Tuesday, May 23, 2017

LMC Unsung Hero Planning

The story that motivated and inspired me the most was the story of Colonel Gail S. Halvorsen. I think it's really inspiring how a Colonel, someone who is expected to be hardened, can still do something so kind for the children of Berlin. One visual that I definitely want to use is some sort of candy. Considering he is known as the "Candy Bomber", I think showing candy would communicate that pretty well. I would also like to either show a portrait of him or some of his badges or medals to show his military status. I think showing some symbolism of Berlin or the children would also be good to have in my painting.

Landscape Perspective Painting

One perspective strategy that I used in my painting was an s-curve with the river flowing back into the trees towards the top of the painting. I learned about how using an s curve can help create depth and lead the viewer's eye somewhere. Another perspective strategy I used was the sizing of the trees. The trees in my background appear smaller than the trees that are shown closer to the viewer. One thing I learned about from this project but didn't actually use in my painting was atmospheric perspective. I gained a better idea about how to create depth with the color in the horizon, even though I didn't actually get to practice it. I also learned a lot about the actual process of painting. Before, I had a general idea of what to do with a painting, but after this project I have a much better idea of the steps to produce a painting.

When I was working on my painting, my biggest challenge was getting the perspective right. Towards the top of my painting it looked like the water was flipping forward as opposed to going back. While I don't think I got the perspective totally right, I fixed that part by making the likes more horizontal and lowering the height of the trees. I also had trouble getting the sky to look how I wanted because the sky in my photo just showed up white, so I didn't have anything to reference back to. I had to try to improvise by painting in clouds. If I were to do this painting again I would take the lighting on the trees more into account while painting the sky. I don't think the clouds I painted make the most sense considering how much light was coming down onto the trees.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Contemporary Painting

Kerry James Marshall, Untitled, 2009

One aspect of contemporary art is the use of civil rights messages. In this painting, a black woman is depicted to highlight how white male artists are usually the artists shown in art classes. Behind the woman is a large paint by numbers self portrait that she has started to fill in. She has painted her hair red in the self portrait, breaking away from what the colors are supposed to be. I think this shows that there are less rules in art now and things can be more abstract as opposed to classical artworks that were very realistic.

Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Mama, Mummy and Manna, 2014

I think learning about Akunyili Crosby can help people see that we aren't so separated. Her blending of Western influences with her Nigerian background helps to show that different cultures can mix together in a beautiful way. I think by being aware and encouraging this mixing of cultures we can all accept each others cultures. I also think that by accepting other cultures we can better understand others' perspectives and experiences. By learning about other cultures and experiences I think it would be a lot easier for everyone to get along with each other.

Mel Bochner, Ha, Ha, 2014

One technique an artist uses is 3-D painting. By painting on objects there is a much more immersive experience than just looking at a painting on a canvas. Another technique one artist uses is making her own paint. By making her own paint the colors will change with exposure to sunlight and humidity. As a result this can create a sense of impermanence and change to a medium that usually has little change. Another artist explores the idea of identity and how in social media we sort of create another identity for ourselves. Text is another element that some artists use to draw attention to different types of language and connotation. 

Friday, April 28, 2017

Realistic Self-Portrait

When I got feedback, I was told that the space between my mouth and jaw was a bit too large. I fixed this by changing where my jawline was located. I also got a bit of feedback on the placement of my cheekbone in relation to the placement of my mouth. In my final drawing I ended up making the line of my cheekbone a bit shorter to fix that. I didn’t really get much other feedback that I was able to incorporate into my portrait although I did have to change my neck my neck and shoulders towards the end. I had trouble getting my neck and shoulders to look right in 3 quarter view though I was eventually able to do so through feedback.

One thing that I notice while comparing my pre-instructional to my final self portrait is that I look older in my final portrait. I think in my pre-instructional I looked too young and that might have been because I drew my mouth and nose too small. It’s hard for me to really compare the actual shape of my features because I was drawing them at different angles, but in my final portrait they seem to be a bit more in proportion, especially with my mouth. I think in both my pre-instructional and final self portrait I made my nose longer than it actually is though I didn’t notice that until I had started shading. If I had noticed that earlier I would have fixed my nose placement. I also have a lot more shading and highlights on my face in my final self portrait which really helped it look more 3 dimensional than my initial portrait.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Introduction to Landscape Painting

River in the Catskills, 1843, Thomas Cole

When I look at this painting I notice the sunlight and the range of colors between the foreground, middle ground, and background. There are rolling hills and mountains in the background and a small village near the center of the painting. Cole clearly uses the S curve in the form of the river to guide the eye into the distance and create depth. The blueish tint on the mountain also imitates depth through atmospheric perspective. Cole also makes the the objects appear much smaller the farther away they are. For example, the trees in the middle ground are quite a bit larger than the trees on the hills in the background.

The Rocky Mountains, Lander's Peak, 1863, Albert Bierstadt

In this painting I notice the large mountains in the background sort of looming over the rest of the scene. I also notice the waterfall in the background that leads into a larger lake near the herd of animals and people. Bierstadt uses atmospheric perspective to create depth by making the mountains more blue and hazy than the rest of the painting. The use of overlapping with the trees also creates a sense of a boundary between the middle ground and the background. Bierstadt also uses differing sizes with huts near the trees being smaller in size than the huts that are towards the right. There also seems to be a slight S curve near the waterfall leading up the mountains.

An underpainting is a layer of paint first applied to a canvas as a base for the rest of the painting. Underpainting can be used to create initial tonal values and have an effect on the later mood and colors. Blue toned underpaintings are better for wintery or cool toned paintings whereas yellow toned underpaintings are better for hot or warm toned paintings. One type of underpainting is the tonal grounds underpainting where you paint the entire canvas one color to create backlighting shadows. Another type of underpainting is A tonal underpainting used to map out where the dark and light areas will be. Using A tonal underpainting can create brighter top colors and make developing the subject easier later on.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Eyes, Nose, Mouth


    • To demonstrate understanding of the structure for each feature: eyes, nose, & mouth;
    • To practice using black & white charcoal to render a drawing, using brown paper as the middle value

I think the way that I'm shading my features is working well. I like the range of values that I've been getting and how the transitions don't look too sharp and unnatural. I particularly like the depth that I got while drawing my nose and mouth. One thing that I need to remember when drawing my final self-portrait is to fix some of the proportions on my eyes. When I was drawing my eye, I made the pupil too large and more of an oval than a circle. I think the length and shape of my nose was a little bit off as well so I need to remember to fix that.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Intro to Portraiture

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Rembrandt van Rijn

Rembrandt was born on July 15, 1606 in Leiden. His family was pretty modest money-wise but he was given a good education. He started studying at a Latin school though he left to study art. He worked in Leiden at the beginning of his career then moved to Amsterdam and worked there. His wife and three of his children all died while he was living there and eventually he was forced to move because of financial burden. He later married his housekeeper Hendrickje Stoffels who he used frequently as a model for his paintings.

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Americans Who Tell the Truth
Robert Shetterly

Robert Shetterly was born in Cincinnati in 1946. He went to Harvard for college as an English major and took some art courses there which changed his direction from writing to painting. After college he moved to Maine and taught himself how to paint. Many of his paintings tell a narrative and are surreal though he has a series of portraits Americans Who Tell the Truth to illustrate the necessity of truth in politics. He's also worked with many of the subjects of his portraits on humanitarian and political work. A lot of his current work focuses on environmental problems and systematic racism.

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Alice Neel

Alice Neel was born on January 28 in Merion Square, Pennsylvania as the fourth of five children. She started working as a secretary for the Army Air Corps but took art classes in the evening. She later left the secretary job and enrolled in an art program at the Philadelphia School of Design for Women. While she was taking classes she got multiple honorable mentions and awards for her work. Neel later moved to New York after marrying fellow artist Carlos EnrĂ­quez and started getting work there. During the 1930s Neel became suicidal and was encouraged to keep drawing and painting while at the hospital. She continued working in New York and participated in many exhibitions there.

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Madame X, 1884
John Singer Sargent

John Singer Sargent was born in Florence in 1856. He studied painting in Italy and France and started gaining recognition in the 1880s. In many of his portraits he showed the personality of the model. His portrait of Madame X received a very negative reaction that made him move to London. During his career he painted around 900 oil paintings and more than 2,000 watercolors. Although he wasn't considered an impressionist painter, he used impressionistic techniques in some of his paintings.


Rembrandt van Rijn's painting Old Man with a Black Hat and Gorget gives off a rather grandeur feel. The plumed hat and clothing on the man makes him seem rich of important in some way. His stance and the seriousness in his face also give off the vibe of him being some sort of noble. The dark colors of the man's clothing and the background feeds into the serious feel of the painting.

John Singer Sargent's painting of Madame X has a rather mysterious and alluring mood to it. The way the woman is positioned with her face turned away gives a bit of a mystery as to what the rest of her face looks like. In addition, her body facing towards the front gives off an inviting feel to contrast the position of her face. The way that she's dressed also gives off an alluring aura. For the time that it was painted it, the exposed chest and collarbone area must have been out of the ordinary.