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Lana Gloschat
Art Teacher, El Haynes High School

Art Class Portfolio Critique

Clara Lieu, RISD Adjunct Professor

Art Prof & Partner

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Video Transcript

“Congratulations to the students in Lana Gloschat’s class at the El Haynes School in Washington DC for winning the art teacher’s prize for our October art dare. For our October art dare asked people to interpret this idea of your future self.

We were so thrilled here at ArtProf, myself and our staff of six teaching assistants, by the extraordinary range of interpretations that Ms. Gloschat’s class created for this prompt. There were pieces which were comical, somewhere corky, some were more serious and we thought all of you did such a terrific job with this prompt. The art teacher’s prize for our art dares is a class critique.

What I’m going to do now is I’m going to go through and speak individually about each student’s submission for this prize. This painting has a very beautiful vibrancy. I think there is a real richness, to the way the different patterns and colors were layered on top of each other. That’s something that I think is very effective in painting when you keep layering different patterns over and over again, it really develops a depth in the painting which is very effective.

Another thing that I’m noticing in the painting is the pattern; the black pattern that is dispersed throughout the entire piece. I think that really brings a nice liveliness and those shapes really jump out in a really effective way. One thing that I think you may want to consider is giving the painting a little bit more breathing room.

The painting has so much energy, and so much to look at, that in some ways it a little bit over the top and what I might suggest is perhaps a few areas of the painting where, maybe the pattern is a little a bit less pronounced; maybe a few more areas of color that are a little bit less saturated.

For example, maybe if you have some areas where the color is more muted, it gives our eye an opportunity to rest because while I love the vibrant colors, I do feel that I want a few moments to balance against that, and that might be a good way to push forward with this painting.

I might also consider doing something with the white paint strokes that are layered on top of the entire painting. I like that they’re there, but I think what you could consider is the width of your brush stroke because what I’m seeing in some of the brush strokes is that all of them are very similar to each other they’re all of the same height, they’re all about the same width and if you vary that up a little bit, it’ll give our eye a little bit more to feast upon.

What I see a lot in paintings is students will stick to one brush the whole time and what I’d encourage you to do is to get all different kinds of brushes of many many different sizes so it’s easier for you to vary the different kinds of strokes that you’re creating.

This pencil drawing is really nicely composed. One relationship that you’ve established to the drawing that I think is really effective is the criss-crossing diagonals that are set up by the bow in the violin. So you have the bow coming across the page and then you have the violin moving upwards.

That’s a really beautiful dynamic that really lively, really engaging for your piece. One thing that I might think about pursuing, is having more tone in this drawing, having more areas where you shade in, maybe more aggressively with the pencil.

What I see in the drawing is that it’s mostly limited to line and while that’s a good way to get started, I certainly think you could push it further and start thinking about making the drawing a little bit richer in terms of tone. I am really excited to see that you made a background for this piece. So frequently, I see a lot of drawings where people really just focus on the figure, they totally ignore the background; so I really like the integration of that.

One thing you might consider for your background is perhaps getting a little bit more specific. It seems like this person is standing indoors somewhere because I see the door on the right hand side, there’s the windows on the left hand side, but you might think about different ways that you could personalize the background a little bit more.

For example, are you imagining that this person is in their house, are they in their bedroom? In that case, you would have, for example, certain objects in that space, maybe something hanging on the wall; just to make the background a little bit less generic, it will inform us a little bit more about who this person is. But I think it’s a really great subject, I think it seems like there’s a narrative going on in the piece and it’s a way to really engage your audience by really telling a story in that way.”

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4 responses on "High School Art Class Critique: Lana Gloschat"

  1. The pieces all have a certain boldness to them, and strength. There is a beautiful sense of commitment that I find so compelling. Prof Lieu always says it’s better to go all out on a piece that to not go far enough. I believe that if you continue to push that you will even surprise yourself with what more you can accomplish! I love that once you’ve reached the point of putting every bit of effort possible into a piece there is the opportunity for editing, which is a lovely way to step back from your work and ask, what do I need and what do I not need. A really strong and compelling group! wonderful job!

  2. The first thing that struck me is how focused you all are on discovering and working with value in drawings, and it’s really paying off! The really strong use of darks in some of the portraits really help to create a focal point, and the use of highlighting with the eraser is creating a very believable form! Keeping an eye on those transitional middle grays is such a tricky think, but you all are so close to getting those complex levels. The work you’re making with patterns as well, in the grove of trees and the really colorful abstract image have some nice qualities that would be cool to see incorporated into more of the studio work.
    I really admire the bold nature of concept and execution you all are displaying, nice job!

  3. I love the variety of personality in this class’ body of work. Even though there are quite a few portraits, each one is very differently thought through and executed. I hope you guys have the opportunity to do some collaborative projects sometime, because like Casey, I’m really excited by the clarity of your artistic voices, and you guys could make some beautiful music together.

  4. What an accomplished group! This is such a diverse body of work but in general I’m just impressed by how confident and assured all of these artists are in their own styles and in each media… I’m especially struck by how distinctive each of the portraits are, as that’s something you don’t see much of in high school art portfolios.

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