Thursday, January 26, 2017

Unsung Hero

I represented the unsung hero L. Alex Wilson. I was first drawn to Sheyann Webb who was a young freedom fighter, but I kept looking before I committed to her. I read various other stories that were very interesting and inspiring. Then I came to L. Alex Wilson’s story. It intrigued me because it opened my eyes up to the fact that there were and are so many people fighting for not only their own, but others rights that go unnoticed.
I chose him because I think that there are very few people that could’ve done what he did. He resisted the violence and threatens that were aimed at him and kept his head held high. He was a writer for The Chicago Defender. He wrote stories about the Civil Rights Movement and the horrible discrimination that African Americans were facing at that time. One story that he wrote about was Little Rock Nine. When he went to the school as the students were entering, he was thrown bricks at and pushed to the ground by white protesters. The 6’3” man was being pushed around, but he didn’t care. When he fell down after being kicked, he got right back up and didn’t fight back.
In my painting, I decided to have it shown as a newspaper page because that is what he wrote for and used to raise awareness about the issues happening in the south. I included four images as well. One is a portrait of him. I decided to include this because there is a picture of him and because I wanted the newspaper page to look more focused on him than the issues he wrote about. This portrait of him was based off of a picture that was taken and put in the newspaper. The next picture was of the Little Rock School the day that the Little Rock Nine arrived. There were many other people around but I chose to show nine people because I wanted to show that it was Little Rock Nine without coming right out and saying it on the newspaper. The last picture is of the day that L. Alex Wilson went to Little Rock School to see the nine African American students enter the school to report on it. There were many protesters there to protest this change in southern history. The men there were very violent towards Wilson and kicked him and threw bricks, too. Then I included pieces of his quote to show his message more. I really liked the sentence that says, “I am not bitter.” I think that it really portrays his message in a very summed up way. I also included, “justice and fair-play will triumph” and a longer quote about him not running from the protesters and show peace. I think that these quotes are crucial in my painting because it gives the viewer more of an idea of what Wilson was all about. I also included pieces of newspaper because I wanted the viewer to understand that it is a newspaper page. To do that, I also chose to paint in the The Chicago Defender at the top.
This project has really informed me that there are so many people who do amazing things for others, and are not recognized for it. There is the exception of someone not wanting to be recognized, but they aren’t any less important. The first step of picking someone out to paint was very intriguing to see all the people that were searched for or have just come across on randomly. W. Alex Wilson wasn’t looking to be noticed or praised for his work. He just wanted to get his message out and show to the rest of the world what was happening in the segregated south. I really appreciate having done this project because of all the ways that it has taught me about unsung heroes and painting.

Final Thoughts

My three highlights this semester would be seeing how others work, comparing my pre-instructional to my final portrait, and working with portraits. Seeing how others work was memorable for me because everyone has their own style even if it is very subtle. You could tell whose work was whose very easily as the class went on. Even if some people were already extremely talented, you could see how they grew as artists. Comparing my pre-instructional to my final portrait was also a memorable experience because I was really shocked. I was so surprised how far I had come with my portrait. I also didn't know how bad it was until I saw it and compared it. It was really interesting what techniques I had picked up since my pre-instructional. Lastly, it was memorable to work with portraits because I have a really hard time drawing people so doing that was very helpful.

Work of Art that I am the Most Proud of

I am most proud of landscape painting because I didn't really work with paint that much before that and I don't think it came out that bad. I really struggled with how to change the colors and make it look dimensional, but in the end it came together a bit more. It impacted my learning because I learned how to use different values and intensities of colors to give off a certain mood. I also learned that it is important to go from background to foreground with painting. I learned that this was very important the more I worked with this work because I had added some of the trees to soon and had to paint around them which was a pain. Through this painting, I learned that paint is challenging to work with, but can be very enjoyable.

Watercolor Techniques


  • To experiment, explore, and learn a variety of ways to paint with watercolor
The most important concepts of watercolor would be to use lots of water. It is a crucial ingredient to painting with watercolor. You can always add more color, but it is best to start lighter. You don't need very much of the paint to create a strong value, either. I also learned how different it is painting with watercolor than it is with other kinds of paint. It is much lighter and you use a smaller space for watercolor in most cases. I liked working with watercolor because it was interesting how you could have so many techniques for the simple medium it is. 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

LMC Unsung Hero Planning

The story of L. Alex Wilson who wrote about what was happening with the Civil Rights Movement is one that is very moving. He knew the dangers of writing about stories like Little Rock Nine, but still did it. He was beaten on so much and white men would attack him, but he acted as if it didn't hurt. Wilson would just carry on and still write about attacks on

  • Location: Arkansas
  • Unsung Hero images: Violence, crowds protesting
  • Significant Objects: Newspaper

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Landscape Painting inspired by Wolf Kahn

Working on this painting I learned about using certain brush strokes to create more or less detail, using different shades of colors to create depth, and using certain colors to create a mood. Using different brush strokes when painting can create very different looks of paintings as well. When I was painting my trees in, I was blending colors and it didn't look right when I compared to Wolf Kahn's painting. Then I looked closer and saw that he used dry brush technique for his painting, so I did the same on mine. When I did this, it looked much better and like the painting. Also, in the right corner of Wolf Kahn's painting, there are some branches that aren't very detailed. This made it look to me that those tree branches were farther away than the leaves because of the lack of detail he used. That is when using different techniques and use of detail can completely change a painting. Lastly, I learned that if you use certain colors in a painting it helps to create depth and make the painting come alive. I realized this when I was working on my trees. The tree trunks had light hitting them from a certain side which made the other side darker, creating depth. Also, in the leaves of the trees I tried to make some places lighter that were closer to the foreground. Differences in color helped majorly when trying to give my painting dimension. 

In Wolf Kahn's painting he used lighter colors like yellows, oranges, greens, and light purples. This created a more positive feeling to his painting. However, in my painting I used darker colors like blues, reds, and dark purples. This gave my painting a much colder feeling than his and might make the viewer feel as uplifted as he or she would when looking at Wolf Kahn's painting. There are similarities between our paintings, though. They are still both mostly low intensity paintings. I had to pay attention to what areas he made low intensity and what areas he made more high intensity. Most of the painting is low intensity, but I had to make the background of my painting a color with high intensity because he has a bright pink as his. 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Creating Depth in Landscape Paintings

Forest of Fontainebleau by Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot, 1834, landscape painting in oil.
This painting has a stream going through it and there is a few trees. There is one person laying on the ground looking at a book. This artist used darker colors and used some light in the background which shows where the source of light might be. This artist used changes in size to create depth by making the tree in the foreground bigger than the other ones in the painting. He also used and S curve with the stream to create depth as it is winding around a corner. There is also a foreground interest which is the person and the tree.
Aspen Road by William Hook, 2004, acrylic landscape painting
This painting is of a path going through a forest of birch trees. It is during the day and looks to be during fall because the leaves seem to be changing color. The artist used very bright colors and creates a happier feeling to this painting. The artist also uses a S curve to create depth by having a winding path get smaller and curve. He uses layering and overlapping with trees to create depth. Also, he uses changes in size of the trees to create depth.