Final Portrait Reflection

In this project, we were asked to paint a portrait that can convey authority and can make a broader social statement and represents the intangible. In this portrait, I used oil painting for the face, I used acrylic for the background, and I used the palette knife to add texture to my background.


My project is named innocence, this represents harmlessness and free from guilt.

The subject in my painting is my sister, I chose her as my subject due to her look of innocence that most children have. My guiding question is that adults should not restrict children’s imagination and creativity. It can be shown by my sister in the portrait and the creativity of children. By using the palette knife in my portrait, it shows how children often draw, it is messy, but there is still creativity incorporated into it. The mood of the portrait is very innocent and childish, so I used pink and blue, they are both colors that connote the idea of immaturity. I borrowed Hung Liu’s idea in my portrait, I drew shapes in the background of my portrait. I was inspired by Francois Neilly, I thought her use of palette knives was really creative and created texture. I wanted to use her texture to represent children’s creativity and their scribbles.


In my final plan, I planned to completely use the palette knife for my background, however, during the process painting the face of the subject, I realized that a uniform texture in the background would not have the effect that I wanted it to have, would be too messy. One of the challenges I came up with during this project is drawing the ear. The ear has a really complicated structure, thus, when drawing it with a monochrome color scheme, it would have a lot of different shades and values. I overcame this obstacle by looking at each part of the ear close up, breaking down the picture to focus on details. I have stretched as an artist by paying attention to details so that my portrait would look more realistic.

Develop Craft- I developed craft by learning from my mistakes. At first, the texture and shadows of the hands were not very realistic, however, I corrected it by changing the shades and smoothing out the rough texture of the hand. Another mistake that I made was that the edges were not defined, but I fixed that mistake by using a thin paintbrush to go over the edges. At first, my shades of blue for the face and the hand were not unified, however, I solved that problem by going over the color again with another shade of blue. This not only fixed the different shades of blue, it also smoothed out the texture of the hand. Evidence of these changes can be shown above by the changes of the portraits.

Observe- The picture below shows evidence of myself observing. Throughout the process of observing, it helped me work on my details, thus, making my portrait more realistic. When observing, I zoom into the picture so that I can see the details on the picture better so I could apply the shade of the color onto my canvas. An example is when I was working on the flower on the figure, I zoomed into the picture to better focus on the shades of the flowers, and I applied the shades of the flower onto the canvas.

Envision- I envisioned by drawing a final plan. By drawing a final plan, I can see better how my portrait would look like when I draw it, however, I changed my final plan because I envisioned what my portrait would look like when I drew it I envisioned that when I painted the background as it was in the final plan, it would look really messy and would not have the effect that I was looking for, which was the type of drawing that children tend to draw, therefore, I changed my background into what it is now, which is an acrylic background with geometric shapes painted with palette knives. Geometric shapes connote to children because that is what children first learn when they were little.


Value: The values on the woman’s face makes the painting look more realistic. Values can also be seen in other places such as the bird’s body and the plants.


Line: The lines included in the painting creates a sense of direction in the painting and leads the audience’s eyesight from top to bottom of the painting.

Shape: Hung Liu uses circles to attract attention to certain parts of the painting.

Contrast: There are contrasts of colors between the red and the turquoise and the gold and the purple.

Emphasis: The contrasts of the colors create emphasis in the painting and emphasized some details.


Movement: The paint dripping from the canvas creates movement and leads the audience’s eyesight from top to bottom.

Painting Analysis

Color- The color effects the general shade of the woman, the darker colors of the woman represents the shades of the woman, and the lighter colors of the woman represent the highlights of the woman.


Shape- The shape of the streaks of color helps define the woman’s face and details. Some shapes are bigger and some are not, each is in a different shape, and each is trying to form a bigger shape, which is the woman’s face.


Movement- The direction of each color of paint applied is important because it helps define parts of the woman’s face such as her eyes or her nose.


Patterns- The patterns of the directions of the streaks of colors and their direction emphasizes some contour lines that the woman had.


Emphasis- The streaks of colors are in the same direction, however, the minority of the streaks of color that are not in the same direction creates emphasis.


Contrast- There are some contrasting colors such as blue and orange, red and green.etc. This brings out some parts of the woman’s face and also acts as emphasis.


Media Testing Reflection

During the process of this media testing, we used a selfie as a template, and applied different layers of acrylic paint on top, bringing out the highlights and shadows that was in the picture. The first layer was more general and did not seem realistic, however, as we applied more layers, the painting became more and more realistic.


From this media testing, I learned that acrylic paint dries at a much faster rate than oil paint, therefore, it is easier to apply layers. Applying layers helps correct mistakes easier. Using the oil paint makes blending much easier. When using acrylic paint, I learned to always put the paintbrush into the water when I don’t need it.


Acrylic paint is frustrating when it comes to mixing colors on the color palette, I often find that after I finish using the color I just used, the color dries so I would have to mix the color again, which is hard because I would have to mix the exact same shade. I think I can overcome this problem by adding water to the dry paint.


A problem I have with acrylic paint is that I blend too much, causing there to be no contrasts in the painting. The loss of contrasts causes there to be no form of shape within the painting.


During the process of the oil paint media testing, we used a piece of cardboard as a canvas and drew grids on it. We did the same to the original picture we were drawing from. This helps us have a better idea of where we should draw our lines. After that, we applied layers of paint.


From this media testing, I learned that oil paint blends really well. Oil paint dries really slowly, thus, it is better to blend with. This helped me because blending can cover my mistakes. I also learned to clean my paintbrushes by first squeezing all the paint in the paintbrush out, then cleaning the brush with oil when using oil paint.


Acrylic paint is frustrating because it dries really slowly, so it is harder to draw clear lines. I had trouble with this when drawing lines on my face. I learned to overcome that problem by adding more paint.