Oscar Stewart

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The theme for our exam project was Force. In the beginning, I wanted to look at force on the body, but my work developed through to looking at subjects posing for their portraits. Throughout the project, and in fact the entire course, my main subject matter has been people, particularly portraiture. Overall, I looked at 6 artists, all of whom were photographers. I think I did enough artist research, but it would have been best to diverge from the photographers and look at different media, such as paintings and drawings. I used the iconic portraits of Man Ray to inspire the later parts of my work, including my final piece(s), all done using film photography. However the other photographers I looked at used digital, except Robert Bueltemen, who used ‘Kirlian’ technology. Throughout the project, I think my portrait-drawing skills have improved, and I have also learnt how to paint with ink effectively. At A-Level, I would like to move on to using different coloured inks. My photography skills have been built on by being inspired by others’ ideas and developing them further. For my final piece, I did a triptych of three images I had taken as a response to Man Ray. Two of these paintings contained lots of dark shades of grey and black, while the other was, for the majority, white, with detail on the hair. I decided to use black ink for the paintings because I wanted to experiment with different media, and it wouldn’t have worked quite as well in pencil or black and white acrylic. The images are quite sinister, and there is a troubled air about them due to the makeup smeared across her face and the black cape around her. Altogether, I am happy with the paintings, as they do stay true to the original images. I would change the shading on the face of the smudged-makeup one, as I felt it looked a bit rushed and inaccurate. I particularly like the detailing on the hair, which was done at last minute after we felt it needed something more.
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