Is it possible that a landscape can trigger our emotions? Facing a real landscape, photographed or painted, we can experience different moods that inspire our deeper feelings. Romantic painters such as Friedrich and Turner, who exploit the emotional potential of the landscape, make it the true protagonist of their works. Their landscapes always send a strong and intense emotion and we tryed to match emotion and landscape as well. With 8th Grade students we painted watercolor landscapes, copying them from pictures we’ve found online. The landscapes have been chosen by trying to select spectacular and dramatic natural phenomena, in order to emphasize the intensity of sensations.
My advice to paint a landscape with watercolor is to observe photography very closely and to consider the landscape as a composition of dark and clear spots. After tracing the landscape’s main lines on a sheet, it begins by painting the lighter colors leaving white spaces in areas of greater brightness (without using white color but using white paper!). Once the light colors are dry, add the dark colors, superimposing them. The main quality of watercolors is the transparence, it allows to overlay many layers of color and to melt colors together with water, creating very natural effects in landscape elements such as clouds, sea, and fire.
Once the landscape is finished, we have superimposed the silhouette of a human figure, imitating the backlit figures that we find in Friedrich’ works. We used the charcoal card to trace the silhouette on the landscape and then we painted the figure with black acrilyc paint.