Friday, June 13, 2014

Final Thoughts

One of the most memorable experience from this semester is the first unit we had: portraits. It is memorable to me mostly because I was not very good at drawing portraits, but I did learn some good lessons. For example, I know now not to spend too much time on one small section of a drawing and ignore the rest of it for too long. That's what I did with the eyes in my self portrait, and while they look fairly nice, the rest of my face looks a little rushed.
Also, the printmaking unit is memorable to me, mostly because it was a fun assignment and I felt very happy with my finished product. I learned some things as well, such as keeping a design simple but with enough going on that it is still interesting. I really liked working with only two values, for some reason the stark contrast between positive negative space is just really satisfying. I think that coming up with small, simple designs works best with my attention span as well.

Work of Art that I am Most Proud of

I am most proud of my acrylic still life, I feel that it is visually the nicest looking piece of art I have created in this class. The whole unit where we used acrylic paint probably has had the most learning that will stick with me. I got pretty good at blending colors and changing values so that objects look three dimensional. I really like the ability and easiness to create such bold colors, compared to watercolors or colored pencil. I learned a lot about the importance of shadows in grounding an object and how to make a shadow seem realistic. The best thing about this unit, at least in the learning sense, is that I can use concepts I learned in many other branches of drawing/painting as well. I never knew that using a complementary color could be used in place of black to change value, and I learned a lot about defining the curves and shapes of a three dimensional object accurately on a two dimensional surface.

Final Watercolor Painting

To use and demonstrate what you learned from the watercolor exercises you did in class to create your own landscape painting.

The four techniques I used in my painting were: gradient, salt, masking fluid, and a combination of stomping and whisking. The salt and masking fluid didn't really work out so well. I tried to use the salt technique in a part of my landscape that had sand so I could give it that sort of texture, but it did not really show up. Then, I used the masking fluid to block out where I wanted to paint an island in the middle of the water, but when I ended up painting the island it looked sort of awkward and out of place. However, the gradient worked very well for me. I used this technique when drawing the sky, so I could fade from a dark blue at the top of the sky down to a softer blue on the bottom. In this whole unit, I have learned to use watercolors in a way I never knew about before. To me, watercolors were always just a kids' toy, but now I know how to use them to create detail.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Watercolor Exercises and Techniques

To experiment with a variety of watercolor techniques;
To make connections between experimenting with watercolor techniques learned to creating your own landscape watercolor.

In the exercises we did with watercolors I learned a lot of techniques that I never knew about before. I was actually pretty clueless about how to use watercolors. I never knew how to make a gradient, or the flicking technique, or how to draw lines with the point of the brush, or stipple, or stomping, or any of the techniques we used besides a wash.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Perspective Strategy Drawing

To review the perspective strategies that you learned;
To make connections between what you learned and demonstrating your understanding by creating a drawing using one of the perspective strategies.

I used a combination of 2 different one point perspectives in the same drawing. This odd occurrence was the result of my choice of a trapezoidal building as a subject. I also included some elements of aerial perspective, like how I drew the trees growing smaller in the distance along the sidewalk. I learned some important things to keep in mind, like to draw all horizontal lines going towards the vanishing point. This is how I made my windows appear realistic, even with the semi-circle windows.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Watercolor History

To become familiar with the history of watercolor;
To become familiar with various watercolor artists throughout time;
To make connections between watercolor purposes and techniques from long ago to its uses today.

The earliest paintings ever created (cave drawings) were actually water-based pigments as early as before 10,000 BC.

Albrecht Durer is considered the first master of watercolor. He was a German artist who became familiar with water-color landscape painting when he traveled to Italy in 1494-95. His methods are greatly varied; he used the wash technique to create airy, atmospheric landscapes as well as using precise detail to draw objects found in nature.
View of Kalchreuth 1503

Frances Anne Hopkins: The Lumber Raft, Quebec, 1870

Anthony Van Dyck: Landscape, 1632

Watercolor was at its peak in the early 1800s. It had at that point been part of education in British Academies and was being mass produced by Winsor-Newton. In the late 1700s, it became a popular hobby among women to use watercolors to color black and white prints. Even Queen Victoria took watercolor lessons and kept a painting journal, which made it popular throughout the English speaking world.

In the 1970s and 1980s watercolor re-gained popularity along with 19th century art in general. Watercolor painting became a fashionable past time once again for the middle class. Today, there is a wide range of mediums that qualify as watercolors, everything from water-soluble oil paints, to fade-resistant, to gel enhanced.

Thursday, May 15, 2014


To demonstrate and understand, learn & create, various perspective strategies to show depth on a two-dimensional surface;
To review and interpret some of the work created by Leonardo da Vinci.

Linear perspective is the illusion of depth and a third dimension on a 2 dimensional surface.

Horizon line: the line that separates ground from sky
Vanishing point: point were all parallel lines going into the distance converge on the horizon
Orthogonal lines: parallel lines that converge on the vanishing
Transversals: perpendicular lines to the horizon
One point perspective: The perspective with one vanishing point
Two point perspective: The perspective with two vanishing points

Objects further away appear smaller and less detailed than close objects.
Colors further away appear more dull than closer objects.
The further an object is, the more its color appears to be mixed with the color of the surrounding atmosphere. Da Vinci thought this was a result of water vapor and dust reflecting light away from objects in the distance, such as mountains.

Elliptical perspective: The circle is visualized on a grid of four squares. Then, the grid is distorted according to the perspective, and the circle is drawn on the distorted grid.