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  1. #1
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    Learning traditional painting

    First post on the forum. I have been drawing as a hobby for several years, mostly anthropomorphic animals, and recently I've begun to explore painting. Since I am mostly self-taught my skills have lots of "holes" and there are many things I want to improve even in basic drawing, so I think I'll soon start a sketchbook too. But I'm especially after advice about painting with acrylycs and other traditional media as lately I'm becoming fond of sketching directly with paint rather than doing pencils before, and I'd like to get much more confident with it. I have big troubles improving lighting and palette choice, among other things.
    Here are the three largest paintings I did so far. In order they are acrylic on canvas 35x50, acrylic on canvas 40x60 and acrylic on board 35x50.

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  3. #2
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    You're not bad. It looks too much like postcard art to me. Try experimenting with more daring color schemes. Read up on color theory. Try to get more depth in your work.

    Boom.

    :

    :Whenever you touch me I go as limp as a noodle!

    : Yes, I know the feeling.
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    These are great for learning acryllic- they are complete, and the colros are nice in quite a few areas, the lighting especially shows alot of thought on your end.

    my only real gripe is the backgrounds; You want the focus up front, so it is okay t use a larger, less defined brush for the background. Painting every individual tree causes competition with the real focal point, and makes a painting sub-conciously disorienting.

    There are some problems with depth, perspective, and seperation of like values, but alot of that will come with time, practice, and patience. I strongly, STRONGLY recommend you invest some time into some paintings from life- Chairs, in fact. Paint a chair in the sun. Really think about perspective, and put it on a simple background so it won't become too overwhelming.

    Also, try oil out as soon as you can. I couldn't stand acryllics for too long, but oils were a savior.

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    i agree with justin the first thing i see wrong with the pictures is perspective.. they just look like they are put in awkward positions.. an easyway to fix though.. just dedicate a couple pages based on just anatomy.. good job with the acrylic though i know that it was hard to do..

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  6. #5
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    so far so good, but at the moment your strugling with depth in your pictures, the backgrounds are to bright at the moment, if you tone them down a bit, they wont fight with the foreground so much and your main images will then stand out much more. Also, and i may be wrong here, but it looks like you have painted the foreground first and then your background. Don't this isnt like digital, the rules change, always paint from background to foreground. Its a much quicker way, plus unlike watercolour, acrylic can be made to look opaque, so no worries about painting over large areas of background, which by the way makes excelent underpainting, which is very important especially for canvas. Also the more you work on a painting, usualy the more detail you had, so naturaly leaving the foreground till last is better. If you want to understand how to paint acrylics better, simply look at how the masters painted oils. The technique is basicly the same.

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    Quote Originally Posted by grenogs View Post
    always paint from background to foreground.
    [i]No.[/] Arbitrary rules like this don't help. There is no magical order of operations with acrylics that is going to make everything better. The reason the “old masters” had specific rules for oils was because oils last longer if applied in specific ways. Acrylics are completely different, and until a few hundred years have passed, we won’t know what techniques last that long. So with acrylics, for the present, anything goes.

    Scale, I see that you are using your acrylics like watercolors. I found a good way to work was to do my first layer of paint like watercolors in a monochrome neutral color, and then go over that with thick, increasingly opaque paints.

    However, before you continue with the acrylics, you would benefit by going back to the sketchbook and working on specific drawing skills such as perspective, because in simple elements like that round table, no matter how well you paint, if you don’t get the drawing underneath perfectly right you’ll end up with a bad painting.

    I think you are awesome, and I wish you the best in your endeavors, but I am tired of repeating myself, I am very busy with my new baby, and I am no longer a regular participant here, so please do not contact me to ask for advice on your career or education. All of the advice that I have to offer can already be found in the following links. Thank you.

    Perspective 101, Concept Art 101, Games Industry info,Oil Paint info, Acrylic Paint info, my sketchbook.
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  8. #7
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    Thank you for the great input! I'll try the suggested techniques in/before next paintings and definitely starting a sketchbook for more basic training. This is a very stimulating community. :-)

    grenogs:
    That's true, I started from the foreground. I guess the big underlying problem is I didn't had a clear vision of the background when I started the paintings.

    Seedling:
    I used very diluted colors, in fact I started acrylics because I wanted something like watercolor but with the ability to be more covering where needed. I already use a first layer of very diluted color altough it's not the same for the full surface, for example in all the pictures I used different base colors for the elements which were supposed to have a very different final color. In the first for example the snow has an ultramarine base, the sky a cyan base, and the deer a burn umber base. In the second there are a load of different bases, maybe too many. I'll experiment with a more uniform base.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scale View Post
    Seedling:
    I used very diluted colors, in fact I started acrylics because I wanted something like watercolor but with the ability to be more covering where needed. I already use a first layer of very diluted color altough it's not the same for the full surface, for example in all the pictures I used different base colors for the elements which were supposed to have a very different final color. In the first for example the snow has an ultramarine base, the sky a cyan base, and the deer a burn umber base. In the second there are a load of different bases, maybe too many. I'll experiment with a more uniform base.
    If this approach interests you, pick up a copy of James Gurney's original "Dinotopia" book. He uses oils in his illustrations, but in a similar manner; and in the book he left the illustrations in all stages of finish, from completed painting all the way down to pencil drawings with a few thin brown washes of paint.

    I think you are awesome, and I wish you the best in your endeavors, but I am tired of repeating myself, I am very busy with my new baby, and I am no longer a regular participant here, so please do not contact me to ask for advice on your career or education. All of the advice that I have to offer can already be found in the following links. Thank you.

    Perspective 101, Concept Art 101, Games Industry info,Oil Paint info, Acrylic Paint info, my sketchbook.
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

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