Independent Project #3


DEC. 14, 2017 — pen and acrylic on pastel paper

In this project, since it was independent, we got to choose what our subject, materials, etc. would be. The only stipulation was, again, that this project would be submitted to the Scholastic 2018 art competition.

I knew immediately that I wanted to do something with red. I really like contrast, and I like creating it in my work, so I knew that I wanted to do something pertaining to bright red, black, and white. I also knew that I wanted to use pastel paper, since it comes in various shades and colors and I liked using it before. So, I started sketching out a general scene—something underwater, because lately I've been really interested in sea life—and then I went right in with pens. I took a long time using a red pen to fill in the coral, and then using a white and black pen to go back in and add some small details. It took a while, but the texture that I was able to create was gratifying. In the end, I knew that using pen to fill in the black space wouldn't work out well, since it would leave marks, so I ended up using black acrylic paint for that. I also used some watered down black for some shading.

I'm torn on this project. On the one hand, I like that bright red against the more neutral tones on the picture, and I like the contrast that I was able to create. I'm also proud of the patience that I had while going in and adding details, especially since I'm not a particularly patient person in general. However, there are lots of spots that could be better, especially the coral in the background that gets kinds of messy and smudgy with the black background. However, I do overall like the colors and patterns that I made, and I'm okay with the outcome of this piece.