In a normal year, my sophomores would have encountered paint and have dealt with value during their freshman Foundations class. Unfortunately, this year that is not the case, because as we return to fully in-person instruction we are still a year behind on some of our materials explorations. Now, some of my students in Studio 1 (sophomores) haven’t experimented with acrylic paint since middle school. Some of them have on their own, but the majority of them took a year off. So I decided to try out a two-for-one assignment. We started out by choosing a landscape photograph that we’d taken in a meaningful place. We then turned that photo black ad white, and printed them out for reference. Some students chose to use the grinding technique they had learned last year while others relied solely on observation. Then we began our paintings using the gray scale. This allowed us to really focus on value. Once students had their value blocked in they referenced out color theory notes on schemes and chose between complimentary, triadic, split complementary, and analogous. Once they had their colors chosen it was time to colorize their paintings in the color scheme of their choice. My hope was that they learned how to apply value to color, and as they layered the colors on top I asked them not to worry about making realistic color choices, but focusing on value above all else. We looked at the Fauvists and the book Landscape Painting Now: From Pop Abstraction to New Romanticism by Barry Schwabsky for inspiration.
Anyways, I hope you all enjoy. I am so proud of my students and I have never been more pleased with the effort and dedication that went into these. I had some really stellar artists!!