Friday, June 13, 2014

Final Thoughts

There were so many lessons I enjoyed this year, all of which I felt I took a lot away from. The first I want to talk about is the linear perspective drawing homework, which even though was just a homework assignment, was one of my favorite assignments of the year.
This assignment gave me an opportunity to practice a variety of skills with a medium we had only used in practices of other units. Perspective was, to me, the most interesting concept we studied and I am continually fascinated by the depth it creates. The reason I love this piece so much is that it utilized not only placement and measurement, but how to effectively blend and use colored pencil in pieces with perspective. Figuring out the correct color scheme to this piece, as well as measuring and drawing the lines, really solidified the technique for me. I think overall, it definitely changed how I approach any landscape.

The second unit exercise I really enjoyed was the watercolor practice as well as the booklet.
As someone who has been a long-time, self-proclaimed hater of watercolor I wasn't overly enthusiastic entering this unit. However, it was a hugely opinion changing unit for me. Both the practice page and technique booklet showed me just how much you really can do with watercolors, and how to do so properly. I didn't previously understand the importance of both having good materials and understanding how to correctly and effectively use them. I was pretty amazed at everything I could do with a medium I used to find completely frustrating. Though I still struggled a little with the final project, I feel like the unit as a whole totally changed my perspective on the medium. It made me want to explore it even more, and try to improve my knowledge and skill.

Work of Art that I am most proud of

My favorite piece I have created this year is definitely my self portrait. Thinking back to the first day of class, I was positively mortified to be asked to draw myself on the spot, but it turned out to be my favorite unit. First of all, I loved using charcoal as a medium, and I think I learned how to use it so much more effectively to create value. As an artist, I've always been focused on wanting to draw people, and get to know the human form better, so this unit, while intimidating, was the most interesting to me. Getting to do in-depth practices with faces and breaking down features taught me so much, and impacted how I look at any face I draw now. In the project I'm immensely proud to look back on the original versus what I learned and used on the final, especially the nose and mouth that I have had so much trouble with in the past. I definitely think this piece shows the most growth, for me, from start to finish. I think I will carry many of the skills I learned in this project with me as an artist.

Final Watercolor Landscape

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

In my final painting I used a variety of techniques to create the different textures within my scene. First, I used saran wrap in the mountains in the background which, though is not is not as clear as I would like, is visible in the bluest mountain and gave it a an appearance of rougher texture, almost like trails you can see from a distance. I also used tissue paper in the mountains. I like the texture of it a lot, however I think my color choice really ruined it because it didn't match the overall scheme of the piece. The most effective technique I used was the salt, which creates the splotchy pattern in the water. It took several tries, but I'm very happy with the result. The last technique I use quite a bit was the tip-only and whisking brush technique. These two combined gave me the ability to create the marsh grass in large quantities and varying sizes. Since the majority of the piece is marsh I wanted to use the brush technique to give a feeling of this overwhelming amount of reed grasses, and I think it was effective.

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 this unit I think I came to learn that watercolors can do much more than I originally thought. Being someone who has historically said how they hate watercolor, I think the exercises we did helped me to appreciate them more than I did before. I didn't previously realize just how many different techniques you can use in watercolor, and exactly how you were supposed to use them. Knowing now how to correctly make washes, utilize materials and paper, and what color choices are effective I feel worlds better going into the final painting. I especially enjoyed the use of tissue paper, plastic wrap, and sea sponges to create different textures. As a paint that once seemed very flat to me, I loved seeing how you can incorporate texture.

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.

In this piece I used several of the strategies studied. In entially sketching out the lines I had all aspects of the landscape vanishing into one point on the horizon, making it one point perspective. I also used size, distance, and aerial perspective to give the piece depth. The fence posts, trees, and parts of the tracks get proportionally smaller as the vanish back into the piece, and the greenery gets bluer as it goes back. These three strategies really helped me to see the depth and improve how I draw. It was interesting to me to experiment with what direction things go in according to the transversal lines, because I hadn't been drawing it like that before. I also learned just how important use of color is to the perspective of a piece.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Linear Perspective

Linear perspective is a mathematical technique applied to works of art that create the illusion of distance and space by applying rules of geometry and placement of objects in space.

  • Horizon line: A point of perspective/eye level that the drawing/painting’s depth is focused around.
  • Vanishing point: The point in a piece where all parallel lines drawing the viewer’s eye meet at the horizon.
  • Orthogonal lines: Lines that connect objects in a piece to the vanishing point, creating the depth.
  • Transversal lines: Lines that establish distances and lengths of objects connected by orthogonal lines.
  • One-point perspective: Perspective using only one single vanishing point to create depth.
  • Two-point perspective: Perspective using two vanishing points to create depth, often with one point positioned off the page.

Depth perspective can be shown by multiple factors. You can observe and create the change in color objects experience as the get further away from you. Objects in different depths within a piece will also be different shapes and sizes. Changing size and placement along the horizon can affect the depth of a piece as well.

Aerial perspective is the principle of how distance and atmosphere change an object’s appearance. The further away something such as mountain gets, the bluer it gets. Da Vinci observed this in how the mountains seemed to blend with their surroundings the further from him they were. He noted that each object back got proportionally “bluer” as it blended with its background.

Circular perspective is called an ellipse. This form of perspective is controlled by rectangular perspective, and the laws that it follows. A rectangle can be drawn to the laws of its perspective and a circle would then be drawn in proportionally, creating the correct depth.

Watercolor Painting & 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 first watercolor paintings were done with water-based pigments in cave paintings from the pre-historic times and Ancient Egypt. They’ve been used in almost every culture since the beginning of art itself.

Albrecht Durer, a German painter from the late 15th century, was considered one of the first modern masters of watercolor. He travelled Italy studying landscape and nature-based art, applying new forms of opaque washes to create detail in his work. He was also one of the first to use the technique of building up transparent layers to create atmosphere. His subject matter often included nature and animals. He was very interested in using layers to create vivid and true-to-life color schemes.

‘Wing of a Roller’ 1512

‘Landscape with River, View of the Tiber from Monte Mario, Rome’ - 1640-50

Claude Lorraine was another important watercolor artist. He was commissioned to paint landscapes for monarchy and clergy. His works were often large and used various techniques of highlights and shadows.

‘Young Woman Sleeping’ - 1654

Rembrandt van Rijn was a very influential artist in the watercolor movement. While he didn’t use actual watercolors, the Dutch painter often used sepia and gray washes in his pieces, suggesting color and light rather than stating it outright.

Watercolor became more mainstream in the 1700s, when art was taught along with other curriculum as a method of planning battle. Watercolor was the best firm of paint to use because it was compact and easy to travel with. It didn’t take long for the art form to become something people did for fun and to show their level of schooling. In the late 1700s and early 1800s they were taken up also by women, especially of the upper class, to color black prints with and use as a part of their tutoring.

Watercolors came back to the mainstream in 1970s and 80s with academics and students taking renewed interested in the art form. Museums put in permanent and very popular galleries just for watercolor works. Today there are many kinds of watercolors including environmentally friendly ones, fade-resistant ones, and some with experimental additives and textures. Some, such as gouache and water-soluble oils change the opacity and even redefine what watercolor is,

Batten, Anthony J Batten J. "HISTORY OF WATERCOLOUR." CSPWC English History of the Medium. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 May 2014.

"Watercolor, Watermedia, Then And Now." Watercolor Watercolor Painting Watermedia History Contemporary Exhibitions. FlexSqueeze, 2012. Web. 15 May 2014.