Monday, February 1, 2016

Final Thoughts

Throughout the semester in Drawing and Painting I've had a lot of memorable experiences that influenced my learning and my outlook on art as a whole. The majority of my learning took place during first unit and the last unit, face drawing and watercolor painting. Before the face drawing unit, I was confident that I had a firm grasp on the components of the face. However, the unit showed me that there was a lot that I needed to learn about face drawing, and in the end I became 10 times better than I was before, which showed me that no one was good enough to not improve. The last unit, watercolor painting, was also very memorable because beforehand I thought that painting was not something I could be good at. Watercolor painting showed me that even if one type of painting was not my forte, there were other mediums in that category that I could try and succeed in. Drawing and Painting was a great experience, and I am glad that I was able to take the class.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Work of Art that I am the most proud of

My imaginative self-portrait was definitely the piece of artwork that I am the most proud of. Going into the project, I was really comfortable with the medium we were using. I also had an easy time thinking of what symbols I wanted to implement for this project. When I was almost finished, I ran into the problem of balancing out the darks that I had in my face with the rest of the portrait. Originally I was hesitant about filling in more because I was concerned that it wouldn't look good if I put too much dark in. Getting around this obstacle was difficult because I only had a couple of things that I could fill in to balance it out, but in the end I was able to make it so that there was a sufficient amount of dark to balance the whole thing out somewhat evenly. In the end, the thing I am most proud of about this is my ability to get around an obstacle that I had trouble finding a solution to.

Watercolor Techniques

Purpose: To experiment and learn a variety of watercolor techniques

For me, watercolor was the best kind of painting we have done all year. I had a much easier time painting in this medium than I did with acrylic paint. I also had an easier time experimenting with this medium than most of the other mediums. One of the most important things I learned with this that the amount of water you have and the texture of the paint you're using is crucial when painting to get the right shade and the right look. When I first started painting with watercolor I had to practice to get the right amount of pigment and water on my brush in order to get what I wanted. Another thing I noticed that watercolor seemed to be more of a flexible art form than most, since the water could be used to fix mistakes, and there were more techniques that could be used. Watercolor is also a great thing to experiment with, because it can do so much, and can bend to a lot of styles of art. As an artist who is not experienced with color, watercolor really helped me get a sense of how to manipulate color to my advantage. I loved watercolor, and I will definitely remember the skills I've used for future pieces of artwork in the future.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Perspective Drawing Strategies

To understand what perspective means in Art;
To learn and apply various perspective strategies through the creation of drawings.

Two point perspective

One point perspective

One of the most challenging parts of this perspective assignment was trying to make the perspective look realistic. While creating my two-point perspective drawing, I struggled to find a placement for the two different points that would not make the cityscape look exaggerated. Even when I found two points that I was comfortable with, I still felt like the placing was a little bit off in a realistic sense. However, in the end, I was happy with the results.

I learned that perspective isn’t something that necessarily requires you to make stiff, rigid drawings that coincide with the lines. As long as you create depth, perspective isn’t just all about lines. In addition to that, I found that atmospheric perspective is a handy tool in drawing things that cannot fit into the lines. Finally, while I was originally uncomfortable with the idea of pushing the points too close together for fear of being too exaggerated, I found that you can still make a drawing look good with the points close together although it may not seem realistic.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

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.

Traditional watercolor dates back to the earliest civilizations, found on the walls of caves and used in Egyptian art. Western artists came to adopt watercolor techniques in the early 1400s. At first, watercolor did not spread widely across the west because of the artists who tended to keep their techniques to themselves. Individuals would find natural colors on their own to create their watercolors. Eventually early European paint manufacturers began to open the first paint-shops in the major cities of Europe in the 1800. This new development helped watercolor spread across Europe. Eventually it was taken up by more famous artists and was spread around the world.

Some of the first watercolor masters include Albretcht Durer, a Renaissance painter who found that watercolor was a handy tool for small detail studies. He is one of the first users of watercolor paints.
Hare, 1502
William Blake was also a famous watercolor master. He was alive during a time where watercolor was not held in high respects by many artists. He was a printmaker at the time, and he discovered that he could use watercolors to color his sketches.
The Ancient of Days, 1794

Some notable watercolor artists include James A. McNeill Whistler. An American-born painter, he was known for his portraits of American motherhood. He is not paired with any specific style of painting.
Rose and Silver: A portrait of Mrs. Whibley, 1894
Another notable artist is J.W.M. Turner. He is often associated with light and atmosphere and reflection in his paintings. He is often known for pushing light and color to a higher role in his paintings.
Early Morning, 1819

As I mentioned before, watercolor dates back to the earliest civilizations, found on the walls of caves and used often in Egyptian art. The first forms of paper used for it were stone and papyrus. The middle East used silk and handmade paper to paint on. Worldwide, the paints were often hand ground by the artist in the earlier years of watercolor, but they were eventually mass-produced and sold in paint shops in Europe which contributed to the spread of watercolor painting. Nowadays, watercolor is used widely around the world.

"Famous Watercolor Artists: You Need to Know These Greats!" The Craftsy Blog. N.p., 23 May 2013. Web. 06 Jan. 2016.
"J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851) -"WatercolorPaintingcom. N.p., 09 Sept. 2015. Web. 06 Jan. 2016.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Perspective Strategies

Perspective in art is used to make an object more realistic by adding depth. It is often difficult to create perspective on a flat sheet of paper since most drawings appear 2D. However perspective gives the artist the ability to make something appear 3D, and also gives the viewers the impression of depth within the art.

A horizon line is the line that divides the sky from the ground, and often holds the center point of the image. The vanishing point is the point on the horizon line where the the receding parallel lines diminish. Orthogonal lines are straight diagonal lines drawn to connect points around the edges of a picture to the vanishing point. Transversal lines are lines that pass through two in the same plane at two different points.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Unsung Hero Artist's Statement

My process of choosing an Unsung Hero to paint was a difficult one. There were so many amazing people who did so many amazing things which made it hard to settle on one person. Finally I came across a young boy by the name of Pavel Weiner who spent three years in the Terezin ghetto during the time of the Holocaust. He kept a diary of his daily life in the transit camp, and he and other boys started up a secret newspaper that documented the everyday life of Terezin. Unwittingly, these boys gave the rest of the world an image of the horrors within the camps, showing what it was really like. What struck me about Pavel was that he did so much as a child of 13 years old, while many of the other unsung heroes were adults, so I chose to focus in on him. For his portrait, I combined collage with painting so I could employ the writings and drawings he created and collected. I put him in the center kneeling on the ground, and by his feet, a book to represent his diary. Spilling out and around the book are images and writings taken from diaries and photos of the Holocaust to show how his diaries and newspapers showed the everyday life of the Holocaust and how bad it really was. In the background I put a light bright blue sky to illustrate how Pavel found hope through his works that there might someday be a way out of the hell he lived through, showing his spirit through adversity. I painted the buildings in the background a dark red to give the feeling of darkness, since Pavel felt that Terezin was preventing him from living a good life. I really wanted my portrait to show equal sides of hope and darkness because that is what Pavel struggled through during his years at Terezin. My portrait of Pavel Weiner is unique because I used a mixture of both paint to create the base of the portrait, and to make the subject, and paper collage in order to illustrate Pavel's writings and drawings. Many other people used just paint to create their portraits, but I used Pavel's claim to fame to create a distinctive kind of portrait that both fit the mood and added something extra. While in the process creating this painting, I thought a lot about how Pavel struggled through his three years at the Terezin ghetto. A few times it is documented how he almost gave up all hope of ever leaving the camp, but he always rebounded and kept up his morale. I found it amazing that as a 10-13 year old child was able to create a secret newspaper under the noses of the Nazis, that he was able to document the real life in the ghettos as opposed to the life that the Nazis made the world believe they lived in. As a 10-13 year old, he did so much more for humanity than I will probably ever will. I found it incredible how this young boy was able to preserve his hope until the very end of his imprisonment at Terezin, as it is something I don't think I could do in his shoes. Pavel Weiner is a hero because at a young age he was able to endure things that many people today could not, and get through the whole horrible ordeal alive.