Acrylic Study #3

Acrylic, Chatty, Step-by-Step

Gosh, a whole month since my last post!

In that month I’ve been to a wedding, spent a week in Norfolk and visited my beautiful puppy Molly a lot! She’s not coming home until the end of July but I am SO excited. I hope she loves Josh (our rescue dog) and doesn’t miss her current pupmates too much.

ANYWAY – here’s the acrylic study of my garden with a bit more detail.

Finally I had the chance to work on it when the weather and time of day was the same as when I started it.

The leaves have grown over the fence so I’m having to start paint in some more leaves in the shadow next to the cabin.

When I looked at the painting for the first time in a while, I was pleasantly surprised! I wasn’t particularly pleased with it when I left it last time. It’s amazing what a difference fresh eyes can make. I’m especially pleased now that the layers of different leaves are beginning to look more distinct. If you saw¬†my first post¬†about this, you’ll know that painting realistic leaves was something that I was really struggling with. Now I feel like I’ve definitely improved!

I’ll keep working on this piece. The big thing I’ve taken away from it so far is that I need to start off being confident with the contrast of light and dark so that I’m not taking as long to create form.

I hope you’ve all had a wonderful start to the month!

Acrylic Study #2

Acrylic, Painting, Step-by-Step

Another beautiful day.

When I got home I found an hour in the evening to spend on this painting.

I’m happier with the trees in the background. I still really want to create realstic images, but I know I’ve got a way to go. Still, all progress is good!

Some thoughts this time round:

  • I know I’ve always thought you should avoid mixing with black, but if the colour is actually grey, it’s ok to add a tiny bit of black.
  • Varying the direction of the brush makes for more realstic leaves.
  • Plotting in the most contrasting highs and lows of shading early on would have made it much easier to have an accurate understanding of how the colours fit together. Otherwise, as the light changes, you’re doing a bit of guesswork.
  • I seriously need to pick up more white paint.

That’s all for today.

Acrylic Study

Acrylic, Painting, Step-by-Step

This weather is gorgeous!

I could paint outside and didn’t have to worry about my easel blowing over!

When The Big Painting Challenge was on, I felt very motivated to start practising drawing exactly what’s in front of me. I found that I was making excuses for not working because I didn’t have an interesting subject matter in front of me.

I’ve also been watching a lot of Robin Clonts Youtube videos, in particular this one. In the video Robin didn’t sketch first, she went straight in with paint. My least favourite part of painting is the initial sketch, so i was thrilled to see that a professional skipped this part!

Heres my no-sketch-paint-the-garden canvas so far:

I know, it looks like a child’s painting. I’ve got a long way to go with it, but I really want to get better at painting leaves/trees, and mixing really accurate colours.

Here were my thoughts:

  • Making defined non-blob trees is really difficult.
  • Maybe next time I’ll paint things on layer by layer, so that it’s easier to see the negative space.
  • It was really hot today.
  • I don’t know if it’s because my paints are terrible quality, or because it’s hot, or if it’s because I’m not using enough water, but my paints are drying up very quickly.
  • I need to make up smaller quantities of paint. I’m so used to using bigger canvases.

Fingers crossed that the sunshine stays for a while.

Second Wave

Acrylic, Chatty, Painting, Step-by-Step

Even though I haven’t been posting, I’ve actually been doing a lot of art! Huzzah!

I’ll start with this big piece I’ve been working on over the last month.

About 5 years ago when I was in my first year of university I created a smaller version of this piece. It was based on my final project for A Level art, and was an abstracted version of my view from my halls in Russell Square.

Although it was a little bit hotel-lobbey-artish, I liked it and decided to start a MUCH bigger version of it the following year.

The canvas had been sitting in my room for a few years untouched. Since I was at a loss of how to start a new project (see previous post) I thought I would pick up one id I’d already started.

Here’s the start – i hadn’t done too much to it at this point, just livened up the paint (acrylic).

Day 1:

Also, a cat came to visit to keep me company!

Day 2:

Excuse the sun creeping through. I’d forgotten how nice it can be to just paint in the sun and listen to the radio.

Day 3:

You can see that progress is pretty slow, but that’s ok. This piece is a bit of a colour and composition exercise, which is pretty much my favourite kind of art to do.

Day 4:

One piece of advice that’s stuck with me is to rotate your work and look at it from all angles. Especially important when you’re thinking about the balance of a piece.

Day 5:

And here we are now!

I’ve started to apply the paint in different ways and think about blocking out some of the clear divide between shapes. I wish I had the original reference to remind myself where each roof and building began.

Unfortunately it was a particularly windy day and my easel blew over, so there’s now a small rip in the canvas.

I’ve been working on some other pieces over the last couple of days since I felt like I hit a bit of a wall with this piece. It’s been so nice to feel motivated again!

If anyone else is feeling a bit lethargic, try picking up an old piece that you haven’t looked at in a while, it might be just what you need to get started again.