Friday, February 12, 2016

Watercolor history

The first water color is estimated to be made around 15,000 BCE. This watercolor painting was found in the caves of Lascaux. These paintings were mostly of animals. Some of the animals that they painted included bison, horses, deer, and many others. The next closest known civilization to create watercolor paintings were the Egyptians. The Egyptians were some of the first to produce artwork on paper. After that it was the Romans and Etruscans who created full paintings and portraits.

Albrecht Durer "Alpine Landscape" 1495

One of the first modern watercolor masters was Albrecht Durer. Albrecht lived from 1471 to 1528, during that time he became a master of sophisticated watercolor techniques. In 1494 he met Giovanni Bellini who taught him landscapes. While on journey home through the Alps he began using his newfound landscaping techniques to paint the Alps. When you look at his Alps painting you can see the wash technique that he learned from Giovanni. The wash technique is using a light wash of color, mostly water and layering it to form objects.

Another good watercolor artist is Anthony Van Dyck. Van Dyck was known for being skillful and painting landscapes in watercolor. He mostly used these watercolor paintings as his backgrounds for his oil paintings. A third noteworthy artist would be Claude Lorraine. She was known for painting many large landscapes of rome. These paintings were commissioned by kings and clergy in the 1600s.
Van Dyck "An English Landscape"

Claude Lorraine "Landscape with river"

Originally artists would have to create their own paints from natural pigments. Crushing up berries into a paste for example. Eventually as it became more common to do art, paints were created by factories. The canvas that artists have had to paint on has changed throughout the years also. Firstly they would paint on stones, or cave walls. After a while the Egyptians made papyrus paper that they could paint on also. And then eventually paper started to be made out of trees.

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.

Unsung Hero

  1. Students will create a personal work of art based on their interpretation of an Unsung Hero’s character and actions;
  2. Students will reflect on their experiences by writing an artist statement that articulates their personal journey and interprets their work for the viewer.

I began this project by choosing my unsung hero. While scrolling through the website I saw a couple of people that stood out and that I found interesting. The only problem with these stories was that even after reading and researching about them for a little while. I still was not getting a clear visual image of what I wanted to create for a portrait. Because I was still undecided about what I wanted to paint even after reading three very interesting stories, I decided to look for another one. That is when I found a story about Colonel Gail Halvorsen. Colonel Halvorsen was a command pilot for the United States Air Force during World War II. During the Soviet Union’s blockade of Berlin, Halvorsen flew over the city as part of the Allied Force’s attempt to drop food and supplies to the people trapped in Berlin. Halvorsen started to attach candy to handkerchiefs and toss them out the window of his plane to the kids below. Eventually he started to drop whole chocolate bars into Berlin. When the media heard of this efforts, Halvorsen received a great deal of publicity which made the American public want to support him. Candy companies started to donate large amounts of candy and volunteers worked on making the parachutes needed for the deliveries to the people of Berlin. When I heard this story in particular I got an immediate image of what I wanted to create for my portrait in my head. First for the background I decided that I wanted to paint Berlin and the Berlin Blockade to make a visual. Next on the left side of the painting I made the sky dark and stormy. This is to represent the unhappiness, despair, and sorrow that the kids stuck in the Berlin blockade must have been experiencing. On the right side of the portrait I painted the sky light and warm in attempt to make it seem almost heavenly. And in the top right corner specifically, I made the sky really bright. Also in the top right corner of the portrait I put Halvorsen’s plane. This was because I think Halvorsen’s plane must have been some kind of beacon of hope for the kids of Berlin who must have suffered great despair during the blockade. I feel like it would have brightened up there day when the children in Berlin saw Halvorsen’s plane coming and realizing that they would at least have some candy or a treat to help get them through such a terrible period in their lives. Finally, in the very front I painted Halvorsen himself. I did this because I wanted to celebrate him and his incredible act of kindness. It makes me thankful that he was able to help those children feel a sense of comfort during such a dark and desperate time and I think it is important to honor people who are willing to do selfless acts for others without expecting any recognition or gratitude for it.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Perspective drawing strategies

One point perspective

Two point perspective

  1. While creating these one and two point perspective drawings I had a couple of challenges. One of these challenges was having to draw lighter since there was a lot of erasing to do after you got the correct line. When I draw I usually put a lot of pressure on the pencil because I like how it looks. This has become a habit for me so it was difficult to remember to draw lightly. Another challenge I had was using the color pencils. I usually do not like to draw with color because I feel that I can create a more interesting piece by using shading. I had to figure out how to use the color pencils to shade and show depth. For most of the colors on the pictures I ended up layering with different color pencils to get a deeper and more vibrant color.

  1. The first thing I learned while doing the perspective exercises and final drawing was how one and two point perspective actually worked. Before this assignment I did not know that there was a way to make a drawing exactly accurate. I thought that you just had to draw it by eye and get it to look as close as possible. The second thing I learned was how to better use color pencils. As I said before I do not personally use much color in my drawings. Because of this I have not used color pencils very much before. Thanks to this assignment I was able to improve on my skills with color pencils. The third thing I learned was how difficult it was to line up the things while doing two point perspective. For an example, while doing my two point perspective drawing I did not put the main building in the middle. Because of this the trick you use while doing two point perspective did not work and I had to adjust and eye ball it on my own.

To understand what perspective means in Art;

To learn and apply various perspective strategies through the creation of drawings.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Watercolor Studies

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

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Perspective Strategies

Perspective in art means that you create the appearance of depth. You also have to make things look three dimensional along with adding depth. Creating a perspective is creating a viewpoint, it doesn't have to be your own it just has to be a interesting viewpoint of the subject. So basically perspective in art means creating something from an interesting viewpoint thats three dimensional and shows depth.

The horizon line is eye level.

The vanishing point is when things converge together until they disappear and are no longer visible.

Orthogonal lines are diagonal lines that connect points around the picture to the vanishing point.

Transversal lines are always right angles to the orthogonal lines.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Still-life Studies

I learned a few things from doing these painting. The first would probably be how difficult it is to mix the colors you want. It took a good portion of my time painting just to mix the colors I want to make it look similar to the still life. The next would be how difficult it is to paint with both the palette knife and paint brush. I started off with the paint brush and thought it was pretty difficult to do detail but once I started with the knife it became a lot harder. The last thing I learned was that you need to have multiple layers of paint for it to look correct and make sure you have no white spots from the canvas.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

LMC Unsung Hero Planning

While looking at the website the stories that interested and inspired me were The Voluntary Prisoner, Walk with Me, Brown Eyes Blues Eyes, and The Berlin Candy Bomber. Out of those stories the one that inspires me visually would be The Berlin Candy Bomber. I chose his story because I thought it was awesome how during a time of war he was trying to give hope to the kids cut of from the world due to the Berlin blockade. The other stories were all touching in their own way but this one really gave me a good visual image and that is why I chose it.