The Fish Reflection

1. The type of fish example (Not the fish I drew)


2. Value Fish Drawing


3. What were the objectives of this assignment? (What were you asked to do?)

The objectives of this assignment was to draw the fish in front of us using different shades of grey from the value scale. Before we drew the fish, we learned about contour drawings and an art element called line. Now we are moving one step further in to learning about another art element which is called value. When we were learning about lines and contour drawings, we had to observe the thing that we are drawing and draw just using lines. In this assignment we were not only asked to observe the fish thoroughly, but we were also asked to make a sense of value to make the fish look more 3D. The important thing was that we used different charcoals which are the colours of sanguine, sepia, chalk, and charcoal to shade on a piece of paper. We had to do this in a double period.

4. What art element did you use in this assignment?

Like mentioned before, the art element that was used in this assignment was value. Before we did this, we learned about the element of line for contour drawings. We moved one step forward which was value. Value is the characteristic of a colour referring to lightness or darkness. There is something to represent value which is the value scale. The value scale shows all of the shades of grey from light to dark. We had to use these elements and all of the shades of grey to draw our fishes.

a) Value Scale

value scale

b) My Value Scale

Screen Shot 2014-01-19 at 7.54.07 PM

5. What medium did you use? (Medium is the material you used to create your artwork)

The medium that I used to create my artwork was different types and colours of charcoal. We also used a special type of paper which helped us smooth out the texture and shade large parts of the paper easily. One might think that there is only one kind of charcoal that is black. They are wrong because we used different types of charcoal which was sanguine (red), sepia (brown), charcoal (black), and finally chalk (white). Because we had all of these different shades, it was much easier for us to use the value scale to make our work look 3D and not like a cartoon character. Because we used charcoal as our medium and not pencil, it helped us save time by shading large areas of the same colour by just smoothing it out. It also helped me when I was shading two different shades together.

6. Do you think you were successful in meeting the objectives of this assignment?

Yes, I think I was successful in meeting  the objectives of this assignment and there are a lot of reasons why I think so.

First of all, I was successful because I succeeded in using value to make my fish look more 3D. One example of this can be seen in the eyes of my fish. By analysing the light in the fishes eye, I used different charcoal pieces and blended them together to make the eye look more 3D. This was also mentioned a lot in the critiques that we had as a class.

Second of all, I was successful because one can tell by looking at my picture that it is a fish. We had to use value when we were drawing the fish. We also had to look carefully at the fish and draw what we see exactly and what we were seeing was fish. I am successful because I think I have drawn what I saw with my eyes and I captured most of it and I am proud of myself.

Lastly, I was successful because I added a lot of little details. This can be seen in a lot of my fish. For example one is the insides of the fish. I saw a lot of bumps and pieces so I tried hard to add all of these in. Also I added the little textures of the shiny belly to make it seem more scaly like it was. Also I used some black to resemble the texture that was on the top part of the fish.

Overall, I think I was successful in meeting  the objectives of this assignment of drawing fish.

7. How do you think you could improve your drawing?

Even though there are a lot of things that I have achieved in this fish drawing, there are some things that I can improve as well.

The first thing that I can improve is making the transitions of the fish smoother. While some of the other peers’ fish were very smooth and spread out, I found out that mine was a little rough and didn’t seem like I was shading and I was colouring. This can be seen in the transition between the fin and the back. I can see that there is a little outline on the back that is separating the fin and the back from looking like it is one piece. Ms. Zaza also gave me feedback while I was drawing that I should make the transitions of the fins and the back smoother. If I had more time, I would make it smoother and make the transitions at ease and not rough.

The second thing that I can improve on is making sure that the insides is more contrasting so that it looks more inside. I tried my best to make it look like the insides of the fish was more in and darker because it doesn’t get more light. The top part worked well but the bottom part was a little bit too light. If I had the time, I would make the bottom part darker so that it would look more 3D and inside the fish.

Overall, these points are the things that I could improve on if I had the chance to.

8. What did you find challenging about this assignment?

There were a lot of things that I found challenging about this assignment, one of which was translating the shades of grey in to the colours of the charcoals. At first I thought that the shades of grey could only be expressed by white to black. However, this was not true. You could express the shades of grey with any colour which startled me. When we first had to do this project I didn’t know where to start because these were not grey colours and were shades of red or brown. However, I learned while sketching and analysing that I could actually turn the colours in to shades of grey.

Another thing that I found challenging was not colouring the fish but shading the fish. This might sound a bit weird but I had this problem. Because the fish was black and white, when one is colouring, they would use these colours. However, this was shading and the fish was indeed not red or brown. I had some problems shading it and not colouring. However, I managed to do it.

These were the things that I found were confusing in this assignment.

9. What did you find unique about this assignment? (Other than the smell!)

One thing that I found unique in this assignment was that we actually got to dissect the fish before we drew them. It was the first time that I ever dissected an animal and I thought that the first time would be in science class but I stand corrected. I never knew that art was this closely related with science and I found that very unique.

Another thing that I found unique was we used charcoal to sketch the fish. Before our class, all of the classes who did this project would use shading pencils to do this work and we were one of the first classes to use charcoal to draw fish. I thought this was very unique and it was the first time that I used charcoal for shading.

One last thing that I found unique about this assignment was that the partner’s fish would look similar to ours. This seems like I am stating the obvious but I found it very interesting. The little details would look similar and I was quite amazed.

10. How do you feel this assignment helped you grow as an artist?

This assignment helped me grow as an artist because I learned about two different elements of art which is line and value. I feel as if I have gained more knowledge that I had before about the elements of art and I am looking forward to learning all of the elements of art as the years and grades pass by.

Another way that this assignment helped me is by helping me observe little things. The purpose of this assignment was to look at the little differences and light and shade and put that in to our art work. I tried really hard on this and now this has affected my life style as well. When I observe art works or architecture in turkey, I look at it more deeply and catch the little differences or little unique parts and amaze my family. I think this is all thanks to this assignment.

Also the feedback given to me was very helpful as well. I learned my weaknesses and positive things from the critique that we had. My peers told me that I did a good job when I was shading in the eye and the fish and I did a good job of making it 3D. However, No one mention that the fish’s fin looks realistic so I am going to work on that when I get this opportunity again.

11. What did this assignment have to do with the Renaissance?

This assignment had a lot to do with the renaissance. One reason is because we were becoming like the renaissance artists. In the renaissance, artists and scientists would use dead criminals or dig up graves to do an autopsy on the corpses to know how the insides of the human body look like. This is what we did as well, however, we didn’t dig up graves.  We did the same but we dissected fish and analysed the different parts of the fish.

Also another thing that it has to do with the renaissance is that the artists were masters at value. In the medieval times, they would make flat and boring drawings or paintings with no value but in the renaissance they started to and it changed the art world. We are trying to be like them and create a sense of value in our work.

12. Works Cited

Works Cited

Esaak, Shelley. “Value.” Art History. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Jan. 2014. <>.

N.d. Photograph. TGJ4M-BIkB. Web. 19 Jan. 2014. <>.