A) What did you know about art criticism when you started the class? How comfortable were you with evaluating the work of others?
When I first began Art 1 I was unsure what the term art criticism meant. Based off the word criticism, I thought it meant judging a completed piece of artwork. Sort of similar to the way people would criticize movies or books. I believed it to be a negative term. I was uncomfortable evaluating others work along with my own. I didn't know what aspects to look for while examining other work or even while examining mine. This made me uncomfortable while evaluating because I felt as though I was just pointing out dumb observations while not truly understanding the meaning or theme of the artwork. In regards to my own artwork, while evaluating it I was still unsure of what I should have been looking for and I always gave myself negative comments even on work I put a lot of effort into. This was mostly based off the fact that I was never very good at art and am always harder on myself than I am on other.
B) How has your understanding of art criticism changed during Art 1. How has the way you use art criticism when you make or view art changed during the class?
As the semester passed I began to understand the idea of art criticism much better. I learned that it was not just judging artwork or looking for the bad things, but instead it was evaluating and understanding what the piece of art was portraying. I also thought that art criticism only took place once the piece of work was complete. Then I discovered that art criticism also included making decisions as you work and it was a much longer process than I had originally thought. As the semester continued and as I learned more about art criticism I began using it more in creating my own work. One time art criticism came into play for me was on our final unit of identity. I was struggling to decide what I wanted to do to portray theme of identity. I was unsure if I wanted to do a personal struggle of identity or a picture that related to a broader idea of identity. I spent time weighing the two options and decided on the more personal struggle. But while it was personal I also felt that it was an issue that lots of people, especially teenagers, could relate to, the idea of peer pressure. Throughout the creation of my piece I worked on showing how peer pressure does not have to shape your views of yourself. The image below shows a sketch of my identity drawing, when I am attempting to incorporate my own struggles.
A)What are some important or useful things you learned in Art 1?
Being very unfamiliar with the topic of art, I felt as though a lot of the thing we learned where helpful. One thing I found extremely useful was the idea of using a vanishing point in my artwork. This was one of the first things that we learned during the semester. I first used it in a stop motion video of the game snake. The vanishing point allowed it to look more realistic and 3D because all of the blocks were angled in the same direction. Another time I found vanishing point useful was when creating perspective images. This we when we were drawing the hallways and trying to make them appear realistic. In the past I had drawn all the lines in my images going to different points, so the image did not appear very realistic. But using the vanishing point my hallway looked much better and more realistic. The image below was a sketch of a hallway using the vanishing point which is located slightly above the middle of the page. Another useful technique I learned this semester was the value scale. This was using different shades to bring out different aspects of your image. The other image below shows my practice of displaying the value scale. I found this helpful because it made it easier to create shadows and also bring different light aspects in an image. This also goes along with shading, which is another thing I found important. Shading allowed you to make things more realistic, even drawings that had no color.
I thought Art 1 was a great learning experience for me, especially since I had very little previous experience with any art. If I were to make any changes I would include having days to remodel our work. For example, we would have a few days to work on a unit, such as identity, then we would have our evaluation/ presentation day, and then I would have liked to have a day to spend working on our work for that unit. This day would be to take the opinions and evaluations that others gave us and change our artwork if we chose to. I felt as if this would allow us to learn to take others opinions and evaluations and make our artwork better.