Ink, Watercolor, Oil, & Acrylic

My Kids

My favorite teacher-movie is the 1939 film Goodbye, Mr. Chips, starring Robert Donat and Greer Garson. (If you’ve never seen it, rent it from the library!!) In one of the final scenes, Chips sums up my own feeling: as teachers we have thousands of kids…many of whom we affect (and are deeply affected by) through the years. For me, “My Kids” can refer to any student I’ve taught, mentored, coached, or worked with at church over the past 15 years. In this particular post, I’d like to introduce you to a few of my Painting 2 kids. These are upper-level painting students. Having learned various acrylic techniques in Painting 1, we work our way through Chinese Ink Brush techniques, India ink, watercolor, and eventually oils in Painting 2. The watercolor portraits below were completed about 3/4 of the way through our semester. The artists have offered to share their work and words here.

Maddie G.

Maddie G Watercolor web

My painting subject is my younger sister; since this was a baby picture Miss Bozarth demonstrated for the class and I that in babies and younger children we should keep the edges soft so it won’t have the feeling of an older person’s skin. Another thing I learned was how dark to make the watercolor. With acrylic I can add white to lighten a color, but in watercolor paintings white is not used as much for lightening the color. I learned that it is about how much water I have on my brush and how many coats I layer. For the red blanket I had a hard time keeping the colors translucent. When I was working on the background I made the mistake of going too dark, but I learned to lift out the color with my wet brush and paper towel. When I was coming near the end of the painting, Miss Bozarth told me to go back and darken the shadows in my sister’s hair and shirt. This allowed a better contrast and brought out the highlights in her face and shirt. I look at the finished painting and see how far I’ve come. I am proud of my piece, but I couldn’t have achieved it without the tools I learned from my teacher. I am looking forward to working with watercolor again in my future!

Kevin S.

Stolle Blue Dog webThis painting is based on a photo of my dog, Banjo. To make it more interesting, I chose to recreate the image in blue. This was done in watercolor with outlines and shadows refined using black ink.

Kristy K.

Kristy K watercolor webI chose this picture mainly because I didn’t want to do skin tones and facial features. It shows my passion for the Chicago Blackhawks and my favorite player Duncan Keith. While doing this painting I learned that watercolor is terrifying to tackle! White watercolor is basically non-existent, and once you mess up, it’s like Sharpie…really hard to fix. I loved doing the wrinkles in the jersey; at times I thought it was real. This was a great learning experience for my first watercolor portrait.

Lauren V.

Lauren Vivian Watercolor webI wanted to make a piece that had a humorous pun and also involved one of my nerdy favorites. I went through my favorite Star Wars characters and remembered the Scout Trooper and connected it with everyday Boy Scouts. So, if the Star Wars universe ever needed popcorn, you’d know what trooper to buy from!

Jessica Y.

Jessica Y watercolor webTitle “Principessa”

Watercolor is a weird medium. Throughout Painting 2, I learned the complete opposite of what I’d learned working months with acrylic. Once you’ve made a move you cannot take that mark back, and you can’t simply cover it with more paint. It taught me how to control my brush strokes and mixing colors. It was sort of a nervous experience to get used to the feeling of watercolor. But once you get the hang of it, watercolor has results that are lifelike. When I was painting my oldest sister, I was happy with this new paint. With each stoke, I was able to capture everything that my sister is. My older sister has always lifted us up when we were down; each one of her words always made you calm. She never gives false comfort; she acknowledges the circumstances, yet she makes it seems as though it isn’t even a problem. She always looks out for others more than herself. When painting her, I tried to represent that very character.
Note: Jessica’s finished portrait is part of her AP Portfolio and was still at the college board when this blog post was written. So, we’ve included a snapshot of her working on the piece while it was still in progress. As her teacher, I must say it was a gorgeous portrait!

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