Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Work of Art That I am the Most Proud of

Out of all the projects we did in class, I am the most proud of my realistic self portrait. While I do see some mistakes in the portrait, overall I'm really happy with how well I was able to recreate my features. Drawing myself from life rather than from a photograph really impacted my learning by making me focus on translating a 3d image into a 2d image. As a result of this I think I was able to capture the depth of real life better than I would have been able to if I had been drawing from a photograph. While I'm not the most confident in drawing 3/4 view, I'm proud of what I was able to accomplish with the task I was given. The added challenge of having to draw myself in 3/4 view really forced me think more about perspective.

Revisiting my Goals for the Semester

Throughout this semester I did achieve some of my goals. One of my goals was to get better at perspective, and I definitely think I got better at that though doing the still life unit. Another one of my goals was to get better at proportions both in still lifes and in portraiture. While I already had a pretty good grasp of facial proportions, I still think I got better at them by doing my self portrait. The biggest thing I think I improved on that was one of my goals was seeing my mistakes and being able to fix them. With a bit of help, I was able to see what was wrong with my work. Even with the paintings and drawings I do at home, I've noticed myself getting better at noticing my mistakes without them being pointed out. The only other goal I really had for the semester was creating a better mood through the use of color. While I didn't get the chance to do that in a lot of our projects, I do think I improved on it a bit with the Unsung Hero project by having to really consider the meaning of the colors I used.

Watercolor Techniques

- To experiment, explore, and learn a variety of ways to paint with watercolor

One of the most important concepts I learned from painting with watercolor is the importance of layering. With acrylic and oil paints, you don't have to layer up to get darker colors, but with watercolor you do. I also learned about how much importance each brush stroke and each part left white has. When you put down a mark with watercolor, there's not much you can do to fix it. With other paints you can always go over top of it and completely cover it up, but because watercolors are so sheer, you can't do that. I had to be really sure of where I wanted my darks and lights when doing my painting.

Sketchbook Assignments

Imitation Drawing: Stil Life
- To gain a basic understanding about the Realism Art Movement and to identify Artists who work(ed) in this style;
- To practice drawing in the realist style by "imitating" a professional, realistic work of art.

Still Life Drawing
- To practice creating a still-life drawing that demonstrates understanding of drawing in perspective, along with using a variety of mark-making techniques to describe form;
- To understand value by creating a good range between black & white;
- To demonstrate quality craftsmanship and good composition skills in a drawing.

Imitation Drawing: Portrait
- To become familiar with past and contemporary portrait artists;
- To use critical thinking skills to analyze artwork;
- To understand how and why artists create portraits;
- To practice drawing in a portrait by "imitating" a professional work of art.

Half Portrait Drawing
- To look closely at half of a portrait and complete the portrait by drawing similar features;
- To practice drawing facial features: eyes, nose, and mouth

Autobiographical Collage
- To create an autobiographical collage that tells the story of an experience(s) that took place in the artist's life. It lets the artist express his or her thoughts and feelings about any aspect of his/her life.

Mandala Design
- To become familiar with Mandala designs and its meanings;
- To create your own, original Mandala

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Unsung Hero Project

When looking through all the projects that had been done, I was really inspired by all of the people highlighted. However, Colonel Gail S. Halvorsen was the one I was drawn to the most. When reading his story I thought it was really interesting how a Colonel, who would be expected to be hardened from war and such, could still do such kind things for the children of a country who had recently been the enemy. One quote from one of the children really stood out to me: “When the weather gets so bad that you can’t land, don’t worry about us. We can get by on little food. But if we lose our freedom, we may never get it back. Just don’t give up on us.” The message about the importance of freedom was very impactful to me and it gave me a better understanding of what Colonel Halvorsen did for the children really meant to them. It wasn’t just about the candy; it was about giving them hope. Hope was really what would make them want to keep going on and get through the difficult time in Germany.

My painting of Colonel Halvorsen is meant to show the brightness and hope that he brought into such a dreary place. After the war, Germany was left heavily damaged and left with an absence of color of sorts. I chose to paint the background of my piece in black and white to really give the impression of the depressive state of post-WWII Berlin. Also in the background, I chose to paint a barbed wire fence. Colonel Halvorsen first met 30 children at a barbed wire fence at Tempelhof. This meeting with the children greatly impacted him and sparked his candy-giving operation so I wanted to represent this important event.

After I painted the background I started painting Colonel Halvorsen and the candy around him. I wanted to paint both him and the candy in color to show the hope and “color” that Halvorsen brought to the children of Berlin with the candy. In many picture of him and the Berlin children he is shown smiling and I chose to paint Colonel Halvorsen with a smile because I wanted to give the colored part a more happy mood. I thought it was important to really show the kind person that he was through his expression. One method that Colonel Halvorsen used to get the candy to the Berlin children was through the use of “candy bombs” or candy with small parachutes tied to them. That’s why I decided to paint the candy falling around him; I wanted to represent those candy bombs.

What really impacted me from this project was the message of how even small things can really help people. Giving candy to a child might not seem very important, but when that child is suffering that kind gesture could give them hope. Though I’m not faced with the same situations that Colonel Halvorsen was faced with, I still aspire to help people and make them happy through small gestures that I do every day.

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.