Landscape Paintings

Advanced Art students (those in Art II-IV) created landscape paintings in acrylic, featuring scenes from our campus. Earlier in the year these students did a variety of drawings outside, but with the cold weather approaching, their paintings referenced photographs taken at the lake and in the upper meadow.

This was the most difficult assignment that many of these students--especially the Art II's--had ever undertaken. Aside from the challenge of translating a photograph into a realistic painting, color mixing offered its own challenges.

The art history connection with this unit included a study of landscape painters such as British artist, John Constable, and Hudson River School artists, Thomas Cole and Frederic Church. As the artists that they studied often focused on skies and cloud formations, the students were encouraged to select photographs that had interesting clouds and dramatic lighting.

Most students became frustrated at one point or another with this project, but by the time they completed their landscape, they had gained some well-earned confidence in their artistic abilities!

The photographs of their paintings (taken under fluorescent lights with a flash) do not do justice to the quality and subtleties of their work. At a later time, I will try to re-photograph these to better show the detail and more accurate colors.

As a side note, our school is located in central Virginia, where the Blue Ridge Mountains really do appear to be blue!


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