Additive/Subtractive: A Student’s Perspective

Yesterday was a great day at the Elderberry Club. I’ve never seen anyone appreciate color like my member; her ecstatic reaction to the combination or presence of a single bright color is so pure and beautiful.

The project design consisted of two painting pieces- one additive and the other subtractive. We used india-ink as our medium and applied it with a paintbrush onto our Bristol paper. While we were provided red, blue, and black, I knew that we wouldn’t use black. She was pleased to have the options of colors- instead of a single blue or black like in previous projects- and begun with a red along the periphery, varying in intensity, then we moved to blue, and finally decided to mix a purple.

When we moved on to the subtractive component, I was a little nervous that removing pigment might not be as much of an intuitive process for my member. I am going to assume that, though many Elderberrys have been artists throughout their lives, this subtractive process was fairly new technique. My member learned a new technique today- she used unconventional tools to remove pigment, which I applied with her instruction. She demonstrated a great deal of courage in her approach to this new and unfamiliar skill.

The scratching and wiping away created a unique texture and overall composition. I think we were both very pleased with her results. She was so encouraged by her creation that she made another. Her series of three are amazing.

-Alicia, Student in Art&Design and Program in the Environment


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