The Great Tempera Experiment, Final Reflection

I. Pictures of the process

I. Answers to questions

Overall, my tempera piece was well done and I think I did a good job and was very successful. For example, I think I have depicted the value of the face very well. I looked at my face and looked at where the darker shadows were looming on my face. I realized that I had a shadow on my left cheek because I had a dimple. That is why when I was hatching, I layered another layer of the peach color to make it have some value and look like it was actually going in and had a shadow.

Another place that I have done well is the green shade on my sweater and the value. At first I didn’t know what else I should add and this was when I didn’t have the green shade on my sweater. Miss. Zaza suggested that I shade it with a little bit of a greenish turquoise color so that it will look like it is behind the hair and not the thing that pops out. It worked perfectly and my piece has added volume, not only to the face but to the clothing as well.

The final place that I did well is using proportion. At first, I didn’t know if we necessarily needed the grids when we were sketching, but as I did, I found out that it was very important because it helped make the proportions of the face like real people. For example, my lips are almost exactly the same place as the picture and it would have looked weird if it weren’t.

Even though there were some things that were successful, there were something’s that could be improved. For example, the darkness of the black paint could be decreased. If one sees that painting one can tell that it is good except that the hair on the insides closer to the face and the neck look too black to be real and create a kind of comic book sense.

Another thing that can be improved is the texture of the egg tempera paint. When you are making egg tempera, the pigment has to be as fine as possible, however, sometimes we didn’t meet this requirement and when we use lumpy paint, the piece come on our paintings and makes a rough texture. Next time I would want to fix that and grind the pigment even if it takes a long time.

Moving on I stated that the goal for my project was: “My goal for this project is to make sure that I get the value right. This is my goal because like I mentioned in my previous blog posts, I have some probably telling the difference between coloring it in the right color and shading with value. I thought it was very hard to show value with a different color and I am going to work on this and make it perfect since this is my weak spot.” I also mentioned that I would practice egg tempera and value scales at home. Although I didn’t have time to make my own egg tempera at home, I successfully achieved my goal of getting the value right because I mentioned in the previous paragraphs that I did get the values of the cheeks and the clothing. However, I could have worked on the value of the hair for it to look more 3D and like real hair. Maybe working on egg tempera at home would have helped.

Even though that the great tempera experiment went fairly smoothly, there were some challenges that went in my way and I overcame and fixed them.

One of them is time. Time was a problem for almost all of us because making the egg tempera paint takes a lot of time since you have to mix the right amount of egg yolk, water, and pigment. At first we didn’t know about egg tempera so we spend about 10-15 minutes just mixing the paint and didn’t have a lot of time to actually paint the piece of artwork. However, as we got used to it and our teamwork increased, we were able to make the paint in an incredible speed.

The second was hatching. Since I was very little, I’ve tried a lot of it because I knew it was for “professional” artists. I tried it with pencil and markers to make light and shadow, but it didn’t work well. At first, when I was working on my piece, I didn’t know how to do cross-hatching with my pencil, let alone with a medium that I’ve never tried before. However, once Miss. Zaza showed hatching and what it was to us, I slowly, slowly improved and that is why my work contains some hatching techniques especially in the neck.


               Moving on, the great Egg tempera experiment helped my understanding of art during the Renaissance in many different ways. One way was that I didn’t know why the renaissance artists took years and years to just finish one painting. But I learned the reason why. Egg tempera is used for thin brushes and to add, they also dry very quickly. Now I understand why they took that much time because I took about a month to just finish this one piece. Another thing that I understood about the renaissance was that it must have been hard to find the pigments. In art, we had an experiment when we dealt with bringing different pigments from home and it was very hard. I could imagine the renaissance artists struggling to find color and just the right pigments and I learned that pigment would have been very valuable and treasure like to the artists.

There were a lot of things that I’ve learned this semester that I never knew before and one of them is how to use value in my painting. Before I’ve been doing art class, when I tried to draw by my self in free time, I noticed that the characters that I drew looked very 2D and I didn’t like what I was drawing. However, I didn’t know how to change it. But because I learned about light, shadow, and the value scale, I have done a great deal of value studying and the result is my portrait, full of value. Another thing that I’ve learned is how to use realism and proportion. Going back to the 2D art, it didn’t only not have value, but didn’t look like a weird person because of realism and proportion of the body parts. From this unit, I’ve learned that grids help you a lot when using realism and proportion to make your painting look real.

When I look back over the entire trimester, I grew a lot as an artist. As mentioned before, I learned about value, proportion, and realism but the one thing that I value the most is that I am taking information about egg tempera that I have never heard before. It is true that I’ve heard hints of egg and paint but I didn’t want to paint with it because it sounded very disgusting. However, I learned how to actually use egg tempera and realized there were so much pieces that were made with egg tempera in the renaissance. That is why I got to know egg tempera as my favorite medium and I would love to do this in the future because I gained new knowledge and grew as an artist by finding out how much I like egg tempera.

I enjoyed many things about this trimester and one of them was the drawing of the hearts. I’ve seen a lot of goat hearts from the shops in Dubai but I’ve never seen one for dissection and it was very fascinating to see the little strings and parts of the heart that also might be in my own. This was a very good opportunity for us to do observation. Another thing that I enjoyed was of course the egg tempera. It was fun to work with my friends to make paint. Our teamwork also increased while doing this so when we took about 10 minutes to clean up, it only takes us about 5.

Even though I enjoyed it, if there was one thing how the class could be improved is by having a short unit on perspective. I know that we ran out of time to do that unit, but everything that we have been doing such as proportion and value, all link in to the perspective part of the arts and I think it would be better to have a little unit on that at the end, or combine the egg tempera unit with the perspective unit so we can draw little mini cities for each of us using egg tempera.

This class changed my view about art a lot. At first I didn’t really know what art contained. The only thing that I could think of was poster color paint or watercolor paint and I didn’t know much else. But this class changed my view and I found out that oil paint and egg tempera paint can be used and egg tempera is my favorite medium thanks to this class. I learned that art was just not all boring paintings and there were different ways that you can make paint and I thought about what other medium we would use next year.

Overall, I had a tremendous and great class this trimester in art.



Works Cited

N.d. Artist and Studio. Web. 28 Mar. 2014. <>.

The Great Tempera Experiment, Part 2

I. Final sketch


Sketch with Grid


Sketch with erased Grid

For this project we picked a part of our face and we are going to sketch that part of our face with a pencil. This is the main part; we are going to use Egg tempera paint to color our paintings.

There are a lot of objectives in this project. The first objective is using realism. We are drawing parts of our face and our face is a real thing. For this to be a good “renaissance” painting, we have to make sure that realism is alive in the painting. We are doing this by drawing grids on to the photo of our face. This is going to be described in detail further on in part 2.

Another objective is that we are going to try our best to capture value. Value is somewhat a part of realism because it is the shades of grey, which makes a painting, look 3D. Our objective is to use the egg tempera’s to make sure that we use every shade of grey. We have a lot of experience of this value since we have worked on it since we the beginning of the year working on the fish, and I think we will meet this objective quite well.


The third objective is that we are going to be learning about the skills of egg tempera and applying them in to the context of our painting. We have learned while we made practice value scale with the egg tempera that we have to layer the egg tempera to get a darker color. Also we learned about hatching and cross-hatching. Hatching is the technique of crossing and painting the part from one side to another accordingly. Cross-hatching is the technique of adding to the hatching technique with a different angle of painting.

The last objective is using proportion of the face. Proportion also links with the point of realism. If the proportions are done wrong, the part of the body won’t look real. By using the grids on Photoshop, our objective is to get the proportion of the face right.

My goal for this project is to make sure that I get the value right. This is my goal because like I mentioned in my previous blog posts, I have some probably telling the difference between coloring it in the right color and shading with value. I thought it was very hard to show value with a different color and I am going to work on this and make it perfect since this is my weak spot.

I will accomplish this by doing some value scales in my free time. Before you actually do the final project, it is always nice to practice and make perfect your skills before you make a mistake on your final product. This is what I am going to do because I am going to use colors other than black to shape and make a value scale. After I do this, I might also use some of my eggs at home to practice using my own home made egg tempera.

Currently, we are at the stage when we finished sketching our faces on to the final piece. We had to do it with light pencil so that it would look nice in the final product. The stage that comes after the stage that we are waiting to do is to paint it with the colors that we have.

II. Photoshop Face with Grid

스크린샷 2014-02-13 8.10.35 PM

This part of my face is the mouth, lower jaw and my hair. There are some parts of my clothes and shoulders that are visible. I chose this part of my face because I have dimples in my cheeks and I thought it would be interesting to try to draw it. Also I thought that drawing my hair would be interesting because my hair is very curly and thick which will be nice to try to add texture to using egg tempera.

There are a lot of steps that we took up until we got the stage of the final sketch:

1) We opened up the app of photo booth on our mac books and took a picture of a place on our face. For me, it was the jaw.

2) Then we clicked on the Photoshop Cs5 app on our mac books.

3) We then clicked on File – New…. we then opened a new document.

4) After a window pops up and we have to change the units to inches and make sure that it is 7 inches by 5 inches or vise versa depending on your picture size.

5) After we click on photo booth and drag our pictures on to the Photoshop app.

6) Then we adjust the picture for it to fit on Photoshop.

7) After because we didn’t have the measurements done, we had to add the measurements in inches. We did this by clicking on Photoshop- Preferences – Units & rulers… We then click on the inches.

8) Now that we have the rulers, we made it so that the photo was divided in to 8 equal rectangles. The measurements were 1.75 inches by 2.5 inches.

9) We “dragged” the ruler to the side to create the guidelines, which is the main part of this project.

10) Then we have the picture all and ready to draw on the real draft.

11) Now we have the Photoshop ready we divide the paper in to the same amount of inches, which is 1.75 inches and 2.5 inches so that we have 8 rectangles.

12) Then we draw using the Photoshop document taking in consideration of the grid.

13) After we are finished, we erase the guidelines.


            The grid has been helpful to the creation of my sketch because I knew were things were going in my drawing. For example, I noticed that the lips are finishing at the very tip of the third box on the top and I used this to draw it the same way and as realistically as possible. This helped me make sure that proportion was accurate. You know it is accurate and you can make it accurate because there are different blocks and you can just concentrate on one of the blocks and not all of them.


III. Egg tempera experiment


The pigment that our team used was Cocoa powder. We had a lot of process stages to make the perfect paint:


1) Even though the Cocoa powder was fine I grinded it again to make sure that we could prevent lumps from happening when we would actually make the paint.


2) After this we cracked the egg and separated the whites from the yolk and poked the skin of the yolk to get the inside out.


3) After this, we put some water inside the egg to make it become a creamier yellow.


4) With the pallet knife we put 3 scoops of cocoa powder and mixed it together.


5) While we were mixing it, some of our group members made the test sheet with 4 squares so that we could test our paint.


6) In the first trial, it turned out that the paint was too gooey because there wasn’t much water. We used cross hatching skills to color the first test 1 box in.


7) We added one more spoon full of water to the first paint and we got the second color.


8) We used hatching to color in the second test and we believe it was the best paint.


9) Some of us agreed in that time that the test 2 was too light so we added one more spoon of cocoa powder.


10) We used cross hatching to color in the test 3 square but it turned out it was too thick.


11) Now we had some remains of the test 2 so we added two more spoons or water to test 2.


12) We used hatching to color in the last box. However, it turned out too Light.


13) It turned out the perfect paint was the test 2.


Some things that I have learned about Cocoa powder is that it is a very dark colored pigment. Even when we used charcoal for the pigments, it didn’t work this well while the cocoa powder creates darker tones easily. Also, because the cocoa powder is already really fine, it created no lumps in the paint, which made it easier for the painter to use. Overall, it was a successful piece of paint and I learned a lot about it.


As I said before, the Cocoa powder was very successful and it can even be compared to the other grinded charcoal egg tempera that we have used. Even though these charcoals are used for art professionally even though not for this purpose it didn’t work well that the cooking material of the Cocoa powder. This was successful as well because there were no lumps created because it was a very fine pigment. However, sometimes it would create bubbles in the egg tempera paint. I think this was because we mixed it too much and because the paint was very gooey. This is a minor issue though and I believe that this is a very good potential paint that we should use while we are continuing this project.


Before we did these value scales we also did a value scales with the powdered charcoals, which were of a brown color and a blue color. I believe that my pigment, cocoa powder will be more successful while painting my piece. This is because first of all, the colors are darker for the cocoa powder. You can just tell by seeing the colors of the two pigments. The cocoa powder is of a deeper and darker shade, which means that it will create darker shadows, which is what I need for my piece. Also there are less lumps in my pigment because they were already fined when they came in. However, we find the charcoal is lumpier and creates less quality paint. Overall, I think my pigment is better than the charcoal pigment.




Works Cited


N.d. Photograph. Wikispaces. Web. 13 Feb. 2014. <>.



The Great Tempera Experiment, Part 1

1. What is egg tempera?

picEgg tempera is a type of paint that was used widely in the medieval period and the renaissance. Egg tempera is when you use a powder, which is called a pigment made up of dried materials. These pigments are usually colored and this is what creates the color of the paint. You mix a good ratio of water, egg yolk and pigment to create paint. Egg tempera dries very quickly and you have to layer them. 

2. Please include a brief history of egg tempera— when was it first used, who used it, etc.

The history and use of egg tempera goes back to the Greeks and the romans. They also used pigments that were dried materials such as umbers and other materials that could be found around them. They would also use stones of rich colors as well. Water was added to the pigments and was tempered. However this would not make the paint so they added the egg yolk to make it work. The egg yolk is the “binder” of the paint.

In the renaissance (15th century), it was widely used and was popular. A lot of painters and artists used this type of paint and one famous artist of this time is Botticelli. However, in the late renaissance a new type of paint was introduced which was oil paint. Oil paints didn’t dry as quickly as egg tempera and it had a lot of advantages than egg tempera. This is when egg tempera became out of fashion and “died” out.

 3. Please explain how you have made your own egg tempera.

There are a lot of steps to making your own egg tempera:

1) Get out all of the materials, which are: an egg, two pallet knifes, mortar and pestle, egg carton, pigment, toothpick, and water.

2) Cut the egg carton so that that could be your mixing plate.

3) Then crush the pigments with the mortar and pestle.

4) After the pigments are fined, get out the egg and crack it so that the yolk doesn’t break.

5) Take the yolk in your hands and make sure that there are no whites remaining.

6) Take the toothpick and poke the skin of the yolk spill the inside of the yolk on to the egg carton.

7) Add some water so that the color turns light yellow.

8) Mix with one pallet knife so that there are no lumps.

9) Add the pigments with the other pallet knife so that you can mix the right amount to get the perfect egg tempera paint.

The objectives of this assignment are to create neat, layered paintings of a section of your face, showing a strong use of value and a layering of colours.

4. What is your goal for this assignment, or what do you hope to achieve?

The goal for this assignment is to create a painting of a section of our face to show value and layering of colors. However, my goals for this assignment is to show the value of the face perfectly and look at every little detail on my face to find out which areas are darker than the other. Also because I have trouble layering the paint, I want to have it so that the paint is perfectly layered and my goal is to become patient so that I could wait until the painting dries to put another layer. I want to have a piece that reflects my face or looks similar to the part of my face. I want to use value well and make light and darkness noticeable.

5. How successful do you think our experiment will be?

I think our experiment will be very successful because we have trained a lot of egg tempera and we have a lot of experience. Some of us showed that we were naturals at egg tempera because we managed to make the paint well in our first try. Also we can reflect from the fish paintings of how we are going to do when we do the egg tempera paintings. Even though some peers thought that it wasn’t going to turn out well because we were using charcoal instead of pencil to shade, we still were very successful at making wonderful pieces. We have practiced hatching and cross-hatching when we were making our value scales before with different colors of pigments two times and I think this was a good experience for us to actually work on the real paintings of our face. Our class has a lot of skills in depicting values and shades of gray from the past unit of value scales. Also we learned to observe our selves in the contour drawings and to draw every single detail. Because of these reasons I think our experiment will be successful.

6. Do you have any suggestions or tips to help us create successful pieces?

            Even though I said that we were going to have a successful experiment, there are still suggestions and tips that I would give to the peers and myself. The first is, observe what you are drawing very well. Observation is the key to drawing a realistic painting and we have to try to add every detail that we can observe with our eyes. The second is, value. Value is very important because it is what makes your piece becomes 3D and realistic. Even if you observe the pieces of your face well, you can’t draw a realistic face until you learn to use value. I would suggest my peers and I to practice the value scale again or try a little piece with value again so we can revise what we did before. The last is colors. We have to remember to observe the colors perfectly and color them the way they look with the right pigments. Or else, no one will be able to realize what we are drawing because the colors are different.

 7. Which of the pigments brought into class do you think will work best for making egg tempera? Why? 
(these are located in the Grade 8 tray under the whiteboard, if you take them out, you must put them back)

            The pigment I think that will work the best is the Coco Pigment that I brought and the Herb pigment that Hyojee brought. The reason I think this is is first of all, they are fined already and there might be no need for them to be crushed and fined again. Also, another reason is because they are of fairly dark colors. The coco pigment is a dark brown color and the herb pigment is of a rich green color. These will be very useful and a crucial part of our experiment. 

8. What have you learned so far that you never knew before?

            I have a lot of things that I have learned. First of all, I learned that you could make paint with eggs. I have watched an art manga before and it said something about a villain giving the hero bad eggs so that their piece could be ruined. Back then, I didn’t know why eggs would change the painting but now I know that if you don’t use the right eggs, the eggs will crack the painting because it shrinks when it dries. Another thing that I learned is the names of some materials. For example I learned about the pallet knife and the mortar and the pestle, which I only knew in Korean. One last thing that I have learned is about the hatching and cross-hatching to create value to your piece. I didn’t know the exact word or the exact way to use this. However, I learned about this while in class. Overall, I learned a lot of things.


Works Cited

“Koo Schadler: Techniques.” Koo Schadler: Techniques. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Feb. 2014. <>.

N.d. Photograph. Wwweggtemperacom. Web. 04 Feb. 2014. <>.

“” Wwweggtemperacom. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Feb. 2014. <>.

Renaissance vs. Medieval Art

1. Medieval Art

Madonna, Lorenzo Monaco

Madonna, Lorenzo Monaco

The painter of this painting, Madonna, is Lorenzo Monaco. Lorenzo Monaco is a painter from Florence, Italy. His name literally means, “Lorenzo the Monk”. His real name is Piero di Giovanni but he is best known for his name of Lorenzo Monaco. He was born in c. 1372 and died in c. 1424. He is a very famous artist who painted gothic painting. He worked for Florence as an artist. In 1390, he studied religion in the Camaldolese monastery. He was there 1390 – 1395/1396.  Then he spent the rest of his lifetime fulfilling his time as an artist.

Moving on, the medium that Lorenzo Monaco used to draw Madonna was using tempera on panel. Tempera is a type of medium when you make paint with eggs and pigments. Pigments are dried powder to make different rich colors. For the eggs, you don’t just use the eggs; you just use the yolk of the egg because the white outer layer could make the painting unsuccessful. To make the tempera paint, you first get the egg yolk and then you mix it with a good ratio of water. Then you have to add the pigment and mix. The item that Lorenzo Monaco used to paint egg tempera on was a wooden panel. They were often used in the medieval and the renaissance times. They are flat wood that may be stuck to multiple pieces of wood.

Some good things about egg tempera are that it is non-toxic. Also you can create many different colors and colors you want by mixing pigments in the egg yolks. However, egg tempera also comes with disadvantages. Some are that egg tempera works well when it is used on panels made out of wood and not much of other papers. Another thing is that the paint dries very quickly. Also you can’t paint in thick colors and you have to layer them in order for it to create a darker shade of that color.

            From the painting’s title, one can infer that it is of Madonna or better-known Virgin Mary of the Christian religion. Madonna means Italian for “our lady”. From this, we can tell that this is a religious painting that was painted. Virgin Mary is the mother of Jesus and is often depicted in art by herself or with baby Jesus. It is not common that she is not with her son Jesus in the paintings because the religious paintings usually describe the story of Jesus. However, there are some paintings with her alone, like this one.

            About the description of the painting, as mentioned before, the figure in the painting is Madonna, better known as Virgin Mary in the Christian religion. There are a lot of characteristics to the painting. First of all, I noticed that the background colors and parts of her clothes are painted with gold. In the medieval times, they often used gold when they were drawing religious characters of high positions such as Virgin Mary. Because the background and parts of her clothes were gold, her robe stands out better because the robe is of a vibrant blue color. Also, because the robe is wrapped around her head, the first thing that one’s mind goes to is her face, which might have been Lorenzo Monaco’s intention. This was a good idea because she is the most important part of the painting. The values of the robe is used well too because we can see every fold and the different shades of gray can be found in all of the folds. And the robe seems like it is that of clothing in real life. Also in the background, there are patterns engraved to it which adds to the inference that Madonna was a very exquisite and they had to decorate her.

Even though these are some good parts of the drawing, some parts such as the position of the face is lacking realism. This can be seen in the face part of Madonna. One can probably tell that her face is of a weird position that cannot be done in real life. Also the sizes and the proportions of the features of the face is un even because the nose and eyes are unbelievably long and the mouth is very small. Also the side of her face is too big and looks very flat. To improve this the tones of the face could be added such as shades of pink or red to make her seem more like real people. Also more shades could be added to the neck so that it would look like she was in a natural position.


2. Renaissance Art

Lady with an Ermine, by Leonardo Da Vinci

Lady with an Ermine, by Leonardo Da Vinci

The artist who painted Lady with an Ermine is Leonardo Da Vinci. He is from Florence, Italy. Italy was the heart of the renaissance. He is a very famous renaissance artist who was born on April 15th, 1452 and died on May 2, 1519. Because he was an illegitimate son of Messer Piero Fruosino di Antonio da Vinci, unlike the other siblings of his, he wasn’t allowed to learn or wear good clothes. However, his father sent him to Verrocchio’s workshop when Leonardo was fourteen. He then learned various artistic skills by being an apprentice of Andrea di Cione or Verrocchio. When he was twenty he became a master in Guild of St Luke and began his professional life. He has a lot of famous pieces, two of which are Lady with an Ermine and Mona Lisa.

The medium that the artist used to draw this was oil and wood. In the medieval times, they used a lot of egg tempera. Even though they still used it in the renaissance, they moved on to something that was oil paintings. Oil paintings are similar to make with tempera paintings except that instead of putting pigments in the egg yolk, you put the pigments in the oils. Unlike egg tempera, which was used a lot in the middle ages, oil paintings became popular due to its thick and brilliant color. Unlike the tempera paint, which dries very quickly, oil paint, dries very slowly which helps the artist to mix the colors or change something if they wan to. These features make oil paint very easy to deal with, and it has a better outcome. However, the oil paint has a tendency to crack because when it dries, it shrinks. This is one of oil paints defects.

            What this painting can be depicted by the title of the painting, which is Lady with an Ermine. Unlike some pieces you can’t really tell what it is about because a story or a sign of a story isn’t depicted in the painting. However, one can see that the Lady with the ermine is looking at a distance with the ermine and one can tell that they are both looking at something interesting. With some research I have found out that this drawing is of a woman called Cecilia Gallerani, who was Leonardo’s Patron.

This is a very exquisite piece of work and a lot of things can be described. For example, because the background is a darker color, the colors where the light is hitting the lady, which is her face, is emphasized which might be the point of this painting. Also, the band that goes around her head has a shadow that is painted under it so one can see exactly where the band is on her head and how the elastic is squeezing it. The proportions of this piece are great because her eyes and nose and mouth are in a position and size of how real people would look like. Also the ermine looks like it is in the lady’s arms and not in the air. Also the values were used well because the shadings of the clothes, make it seem like a person can actually touch the fabric and it seems like velvet. The colors were used very well because there are not a lot of bright lively colors and dark colors together that were used. The color’s used were all rich dark colors which helped the piece look more fine and darker with no breaks when someone looks at the painting.


3. Compare and Contrast



            These art works that I have introduced, Madonna by Lorenzo Monaco and Lady with an ermine by Leonardo Da Vinci, have a lot of similarities and differences.

First of all, Madonna and Lady with an ermine have a lot of similarities. For example, the backgrounds are one whole color, which makes both of the lady’s stand out compared to the background and it makes us focus on the people more rather than the things behind them. Also how value is used to make the robe for Madonna and the dress for the Lady seem like real fabric is similar because they both used shading techniques to make sure that the fabric seems real and flowing. Another similar and obvious fact is that both of them are drawings of women, however, one is with an animal. One last similar fact is that they both aren’t looking front and are looking sideways.

Even if there are a lot of similarities, there are a lot of differences as well. For example, the proportions are one of the major differences. When the lady with an ermine has the features of a person in the face such as the size of the eyes, nose and mouth, Madonna doesn’t have equal features. Lorenzo Monaco made it so that her nose is longer and her mouth is very small. Her eyes are longer to the sides and the side of her face is very big making her seem abstract. Another difference is that the Lady with an ermine uses more colors, which makes the piece seem more real and vibrant. In real life, even though there seems to be only one color of something, there are a lot of different colors in that one color as well. In Madonna, primarily two colors where used which were blue and gold. However, in Lady with an ermine a variety of colors were used for example black, red, white, brown, gold etc. which made the piece seem more realistic. Also oil paint was used when drawing lady with an ermine when in Madonna, egg tempera was used. These made lady with an ermine have more vibrant colors and Madonna with stale light colors.

As I mentioned before the use of values affect the difference or similarity between these two paintings. Even though I mentioned that the use of value were used very good in both of the paintings considering the shades of the robes, the value was used better in the Lady with an ermine than Madonna. Even though Madonna used a lot of different values and shades of grey to make the robe look more real, he lacked in making the face with different values therefore, making the face look more flat and boring. This can be seen the side of her face. The side of her face looks very flat because there aren’t a lot of shades added to the face. This can also be seen in the nose because the nose looks small thanks to the little shading that was put in to it. A suggestion that can made for the artist is that if he added more darker values, he can make the piece look more realistic like the Lady with an Ermine.

Just as the use of values affect the different or similarity between these two paintings, the artists’ understanding of proportion and anatomy affect the difference or similarities between these two paintings. First of all, this can be seen best in the proportions of the face. When the sizes of the ermine and the lady are according to how people look in real life now, the face of Madonna looks unreal because the proportions are weird considering that the nose is too long and abnormal and the mouth is very small. Also Madonna’s face was very big compared to her body unlike the lady with an ermine, which was the right size for a body like hers. The anatomy of Madonna’s neck went wrong and one can infer that the artist clearly didn’t know much about an anatomy of a human body. However, Da Vinci can be seen using a lot of anatomy by looking at the bends in the lady’s hands and how to claws are bent in the ermine.


4. On Renaissance art

Before we talk a bout the artwork and the artists of the Renaissance, we must talk about how different the Renaissance and the medieval art were and why they are different. As the Germanic tribes came in, in the medieval period there were diseases and famines and little community. Therefore, a lot of people were dependent on god and the church. However, since the start of the Renaissance, things started to change a bit. The Renaissance actually means “rebirth” and this is what the period was about. The works of art, science, math etc. from the roman and Greek times were re discovered and in the renaissance, people cared about knowledge more than in the medieval times where everything revolved around religion. Also it was believed that the artists of the medieval times weren’t allowed to be better than each other and to be on the same level while it was different in the renaissance. The renaissance had an idea of individualism.

For the artwork, in the medieval times, the artists only drew things telling stories of the bible or a religious figure since the period was all about god and religion. However, in the renaissance, the idea of humanism came to place. Humanism is the philosophy of thinking that humans were the most superior beings. While in the medieval period the artwork looked flat and unrealistic, the artwork of the renaissance looked alive and real because of humanism and anatomy of the human body. This was because they cared mostly about humans and not much of religion.

The things that the artists of the renaissance were trying to accomplish were humanism and realism. Because they cared about humans they wanted to draw them as they saw them. Also they wanted realism of the human body and the proportions, values, and anatomy.

Like mentioned before, the thing that renaissance artists wanted to accomplish was realism and humanism. To learn and accomplish these goals the renaissance artists took a lot of risks. First of all to learn anatomy they under took something called dissection or an autopsy. A dissection or an autopsy is when people take apart a once living thing to find out what goes on inside of the human. Some of the artists would go and dig up graves or cut open dead criminals. An artist name Caravaggio went to an extreme by actually murdering a person. By doing a dissection, the artist learned about the muscles and insides of the human body, which made it possible for them to draw such realistic figures.

As the thoughts of humanism and realism as changed the use of value and the understanding of proportion and anatomy in the Renaissance changed art as well.

First of all, the use of value changed renaissance art. In the renaissance most of the colors is all one tone and the artists didn’t know that there were different colors in one color. For example, even if a pink pencil looks pink, there are sides and values where it is darker than the rest. However, in the renaissance times, the artists looked around and observed their surroundings, which made their artwork more realistic and improved their artwork.

Secondly, the understanding of proportion changed renaissance art. In the medieval times one can see that the proportion of the human body was not right. Sometimes the head will be too big or vise versa etc. However, in the renaissance this didn’t happen because the artists observed the human body often going to the extreme of having an autopsy of the human body. The understanding of proportion made the artwork of the renaissance look more realistic and more 3D.

Lastly, anatomy in the renaissance changed art in the renaissance as well. Like mentioned before, the renaissance artists had an autopsy on people and that helped them learn about anatomy, which is the study of the body. By looking at the insides of the animals or people, they learned about how the inside works and that helped them to draw the outsides as well.


my fish drawing


Screen Shot 2014-01-19 at 7.54.07 PM

my value scale

Throughout this unit, I have developed a lot about my understanding of value, proportion, and anatomy. For value, I never knew about value that much until I have learned it in this class. I have done the value scale before but I had done it with hatching and I had no idea that it was called the value scale since I learned it in Korean. I learned from value that even though an object seems like it is one color, it has many shades of grey in it and that it is not the same color. Also I learned that the value scale doesn’t always have to be white to dark, it can be any color on the value scale. For proportion, I learned that this was a critical part of drawing and a critical part of being an artist. For example, this was used when we were drawing the fish. For the fish, Miss. Zaza taught us how to make the proportion just right by having a ratio of the charcoal and the fish to find out how much bigger the body is to the tail. I used this and I learned that I must also do this in the future. I also learned about and developed my thoughts on anatomy. Because we cut open the fish and drew the bones I found out how the insides are important and how they look. Also I learned from the insides of the fish that the insides were very dark and deep so we had to use value to show this.

Finally, I have improved a lot as an artist as I had a lot of experience these past few weeks. For example, I learned about how to hold a brush when using egg tempera. I had to hold it softly and not rub the brush on the canvas. Also found out about some different elements of art, which is line, and value and they were very useful. I am looking forward to finding more about these as I go up grades. Also I became a better artist by improving my observation skills. From the contour drawings I first learned about observation because you had to catch every little detail. And from the fish drawings and the bone trial drawing I also learned this because there were little details that I had to catch. Overall, I enjoyed this unit.


Works Cited

도, 병훈. 청소년을 위한 서양미술사. 서울: 두리미디어, 2013. Print.

“AAM—The Renaissance Connection: Lesson Plans: Tempera versus Oil Paint.” AAM—The Renaissance Connection: Lesson Plans: Tempera versus Oil Paint. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2014. <>.

“Are You Sure?” Search. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2014. <,0>.

“English Definition of “anatomy”” Anatomy Noun. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Feb. 2014. <>.

“Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History.” Anatomy in the Renaissance. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Feb. 2014. <>.

“Lady with an Ermine, by Leonardo Da Vinci. 1483-90. Oil on wood, 53.4 x 39.3 cm. Czartoryski Museum, Krakow. <>.

“Lady with an Ermine, by Leonardo Da Vinci. 1483-90. … | Renaissance…” Pinterest. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2014. <>.

“Leonardo Da Vinci Biography.” Leonardo Da Vinci Biography. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Jan. 2014. <>.

“Lorenzo Monaco.” Encyclopedia Britannica. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2014. <>.

“Madonna (art).” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 21 Jan. 2014. Web. 31 Jan. 2014. <>.

“Madonna.” Encyclopedia Britannica. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2014. <>.

“Madonna, Lorenzo Monaco. 1381-1425. Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum” <>.

“Madonna, Lorenzo Monaco. 1381-1425. Amsterdam, … | Medieval Art.” Pinterest. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2014. <>.

“Madonna, Religious.” – Origins of Marian Art, Emergence of the Mothering Madonna, Sentiment versus Scripture. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2014. <>.

“Oil Painting.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 22 Jan. 2014. Web. 29 Jan. 2014. <>.

“Panel Painting.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 19 Jan. 2014. Web. 31 Jan. 2014. <>.

“Tempera Painting.” Encyclopedia Britannica. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2014. <>.

“What Was the Difference in History between the Middle Ages (Medieval Times) and the Renaissance?” What Was the Difference in History between the Middle Ages (Medieval Times) and the Renaissance? N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Feb. 2014. <>.

“Why Egg Tempera? Advantages and Disadvantages.” Why Egg Tempera? Advantages and Disadvantages. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2014. <>.

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. <>.

Renaissance Artists Investigation

1. Renaissance Artists Investigation

In the historical time period there is a time called the Renaissance. The Renaissance means “rebirth” and this was because it came after a time period, which was not pleasant to live in. Way back even before, there was people called the Romans and Greeks. The romans and Greeks were very intelligent and they used a lot of intelligence and had a lot of technology. Some of the main things that the Greek and Roman Empire flourished in was Mathematics, Architecture, Science, and of course, Art. However, as the Germanic tribes came in, all of their glory was lost and the people were told to live a modest and quiet life. This period was so deadly and sad that the period was called the dark period or the medieval era. It is believed that most of the art in the medieval era is flat and boring and often depicted drawings of religious figures and not things from everyday life. But as the renaissance came in, this changed. People took the intelligence of the Romans and Greeks and Rediscovered what they had before, making spending artwork. One famous thing there was in the Renaissance was the Printing press that helped them spread artwork and their knowledge. There are a lot of artists or people that let us see light in the Renaissance. Some of which I am going to introduce is Albrecht Dürer and Michelangelo Buonarotti.

Many people have a fixed mindset that the Renaissance only flourished in Italy. This is in fact, not true. There were a lot of countries that flourished. This includes Germany, the country of Albrecht Dürer. Albrecht Dürer was born on May 21st 1471 in a city called Nürnburg was a very artistic city and a well developed one as well in the 15-16th centuries. That might have been partly the reason why he was very talented in this area.

However, it wasn’t just because of his talent that he became this famous. There is also a section in his past that influence and inspired his work. This was being an apprentice to his father and an artist Michael Wolgemeut. Wolgeneut’s art consisted of wood artwork for books and Albrecht’s father was a gold smith. By this he learned the basics of printmaking and started to gain the intelligence to make a difference in the world of the printing press him self. He made art using wood and carving it to print. Now it wasn’t just for Books, it was for artists as well. Now, Albrecht was Religious and a lot of his work consisted of religious content. When he became 30 it was said that he made three famous woodcuts, The Apocalypse, Large Wood cut passion cycle, and Life of the Virgin. One can see that his childhood greatly affected what kind of an artist he is now and that his father and the artist Michael Wolgemeut’s art work of wood influenced him to think about different ways that he could make art with wood which led to lovely wood carvings.


Adam and Eve

His work can be described as being very detailed. One of his pieces are Adam and Eve. Adam and eve is a type of wood carves work and one can not clearly see this because it is very detailed and it doesn’t look like a carving at all. You can see that the muscles are exaggerated and you can just see them move because of the shadows put on to them. You can notice that he put less shadows on the woman for her to look plumb which was the ideal look of a woman back in the Renaissance. The you can see by the shadows that are covering the edge of his muscles. The forest is very well depicted and you can see that the light is coming from the left because the right sides are shaded. I like


portrait of a young venetian woman


Virgin and the Child with Saint Anne

the way that Dürer did this because it creates a effect of this being in real life. It doesn’t look flat at all. The animals also have exaggerated fat and they are more of a darker shade because Dürer wanted to emphasize Adam and Eve. Some Other Art works by him are the Virgin and the Child with Saint Anne and Portrait of a young Venician Woman. In his work you can see that it is not very abstract and he tries to draw as realistically as possible and he does this well by creating shadows and using realistic colors that people in real life might be wearing. I can see that he also likes emphasizing the face and the muscles by making the shadows more clear.

A lot of people from the Renaissance used different Media to make and present their work. The way that Dürer used was very unique and this is what that made him famous. This is the woodcut print. He also used paint and other sources too, but Dürer was mainly known for his utterly stunning and extravagant piece of woodcut prints. To explain what a woodcut print is, it is a type of art where the person carves the wood very detailed and you can put ink or paint on it and if you press it on paper, you can make multiple copies of it. This was also known as the printing press and it was widely used in the Renaissance, to spread knowledge and understanding of different ideas. Because of Dürer, it was also used as a way to spread art and to present art as a media as well.

As mentioned before, Dürer made a big contribution to the printing press that we know now and I think that this was the reason why his work contributed to the Renaissance. At first, the woodcarvings were just used to print books and multiple copies of information, but when Dürer came along, everything changed. He cracked the thought of only using woodcarvings for books and he made artwork using it that opened, in a way, another aspect of art that was hiding behind the curtains waiting to be revealed. Another point is like many other Renaissance artists he showed what he learned about the human form and what he thought the the muscles looked like. In Addition, not only did he describe the muscles but he showed the lights and shading perfectly so that it would look more realistic and 3D.

Personally, I love his work and I believe that even though Germany isn’t known to be the main country that developed because of the Renaissance, his work has the rights to be compared with the Italian Artists. One of my favorite art works by him is the Adam and Eve, which is in fact a wood cut art. I think it shows the different muscles in the human body really well and the muscles are very extravagant and well drawn it is almost hard to notice it is carved out of wood.

Another Artist that I am going to talk about is Michelangelo Buonarotti. Michelangelo was not German like Dürer and was actually from the country of Italy. He was born on 6th of March 1475 in Florence, Italy. Like Dürer he was an apprentice to an artist. His artist was Domenico Ghirlandio. Michelangelo’s father was rich and he had connections to the Medici Family which was the most rich family of all of Italy. Then He went to the Medici Family and he worked there.

There were a lot of things that inspired him to be who he is today. Like Dürer, a lot of different things that he learnt inspired him. The art of fresco learnt by Domeico Ghirlandio inspired him. Another thing that inspired him to be the artist he is today is going to a sculpture school and learning about sculpting. This influenced him a lot about the anatomy and about the human body is what a lot of Renaissance Artists sculpted.



Michelangelo’s work was very thorough and he did a lot with the human body because he was interested in them. This is one of his very famous sculptures which is called David. You can see that because it is a sculpture, it looks more 3D than most paintings or murals. You can see that in his works and findings he knew about proportion and how the muscles look because he drew them perfectly and it doesn’t look awkward. The hair has a lot of curves in them which makes it seem more darker because of the shadows that are set on the sculpture. He is very thorough with his artwork because the muscles are carved very carefully and the harder and more rigid parts more roughly which creates different outlines to the sculpture. Some of his other works are Crouching Boy and Studies for the Libyan Sibyl. In the works of Michelangelo, I can see that the sculpting school greatly affected him because a lot of his great and famous works are sculptures. Also I can see that he liked working with the human body because the Studies for the Libyan Sibyl consists of analyzing the muscles of a man. In his sculptures I can also tell that he like analyzing the muscles because the curves and the dents in the skin was greatly emphasized.


Crouching Boy

Studies for the Libyan Sibyl

Studies for the Libyan Sibyl


Michelangelo was a type of Artist who used all types of different media to do his work. Because he went to sculpting school, he tended to do a lot of sculptures about different things. Another media that he would used to express his  artwork was fresco paintings. For people who do not know what a fresco painting is, it is a type of painting that is usually used for murals. Water pigments are used. These were the two medias that Michelangelo used the most, fresco and sculpting.

Michelangelo had a lot of influence to the Renaissance society and this greatly contributed to the Renaissance. One way that he contributed was that he influenced the art work of the Medici family. Affecting one family might not be a lot but in this time the Medici’s were everything and it was a good thing to please them. Another influence was that he left a lot of architectural work left and not just art work such as a lot of monuments for the Medici family. Adding on, another similar point to Dürer was that he also analysed the human body perfectly and it looked like real muscles. However, one difference is that Michelangelo showed this using sketches and sculptures. Some examples are infact that ones that are listed above Studies for the Libyan Sibyl, David, and the crouching boy.

Personally, I like his work because I find it very much like the people that I see in real life. A piece that I like is his self portrait because it depicts him as looking very kind but he looks tired because of the wrinkles and the shadows put in to them.


2. Works Cited

Works Cited

Adam and Eve, by Albrecht Dürer (German, 1471–1528).1504. Engraving 25.1 x 20 cm. Fletcher Fund, 1919 (19.73.1)

“Albrecht Dürer.” Encyclopedia Britannica. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2013. <>.

Albrecht Dürer (German, 1471–1528). Virgin and Child with Saint Anne, 1519. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Bequest of Benjamin Altman, 1913 (14.40.633)

“Albrecht Durer – The Complete Works.” Albrecht Durer – The Complete Works. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2013. <>.

BBC News. BBC, n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2013. <>.

“Category:Fresco Painting.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 23 Sept. 2013. Web. 13 Dec. 2013. <>.

Crouching Boy, Michelangelo.1533. Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia

David, by Michelangelo. Marble sculpture. 1501–04. Located in the Accademia, Florence.

“Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History.” Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528). N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2013. <>.

Michelangelo Buonarroti (Italian, 1475–1564). Studies for the Libyan Sibyl (recto); Studies for the Libyan Sibyl and a small Sketch for a Seated Figure (verso) (detail), ca. 1510-1511. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 1924 (24.197.2)

“Michelangelo Buonarroti.” Michelangelo Buonarroti. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2013. <>.

“Michelangelo Buonarroti.” Michelangelo Buonarroti. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2013. <>.

“Michelangelo.” The National Gallery, London: Western European Painting 1250–1900. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2013. <>.

N.d. Photograph. Nndb. Web. 13 Dec. 2013. <>.


Portrait of a Young Venetian Woman, by Albrecht Durer. 1505. Oil on panel, 33 x 25 cm; Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.

Designing Your Mask

1. Front View



2. Left View



3. Right View



4. About the Mask


I colored some parts of it black. But the boy used to be human so he has some kindness in him. That is why I put white as well. Also the mask is going to be pointy to the front so that is why the sides are half half of the front view.


Abstract: This mask is definitely abstract because no actual cat looks like this. Also barks are exaggerated and emphasized.


Exaggerate: I exaggerated that mouth because he is the god of slyness and sly people do a lot of talking to manipulate people.


Emphasize: I emphasized the eyes because I wanted to emphasize the expression of being very sly. I did this by putting fierce patterns on the face.

The boy and his inner god

This is the myth from the long lost culture called the Reduna people:


Once upon a time there was a Goddess named Lark. She was the goddess of good, well being and birds. The people of Reduna worshiped the goddess going to the temple once a week. They also had sacrificial food thrown in the altar once a month. Lark was a beautiful goddess with silver flowing hair and a perfect face. As long as she was looking over the Reduna people, everything was perfect and fine. No one had any illnesses and no one was unhappy. That is, until one boy came in to the picture. This boy’s name was Fele. Fele wanted to be a manly god that could surpass the power of any other being in Reduna.


“If the Goddess is so flawless, why didn’t she make me perfect?” Fele shouted in to the sky as if to protest to the Goddess.


Lark was furious when she heard this. ‘Why, this boy is different from any other human. I will have to do something with him.’


She had an idea.


A few days after that incident, Lark came down to the human world disguised as a girl of 10.


“Hey, you! Boy there?” Lark shouted at Fele.


“What do you want kid?” Fele sneered.


“I have a message from the goddess.” Lark whispered close to his year. “She’ll make you a god.”


Fele believed this and said, “What do I need to do to become a god?”


“You have to climb up to the highest of highest places to be found in Reduna.” She hissed.


Fele thought this would be a piece of cake, but oh how wrong he was. The highest of highest places was a tower called the tower of happiness. It was a very religious tower and it was said that people who went up there received eternal happiness. Fele packed some goods in a sac and became to climb the  stairs of the dark, high tower. It took him a painstaking 2 months but he finally reached the top of the tower.


“Goddess, are you going to make me a god now?” Fele cried with a huff.


“Yes,” Boomed the goddess. “I am going to make you a god.”


With a click, Fele turned in to a creature that was neither animal or human. His face was abstract and no evidence of reality was shown. his head was very angular and the shape was a cats. His eyes were crescents with beady pupils in the middle. His mouth pulled all the way to his cheek. His face was black and white representing his personality. His head was covered in wavy patterns which was his passion for becoming a god.  His mouth was exaggerated in a shape of the triangle making him more sly. The face was emphasized as well because it wasn’t only one color, it was multiple. Also it was emphasized because of the patterns on the face. To sum it up, he looked hideous.




“This is your inner god!” The goddess hissed. “You are a filthy monster full of darkness and yet you desire to surpass the power of anything in Reduna! You are foolish!”


“This isn’t what I asked for!” cried Fele.


“But you can’t become something you can’t. Anyhow, you have become a god, have you not? You will stay as a god for eternity.”


This is why until this day, Fele is a cat god who is thegod of darkness and slyness. Because his inner god is a cat, he is the sly god. The people of Reduna still worship Fele the cat god by wearing a mask and impersonating the cat god in ceremonial dances called the Revena. In the dances he is doing good doing good things. The point is that the mask has to be worn by a handsome young man because that is what Fele wanted to be like and second because he likes to see the grief of handsome people being ugly. The clothes have to be all black when preforming because he is the god of darkness. That was how Reduna lasted, Lark the good goddess, and Fele the bad god.


If the Reduna people doesn’t do these rituals they believe that Fele will come to each of them and pull out their bad part part of their inner god and pull them to the underworld to live for an eternity….


Beware my little ones or you might just get it…



Masks of the Shinto religion

1. Kitsune Mask

kitsune 1


2. Tengu Mask

tengu 3tengu 4


3.  Hakushikijyo Okina Mask

okina 1okina 2


4. Shishi mask

shishi mask 1

5. Hannya mask

Hannya maskshannya masks 2


I am researching a very interesting culture and religion which is called Shinto. Shinto is ‘the way of the gods’. It is a Japanese religion and culture and it is a faith of Japan. It is one of Japan’s major religions. To sum up the Shinto religion as few words as possible, Shinto gods are called ‘Kami’. ‘Kami’ take form of mostly nature and people believe that when they die they become ‘Kami’ as well. The Shinto religion is as old as Japan its self. Masks are a major part in the Shinto religion. Masks are mainly used in rituals called Kagura. Kagura is dance and music dedicated to the Kami’s of the Shinto religion. Kagura can be divided in to two different sections, maikata and hayashikata. In hayashikata they play instruments and in maikata they dance with masks over their faces. Also the Shinto religion had a big effect on the Noh theater and it connects a lot with the 5 masks above. You could say that Shinto masks were used in Noh plays. A lot of masks have their own characters, are kami’s, or are from legends.


There are five interesting masks that I picked out from the variety of Shinto masks. The first one that I want to introduce is my favorite mask, the Kitsune mask. Kitsune means “fox” in Japanese. Some key words that come up when one thinks of a Kitsune is fox fire, trickery, and shape shifting. These words describe  the Kitsune very well. One famous Kitsune is Oinari’s messenger, the magic shape-shifting fox. As the Shinto religion greatly effected the Noh theater, Kitsune masks were greatly used in Noh. In the Noh theater, when the Kitsune mask was used, other people wouldn’t wear masks at all because the Kitsune was very important. This masks were also worn by a legendary creature called ‘nine tailed foxes’ which symbolized them trying to trick people and trying to gain respect from them. Overall, this mask symbolizes great power.


Now for the artistic aspect, you can’t say that an actual fox’s look like this so this is a definite abstract mask. The colors that are mostly used for this mask are red and white because Kitsune was mostly portrayed as being white in the legends. People believe that white in Shintoism suggests  shared iconography and origin. Kitsune masks can be made out of different materials such as clay, dry lacquer, cloth, paper and wood. The Kitsune mask has a large forehead and exaggerated eyes and pupils. The mouth is made very small and the nose is smaller compared to the other parts. We can tell that the eyes were very important to a fox. Also because the mask is a white color, it makes us see the other colors better. Also the ears are exaggerated because they are important as well. The design of blue outlining the eyes in a curve makes us look at the eyes more. Also there is a blue pattern down the forehead to the nose which makes people look at the features of the mask. By seeing this Kitsune mask you can clearly tell that it is a fox.  The expression is neutral and I think that one could do a lot wearing this mask.


This next mask is one of my favorites as well. This is the Tengu mask. A Tengu is considered a Kami or a Youkai, which is a supernatural being. The most important characteristic of  a Tengu is it’s long nose. Also Tengu means “heavenly dog”. This mask is often used for Kagura performances in the Shinto religion.


Now for the artistic aspect of the Tengu. Let us analyse the Tengu Mask. First it has a large exaggerated nose which means that the part that they want us to focus on is the nose. Also the Eyes are a gold-ish color which emphasizes the eyes particularly because it is another color than red. This also works for the eye brows of the Tengu Mask because it is black and not red. The materials that are used usually to make Tengu masks are wood, black and red pigment. The angry and serious expression is exaggerated in the mask. Therefore this mask is indeed abstract. They color of the Tengu mask is red because bodies of creatures of the underworld or demons often were red.


The third mask is the Hakushikijyo Okina Mask. This mask were used in the earliest Noh plays. However, it was a Noh and a ritual of the Shinto people. To add to this, specifically the Sarugaku troops. This mask was usually used in the ritual to play the main character of the Noh play which was often an old man.


Now for the Artistic aspect of this mask. First of all, this is very abstract because you can’t say that a old man looks like this. Also this is the color white whcih we can often feel the color as those of a old man. This mask also has two fluffs on the forehead which emphasize the wrinkles in the middle. Also the mouth is the only part that is red and it draws our attention to it therefore emphasizing it. The mask emphasizes the cheek bones by lining the cheek bone area in a circular pattern. This makes the mask look more like an old man. Also it looks like a happy old man. This Okina mask is usually made from wood, fur, or authentic fur.


The fourth mask is the Shishi mask. The Shishi mask is used for a type of kagura in the Shinto religion called Shishi Kagura. It is a form of lion dance and it is a form of folk rituals of Shintoism. The shishi mask is in the shape of a lion.


Now for the Artistic aspect of the mask. This mask is very abstract because no actual lion looks like this. This masks nose is exaggerated to be bigger than normal because that is what the maker of the mask wanted us to look at. The curly patterns on the forehead suggest the furs of the lion which brings out the characteristics of a lion more. This was made by using a chisel. Also the teeth were very exaggerated and it makes people look at it. The masks expression looks like it is angry because if all the wrinkles on the mask.  The materials that were used to make this mask is made out of stone.


The last mask is called the Hannya mask and is perhaps the most interesting mask. A lot of times people will see this and think that this is a male mask but actually it is a female. It is portraying a jealous female demon. This mask is often used in Shinto rituals Kagura dances.


Now for the Artistic aspect of the mask. The Hannaya mask’s mouth is exaggerated to be very big and is red in the middle of the white face so it is emphasized and stands out more than the other features of the face. Also the double chin and the eyes being more down emphasizes the mouth as well. The hair emphasizes the golden horns and we can tell that it is not a normal human being. The expression is very scary and it can easily scare people. The white mask means that the woman is of aristocratic status and the red masks mean that they are low class. The real dark ones emphasize that they are true demons. This mask can be made out of a lot of things but is usually made out of wood.


The reason that I picked this type of culture was because I am truly interested in it. I am very interested in Japanese anime and I see them all the time. A lot of my favorite animes are those of Shinto background. Most of them contain some form of mask that I have realized to be very unique. The two animations that I remember are RDG: Red Data Girl and In to the Forest of Fireflies light or in Japanese Hotarubi no mori e. First this is the picture of a scene in RDG: Red Data Girl:


tengu 2


The familiar long nose and red face, yes, this is the Tengu mask. We can tell that this is a Tengu mask and not a real Tengu because a character (Manatsu Souda) is taking in off.


The next example is from  In to the Forest of Fireflies light or in Japanese Hotarubi no mori e:


As you can clearly see, this mask is the kitsune mask. We can see the familiar long mouth and the pointy ears. Because I loved these animes, I gradually grew fond of the culture as well.


Overall, I think these masks are intersting. The Kitsune mask is cute and serious at the same time. The Tengu mask is comical and scary, the  Hakushikijyo Okina is intimidating, the shishi mask reminds me of Korean masks, and the Hannya mask is terrifying. I am looking forward to make my own mask because I have been influenced by these.




Works Cited

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