Freshmen art class paints their spirit animals


Olivia Rounsaville

Freshman Madeline Drda paints a giraffe for her spirit animal art project. The class used the project as a way to practice color theory.

Olivia Rounsaville, Reporter


Freshmen in Art Foundations I paint animals that represent their personality to practice color theory.

“One of the nice things about art is that students can play around with identity and discover more about themselves,” art teacher Malisa Suchanya said. “Instead of doing something like a self-portrait, it’s really interesting to see students picture themselves in an animalistic way.”

Students began the unit learning art vocabulary terms about colors. Their first assignment was to create a color wheel mixing, red, blue, yellow, black, and white paint.

“We got to practice shading and applying depth to our paintings,” freshman Bridget Mills said. “I enjoyed experimenting with color and combining them in different ways such as mixing analogous colors and monochromatic colors.”

After working on the paintings for a couple of classes students presented their final product to the class. During their presentation, they discussed why they chose their specific animal, color theme, and they also shared struggles and successes that occurred while creating the piece. The class then gave constructive criticism for each piece.

“I really liked how we got to express our personalities in a really playful and fun way,” freshman Adele Fratesi said. “I choose a dear for my spirit animal and I feel like it turned out really well.”

While many of the paintings were realistic, many students also played with bright or neon colors.

Students also wrote artist statements and posted a picture of their paintings in a blog they keep as a way to record everything they make in class.

“Animals are often set in nature and nature is really great to show how different colors interact with each other,” Suchanya said. “Nature is a really great place to start when first learning about color theory.”