Sunday, March 14, 2010

Six Small Studies

This week I am helping a class of art students at Massaponax High School work through their first watercolor paintings. We began last week studying our subjects outside and working to develop an interesting arrangement and perspective, considering the design and composition of the shapes created from the cast shadows. We set objects in the sun to create a strong light source, good lights and darks and value contrast.
Having never done watercolor, it will be hard to see how each step will lead to a final painting. Using the images the students selected, I painted small color and composition studies that will serve as guides to working through their paintings. Not only for the class, but for studio paintings, I will often do a small study to "test" color selections, pigment mixes and properties.

Considering color harmony, I will choose pigments that represent each color family (yellow, red, blue) and vary in color temperature (warmness and coolness). Yellows: Aureolin yellow, New Gamboge Reds: Burnt Sienna, Brown Madder, Alizarin Blues: Cobalt, Ultramarine Blue, Pthalo Blue are a few of my favorite "staple" pigments.
My goal is not color accuracy, but rather to give the color more life allowing colors to mingle on the surface. One aspect of color illusion, is making a color appear to be what it is not.

4 comments:

Dan Finnegan said...

Your work always amazes me, but I also like all the thought behind what you do. And you're a mom and anurse and a wife! How do you do it?

Elizabeth said...

Oh how I wisht ath all young art students could experience your teaching!! They will be so successful and thrilled with your class. I really do appreciate how you are organizing the notes aobut what you ahve done on the same page with the study!!!
You are such a fabulous teacher and I am sure that you will really enjoy your experience with this age group!!
have fun!!

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Mirinda said...

Ariel, your results are breath-taking! When I say "your results", anyone who has ever taught art knows that behind every great artist is a great teacher. You hve given them the first steps toward becoming professional artists.