Sunday, May 21, 2017

Landscape Perspective Painting

In my painting, I used many perspective strategies in order to create an illusion of a three-dimensional space on a two-dimensional surface. I did this so my painting would have depth and look realistic. A specific perspective strategy that I used in my painting was linear perspective.This is when objects that are similar in size appear less large at a distance. In my painting, you can see the buildings become smaller as the distance between the buildings and the viewer becomes larger. The buildings have multiple vanishing points, which have relation to the horizon line to give the painting depth. In paintings, I have always had trouble with perspective and being able to show depth correctly. After learning this trick, I think that I was able to achieve the illusion of depth within my painting. Another perspective strategy I learned was atmospheric perspective. In my painting, as the objects become farther away from the viewer, the weaker their contrast becomes. As you get farther back into the painting, the common temperature color turns into a more cooler tone of blue and colors become more faded. This allows depth to show through. It gives the illusion of things becoming less detailed as you go farther back into the painting showing perspective. The cooler tones showed the effects of the atmosphere on the buildings and water in my painting. Another perspective strategy I used was the usage of a foreground, middle ground, and background. This perspective strategy allowed my painting to show depth. My foreground was the larger buildings in the front, my middle ground was the water that faded into the background, which was the smaller buildings and the bridge. One more perspective strategy I used in my painting was a lot of light, reflections and shadow to show depth to make the painting appear more realistic. An example of reflection shown in the painting would be in the water you can see the reflection of the buildings colors. Under the bridge you can see the usage or shadow, to make the bridge look more realistic. In the buildings and water you can see an abundance of light usage, to bring life to the painting.

I faced many challenges when creating this painting. This includes creating and mixing the correct colors, usage of time, correct usage of brushes and the creating of prospective. When I was mixing colors for dark brown and lighter brown, I had trouble figuring out how much of each primary color I needed to get the color I wanted. It took multiple tries until I finally got what I wanted. When I paint, I tend to spend a lot of time on the little details. Since I had a due date for the painting, I had to make sure I used my time wisely, so I would be able to turn in the painting on time. When using brushes, I started using larger brushes for smaller details, which of course was not a smart idea. I had to start over and recreate the details with a smaller brush, and it turned out much better. The last problem I had was creating perspective in my painting. It took many perspective strategies as explained above to achieve perspective within my painting. Next time I am focused on a painting that involves perspective, some things I might do differently would be mixing paints before I start, so I do not have to after I start. One more thing that I might do differently would be to use the correct brush size when painting smaller details.

LMC Unsung Hero Planning

The story that motivated and interested me most is "The Weapon of Intelligence". This story, more than any other, made me was intriguing because of the unsung hero, Eugene Lazowski. His story took place in Poland during World War Two. During this time in 1939, Germany had invaded Poland, and typhus was spreading like mad around the country. The Nazis saw this as an opportunity to increase their isolation of the Jews, in order for the typhus not to spread more. Eugene Lazowski became a part of the Polish Red Cross, and treated many Jewish patients despite the Nazis forbidding it. He did this by going into the ghettos during the night. Eugene Lazowski and his assistants discovered a dead strain of the disease called Proteus OX19 bacteria. This dead strain would result in a positive test for typhus. Their discovery would lead to a weapon against the Nazis. Eugene started using this vaccine on many people. In around two months, a large number of "positive" cases were established that the Nazi supervisors believed that a typhus epidemic had started. The Nazis then started isolating places that they believed were inhabited by typhus. Eugene Lazowski made a safe area for Jews in twelve villages, and saved over 8,000 people. He inspires me to think about others and to always think outside the box. Eugene was a very clever man, and I am touched by his love for humanity.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Contemporary Painting

                                                 Jitish Kallat "Untitled" (Eclipse) 3, 2007

A contemporary painting is one that is made by an artist from the twenty-first century. This painting is an incredible example of a contemporary painting due to the paintings reflection on the current society and problems that are associated with all people on earth.  In the painting you can see five children of color, that live in Mumbai, a city that has more than 20 million people. I believe that these children could be from the higher or lower class of Mumbai. The children look very happy about there work. There happiness is shown on the expressions on their faces and is shown though the sun beams behind them. The sun rays or "gold rays" could be a symbol of the kids bright futures. The children's hair shows the poverty and urban life. "Untitled" (Eclipse) 3, dares the viewer to think about the future of children, both rich and poor. 

                               Nijideka Akunyili Crosby "The Beautiful Ones" Series #5, 2016

 Learning about Akunyili Crosby’s art could affect the way people might perceive the world in many ways. I think that looking at her paintings and learning about how she grew up made me think about how fortunate and lucky I am to not have gone through such a cultural shock. It also made me think about how different cultures are and how beautiful each and every culture is. Akunyili Crosby’s uses contemporary American techniques with photographs, textures, and symbols, from many places. She does this to represent her many cultural encounters. Akunyili Crosby’s artwork shows the selfhood of a Nigerian woman, though her first-hand experience, one who lives a ways away from her ancestral home. I found it fascinating how Akunyili Crosby uses "portrait fabrics" from West Africa that have pictures of her family on them in some of her art pieces. 

                                    Katharina Grosse "One Floor Up More Highly", 2010

These artists use many techniques to create their paintings. One being, they think outside the box. Art is not confined to two dimensions. Many contemporary artists make installations that have painted surfaces to draw attention to them from the viewer. A contemporary artist that does this is Katharina Grosse.  She thinks of her process as "imagining big".  Her work from 2010, "One Floor Up More Highly", has dirt hills and many sculptural forms made out of styrofoam. To color these forms, she used a spray gun to color the soil, styrofoam, and walls. All the bright colors she uses is made to convey the message of positive energy and is used to allure to the viewer's senses. The viewer gets to see the art piece by moving around and though it, rather than standing in one place, like one would for a two dimensional piece. 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Realistic Self-Portrait

The feedback I was given was to shorten my nose, make my face rounder and make the edges of my lips shorter. When I was given this advice, I made sure that I applied it into my drawing. I knew my drawing didn’t really look a lot like me so any feedback was really appreciated at this point. I looked at my lips first and realized that the feedback given on them was correct and the edges were way too long. After I fixed this, I moved on to my nose. I made sure that my nose was shortened so that the face looked more realistic and more like me. Then I looked at the jaw, and noticed that it was too square and my jawline was not as defined. So I rounded out my jaw and the drawing finally started to look more like me. All of this feedback allowed me to improve my final drawing immensely and made the final product look a lot more like me.

After looking at my pre-instructional self-portrait and my final self-portrait, I have noticed that my pre-instructional self portrait is a lot less proportionate to my face structure. It looks a lot less like me. My craftsmanship and presentation of the drawing as a whole was a lot worse in my pre-instructional self-portrait, compared to my final self-portrait. The proportions of my face, along with the placement and structure of my facial features are a lot more accurate in my final self-portrait, compared to my pre-instructional self-portrait. I also think my final self-portrait captures more of a likeness to my face than the pre-instructional self portrait. I think that my final self-portrait looks a lot more realistic and 3-dimensional, and the values used are much more accurate. 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Introduction to Landscape Painting

"Jalais Hill, Pontoise," 1867, Pissarro.

The painting is a scene of women walking down a path in nice dresses carrying an umbrella in a countryside. The middle ground of the painting is homes, yards, and trees, as a landscape. The background shows a large hill leading up to another row of trees and some type of building. The artist used a color scheme involving greens and browns to bring the painting together. And both women's faces don't reveal an expression, making the viewer decide for themselves based on colors what the mood feels like. By painting the up close trees larger, and the trees on top of the hill smaller, the artist communicates a sense of space. It allows the viewer to realize that the painting is of the whole length of a countryside, not just the one section. The artist also curved the path to show that it would continue on over into where the hill begins to give a sense of the distance between where the woman are compared to the rest of the landscape. In the background, the colors fade, which eludes to atmospheric perspective. 

"The Artist's Garden at V├ętheuil,"1880, Claude Monet

In this painting I notice a little girl walking up a dirt pathway with flowers all around her. I notice that Claude Monet used a lot of light and shadow to show depth within the painting as well as make the painting appear more realistic. I also notice a little table in front of the girl, maybe to pick flowers, or for decoration. In this painting, I see that the artist used a lot of lighter, faded colors. This includes brown, green, blues, pinks, and yellows. This artist somehow makes the painting appear very soft to the eye and as a viewer, I feel like the mood of the painting might be calm. I think that the artist uses the strategy of shadows and lights to communicate a sense of space. He also makes the size of the sunflowers that are in the painting, closer to the front, larger than the sunflowers that are in the back of the painting. Claude Monet also seems to use darker colors for the back of the painting, and lighter colors for the front of the painting to give the illusion of depth and space. Similar to the first painting, the background fades in to bluer tints, which shows atmospheric perspective.

An underpainting is a painting  that is a first layer of paint applied to a canvas or board. The role of an underpainting is to work as base for other layers of paint. Is is thought of as the foundation for the artist's painting. it allows your painting to have a build-up in not only contrast, but also in tonal values. It is used by many skilled artists way as a way to create a plan for color placement. It also allows the artist to create specific tones and values in the color palette of there painting(s). An underpainting is a smart way for an artist to put color values within a painting, while putting in a subjective color key within the painting, which, if done correctly, can produces a beautiful painting. An example of an underpainting would be if the artist used a blue toned underpainting. This would give the painting the feeling of being cold if used correctly.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Eyes, Nose, Mouth Exercise


  • 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 that one of the things that are working well for me is the drawing of lips. I also think that highlighting a drawing is working well for me. I realised how hard it is to not go overboard with the highlighting, and have figured out the the best, most realistic drawings are the ones with the simplest amounts of hightlight. One more thing that I think is working well for me is making sure that my drawings of lips, noses, and eyes don't look too much like cartoons and are more realistic. I think that something that needs extra attention is drawing noses. I realised once I finished my nose that it didn't come out the way I had hoped. I got feedback from my art teacher that "the simpler the better." I learned that drawing noses are normally easier when you have a face to draw them on. One more thing that I think I need to pay extra attention on is making my eye drawings look realistic. My eye drawing came out more cartoony than I anticipated, but I know that I can improve this in my final drawing of my face. I also want to make sure I pay close attention to small details like if the ends of my lips face down, or if my eyes have a more oval end to them or a more circular end to them. After going through everything that I need to work on, I feel prepared for my final, the realistic self-portrait.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Intro to Portraiture

  • 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
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Old Man with a Black Hat and Gorget, 1631, Rembrandt van Rijn  

Rembrandt van Rijn was born and raised in Leiden. He left the University of Leiden to pursue his passion for art. While at the University, he studied art with the scholar Jacob van Swanenburch.  Rembrandt van Rijn then went to Amsterdam and studied art with Pieter Lastman, who was known for historical paintings. At around age 22, he took in his first students. He married in 1634, to a woman whose father was a very successful art dealer. This allowed his art career to grow immensely. The paintings of his that were most in demand were mythological and religious works. Rembrandt van Rijn created most of his work in a town house in Amsterdam. He bought this house in 1639 at the age of 33. Publically, Rembrandt van Rijn was a very successful man, but his family life was another story. Unfortunately all of his three kids and wife died before him. Rembrandt was also very successful as an art teacher and an art dealer, but he liked to spend money which lead him to bankruptcy. His town house became financial burden so he had to move. 

I believe that the mood of "Old Man with a Black Hat and Gorget" is a very dark and serious. Some visual clues that help explain the mood of the painting is the colors used, the facial expression of the man, the lighting of the painting, and the clothing the man is wearing. Looking at this painting, I see colors that are very dark, brooding, and depressing. Rembrandt van Rijn uses a lot of black and dark blues to convey this mood to the viewer. The facial expression of the man depicted in very stern and serious. He looks like he is important and he knows it. Looking at him, I would most certainly not want to mess with him. The lighting in this painting is another indicator of the overall mood of the painting. The only light color used is the color of the man's face and the highlight around the man's figure. The rest of the painting is very dark. Lastly the clothing that the man is wearing has many layers and is black, which tells me that it was most likely a cold dreary day. 

Robert Shetterly, “Americans Who Tell the Truth”

In 1946, Robert Shetterly was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. He was a graduate from Harvard College in 1969 with a degree in English Literature. During his time at Harvard, he took some drawing classes which completely changed the direction of his life in a creative way. When he finished college, he moved to Maine in 1970 where he taught himself drawing, printmaking and painting. He worked for The Maine Times newspaper for 12 years on the editorial page drawings. He illustrated around 30 books. You can find Robert Shetterly's paintings all over Europe and the U.S. He normally gravitates toward painting narrative and surreal, but for more than ten years he has been working on Americans Who Tell the Truth which is a series of portraits. These portraits have been exhibited around the country since 2003. Robert Shetterly has been the President of Union of Maine Visual Artists since 1990 and is a producer at UMVA's Maine Masters Project.

I believe that the mood of "Americans Who Tell the Truth" is a calm. Some visual clues that help explain the mood of the painting are the colors used, the facial expression of the woman, the lighting of the painting, and the clothing the women is wearing. Looking at this painting, I see colors that are happy, neutral and bright. Robert Shetterly uses a lot of a turquoise blue and a deeper yellow color to convey this mood to the viewer. The facial expression of the woman depicted is very calm and she looks happy. She looks like she is at ease. The lighting in this painting is another indicator of the overall mood of the painting. The painting uses a lot of calm colors, such as the turquoise and deep yellow, which are not dark colors, but are also not that bright. This also makes the viewer feel more calm when looking at the painting. The clothing that the woman is wearing is a deep yellow sweater with a light pink undershirt. This gives me the impression that the women is in a calm state due to her wearing neutral, calm colors. 

Linda Nochlin and Daisy, 1973, Alice Neel 

Alice Neel was born on January 28, in Merion Square, Pennsylvania. Alice Neel is an American visual artist. She came from a family of six children. At the age of three months old, her family moved to Colwyn, Pennsylvania. In 1918, she graduated from Darby High School. Soon thereafter, Alice Neel started working at Yale University for an art historian. At Philadelphia School of Design for Women, Alice enrolled in a fine arts program. She graduated with many awards in 1925. In Havana, Alice created many illustrations. After she died in 1984, she has become well known for her oil paintings which normally depicted friends and family and some lovers, poets, artists and even strangers.

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Madame X, 1884, John Singer Sargent

In Florence, Italy, John Singer Sargent was born in 1856. In Italy and France, Sargent studied painting. One of his creations named "Madame X" as shown above, created a lot of chaos among the people of France. This lead Sargent to move to England to escape until the chaos calmed down. After living in England for a while,  he became the country's leading portrait painter. His early work consisted of mostly full-length portrayals of women. John Singer Sargent was thought of as the "leading portrait painter of his generation" due to his evocations of Edwardian era luxury.