For the past month, AT 2D Art students have been hard at work on their project, The Figure in Art, where they studied the human figure, looking specifically at joints. After selecting one part of the human body to focus on, the students drew inspiration from photos or sculptures to design their own 2D pieces. In addition to the original piece, the students also designed a second piece, which was a more conceptual interpretation of their original focus.
“I have been studying the human figure for a long time,” said AT 2D art teacher Janna Johnsen. “The first piece is more traditional, and the second piece is more conceptual and expressive.” In this second piece, the students used their creative licenses to depict what their first piece reminded them of. “The first part was trying to get a deeper understanding of the realism,” said Mary Cecil ’17. “I was able to learn more about anatomy and movement.”
Here, we will have pictures of select pieces and a small description of what they are. Pictures will be taken by photographers.
Mollie Kerr ‘17 – “Beauty is Pain.”
Kerr’s project focuses on the relationship between societal standards of beauty and the toll they can take on people. Kerr’s first piece shows the collarbone and shoulder area. Her second, more conceptual piece, creatively depicts the struggles of beauty. To show how painful beauty could be,“I used a lot of bandages, medical tape, syringes, and gauze [for the second piece], ” said Kerr. For the collarbone, she took pictures of herself, which were used for reference when drawing the piece. “I wanted to do something different that was not an elbow or a knee.” The process of creating her final product was lengthy. “I really enjoyed it. It took a month and a half; I came in during my free periods and after school [to complete it].” Despite the hours of work, Kerr found the project to be interesting and engaging overall.
Mary Cecil ’17 – “Under my Umbrella”
For her main piece, Cecil used pencil to create a realistic black and white depiction of a hand. The drawing focuses on the distinction between light and dark. “I was doing an experiment with light when I drew the first one, and I had a light source underneath my hand as I was drawing it,” said Cecil. Her conceptual piece features an umbrella drawn in black and white charcoal. Cecil wanted to incorporate the aspect of light into her second drawing as well. She originally envisioned the light shining through the bottom of the umbrella in the rain. “I thought it would be better to use white charcoal on black paper to really emphasize the contrast of the light.” At various angles, the dark side of the umbrella drawn in black charcoal can either be viewed on the black paper or blend in, leaving only the white charcoal — the light hitting the object — in view.
Jenna Marcus ‘17 – “Snakes on a Plane”
Marcus’ piece features the joints and vertebrates of the spine. Using a life-sized skeleton as a reference, Marcus drew inspiration from “the unrealistic way in which it is was oriented” which is why the bones in her piece appear twisted. The twisted spinal cord reminded her of snakes and their scales. “I researched snakeskin patterns and the way in which they are used in fashion to accentuate certain parts of the body.” Working on this project for a while, Marcus did encounter certain difficulties. “The hardest part was probably figuring out how to orient the shapes within the snakeskin pattern to look like the human back. I had to decide whether I was going to use the shapes to show it or colors and shading. I ended up actually doing both.”
Ellie McDonald ‘17 – “A Shoulder To Cry On”
McDonald chose to focus on a shoulder because she had never studied this joint before and thought it was a very prominent part of the body. After taking a photo of a friend’s back, she got hard at work with her black and white charcoal piece. “[I] played around with the lighting and photo editing. I wanted to see a lot of contrast.” This is evident in the shadows and highlights on the bumps and indents of the shoulder. The meaning of the piece did not occur to McDonald until after she started her piece. “I ended up thinking the piece was about a woman somewhere private, and she was being watched,” she said.
by Roshni Mehta and Netali Zaff