This project began with a walk through the cemetery across from the school. Students took photographs of autumn scenery, either with their own cameras or the classroom camera. Some students used their photographs as inspiration for watercolor paintings. Others used photographs they had taken during summer vacation, or on adventures of their own. In class we experimented with watercolor techniques and decided which ones might be useful when painting their scenes. Below are some of their paintings, and artist statements they wrote about their work.
Looking Up by Rachel Hutchison
I named this painting "Looking Up" because I took this picture from the ground, looking up into the fall leaves. This painting was of all of the fall colors in the leaves above me. I used techniques such as wet on wet, layered wash, opaque, puddle painting, lifting, fan brush, and sgrafitto. Also, this painting was done in watercolor. The subject matter of this painting is trees branching out and showing their beautiful autumn leaves. I used my love for the fall season as an inspiration to create this painting. I took this picture after a leaf fell right in front of me as I was walking through the cemetery. I picked it up, looked at it, then looked up into the thousands of other colorful leaves that were right above me. The most important thing I learned from making this watercolor painting is that you can't be afraid to try new things when painting. There were many times that I tried something and it didn't end up looking the way I wanted it to, instead, it made something even cooler.
Contrast by Lexi Morley
I would call this painting "Contrast" because of the way the leaf's bright colors stand out against the dull background. I used many different water color techniques; for example, I used the salt technique along with the paper towel texture technique to get better texture on my background. I used wet on wet to get the colors in my leaf to flow a little better together. My inspiration for doing this painting was I was walking in the grave yard and I liked the way this bright leaf stood out on the ground. The texture for the background with the paper towel was a struggle at first because I didn't know if it was going to turn out right or not. From this project, I learned that sometimes you just have to take a risk and try new things, you can't be scared.
Mid-Morning Cemetery by: Andrea Davis
I call my painting "Mid-Morning Cemetery" because when I took my reference picture, it was at about 9 in the morning. When making this painting, I used the following techniques: wet on we for the sky, puddle painting and lifting for the grass and sidewalk, opaque for the building, and layered wash and graded wash for the trees. I also used rhythm and repetition, view point, shapes and lines, cropping, positioning and the rule of thirds. Along the way, I changed some things. At first, I was just going to leave the trees and grass green but I decided to add some fall colors such as red, orange, and yellow. Throughout the project, I learned that with painting, as well as any other form of art, it is completely acceptable to take risks an make sacrifices to the project.
Looking Up by Raegen Millard
"Looking Up" is the name of my water color.You are looking up to the sky but instead you see the beauty of the trees. I got my inspiration from the trees in a grave yard and it is the perspective of looking up at trees. Along the way I ran into not knowing how to make a texture for the trees. I changed my approach in the end to more of an impressionist take. I learned that not every mark you make needs to be perfect.
Brewing Up a Storm by Ariana Gambrell
I took the original photograph when we were told to get off of the beach because a lighting storm was coming. I named the picture this because the storm had not started yet, but it was about to start a very heavy rain. I decided I would paint this picture watercolor because storms are unpredictable, and so is watercolor. A very dark sky with clouds towards the top on the beach. My inspiration was capturing the mood during that time. While painting this I tried a very realistic approach. It hadn't turned out much like I wanted it to , but if I were to paint this again I would make it much more relaxed and loose approach on the painting process. I learned that when painting with watercolors you must have a very free hand and feel open to try new things.
Blue Mirror by Devin Northrup
The color in the water of the puddle perfectly reflects the sky above the puddle. My subject matter was the puddle. The inspiration that I got to create this was from a photograph that was taken in a cemetery across from Athens Area High School. Some of the problems that I ran into while trying to capture what image was seen and what I wanted to interpret from the photograph was the ground. How could someone get the ground to look like a everyday stepped on thing. With some hints towards the right direction a solution was found, a sponge dabbed with paint was satisfyingly close enough to what was seen in my mind. Through the painting process I learned the importance of detail and depth while trying to make something look realistic.
I named my water color painting "A Walk In The Grave Yard" because in the picture there is a tomb stone and a walking trail with a view of the trees. I used different color water colors to blend from light to dark and made different color dots for the leaves. My inspiration for doing this painting was when I was walking in the grave yard with my art class, I saw a big tomb stone standing tall with the beautiful changing trees in the background. The blending of colors was somewhat a struggle at first because I wasn't sure how I was going to even them out to make the colors look like they actually did. From this project, I learned how to focus on the patterns and color schemes in the picture that was taken.
I would call it,"America in Peace", because it represents the people who sacrificed themselves in the U.S. Army. I was inspired by America and Dr. Wales. I added some more inspiration to it. I learned how it really is to make art.