gray and pink colors, and blended them with white to express the calm and sad mood.
It was really hard for me to express all the sadness and sympathy through this one portrait, but I tried my best, and I hope people who see this portrait can remember the sinking of MV Sewol.
[ My Final Plan ] [ My Portrait ]
My Portrait came out very similar to my final plan. The biggest change I made are the background color and the paper boat in her hands. In my final plan, I planned to paint the background in black, but when I actually finished painting the girl’s face and her uniform, I felt like it would be too dark, and won’t have enough contrast if I paint the background in black. So I painted the background in bright blue mixed with white, and I think it was a good choice.
Also, I removed the yellow paper boat in her hands from my painting because it came out really bad when I tried it, because it didn’t fit with the color of hands and water.
[ painting that I looked at ]
The part that I struggled the most was the hands, because it was very difficult to show the small wrinkles between fingers and the palm. I tried to make the hands look realistic, I found some example photos of hands painted in oil paint and looked at it, but it was still very hard to paint.
The clothes were also hard, especially the gray uniform part because it had a lot of wrinkles, which were very hard to smooth out. At first, I used my brush to blend those gray parts but it didn’t work really well, so I used my fingers, and it was much easier to work with blending.
The three artist habits of mind that I used in this art project were envision, express, and understand the art world.
First, (envision) I thought about the color scheme for the next step before I actually paint by using the photoshop.
Second, (express) I used different symbols in my portrait to express deeper meanings.
And third, (understand the art world) I explored different portrait styles of different artists and analyzed them before I start my own project.
Throughout this project, I improved a lot on using oil painting. It was my first time using it, and I think I improved my skills a lot more than what I did for my first media testing. If I have another painting project in the future, I would like to use it again J