Art Portrait Reflection: ‘Unforgettable: 18’

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



Spring Fair Logo Design

ISB has a spring fair in May every year, and the PTA chooses the logo of the Spring fair from one of the student’s design. When the logo is selected,  it will be on the t-shirts. I actually won the the logo design, and I am really excited to see my design printed on the t-shirts!!

[ My Logo Design]

Drawing a place I went during Spring Break

Place: My house in Korea

[ Original Photo]

[ My Drawing ]

Painting Analysis #1

Painting Analysis #2

Oil painting & Acrylic painting media testing

Oil Painting Media Testing Blog Post Reflection

 [ Steps of oil painting media testing ]

  1. take a selfie
  2. change the photo into black and white and adjust the contrast and the lights using photo shop
  3. print out the photo and grid it
  4. sketch on the canvas using pencil before painting
  5. paint with oil paint

(original photo)                                               (oil painting)

I learned that oil paint blends well, and takes long to dry, which helps the layer to stay thin unlike acrylic paint. This can be both good and bad, because oil paint can give smoothness, but I have to be very careful while painting because it is harder to cover mistakes than acrylic paint. Also I learned that I must wash the brush clean after using it, because if I don’t the brush dries and becomes hardened.

I enjoyed painting all the details of shadows and lights, this media testing really helped me to understand how to express the contrast on person’s face. Since it was my first time to use oil paint, I wasn’t really use to it but I think I should practice more using it and try it again in the future. And in the future, I would be more brave putting more contrasts on face.


Acrylic Painting Media Testing Blog Post Reflection

[ Steps of Acrylic Painting Media Testing ]

  1. take a selfie
  2. adjust the contrast and color print the photo
  3. stick the photo on a cardboard
  4. paint mat medium on the cardboard and let it dry
  5. after mat medium is dried, start painting with acrylic.

(original photo)                                                     (acrylic painting)

I learned how to use more thick and saturated strokes, and I improved putting more contrast on my face than the oil paint media testing. Oil paint was black and white but this acrylic paint had actual colors so it was more interesting to me. Acrylic paint can be seen as ‘unrealistic’ because the shadows and lights are not smooth, the texture is much rougher than other medias and the colors have more contrasts ( for example, the color blue is not on our face, but we can still use blue to paint the shadows or to make higher contrast between other colors), but it is a great media to practice using different colors and mixing colors. Personally, I enjoyed acrylic paint more than oil paint. Next time, when I use acrylic paint again, I want to try to use more different colors, because this time I mostly used warm tone colors.


‘Destiny’- Photoshop Project reflection

This studio challenge was my first photoshop project tried, we had to converge more than two cultures of myself or someone who I personally know. I chose my parents to be my model of this project. Both of my parents are fully Korean, but my mom is currently living in Beijing with us and my dad is in Korea. So, I converged Chinese culture and Korean culture into my project. The title of my project is ‘Destiny’. Before I actually started to work with the photoshop program, I planned to give this my parents as a gift after I print out the final product. So I chose the theme to be ‘destiny’ of my parents, who grew up from two different environments and met each other. This is expressed through the two planets and a bridge that is connecting the planets in the middle. The top half of the planets are showing present days, and the bottom half are showing past, when they were both young kids. On my mom’s side, the Beijing skyscrapers represents Chinese culture and a Korean style stationary store represents old Korean culture. My mom said when she was an elementary school student, she used to go to the old stationary store everyday after school with her friends. She said there were so many good sweets, fun games, toys for kids, so she always visited the store. On my dad’s side, the picture of comic book store represents the old Korean culture, and the picture of Gkuanghwamun square represents the current Korean culture. My dad really liked to go to the comic book store on weekends and read comic books. He said almost every Korean boys liked to go there at that time. Gkuanghwamun square is where my dad goes to work every day. His hospital is in front of the square and the square is a really famous place to Korean people because all the important government buildings are near the square. These are the reasons that I chose those pictures to put in the planets.

I took my own pictures of my parents, and my parents standing on the bridge facing each other emphasizes that it’s a true destiny that they met each other who grew up from different culture (even though they both lived in Korea, there are still so many different cultures in Korea) and environment.

The two surreal devices that I used was dislocation, scale. The bridge is dislocated in space between two planets, and I used a larger scale of my parents.

I got a basic outline idea from the book ‘The little Prince’ by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the small planet described in the book gave me an idea to play with the scale of planets and people.

In the beginning of the project, I planned to work on present cultural devices, without including the cultures from their childhood. But while I worked on it, I decided to add old cultures to emphasize that they GREW UP from different culture, not only living in a different culture currently.

During the project, I challenged myself to use triple exposure for the planets. Before we started to work on our own projects, we practiced different photoshop skills like double exposure, inception, geometric reflections..etc. But the skill that I wanted to use in my project was a triple exposure which I couldn’t find a tutorial. So I tried random things using my basic knowledge from double exposure, but I failed with doing it. Then I asked my friend (who is an expert of photoshop) to teach me how to do a triple exposure, and I finally learned how to do it after she explained it 3 times. By doing this project, I am sure that I learned so many new things and I improved on using photoshop a lot.

The three artistic habits of mind that I used in this project is Develop craft, Express, and reflect.

First, I practiced different photoshop skills by watching photoshop tutorials, which helped me a lot to improve on using the adobe photoshop program.

[ Develop craft ]

Then I expressed the theme ‘Destiny’ by using different photos that I found and took.

[ Express ]

After I finished placing and editing all the photos, we had time to get feedbacks from others in class. So I got different advices from people about the shadows under the planets and the scale of the background, and improved my work before the final submission.

Saving Banksy Reflection

The documentary ‘Saving Banksy’ is about Banksy, a famous street artist, who hides his identity and leaves his art in different places and countries. Hiding his identity makes people to be more curious about him, which made him famous. Because people don’t have any background information about the artist, they can interpret Banksy’s artwork in different ways.

In the movie, there were two sides of people arguing, some people were saying that Banksy’s street art should be moved to a gallery to be protected, and the other people were saying that it shouldn’t be removed without the artist’s permission.

I think the art should stay where it was, because street art doesn’t belong to one person. Street art is special because it is open to everyone. Anyone can enjoy it, anytime, anywhere. But when the street art is removed and placed in an art gallery, only people who have time and money to go to a gallery can enjoy it.

Also, this documentary movie helped me to change my perspective of street art. Before I watched the movie, I didn’t include street art as one part of art. For me, street art was equally valued as scribbles on random walls, because I had a fixed idea that paintings or drawings must be on paper or canvas. But now I think street art is a special kind of art that is opened for anyone to enjoy.

Valentine’s Day card

This card is intended for my best friend in Korea. We’ve only know each other for 2years, but we are really close together because we have a lot of similarities. We both like BTS (Korean k-pop group), so I used a character from BT21 (characters designed by BTS members) in the valentine’s day card. The character is a rabbit named Cooky, and I used its face everywhere to decorate. And mostly the colors are pink, purple and white to make it simple and pretty. I wrote the card in Korean because my friend doesn’t speak English, basically it’s just about friendship. I met my friend over the Chinese New year break and gave this to her, and she really liked it 🙂

Photoshop practice

[ fruit face]

[flowers photohop]

[ inception ]