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!

Election Night


It’s 00:36 and I’ve got a glass of white wine and am watching the UK election.

I always find it funny when there’s just hours of speculation, and then at the end it’s almost like there isn’t enough time to discuss the result fully.

I absolutely love election night. I love voting, I love chatting to the volunteers manning the polling station, I love staying up (a bit) late to watch the votes come in, and I love hearing “it’s just too early to tell” over and over again.

I know my usual posts are about art, and I’ve got a couple of things to update you on, but I thought I’d take a moment to just enjoy the democratic process. It’s like a way more exciting Eurovision. (Ok, not that much more exciting.)

Another thing I like about election night – I get to discuss UK politics with my friend from America who’s still up because of the different time zone. She studied a year abroad in London where we met, and she’s just a super person in every way. Election nights always feel oddly nostalgic for me, and catching up with her is such a joy. I remember our Student Union staying open to count the votes, and I remember my old housemate putting “Vote Green!” posters up in our window in Kilburn. I also remember feeling slightly concerned that we were going to get our window broken because of this.

Is anyone else still up and watching? Or do you prefer to find out in the morning? I wonder if I’ll still be as excited when I’m older and wiser.

Fingers crossed for a result that looks after everyone, that looks after the environment, and that provides security and unity for all. Wouldn’t that be nice.

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.