This topic is going to be extremely broad, but it's definitely an important one.
To describe it in a single word, art is a relief. It reminds me that it's okay not to think so hard all the time. I put so much effort and work into my schoolwork, and it really tires me. I absolutely love learning, but to be honest, school can be mentally exhausting. And while I'm in the art room or at my desk, I can stop thinking and just feel.
I don't speak, I don't hear. Everything becomes a blur and I just let my hands do the talking.
One of the most basic and common mediums used has to be graphite. It can be as simple as picking up any pencil and drawing, but in order to create contrast in a piece (thereby making it look better), different pencil grades must be used. This is represented by a scale going from 9H to 9B, with HB in the middle. The higher the number when H comes after it, the lighter the pencil. The higher the number when B comes after it, the darker the pencil.
In my opinion, it's the easiest medium to learn, only because everyone has been using HB pencils to write their entire lives. What was most difficult for me to master was to use darker shades. I used to draw so lightly that my artwork could hardly be seen. I was eventually forced to darken my lines and shading when we were assigned a new project in art class- to draw someone next to a lamp.
This lamp created dark contrasts, so there was a lot of blacker shading involved. I find it hard to use lighter pencils these days.
The below picture is an incomplete version of what I was working on:
Acrylic painting has definitely been a struggle for me. In the case of this medium, if I make a mistake, it can be a hassle to undo. Sometimes impossible. To add onto that- it dries ridiculously fast. So in summary, make all the right brush strokes in an unreasonably short time frame.
Oh, and one more thing. If I don't cover up my palette with the paint colors I mixed together, then I'm going to have a pretty hard time trying to recreate that same color the next day. In other words, it's gone forever.
Painting is more about capturing the essence of something more than it is about the detail. It would be a challenge to use a wobbly brush to put in all the tiny lines. The problem is, 'detail' is my middle name. I'm a perfectionist, so whatever I'm painting has to look exactly like my subject. Did I mention that's sort of out of the question?
But the feeling of the brush in my hand and the fluid strokes it creates is unmatched. I feel as if I'm adding life and color to each piece. The placement of these colors evokes emotions in the viewer, and the message I'm trying to send comes across clearly. In me, painting evokes tranquility and pleasure.
Of the mediums I've mentioned, this has been the newest. This year was my first time being exposed to it at all, but from the single project I've done, it has placed itself in the position as one of my favorite mediums. It was difficult to learn, and I nearly gave up using it completely, but I persevered, and it reaped fruitful rewards.
I use three types of charcoal- a long, thin, twig-like stick that is extremely brittle and the least dense (Picture A), a cylindrical tube that is a little tougher and more dense than the first (Picture B), and a rectangular prism that is hard to blend into the paper, and extremely dense (Picture C).
Here is the finished piece of Olivia's eyes:
Art is an outlet for me, a way to release all the emotions I feel throughout the day. I often don't get a chance to be creative in my classes; most of my day consists of calculations and thinking in a regulated manner. Art has taught me that it's okay not to think sometimes and to go for it.
It's encouraged me to become less hesitant when trying new things and to be a tad more confident in my abilities.
And that's extremely invaluable.