Monday, September 26, 2011

Comments :D

This are the blog posts I commented on:


(I commented on the post: Coursework #2)




Bye :D

The big oil painting project!

"Nanyang" (2010)

Oil painting
If you have seen my previous post, I have talked about an oil painting project! And this is it!
My teacher assigned us each an art movement to do that we have studied to an oil painting, themed "Nanyang" (which is my school name). My art movement is POP ART!

I had very limited knowledge or exprerience with pop art and it made me quite excited to be able to work on this supposedly fun art movement.

Little did I know how tiring it is to paint so neat and exact lines and shapes with zero blending of colours, especially when you are using oil paint (which is like the perfect blending medium). You have no idea how frustrating it is to try to make sure no two colours mix at all and to make sure that the colours did not have any hint of tones. I had to paint and repaint and paint again. But I think my efforts have not gone down the dirty drain :D

I used mainly primary and secondary colours (Red, purple, blue, green, yellow, orange). I tried to manipulate contrasting colours to make the colours POP out like POP ART. However, it didn't work out well and I ended up concentrating cooler colours in the middle (the stationary) and warmer colours in the background (the polka dots). This way, the stationary actually POP out more, and though it was not what I had originally intended, I was quite happy with the outcome.

The stationary represents homework and marking and any tedious work that our school students and staff have to go through on a daily basis. I arranged different stationary into the chinese words for "Nanyang", similar to what is embroidered onto our uniform, obviously to show that I am trying to portray a part of "Nanyang".  For a rather stressed-out student at that point, I thought it was the best way to portray my life in Nanyang. However, now that I think about it, I could have added in more variety of different things, that could have not only showed the stressful side of life in Nanyang, but also the happy side when I am enjoying with my friends and classmates.

I made sure that only the outlines of the stationary were painted in and no details were added to simplify them and create the simple and unique POP ART feel.

The polka dots for the background was my way of emphasizing that the art movement I was working on is POP ART. Perfectly round and perfectly arranged polka dots can be seen in many POP ART paintings and is probably one of the most representative aspects. So I traced out the exact same circle from the rim of a chicken essence bottle in a regular pattern. Painting the background was probably the most tedious as painting circles neatly is definitely not something I was good at.

All in all, I am quite satisfied with my work, even though I could have added more substance (not just stationary) to make my painting seem more meaningful. Also, I think having a deeper artistic intention would be more meaningful.

P.S. Don't you think the background of the painting looks similar to the cheese plates I made for my coursework? I just thought of it!

P.S.S. I am quite happy to know that Zhiping wanted to bring my painting home!

Dipping flowers in oil paint

"Blue Flower" (2010)
7" x 9"
Oil paint

This assignment was the first time I used oil paint and I thought it was rather hard to handle while painting. I don't even know why know that I think about it! This was meant for us to practice using oil paint before embarking on our huge oil paint project.

However, as you can see, I didn't manage to do very well in terms of portraying tones and forms. The light and dark tones were not blended well and made the flower look a bit awkward.

But I would like to think that I have improve from this, even though until now, I still do not really enjoy painting (although I prefer oil paint to watercolour).

I don't have much to comment except that I think I will try painting more often at the end of the year, in hopes of not only improving my painting skills, but also bring my interest in art to a higher level.

My first actual artwork

"Cloth" (2010)
A4 size

In Secondary 3, we were assigned to a different board on which a piece of white cloth was laid upon, with different patterns of folds and layers. A lamp was arranged near the board so that light shone on different parts of the cloth, providing dark and light. We were meant to sketch the cloth, taking note of tonal shading.

I think this was the first assignment in my whole secondary school life that I actually put in effort into my shading and drawing and it is probably the first piece of work I was rather proud of. I also think this assignment was kind of the turning point for me, in terms of drawing and shading skills. I think my drawings started to improve from this assignment onwards. Before that, I think I never actually drew anything well or recognizable...

Comments: Very gd blending of the tones.
The dark and light tones merge in a gradual + smooth manner.
Well done!

I even got an "EXCELLENT" stamp which made me very proud of myself :D I think this assignment had boost my confidence in my abilities and has allowed me to doubt myself less, thus having the motivation to put in effort into more of my works.

So this piece of work is rather important to me even though it might seem to be just a simple assignment. It might not even look nice as compared others'.
But to me, it is my confidence-booster! 

Wood-cut & Print-making

"Me" (2009)

We were asked to do a self-portrait when we were in Secondary 2, then trace in on tracing paper and transfer the drawing onto a piece of wood. We were then taught how to make use of carving tools and carve our "self-portrait" out onto the wood, making sure to cut out the white parts instead of the black ones. We were also allowed to carve out a background design, which I chose stars because that was the first thing I thought of at that time.

I remember carving out the wood, occasionally making mistakes that would make me really frustrated and not wanting to continue anymore. And I got a blister on my finger! But after carving out shavings after shavings, I managed to complete the entire wood-cut. I made some mistakes if you can tell. For example, the hair part was meant to be cut instead of the shoulder but I cut wrongly. Even with mistakes like such, I thought my work looked rather complete and alright. I mean I am not disfigured or anything right?

However, many did say my wood-cut has a bit of a distorted perspective and my self-portrait thus look like it was inspired by Picasso.

I was also exposed to print making for the first time in my life, where by we spread ink all over the wood before laying a piece of thin rice paper on top and allowing the ink to spread evenly onto the paper.

I enjoyed this assignment immensely as I was able to experience a whole new type of art.

However, I regret to say that I think I have misplaced my self-portrait drawing and my wood-cut was not returned to me D:

Pin-hole photography

This are some of my pin-hole photography "photos" that I did in Secondary 2.

"The Swing" (2009)

EV 10 | 30 secs

This photo is of one of my school's swings that is/used to be at the front gate. I am not sure if the swing is still there or not.

i think the photo is obviously over-exposed and there is too many negative spaces as compared to positive ones. This makes the swing form a bit unclear and makes the whole photo a bit dark and gloomy. I should have exposed it for a shorter amount of time for a clearer and brighter image.

"Podium" (2009)

EV 10 | 30 secs

This photo is of my school podium. I chose this view as it shows one of the more prominent parts of my school and it is where students pledge their loyalty and all to their school and the nation. I think I took this on the second level, looking down upon the podium.

I regret that the photo is a bit lopsided and it does not give as grand feel as if the podium was directly in the middle of the photo. I also think that there are too many negative parts and is bit over-exposed. 

"Side View of the Front View" (2009)

EV 9 | 1 min 15 secs

I am not really sure what this shot is of or why I took it because it was so long ago, but I am guessing that this is kind of a side view of the front of the school. Maybe I took it at the end of the giant staircase near the track. I am not too sure.

This photo is definitely over-exposed as it is so dark you can hardly see anything...However, it does give the entire school compound a ghostly feel like it is some haunted house. Maybe I should name this shot "Haunted School"!


EV 9 | 1 min

This photo depicts our school eco-pond. I like how the shot captures the reflection of the plants and light in the pond, giving a nice black and white contrast. I think that is basically what I like about this shot most.

I think I had learnt my lesson and exposed this film for a shorter period of time and is thus not as over-exposed as the previous one.

"Zhi Ping" (2009)

Not recorded

Apparently, I forgot to take down the EV and time I exposed the film. However, it is a tad bit over-exposed too.

I made Zhi Ping stand in the middle of the quadrangle as my model as I wanted to see how a human figure turns out in my films instead of just "landscapes". You can somehow make out the human figure even though everything seems rather dark. However, this shot is not very clear and thus I am not very satisfied D:

The shot I have chosen to submit could not be found so I am unable to scan it and post it up. However, I am very sure it was a shot of another swing!

Pin-hole photography has made me realized the importance of colour in our lives. Pin-hole photography is the first time I worked with black and white photography and it frustrates me when all my photos comes out too black or too white. The lack of colour also creates a rather gloomy feel to all my films.

Also, pin-hole photography has allowed me to appreciate digital cameras and even DSLRs. They seem so much easier to use, as compared to a handmade pinhole camera (a metal container), being able to capture the perfect photo with just a click of a button.

I also really enjoyed working in an actual dark room and learning how to develop my own films using different chemicals.

I think I want to try my hand in different types of photography at the end of the year!

AEP Block Test 2 (Han Sai Por and Ng Eng Teng)


In my opinion, I would choose to display "Growth" by Han Sai Por in Nanyang Girls' High School as part of our permanent art collection on one of the grass patches in front of the auditorium.  (Explain choice of location) (Wouldn't they be too small for such a big space?)

Han Sai Por's sculptures bring about a sense of life and vitality and they seem to have a certain energy stored within them, waiting to be released. I feel that through this, we will be able to allow the school staff and students to feel its energy and life and apply the same type of vitality and energy to their daily lifes, as though they have unlimited energy bursting out of them.

Han Sai Por's sculptures are also very naturalistic, organic and has relations to our environment and nature. I believe that this idea can promote nature as part of us and not apart from us and is able to bring the students closer to nature. Ms Han believes that through the high-tech, hustle and bustle city life, we tend to forget to appreciate nature and its beauty. I hope through "Growth", the students and staff would be able to understand and stop to look at her various sculptures in the school compound, as well as the nature surrounding us, and appreciate their beauty and meaning and relax and get away from out busy schedules. The organis forms of the sculpture, as well as the quiet environment at the auditorium, is able to calm the minds of the students and staff, giving them a better learning and working environment. Also, another one of Ms Han's artwork "Spirit of Nature" is exhibited in front of the auditorium too. (Outside GO)

Also, the meaning behind the sculpture"Growth" could also appeal to students as they are in the process of growing and they are thus able to relate to the sculpture. The growth of the organic marbles could represent them, growing fast and trying to break out from their shell, and release their energy and vitality, The growth could also represent the students growth, mentally and emotionally and they try to find out who they are and trying to express their own opinions.

This contrasts greatly with "Looking Ahead" by Ng Eng Teng as his sculpture seems to be about facing difficulties. The man in his sculptures is unable to look ahead and is distressed about his situation. We would not want to promote this idea to the students and staff of the school, who already seems to be trying to overcome their problems. The sculpture might depress them and cause them to lose hope.

however, I feel that the sculpture "Growth" should be raise on a platform as it is small and might be overpowered by the surrounding environment. Also, raising it on a platform can attract attention to the sculpture.

Therefore, I think that choosing "Growth" is a better choice as it brings out Han Sai Por's beliefs and ideas as well as brings meaning to our school.


This piece of writing is also completely unedited so there are some grammatical and spelling mistakes, and some parts do not make much sense...

So I think I could have organized this piece better so that my points sort of flow into one another and would not be so disorganized and messy. Also, I was obviously muddled headed during the paper as I wrote that "Spirit of Nature" is at the auditorium when it is obviously at the General Office. Also, I should have used more appropriate and clearer words to describe what I was meant to write. But overall, I think I did quite okay. 

AEP Block Test 1 (Lucia Hartini)

Q1(b)What social concerns are intended in Lucia Hartini's work? Discuss with reference to "Spying Eyes" and another named work by Lucia Hartini.

There are many social concerns intended in Lucia Hartini's work, such as "Spying Eyes" and "Srikandi".

Lucia Hartini is a female Indonesian, who is greatly subjected to the pressure of the society and is expected to do housework and take care of her husband and children like any other Indonesian women. Lucia Hartini has to deal with both domestic abuse and society's disapproval of her (in what ways?), causing her to have immense amount of stress and pressure.

Lucia Hartini expresses her views towards sexism and discrimination through her painting "Spying Eyes". She depicts herself as a female figure wrapped and curled up sleeping while disembodied eyes are staring and gazing at her. She might be trying to symbolize that there are still people judging and scrutinizing her every move, even when she is at her most vulnerable and innocent, even when she is sleeping. the female figure seems to be very uncomfortable in her sleep, trying to hide and avoid the spying eyes. Lucia Hartini tryis to show her discomfort with people criticizing and judging her being a full-time artist and a single mother.

Lucia Hartini painted brick walls surrounding the female figure, which zig zags into the background. The brick walls seem to confine and constrict the female figure, as if it is confining Lucia Hartini, not allowing her to do what she wants or express her views. The brick walls zig zag into the background, seems like it is never ending, represents a hard-paved journey that never seems to end. Lucia Hartini portrays her pessimism by trying to show that her torture and pressure from her family and the society will go on forever.

However, Lucia Hartini shows personal development and breakthrough in the sequel to "Spying Eyes", "Srikandi.

Lucia Hartini portrays herself as a female character from Javanese Shadow Theatre, Srikandi. She painted herself with her head held, wide stance, open gaze and muscular arms, depicted herself as a confident and powerful warrior. The female figure in "Srikandi", stares back openly at the disembodied eyes in front of her, representing her ability to fight the criticism and disapproving glances from the people around her.

The brick walls in the background also comes to a stop at a flat wall, which leads to a doorway. This symbolizes that Lucia Hartini has found a way through and is able to walk away from the criticism and judging of the society. She is able to "defeat" the stress and pressure she once felt and go through life with optimism.

Lucia Hartini also shows that has overcomed her fears by portraying a sunrise in the background. This contrasts greatly with the night sky in "Spying Eyes". She shows positively in life and triumph against the people who disapprove of her dislike (?) to being like any other Indonesian women. Also, this would represent that she is able to paint openly in the day as she always had to paint only after her children go to bed, which could be the reason for her painting the night sky in many of her paintings. (??)

Lucia Hartini shows the unfair social norms in the Indonesian society where sexual (gender) discrimination is obviously dominant through symbols in her painting.


The above was what I wrote for my Secondary 4 AEP Block Test 1 paper about Lucia Hartini. The whole thing was not corrected or edited and it completely, totally the same as what I wrote in my paper (except the parts where the computer auto-corrects my horrendous spelling mistakes). So as you can probably tell, some parts made no sense or had many grammatical mistakes ): The red parts are comments that my teacher gave to my writing.

While typing it out, I was reading the entire writing and was doing some editing in my head and I realized how much my writing skills have improved, even though my paper was only on April 6 this year. Also, I thought that I could be clearer in explaining the social concerns through the symbols in the painting, instead of just mention the symbols but not clearly explaining the link to the question.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Coursework process photos (Fairy Tales Book Cake)

This is part 05 of my coursework process photos, and is also the last and shortest part.

This part is on the centerpiece, the Fairy tale book cake.

I used paper clay to create the flower and leaf shapes by molding them into moulds and then painting them when they are dry.

I created the basic shape of the book cake by cutting and folding cardboard into a box. Then I taped a piece of paper (those big and thick ones) onto the top of the box, taping only the edges of the book and the centre of the paper down to create the shape of the opened pages. I stuffed newspapers into the empty space between the paper and the cardboard box so that the paper would be lifted. And TADA the basic shape of the book was done!
I paper-mached the entire book twice, which used up a lot of white glue, newspaper and time. Then I painted the whole thing with a layer of gesso then white paint for an even base colour. I decided to paint the top of the cake with various hues of brown to give it an "old" feeling, as though it is some old fairy tale book. The wrinkly texture of the top of the cake also helped to create that image. I finally glued on the flowers and leaves along the borders of the book to create a pretty fairy tale book.

This is a photo of me painting the sides of the cake, probably taken by Zhi Ping. I used paper to dab brown paint along the sides of the cake, making it a chocolate cake, so that the colour matches the top of the cake. I also added in a layer of purple so that it would be a layer of blueberry jam in the center. Imagine if the whole cake was just brown, isn't it just plain boring?

The above photos show how the sides of the cake looks like!

I squeezed yellow acrylic paint to form the words "Once upon a time" and "Happily ever after". I chose yellow so that the words would pop-out more and the audience would notice it first when they see the book cake. However, I painted the "?" a dark red colour, which was similar to the red-brown colour of the book, so that the "?" would not be so obvious and would need the audience to discover it on their own.
The paint-squeezing method was to create an icing feel. If I painted the words on, it would exactly emphasise that this is a book CAKE is it? Also, the words are a tad bit scrawly, which is what I would imagine the Mad Hatter's handwriting to be. The squeezing of the paint was very frustrating as the air inside the bottle would always create bursts of paint while I was trying to write the words out. I had to cover all the splattered yellow paint with brown paint, and that took a lot of time and patience.

I think I did quite a good job with this book cake, even though it was not one of the main items for my coursework. My classmates and Zhi Ping's sister could tell that it was a cake, which was a major plus! 

Coursework process photos (Three Blind Mice)

This is part 04 of my coursework progress photos.

This part is on the Three Blind Mice.

I used plastic toy plates that my little cousins used when they play "pretend chef" to create the basic shape of the plates for the Three Blind Mice. I obviously paper-mached them because paint does not really stay that well on smooth plastic.  

I chose yellow for the Three Blind Mice because yellow is the colour people first think of when they think of cheese. However, you can tell that the paint didn't stay on very well because I forgot to use gesso before I painted the base colour. So I had to paint them over again with a layer of gesso then repaint a few layers of yellow again.

I painted orange spots of different sizes in hopes of making the underside of the plate look a tad bit like cartoon cheese. Some people said it does look like so I am happy. However, sometimes I wonder it is just because they do not have "high expectations" for how cheese actually looks like.
Anyway, I only painted the bottom because I thought it would kind of promote self-discovery and make my work seem more like a form of interactive art. If I painted both sides, then no one would bother to look at the bottom at all to know that it represents cheese!

I filled the metal tart container thing with smooth plaster. However, the first batch didn't go very well because the plaster refused to dry completely even after 2 days. So I decided to use the failed tarts to experiment when the medium and how well it works with paint.

These are some sample ones that Shi Yin played around with and created rather delicious looking tarts :D However, you can probably tell something went wrong with the plaster by how it does not really fill up the container well.

The second batch of tarts went well but they look the same as the first batch (just a metal container filled with white plaster) so I decided not to post a photo of it.

I used paper clay to create the kiwi slices for the tarts. I decided to use kiwi because kiwi is the most common fruit that has a bright green colour. I created a slight gradient using different hues of green to make it look more appealing and not as dull as it would have been if I painted the entire thing green.

The crust is made up of 2 long, thin strands of paper clay that is twisted around each other then glued around the edge of the tarts.

I painted the crust a golden brown colour to give the tart a nicely-baked colour. Doesn't it look crispy?

I painted the part in between the kiwi slices a dark brown so that the combination of the kiwi slices and the dark brown strip looks like a cat's eye.

I like this art work the best because it looks the most delicious and realistic of them all! A lot of my friends also like the tarts the best because it looks pretty and yummy! To be truthful, this ensemble was the easiest of all because I do not have to make the plates (unlike the seashell bowl for The Little Mermaid or The Big Bad Wolf) nor do I have to paint a "human" on the plate (unlike the golden plate for The Fairy Godmother). Also, the tarts were not very difficult to make! 

Coursework process photos (Big Bad Wolf)

This is part 03 of my coursework process photos.

This part in on The Big Bad Wolf.

This was my first attempt to create a dog bowl for the Big bad Wolf. I tried to use the same method as I did with the Little Mermaid's bowl (on a bucket though) but failed D:

So below few photos are of my second attempt to make a dog bowl and it succeeded :D I used plaster of paris and plastered the bottom of a bucket. This made the overall surface of the bowl rather even, except for the rims which I purposely trimmed only very little to retain the slight "savage" look for the bowl.

I painted the dog bowl a bright red colour as it is a colour of a typical dog bowl and might be more recognizable to the audience. However, I tried to create a slightly dirty image by dabbing a slight red-brown colour around the edges, the bottom and the underside of the bowl (which are the places that usually get dirtied easily). I mean, after all, a wolf can exactly be really clean can it?

I created some scratch marks to emphasize the animal side of the Big Bad Wolf, like how a dog chews on his dog bowl. Also, they sort of represent the "dark side" of the story as they show the "dark side" of the Big Bad Wolf. I am not really sure how to explain this.

I used tennis balls for the basic shape of an ice cream and paper-mached them because it is obviously hard to paint on the fuzzy surface of a tennis ball.

I actually wanted to paint my ice cream all sorts of bright colours as a sort of distraction, but then I realised how they might not seem like ice cream if they are painted all sorts of weird colours like lime green or bright purple. So I ended up painting the traditional ice cream colours: chocolate, vanilla and strawberry!

I used paper clay to make tiny chocolate buttons on the ice cream to create pig snouts. Do they look like pig snouts? 

I used paper clay to also make pig tails to attach them to the ice cream. This one is the vanilla flavoured one! I somehow cant find photos of the chocolate and strawberry pig tails but they can be seen in the following photos.

I thought maybe putting all the pig tails into the dog's bowl hide them more. But then I thought: Would the viewers totally overlook them? So I decided to let them "pop-out" more and decided to let them "come out" from the pig-snout-ice-cream-balls. This also creates some sort of warped pig without its body. So that was rather interesting.

To be truthful, I think I could have improved on the ice cream balls by giving it more of a ice cream texture, and probably create the melting ice cream shape at the bottom of the bowl so that the ice cream would look more realistic. But most people could actually tell they are ice cream because of the colours, so I am glad that I have chosen to paint them these colours and not neon pink :D

Overall, I am rather satisfied with this work!

End of part 03 (The Big Bad Wolf)

Coursework process photos (Fairy Godmother)

This is part 02 of my coursework progress photos.

This part is on The Fairy Godmother.

I created the basic shape of a cake but cutting the shape out on cardboard and folded it into the cake shape. I used masking tape to tape the whole thing together so it would not fall apart.

I paper-mached the cardboard cake so that it would be easier to paint on and would create a softer look for the cake (without the edges).

I painted the cake a rather plain colour so as to not attract too much attention from what was actually meant to be discovered. I used paper clay to create a 3D/pop-up feel for the chocolate frosting. I had painted on the chocolate frosting, it would not have looked as appealing and as realistic.

The above few are various ways I thought I could have arranged the lizard around/on the cake.

I decided to just place the lizard in the most prominent place so that it would be quite obvious. However, I painted the lizard the same colour as the chocolate frosting to not only make the lizard seem like it is part of the frosting, but also to slightly camouflage it. So there is another irony for you! The bright red strawberry was to distract the audience from noticing the lizard too quickly. Did it work?

I spray-painted a plate and a set of cutlery gold to create a high-class and elegant feel that would suit the classic Fairy Godmother. Also, what refined Fairy Godmother would eat with her hands? This creates an irony when the audience realised that she is using these "refined" cutlery to eat lizards.

I sketched the Fairy Godmother on the plate so as to make her seem like a narcissistic person, a person that only thinks about herself. This seems like a major contrast to the actual Fairy Godmother who seems like a generous person and let Cinderella go to the ball with no conditions what-so-ever (except that she has to return by midnight of course)

I modified the features of the Fairy Godmother to be slight mean and evil, which is of another contrast to the actual Fairy Godmother. I painted her using acrylic colours, trying to create the exact colours of the actual Fairy Godmother. Did I succeed? :D
This was taken before the hands were painted in, but it was the only photo I had of the painted plate.

Above few are different ways I thought of placing colourful rubber lizards around the plate and cutlery.  I chose the last one because I liked how the lizards are not only placed around the cake and the plate but also on the fork and spoon. This not only makes the fork and spoon more like they are part of the ensemble but also makes it as though the Fairy Godmother wants to stab the lizards and spoon them into her mouth. This makes the lizards a less distant part of the work.

I am actually rather proud of this work, especially when someone tells me how they like my Fairy Godmother or how they thought my lizards were interesting. I enjoy when my audience enjoy my work :D It makes me happy when my art is understood and is attractive to the viewers. 

End of part 02 (The Fairy Godmother)