Sadia Ali's ART160 Process log

Art that doesn't look like a disaster…Hopefully

Charcoal Eraser Self Portrait.

We knew in the beginning of the semester that our ending assignment would a self-portrait. I remember thinking that it would be beyond difficult and my portrait would most likely end up looking like a disaster. I imagined it to be difficult when using materials like a pencil and eraser, but when the assignment came around we were told we would have to use charcoal and a knead eraser. We had to start with covering our entire paper with charcoal shading. Then we had to begin with erasing out to show where the lights are reflecting on our face for our nose to achieve our darkest dark and the lightest light to then gauge the entire portrait. This is what the nose looked like when my nose finished:



When I tried to add the nose i began to draw what I knew instead of what I saw. Instead of observing how the light hit my face and all of the shades and shapes that made my lips i thought “I know what lips look like, I got this” and ended up drawing this:


I automatically knew that those lips were not mine and then I would have to draw them again. This time i followed the actual shape and shade of my drawing and was able to draw something that actually looked like me:



I continued to follow that model:




The end result was this portrait:


Which does in fact look like me, in the beginning of the semester i never thought I would be able to make a portrait that did not awful.


Tiny animals critique.

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  • Critique discussion questions:

1) What are the distinctive unifying formal qualities?                                                                                                                                        Texture (The crinkly foil, the ribbon tail and mane, fluffy wings, plastic torso) there are so many different textures, you just want to touch the entire sculpture.

2)How does the materiality of the subject relate to the literal form?                                                                                                          The opening of the torso so that you can pour out the “Gold nuggets” (Rolled up pieces of gold foil) and the notes with the bad thoughts in them. The gold serving both as an Armour and as a symbolic source of”Light”

3)How does the combination of these two qualities create meaning? Do the materials chosen convey a particular function or sensibility?                                                                                                                                                                                                     Complexity or form vs. complexity of meaning. The form is so complex and has so many parts and so many different types of materials. the symbolism of the mythical creatures as comfort, to slowly get over what you believe.

  • What did you learn? what was the point of project?

How to make a sculpture from scratch! I never thought i would actually be able to make a sculpture, which was why i chose this project over the graphic design. The point of the project in my opinion was for us to actually make something that we imagined. Since the animal was something that we had mentally created and thought up, we then had to use regular and “out of the box” materials to create that. It was visual thinking at it’s best, we visualized something and had to think about how to make our vision a reality.

  • What did you like about the project you didn’t do? How does it connect to your project?

It was simple presentation for a complex theme. The students had to restrict their large ideas to a small canvas. It was very important to think of how to control your ideas to ensure they are physically possible. Which we had to think about in every project, how to turn our ideas and mental concepts into a tangible physical presentation that did that idea justice.

  • Choose two that you thought were successful and why?

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For the graphics projects, this was my favorite. The project does its words of “Exquisite” and “Flawed” justice. To be able to contain an idea in a picture so perfectly is almost impossible. When i saw it from afar as we were mounting I absolutely fell in love with it and knew that the words might have something to do with jagged and intricate. It was able to convey its message from afar and I loved that aspect.

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This was a sculpture i was able to see made from scratch and i loved the fact that all of the materials that make up the skeleton are natural. The wings are fall leaves and the body is pine cones. Along with the physical sense of the animal being so unique the message also fell in so well with the purpose of the animal. The animal was supposed to filter air as it flies through it. The wings portray that so well and the fuzzy body of the pine cone looked so much like an air filter.

  • How would you modify with an extra week?

I would make the wings more stable, or with a heavier wire so that it wouldn’t bend so easily. I would also make some sort of latch for the opening part of the torso so that I could close and fasten that functional part of the sculpture..

Tiny animals and not so tiny questions.

We were given a mini assignment within our large assignment. We were to talk to a group of three people about our project and then ask them a series of three questions about our animals. The three people I spoke to were Tanvi, Amanda, and Itzel. After telling my peers these ideas for the materials I was able to get some really insightful answers to the assignment questions.


1) How does the material you’re using broadcast your superpower?

       A: The see through plastic could be used to show case the bad ideas that the horse takes away from people                          T: Since the torso portion is the clear part it can also symbolize where the bad ideas in people fester                                        I: If you put the ball that looks like a stress ball inside the torso of the horse it could also stand for the stress relief                     that some people need.                              

2) What are some further considerations of form?

         A: Silly Putty on the bottom of the horse to add another textural element to the horse.                                                                   T: Tape notes to the outside of the torso of the horse that way people have the opportunity to read them.                            I: Work a bit more on the skeleton to ensure that it definitely ends up looking like a horse, maybe a wire inside to                show the skeletal frame of a horse.

3) What if?

                 A: whatever you use make sure that there is enough support, may you could use plastic silverware.                                        T: Work on the tail, make it look real use ribbon or doll hair.                                                                                                                        I: Maybe you could put eyes on the wings, to add an omnipresent element.

Tiny Animals

The assignment: Create your own super-animal who solves a real world problem with its power using everyday household items.

The first animal that came to my mind was a golden horse with wings that ate bad thoughts and replaces them with gold. when i mentioned the idea outloud I was quickly reminded that the physical animal existed and was called the pegasus. that discouraged me but i really loved the idea and decided to stick with it, because I would now actually be under the pressure to make the animal look very real and resemble an actual existing animal (I also fell in love with the gold element). The day we were given the questions to answer for our process logs my project was still in the state of materials. I had chosen the materials I wanted to use and developed a vision and purpose for all the materials  I wanted to use


These items were gonna be the items for the skeletal framework of my animal. I wanted to then use the gold wrappers on the Ferero Rocher candy as the “Golden” portion of the horse and use tissue for the wings. 


Out of all the assignments we have done so far this box assignment was my absolute favorite! This activity was not only kinda fun but I feel like we had complete creative freedom. It also gave us a first hand experience with how something concrete can mean different things to different people visually. 

Draw a box. After drawing a chair and a crazy still life this wasnt that hard of a task. When we finished our boxes we attached a regular shaded value chart. When I was finshed with mine there was nothing in particular that made it stand out from everyone else’s.


But then the fun part started, we got to make our own value charts with whatever we wanted to make the values with as long as there was visible contrast (someone chose numbers, someone else chose checkers, there was a vast variety in choice) we originally had to make a chart full of different value scales.



As you can see i went wild, but soon figured out some would work more than others. I was also able to go around the classroom and choose one that noone else had done, the spirals! Hence the tag that states “chosen one”



I felt like this one translated the best on paper. And i had so much fun making this one! Then the hard part came puzzling it all together. We had to then assign our values to the different shaded parts of our boxes. Frankly the only hard part in that was making sure i didnt glue too soon or lose the small peices by having them stick to the wrong place. Thankfully it all turned out all right.Image

Critique day was special for so many reasons, because it made evident the visual thinking aspect of the assignment. Just seeing how differently everyone translated values especially what some people believed to be dark or close to black in comparison to others. We basically had a chance to visually translate what we thought is absolutely true without having to constrain ourselves to what is considred to be absolutely true. In this case the obsolute truth was tied to values of light and dark. Not to mention the ending products (especially the creative mounting according to perspective) made everything so much more worthwhile.





What is art? I feel like defining art would kind of go against every fiber of what art actually is. Unlike other fields of study and creativity, art has no boundaries, no definite definition. It could mean one thing to an individual and something completely different to another individual. 

For example to Carrie Mae Weems art was closely tied to history and wasn’t constricted to a single medium. Art to her, was a platform in which she could not only explore, but also confess to others her own intricate history. Ranging from the painful history of her ancestors, to that of her close knit family ties, and ultimately the history of her nation through her own eyes and her own perceptive mind. She was able to use different means to reach that one goal of expressing personal, political, and social history through her eyes which would also be able to invoke those same feelings and connection to those who viewed her art because it sprang from what seems to be common knowledge. This intricacy in expression and its different forms invoke a new and refreshing feeling to visual thinking. I signed up for the class not knowing what visual thinking is. After the first few assignments i thought it meant to think with ones eyes instead of perceptive notions of the mind. Carrie Mae Weems art made me think of a different meaning to this concept. E meaning in which what one if thinking and how it affects them to be visualized for everyone else to be able to identify with that form of thinking.

This same intricate sense of thinking is invoked in Jessica Burke’s “Paula as Spock of the USS Enterprise”. The picture looks like any ordinary female costume play on a character but something stands out. Paula, the model for the picture, is quite visibly pregnant. This stark difference pulls the viewer into a closer look. Spock as the character is actually very rigid and doesn’t really show any ounce of human emotion. Paula’s face radiates this gentleness which is also magnified by the careful and graceful placement of her hand on her pregnant belly. The artist was drawing the pieces as an analysis of women in the media. Spock within the show is portrayed as male which places an even more interesting twist on the piece.

On that note I think it is very important to remember that what was once a definite and concrete concept is turning more abstract within modernity(Art, Literature, gender, etc.)

Blind Contour

Blind contour: Draw still life (doesn’t seem that complicated right? Wait for it) Without looking at your work and without removing the drawing utensil from the medium. We had to originally draw our hands, which at first didn’t seem that hard. While drawing , I thought the hand would actually turn out nice or decent, this is what it looked like:



In my mind, i thought it actually looked like a hand. I feel like this project kind of were a good example of visual thinking(which is the name of the class). We all thought we were drawing one thing and when we look at what we have drawn it is not that one thing. Especially if that one thing is supposed to look like this: Image

But doesn’t end up looking like that one thing: Image

Its not supposed to be an abstract piece! I tried, and I honestly thought i was doing so well. A perfect example of the thought process that we are not supposed to have, all that should matter is us thinking with our eyes (visually) rather than our minds (which sometimes work as an obstacle sometimes when we are trying to think visually). I feel like this assignment helped us get out of our heads and just use our eyes and have our hands be an extension of our writing utensil.