A Statement from Featured Artist Micalah Howard
My piece titled Breath of Winter is an acrylic painting. The subject is an owl sitting on an old post during snowfall in a realistic style. The piece is narrative and expressive, conveying a calm or somber mood. I was inspired by the beauty and harshness of nature, and how they often come hand-in-hand.
To create this piece, I experimented with color and composition. The focal point stands out due to being comprised of lighter neutrals contrasting against a dark background made of blue shades. Interest is added to the subject by using different values and saturations of brown, yellow, “whites”, beiges, and hints of green. The relatively plain backdrop against the more intricate detail of the subject’s feathers further creates variation within the artwork.
I’m fairly proud of this piece because I believe it came out well for being my first piece. However, I struggled with mixing the colors I needed and creating lifelike subtlety (shading and texture techniques,etc.) Hopefully if I practice more, I’ll be able to better my realistic painting skills.
Students chose to work in a realistic or semi-realistic style to provide a narrative of themselves or expression. Regardless of style choice all students were required to apply facial proportion and to strive for a likeness which is a challenging task. Students experimented with color mixing to achieve the illusion of shadow and light rather than relying on black. Color pencil is a slow medium that requires patience to produce soft textures and subtle changes.
Students incorporated spatial techniques to provide the illusion of depth and distance for a realistic or semi-realistic painting. Depth of field is used to show distance in a large area such as a landscape. Proportion is necessary for objects and figures.
Students planned for subject, style and purpose before focusing on form and proportion to create well balanced sculptures.