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Shreya Kaipa
High School Student

Art School Portfolio


Clara Lieu, RISD Adjunct Professor

Clara Lieu
Partner & Art Prof

Purchase a portfolio critique

Partial Video Transcript
“Hi Shreya, I’m going to take a look at your portfolio for college admission. I will talk about your entire portfolio overall, give you some general strategies and approaches you can use, and then I’ll go through and I’ll critique each piece individually.

I’m very excited about your portfolio because I think you have an excellent range of variety in terms of media, subject, and also stylistically, and I think it’s rare that I see a portfolio that is that diverse in all three areas. I think that’s wonderful, it really shows to me how willing you are to experiment and try out all different kinds of ways of working. That’s really wonderful, and comes across really well.

The other thing that I noticed too, about your subject matter, is that in addition to having more traditional pieces, for example the figure paintings, some of the still life pieces, it also seems like you have a lot of pieces that do dig into more personal narratives, for example images #1, #5, and then there’s clearly a lot of imagination and invention in terms of some of these interior design pieces as well. So, there’s a wonderful liveliness in all of your work, in terms of your thinking, in terms of how you’re developing all these concepts. That’s something I don’t see all the time in a lot of portfolios, so I think that’s great.

I think where you can improve is the consistency of quality in your portfolio. Because you have a couple pieces that I think are really outstanding. For example, image #1 I think really jumps out. That’s a piece that I think seems like it was heavily manipulated, it seems like it went through a number of different stages to get to the point that it got to. You have this egg beater project, which I think really shows wonderful compositional ways of working, and also an engagement with the media.

However, you also have a couple pieces that I think by comparison are relatively weak. For example, I would say image # 3, image # 8, image # 2 — those three pieces to me don’t really sort of live up to the quality of your other pieces, and so I think what I’d like to see is for you to get all of the pieces in your portfolio to the same caliber of quality.

Because, it’s almost more disappointing when you see a couple of great pieces, and then you see a lot that are mediocre, because it signifies that you’re capable of doing high quality work, but that you’re not doing it all the time. So that consistency’s really critical.

Your technique in terms of painting is also quite inconsistent. You have a couple of paintings that I think are very lively, really engaging, like image #9 — I really see you engaging with material, playing with texture. I think the figure paintings that you have are quite accomplished, you have really assertive, very bold brushwork, but then you have a couple of paintings that, again, don’t really measure up to that same level of quality.

For example, I’d say image # 6 is a very plain portrait, the colors aren’t particularly engaging, and there isn’t a very good sense of bone structure in the face. So I would say your paintings also you want to bring to that same level of quality that’s apparent in some of the pieces.

I also think color is definitely an area that you need to really take a strong initiative to work on. You definitely have color in your portfolio, however, the majority of the time they way you’re using the color is in a very isolated way. For example, image # 3, which has the nose, you have very plain, very graphic shapes where all the colors are very flat. Image # 7, which is a still life, has a lot of colors, but the colors are very isolated. For example, the red area is red, the green area is green.”

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