Students in the Senior Art Mastery class (6th, 7th, and 8th grade) worked on a “Hero” project with Mrs. Vazquez. Students reflected on their personal hero and were challenged to create a grid drawing of their hero using a shading pencil, pen shading, and colored pencil. In the end, students wrote reflective pieces about their process, who they chose, and why. The students in Esencia Literary Magazine worked with the Art Mastery students on editing and revising their writing. Below are some samples of the finished pieces and their text, which allows us a glimpse into their process as artists.
Robin Williams by Madison Press, 8th Grade
“The artwork shown here is a portrait of the famous actor and comedian, Robin Williams. To make all of this, I used some paint and pencils for shading, sharpie, and Prismacolor colored pencils to do the rest of the coloring. My personal favorite part is the pencil, it’s simple yet it can bring the portrait to life. A technique that I used was drawing the grid and then filling in the spaces with whatever supplies I needed.
I have many reasons on why I chose Robin Williams as my hero. For one, he reminds me a lot of my father, who I look up to all the time. They’re both funny, and can make any person’s day better just by a simple gesture of kindness. Another reason why he’s my hero is because he inspired me as an actress. Seeing his performances on movies like Mrs. Doubtfire and Aladdin made me want to be like him, a funny actor that could voice anything as long as I set my heart to it. It made me really happy to draw him since he’s been an inspiration for me throughout my life. I’m really proud of this piece, and I’m glad that I could share it.”
Vincent Van Gogh by Alejandro Bustamante, 6th Grade
“My subject matter is my personal hero, Van Gogh. Van Gogh is my hero because he is different and unique from other artists. My artwork is called, “My Hero, Van Gogh”. The background is the main principle of my artwork because I drew the background as The Starry Night, one of his most popular and incredible paintings. It is also one of my favorite paintings ever. Color pencil, pencil, sharpie and paint for the background are the medias and tools my artwork is made from.
Van Gogh’s paintings and portraits have inspired my artwork. The emotions I wanted to show in my artwork are what Van Gogh went through in his art career, and the emotions and pains he experienced in such a hard life as a painter. My goals as an artist are to keep trying to become the best I can be and to be at the same level as my favorite artist, Van Gogh, or maybe go even further than he did. This piece has not exactly made me achieve my goals, but it has helped me reach one step closer to achieving my goals. My artwork made me reach one step closer to achieving my goals because, in my artwork, I used a lot of pencil and paint . I hardly used color pencil or sharpie, I mostly used paint and regular pencil, so this project helped me because I improved in using sharpie and color pencil. I also now know how to shade better with color pencil and regular pencil. While creating my artwork, I learned about how different types of pencils can change your artwork in terms of, shading, blending, etc.
The final piece was not what I imagined, but better because of mainly the background. This is because, in this project, we were supposed to use different colors for the background, so that’s what I imagined my piece to look like. But, I decided to do the background as The Starry Night, as I mentioned earlier, which made the piece look even better than I imagined it to look like.
And last but not least, this piece will influence my future artworks because this project made me better at using different tools that I never knew could make your piece look so much better. So with this, what I have learned for my future artworks, I could use this as a tool to better my future artworks. This is why I picked Van Gogh as my hero, and this is my artist statement.”
Myself by Ela Bermudez, 7th Grade
“The hero project is to learn and practice drawing in different mediums. To do this we needed to have a picture to use for representation. To create this I used many different mediums like sharpie, coloring pencils, and shading pencils. I named my hero project “Perfection”. I named it this because when I was little, no matter what I drew, everything was perfect for me. I would not care about the little lines out of the box or drawing a perfect line, I would just draw.
Now that I am older, I have this need for perfection and it gets stressful. This piece features me as a baby. I drew myself as a baby because I was happy and dedicated to everything I did and that inspired me to become my own hero. I am the only one who knows the best for me and I feel that to be a hero you have to know yourself best and be the best you could be before you have a hero.
When I did this piece I kept thinking that I have to do my best on this because I wanted my younger self to be proud of me and see how far I have gone. Creating this piece has helped me learn that dedication is an important thing and it is okay to not have the piece look like how you imagined it. This piece is not close to perfection for me, but for my younger self this would be as close to perfection I could get.”
My dad by Chloe Cartaya, 8th Grade
“My inspiration for my artwork is my dad. I chose to draw my dad because he inspires me to always do my best and never give up. In this drawing, I used colored pencils, pencils, a kneadable eraser, sharpies, and paint. While I was drawing this, I learned that measuring is very important when creating someone’s face. I also learned that it is important to be patient and trust the process. This piece helped me to improve my realism drawing skills.”
Craig McCraken by Mia Honig, 7th Grade
“This drawing is called an idol portrait. For this artwork I used colored pencils, sharpie, and pencils. This is a portrait of a cartoonist named Craig McCraken. He is the creator of many cartoons like The powerpuff girls, Wander over yonder, and Kid cosmic. The reason I picked the colors for those specific colors for the back round was because I was referencing one of his cartoons called the Power puff girls. I chose Craig McCraken because he was the first person to inspire me to start making comics and giving me the dream to create a tv show. I’m very proud of this drawing however I feel like I could have done a better job on the colored pencils part.”
Queen Elizabeth by Marianne Mürrle, 6th Grade
“I chose Queen Elizabeth as my hero because she inspires me in a way. She was extremely brave, strong, and caring to her people. She reminded me that when life is hard to just move on, and be stronger than what you are. My art piece is a mixture of different art styles including: sharpie, pencil, and colored pencil. It is divided equally for each style. I picked bright colors as my background so that my art could really stand out. I started out with a grid to see if my lines were correct after outlining and erasing. Now, I was left with my sketch. That’s when I started my shading and sectioning. At first, I started with pencil. For the pencil part, I had to use a special kind of pencil that was for shading so I could get it exactly like the picture. Next, I used colored pencils. For me, that was the hardest part because I had to find the exact shades and if I messed up, I couldn’t fix my mistake. Then, I moved on to sharpie, which was probably my favorite. Lastly, I did my background. This part was so satisfying for me. My goals for my work of art I created is that I know that a mistake can be fixable. I also want to get better in my lines because lines are what start your art and help you finish. As an artist, my goals are to just let myself flow. This year, I hope to get better in the art of realisme. Overall, I think I did pretty good as my first piece of art for this year. I think this will help me in the future to see my progress when I started and how much I’ve improved.”
My Mom by Anabelle Cabarrocas, 6th Grade
“For the hero project I chose my mother and It took me two weeks to finish the portrait. To finish the portrait I started with outlining her face, pencil shading, pen stippling, and I added color to the portrait using different materials like colored pencils and paint! My mother inspired my artwork because she is my hero and I love her so much. She has guided me and taught me throughout my life, and has helped me in so many ways possible. Therefore that is why I dedicated this piece to her. This project challenged me outside my comfort zone in many ways. I made a semi-realistic drawing of my mother and I enjoyed the final piece which was my main goal. While making this piece I learned different things like how to use a grid on an image, how to layer colored pencils, and how to do pen stippling. My final piece of artwork is what I hoped for and I will remember all the tips and tricks from this to help me with my future artwork.”
My Hero by Meerab Naeem, 6th Grade
“I chose my mom for the hero project. I chose her because she inspires me to work hard to get what you want and she has done so much for me. She has gone above and beyond for me. My artwork is a picture of my mom and it is divided into sections. There is pencil shading, sharpie, and colored pencil. In the background, there are different shades of pink. My goal as an artist is to draw someone realistic, draw with a sharpie without messing up, and use pencil shading. I am proud I reached those goals. I learned that drawing other faces is very difficult. The final piece is exactly how I imagined it. I feel it perfectly represents my mom. This piece will influence future artworks because it is my first ever project in Art Mastery.”
Rafael Nadal by Sabrina Esquivel, 6th Grade
I chose Rafael Nadal as my hero because he inspires me to be a better tennis player. Every time I see him play, when I go back to tennis, I feel confident and try my best. Sometimes by just watching him I learn some cool tricks. My biggest dream is to go to the Rafael Nadal Academy in Menorca, Spain to meet him. Even though I don’t want to become a professional tennis player, I still love it as a hobby. My art piece is a mixture of different art styles: sharpie, color pencil, pencil shading, and the background paint. We divided our art piece into different sections for each style. For the background I chose different shades of blues because I think yellow (the color of his shirt) goes really well with blue, and it will make it stand out. We started off by drawing a grid to have some reference, then I started sketching the drawing. After, I immediately started shading two areas, and when that was done I started using sharpie. Afterwards, I started by favorite part, color pencil. When I finished it looked like it was missing something, the background! I loved this part because we got to choose the colors we wanted to use, and of course I used different shades of blue. When I finished, I was really proud of myself and I wish to do something like this again. My goals this year to accomplish are: be better in realism, learn more techniques, always have fun, and to of course feel proud of my art. I learned while doing this project to not stress because while I was doing it I felt very stressed, but the truth is you have to trust the process because at the end I felt very proud of myself and what I had accomplished.
Inner Piece by Aranza Garcia, 7th Grade
My hero is the younger me. My artwork is based on a picture taken a while back.This picture features me as a child and my dad holding me in Mexico. I created this art by sectioning off six different sections and doing three different art types on each one. Two sections were sharpie, Two more sections were charcoal, the last two sections were color pencils. This was the most challenging part. The background is done last and it is just paint limited to the different sections.
For me, this drawing was inspired by my younger self. She always had a smile on her face and never had trouble making friends. She would talk to anyone and everyone she could. She was creative and never ran out of ideas. Her love of painting started very young and never died out. In my opinion this artwork piece turned out okay. It is a little rough around the edges and could definitely improve, but nonetheless, it brings pride to my younger self. I aspire to be just like her.
Mi Papá by Gabriela Diaz, 8th Grade
This art piece was a commemoration to my father. The topic of this was to paint your hero. The title for this piece is “Mi Papa.” The elements that are most prominent in my piece are charcoal, color pencil and pen. My father inspired my artwork, he inspired me never to quit and to always try harder. I tried to show happiness in my artwork. My goal as an artist is to further knowledge in my craft and become better all around. This piece most definitely helped me master the art of realism. The final piece is what I imagined because I know that it wouldn’t be perfect. This piece will help me be more patient when it comes to my craft.
My Mom and Sister by Alyssa Cardoso, 7th Grade
My art consists of three different mediums: graphite pencils, sharpie, and color pencils. It looks like a mirror because it’s shattered into different parts and it’s my relatives staring back at me, which I think shows how we are similar in blood. The family in question is my mom and sister and I used a photo of them as a reference during the drawing process. I originally started with the graphite pencil to properly and lightly sketch them out while using a grid. When I was done, I split their portrait into six different sections, or “shards,” and began using graphite pencil to shade. Once finished, I moved on to sharpie and then color pencil. I only drew my sister and my mom because I don’t think the rest of my family would have fit on the page. I did them specifically, however, because I admire their resourcefulness and their determination, as well as their kindness and knowledge. They’re both fun and inspirational, and I tried to show that joyful side of them in the art piece. This piece helped me both express myself and improve my skills as an artist, which is very important to me. I strive to be great in the art career, and I think this piece is another building block to becoming much better. Overall, I’m very proud of this piece and I think I did an alright job and that the piece came out better than expected.
Bob Ross by Karla Alvarez, 6th Grade
Bob ross is a famous painter. He is famous for painting exquisite landscapes with oil paints. He also has a popular show where he shows you how to paint and use different techniques. He would paint the same painting three times, one before filming, one filming, and one after as an exercise to see how much he’s improved. He has inspired many people around the world to paint, following his tutorials. He helped me to keep trying and to never give up even when the drawing doesn’t look as you wanted it to. He also inspired me to try new techniques and mediums such as: oil paints, watercolor, acrylic, and many more. I drew him as my hero because of all these reasons and many more. For my drawing, I used many mediums such as: colored pencils, pencils, sharpie, and paint. I think one of his key features is his smile because if you don’t get that right it doesn’t look like him. He has a very wide and happy smile. His eyes are also something you have to capture perfectly. My goals were to make it as similar as possible. I want to improve on realism and my skills.
My Mom by Olivia Robaina, 6th Grade
My hero is my mom. I love her so much and she is my number one cheerleader. My drawing is an homage to her. She has taught me so many things and opened new doors for me. I’m glad I could make this drawing for her. This piece is important to me personally because I worked so hard and I am proud of it. I learned how to blend colored pencils and graphite pencils. Graphite pencils are new to me and I enjoyed the process, even though it was the most difficult piece I’ve made in an art class. This piece forced me to step out of my comfort zone. I hope I can continue improving my artwork and learn more from this experience.