The mask I created was inspired by African tribal masks and the masks worn during Day of the Dead. The African tribal masks inspired the weird distortion that makes the mask; the way that they can look human but at the same time have an alien look to them. Main areas that used this would be the chin and forehead. Masks from the Day of the Dead helped to create the still human face to it. The mask itself was created from the ideas of what a skull would look like but angular, the Day of the Dead masks helped to keep the organic and true shape of the human head alive in the mask.
Many pictures were used from different angles of the mask to help create the image that was drawn. Using Photoshop I took different pieces from many of my pictures and placed them on the dark side of the mask; before I did though I made sure that each piece lined up slightly with the light side of the mask. To keep the creepy feeling/alien look to my mask I made sure that each piece I put onto it would emphasize the mask more and draw more attention towards that side. The smudges around the mask give it an aura about it that brings it out off of the page and adds to the creepiness of the piece. Contrast between the two sides also helped with pushing this feeling/look home, and adding in the extra detail to the darker side helped with this as well and helped to give depth to the piece.
The shading of the mask has changed much since the beginning; at first the darks were not dark enough and the lights were too bright. As I continued to create the design I began to darken things in more to give the image better contrast and gradients. Eventually I became bolder and darkened in many things from what they had been which in turn helped the image to have more depth and look as though it is popping off of the page.
When I first arrived at Alfred I was terrified of any and all drawing projects that I had to draw. I was never the best artist, I could only create rough sketches of images using references to create them. I could never use any shading and could not create anything with detail or realism. As I did my projects here and began to grow as an artist I began to see more realism in my artwork, my images became 3D and popped off the page, my shading had become bolder. There are still many things that I need to work on though, and I hope to improve my skills later on next semester. The things I wish to improve upon are the confidence in my lines, creating more realistic and detail images, and being able to create settings and characters without the need of reference images for me to copy from. I hope to improve majorly as much as I have this semester, next semester, and I look forward to see how I improve later on down the road.