Friday, January 29, 2016

Final Thoughts

A really big highlight for me was the things that we learned in class overall. We covered a lot of material in class and to open our horizons to so many mediums like that it makes me very excited for future projects. First using a new medium can be tremendously scary but it's fun to explore and experiment and I'm glad we got to do that in this class. Another highlight from this class was the watercolour unit. Although it was short, I have always enjoyed using watercolour, even though I'm not that great at it. Something about watercolour is very relaxing and I was extremely excited that we had enough time to do a little bit of this unit. One of my favourite things overall from this class was the tester sheets that we got to do when we began with a new medium. We did one tester sheet for acrylic and another for watercolour. These tester sheets were fantastic and so helpful to help us get our ground with the medium so that we were confident enough to start a piece with it. This class was definitely a highlight of my semester.

Work of art that I am the most proud of

I have two pieces that were my favourite to do and also, in my opinion, turned out the best. The first one that was my favourite was the imaginative self portrait that we got to do. The pens were familiar to me which made the piece that much more fun to do. I enjoy works like this more than a big realistic piece because it allows me to be more creative when creating the piece. When we were working on this piece it was fun to try and think about a whole list of things and how we could get that to fit in the concept of the piece. I really enjoyed how free we were with this project and how much we could use our creativity to create something special.

The other project that I really enjoyed with the Unsung Hero project. I had already completed another piece in Graphic Design and was excited to tackle the idea of a whole new piece. I enjoyed working with acrylic a lot because of how familiar I am with it and how forgiving it is. I really wanted to do something a little different and create something unique. I believe that the pen detailing on the background amps up the piece that much more taking it to another level. Although it was tedious, drawing out all the designs for the background was incredibly relaxing and I enjoyed it tremendously. This was absolutely one of my favourite pieces over all and one of my favourite pieces to create.

Watercolour Techniques

Purpose: To experiment and learn a variety of watercolour techniques

There was a lot of things that the watercolour unit taught me. One of the most important things we learned was to plan ahead. With making a watercolour especially it's not as forgiving as other mediums like acrylic. You especially have to plan ahead and know where your white space is going to go otherwise it doesn't work. I learned a lot about patience as well. With watercolour in order for it to come out as the best painting it can be you have to be very patient and wait for it to dry a lot of the time before you go back and try to add another layer to it. If you are impatient it can be very obvious and ruin something that could've been a very good piece. I very much enjoyed the watercolour unit.

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
one point perspective

One point perspective

One point perspective

Two point perspective

I believe the most challenging parts of this assignment was making sure everything in the picture was in perspective. It was difficult when you did little things like a book and a little trinket to really force yourself to double check to make sure everything was in perspective, not just the major things. Another thing that was difficult was blending colour properly with the final perspective drawing. In order to blend I really forced myself to use layers of colours instead of just one colour in one place. I learned a lot of things from this project. I definitely learned a lot about perspective and making sure proportions were correct. For example, when you draw a sidewalk going back into the distance, the lines of the sidewalk gradually get closer together. Another thing I learned was about proper technique with coloured pencil. In order to get the most out of coloured pencils you really have to do at the very least two layers of colour and that will make it look more detailed and in depth. The last thing I learned was to pace yourself with new projects. When the project of the room was introduced to us it was a natural reaction to attempt to go for it and draw the dream room, but with new projects it's important to pace yourself and start slow in order to build up the skill.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Watercolour History

To become familiar with the history of watercolour;
To become familiar with various watercolour artists throughout time;
To make connections between watercolour purposes and techniques from long ago to its uses today.

The tradition of watercolour as an art form is said to date back to cave paintings (c 15,000 BCE). The cultures it could be found in are the cultures of the East and the West over extended periods of time. In Ancient Egyptian tombs and temples water based paints were used. In a more modern defintion of watercolour traditions, watercolour first appeared in the Far and Middle East. Chinese and Japanese painted with watercolour on silk and on handmade paper. It really came to western artists in the late 1400s.
 Albrecht Durer, 'Wing of a Roller' 1512

   Albrecht Durer (1471-1528) is known as the first 'modern' master of watercolour. Durer is a German artist that is considered the father of modern watercolour painting. From 1494-95 he travelled to Italy and became familiarized with Giovianni Bellini as well as the potential of landscape painting. Throughout his life Durer worked direction from nature. He also experimented with the actual colours in his subjects as apposed to making up his colour schemes as many Northern European artists were doing at that time. Few people are aware that Durer alternated between oil and watercolour painting.
  Albrecht Durer, 'The Hare' Albertina, Vienna

 Anthony Van Dyck (1599-1641) was a landscape painter. He used his landscape watercolours as studies and backgrounds for his oil paintings and portraits. This technique was very common for artists for watercolour was a softer medium that was, at times, easy to control than other mediums.
 Anthony Van Dyck, 'Lanscape' 1632

While Van Dyck tended to work in multicolour, accurate portrayals of his surrounding other artists strayed away from that technique. Artists such as Rembrandt (1606-1669) and Claude Lorrain (c. 1600-1682) worked in monochrome. Van Dyck poineered the use of translucent watercolour washes. The paper in these pieces shined through the pigment and played as important a role as the watercolour itself. Onwards from Van Dyck's time, watercolorists viewed their medium as colour and paper interaction.
Van Dyck, 'An English Landscape'

Winslow Homer, of the 19th century, was an extremely influential watercolourist. Homer was self-taught mostly and highly embraced watercolour, as well as oil and acrylic. Although Homer was mostly self-taught, his mother was an artist as well and high encouraged and nourished his love for watercolour. He was born in Massachusetts and passed away in Maine, with this New England influence he painted landscapes, as well as seascapes, of the beautiful New England views often. Homer respected the possibilities of watercolour highly and this encouraged the momentum of this medium to grow immensely.
Winslow Homer, The Blue Boat, 1892

John Singer Sargent was a very influential watercolour artist. He was born in America but worked primarily in England. In his numerous travels he documented his surroundings with watercolour, even though he was known for his oil portraiture. Sargent would paint subjects in watercolour he never attempted in oil such as the church to the left, located in Venice Italy. At the height of his artist career, between 1902 and 1911, Sargent produced breathtaking watercolour pieces. The excitement surrounding his unique techniques and experimental approach to this medium spread from Britain to America and onwards.

 John Singer Sargent, Santa Maria Della Salute, 1904

Material used for watercolour paintings can range from that of an amateur to a skilled painter. The paints are used from natural pigments or paint brought down in a liquid form. The invention of small hard cakes of watercolour was created in 1780 by William Reeves. In the middle of the eighteenth century British artists sketched outdoors. Watercolour was an ideal to use with capturing the effects of light and weather. This spun the invention of artists' colourmen selling ready-made boxes for the said artists outdoors watercolouring adventures. Brushes are required to be flexible against the surface of the paper but also firm and durable for applying colour. Scrapers, sandpaper, penknives, and brush handles became popular in the nineteenth century as tools to use when using a 'reductive' painting technique to remove dry or wet colour from the surface of the paper to create highlights. Sponges, brushes, breadcrumbs, and/or bits of paper were used to blog watercolour and soften the intensity of an area. The production of wove paper in the late eighteenth century created groundwork for future advances in watercolour painting. Wove papers exhibited virtually no impressions of their molds and allowed painters to apply smooth washes of watercolour while parallel laid lines of paper-making molds caused the wet watercolour washes to pool. Throughout the years the techniques and tools of watercolour has changed and has laid the groundwork for advances in watercolour painting and what an artist can achieve with it.


"Famous Watercolor Artists: You Need to Know These Greats!" The Craftsy Blog. N.p., 23 May 2013. Web. 08 Jan. 2016.

"Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History." Watercolor Painting in Britain, 1750–1850. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Jan. 2016.

"History-Overview." Watercolor Watercolor Painting Watermedia History Contemporary Exhibitions. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Jan. 2016.

"John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) -"WatercolorPaintingcom. N.p., 09 Sept. 2015. Web. 08 Jan. 2016.

"John Singer Sargent Watercolors." Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Jan. 2016.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Unsung Hero, Hedy Lamarr

Hedy Lamarr was an incredible inventor and to an extent, computer scientist. Although she is not known for that aspect of her personality. Hedy Llamar is first and foremost known for her appearances in big Hollywood blockbusters such as Samson and Delilah and White Cargo. She was an incredible actress with a stunning beauty, but there was more behind her beauty. Hedy Lamarr was at the height of her career in the middle of WWII. The war effort was huge in the United States and that didn’t escape Hollywood either. Although Hedy didn’t get credit for her brilliant invention during her time in the spot light, she has the credit today and it is very important that everyone knows the many sides to Hedy Lamarr.
Beauty and grace was Hedy Lamar in a nutshell to the general public, but she was also brains and brilliance. Her invention changed the war. Within her invention she created wireless communication. This allowed the US to send coded messages to their troops across seas without the fear that would the enemy would be able to understand it. 
In my piece I really wanted to represent how Hedy was portrayed in her lifetime, but include the part of her that wasn’t always seen. I did a play on a movie poster and a movie magazine to show her role in Hollywood society. I wanted to include her life as a hero as well. In the fore front was Hedy, as a beautiful actress with the focus on Hollywood at the top. In the background I included hero in a pop of red, to show that her life as a hero was in the background but it is in red because it was as important, or even more important than her life as an actress. The red is carried over to her lips to represent that hero is a part of her, although not always seen. In the background I included the blue prints of her invention as another way to show that that was in the background of her life while she was alive. 

This project has really made me realize the importance of don’t judge a book by it’s cover. For so long so many people just saw her as a beautiful actress, a pretty face. In reality, although she was beautiful, she was also brilliant and created something that would change American society forever. She changed my views on people and made me realize that it is important to take the time to learn about someone before you make any assumptions. Her story is very powerful and incredibly inspiring. In a world in the midst of war, she was a shining beacon in Hollywood, as well as a shining beacon behind the scenes of the war effort as well. In a metaphorical sense, her personality shown through to me when I was making the portrait. Painting her, although complex and difficult at times, was the easy part. The hard part was the meticulous drawing of the design in the background. I think this perfectly represents her as a person, although it was hard to always appear perfect and beautiful, it was infinitely more difficult to be an inventor and create Spread Spectrum Technology. Hedy Lamarr was an incredibly beautiful person who was also incredibly brilliant as well. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Perspective Strategies

example of perspective art

Perspective art in art is the viewpoint you are creating the image from. Parallel to your perspective in a situation it is the perspective you are looking at the subject from. If your subject is a person in profile then your perspective is viewing a person from the side. Perspective in art is tremendously important for the piece to be something special. If you create something from an interesting perspective the piece will be that much more interesting.

Horizontal Line - The line of the horizon, where you eye level is at.
Vanishing Point - The point at which receding parallel lines viewed in perspective appear to converge
Orthogonal Lines - Straight diagonal lines drawn to connect points around the edges of a picture to the vanishing point. They represent parallel lines receding into the distance and help draw the viewer's eye into the depth of the picture.
Transversal Lines - Transversal lines are always at right angles to the orthogonal lines, parallel to the picture plane and to one another. They establish a fixed height of width between two orthogonal lines, and form the nearest and furthest edges of a rectangle as it recedes from view.