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Well, after checking out Gilead's babe a day and daily painting threads, I though starting my own would give me some motivation to do some of these exercises. I really have no clue what I am doing and with only one class under my belt that involved acrylics, whatever I learn is from you folks and experimenting. So, that being said, here are the first three exercises that I have done. Each took under an hour.
I decided after the first one to stay with black, white and grey and only 1 added color as I am more familiar with monochrome values. My intent is to continue to work with acrylic until I have a better handle. I don't expect to move to oils in the near future. Any crits are welcome.
Last edited by MarkHarchar; January 8th, 2007 at 11:27 AM.
good man, daily painting is the way to go. you'll be amazed at how quickly you progress. do keep going with it, and try to make it truely daily, or it ends up being "every-now-and-then paint" like me.
good! as long as you draw everyday your good..after a while try oils...they are much fun and a bit tougher..hmm i just dont like acylics hehe..they limit my hand!! i need to be free as a bird..anyways keep posting
I'm very glad you're doing this and I hope you stick with it better than I have lately.
#1. I like the bold chunky brushstrokes, these are short exercises it's best not to be timid. You'll find it best to start with dark transparent colors like alizarin crimson and build up to lighter opaque colors such as cadmium red on the lighted side. in this way your darks are already shaded from the start
#2. White on white is an extremely challenging thing to try. Come back to this from time to time it's a great mental exercise as it forces you to really SEE what colors really are in front of you.
You caved in and threw some outlines in there to explain the form to us the audience. Don't do that. This exercise is for your benefit not ours, if we really don't get it then so what?
I imagine there should have been some very white highlights all over the place on that one and a few on #1 as well. Also when I squint at these two I loose the light and dark contrast. Since I didn't see the model I can't say for sure but I suspect they probably both should have been lighter on the light side or darker on the shaded side or both.
#3. By far the best of the lot. See you're improving already! Excellent modelling of form, and great contrast of value, great highlights. The only thing I find difficult to believe is the darkness of the shadow. It would probably be a little fuzzy around the edges and have some reflected light bounced into it.
Good work so far, you're commited now you can't stop. Seriously if you make a regular practice of this you will see tremendous growth over a relatively short time.
#4 Chess Pieces
I had some trouble with the white pieces on this one. I will need to practice more on them.
This exercise was an utter failure. I started with a background that was too dark. The shadow appears almost non existent. I had an extremely difficult time getting the right variation of greys for the shadowing of this white bottle. I used the wrong brushed to try to put the details in. I screwed up the background trying to salvage the failure. I wouldn't have even posted but I didn't want anyone to think I was overly slacking.
Last edited by MarkHarchar; January 15th, 2006 at 12:13 PM.
hmm good! try do a little study with pencil of the object just before you paint it (this will help you get more confortable with drawing.)..maybe also do a small tonal color study ..before moving into the big painting..im about to paint my first cast..and i did just that.. hope that helps..
No such thing as a "failed exercise". You learned all kinds of stuff from it and that's what it's about. You're not trying to make great art here, you're just learning the techniques so that you can make great art later.
You're like Karate Kid: only this is'nt the final tournament phase this is the "wax-on-wax-off "phase.
Alle, I think that may be right. I think that I need to do more thinking about tones, values and color choices before I just jump in.
(as I take a deep breath) Agreed. This isn't great art. I did learn somethings from that last one so, one to the next one and try to apply what I did learn.
My plan was to make the background the compliment of the subject and since I thought that reds are the basis or browns that a greenish background is what I wanted. I realized however that the browns in my subject were more in the yellow to orange-yellow range. So that background did not compliment the subject. (on a personal note, I think that light greens as in the backup are offensive to me as far as colors go). Also, I think that the shadows are too dark and I need to lighten them up on the next one. I think I will try more of a wash technique to make the shadows.
Good effort on these. Thumbs up for that.
Although your objects/ models come out rather nicely, background looks absolutely flat and uninteresting, thus spoiling everything. There should be not a thing in a painting that looks like it were cut out and pasted on places.
I also would wait until you are more confident with one tone/ value, before moving on to full colour sheme.
Keep em coming, am ancious about your future improvement.
500 posts! Level up baby!!!!
Anyway, I just finished this one and I have a bunch of questions for anyone who would be willing to help out. I went with a neutral background.
Blacky, I am focusing on the subject to get a handle on technique before I work on integrating backgrounds.
I am having trouble getting a soft edge on blocks of color. I seem to be unable to blend colors together to make a good gradient. The acrylic seems to dry really fast. When I water it down, the opacity goes away. Help?
The high lights appeared to me to be white, but when I made them white, they looked wrong. I tried different color values and got what you see. Tips?
Last edited by MarkHarchar; January 20th, 2006 at 08:58 PM.
Good job on the sahdow that's much nicer.
I know some people will feel differently, but I wouldn't trouble myself about backgrounds yet.
Good observation about the highlights. things that superficially look white are a totally different color when you look carefully at them. The thing is; only someone who is trying to paint an object correctly will ever look at it that critically. So we who paint are an elite group who see things that the rest of the world will never notice. Be prepared for your non artist friends to accuse you of dropping acid or something because you see purple shadows and yellow highlights. In their world these things are all grey and white. Most people only use their eyes to recognize each other and keep from bumping into things.
On blending I can only reccomend a couple things:
1. Paint faster.
2. Buy some retarding medium. In a tube it's a thick snotty gel. In a bottle it's more of a liquid. The gel can be mixed with water to create something pretty much like the bottled kind. If your paint is drying too fast on you a few drops of this stuff mixed in on the pallette can extend your "open" time without making it to transparent.
I am going to stay away from the backgrounds. I will most likely simple play with color and tone. I have heard of that retarding medium before, I just never used it. I start a class tomorrow called material and techniques of painting, so hopefully I will pickup alot of good advice in a classroom setting.
Sorry I haven't painted for a couple days. School started again and I was sick as a dog this week. But I got to one as soon as I could. I went with complimentary colors here. Purple background with yellow subject. Seems better than the last attempt. I tried something different today. The first time I was exposed to acrylics was in a color and design class. I was told by the teacher to always mix colors with your palette knife, not with your brush. But but the time I would get the colors mixed, they would dry. I mixed them today with my brush which helped me blend the colors on the "canvas" more easily. Is that the correct thing to do or not?
I just got done with this one last night. I just picked up a new fibert brush #4 which I used one this one. I think it turned out ok. I see that I need to concentrate and making my edges more smooth as the top of the bulb appears rather irregular.
Good you used complementary colour of bananas for shadowarea
Dig the bulb a lot.
thx for droping by at my sb
my tip on blending:
I put acrylics down in thin layers. Its good they dry that fast, as you can thus put the next layer on top real soon. Those layers would be getting thicker and thicker.(2-5 of em). I samewell love to smudge colours with my fingers or a rubber-brush thingy (don't know what it is called).
So it's pretty much same procedure as with oils, exact that you have to be way more precise and fast. That comes with practice though
All I can say about this is, I have to stop trying to run before I can walk...
These are coming along very well my friend you are picking up a lot. And you're catching up with me, I gotta move on that.
How big are these originally and what are you painting them on? Did you answer that question already?
I had the same problem with blending acrylics, though I'm told it's possible. I've also read that applying the retarder itself to the spot on the canvas where you want to blend the color, then applying the color makes it easier. I don't know if this will work--I switched to oils. I've been using water soluble oils--they dry faster than regular oils, but much slower than acrylic.
You seem to be doing really well with the ellipses--that's my big problem with still life. I can't seem to paint them---Judy
I appreciate you continuing to stop by. I am learning something from each one. I went out and bought a few new brushes, mostly fiberts. I am also doing more mixing with my brush on the palette, rather than the knife. I took your advice. I had a bunch of card stock, so I am painting on that. They are 8.5 x 11 which fits great on my scanner.
Yeah, I saw those water soluble oils the other day. I asked my painting teacher about them. SHe said they work well, but I bet they are sacriligieous to the traditional media painters.
Well here is the next one. Whenever I do a really bad one, I go back to black and white to gain some confidence back. I learned with this one that you can use the background to help apply color. Part of the metal is only the background with a light white wash over it.
Well, here is the next one. It appeared that there was a red tint to the white of the mug, so I added crimson to the greys. I also went with looser brush strokes.
Damn this is how daily painting can improve someone? I gotta try this too.
Why did I even pick up the brushes today...
Well that's why it's called practice.
Besides it's a perfectly nice...er trout?.
Just kidding, somebody once warned me against trying to paint ceramic animals because they would just wind up looking like failed attempts at real animals. The rule may apply here.
Gilead, then this is a failed attemtp at a real animal because I was painting a real duck from a photo....won't do that again. LOL
So sorry for not posting. I have very busy with school and trying to finish my studio. This one is a little different. I tried the landscape based on a picture I remember taking in Key West. I honestly didn't notice until I uploaded it that you would see some of the posts under the waters edge. Oh well, I'll fix and post later maybe.
Ok. So I have tried the water mixable oil paints and I have learned alot of things. They are much different from acrylic (of course). They are really easy to clean up which made me really happy. They are much more tacky then the acrylics I was using though. I am using Artisan from W&N. It seems like they needed more oil to make them flow better. When I added a small amount of water, it was ok, but too much made then very transparent, good for washes, but not for coverage. The dried totally in about a day and a half, and I liked the fact that I was able to blend them much better than regular untouched acrylics.
Anyway, this one was done from a photo in a WWF calendar. I thing that I should have had more contrast on the frog. The back legs should have had more shadow on them. The eye looks a little muddy, but I'll keep working.
Well, learning what I learned from the last picture, I just found that W&N makes water mixable oil that you can add to the paints to increase the flow and tone down some of that tackiness that I experienced. So I'll update anyone who is interested...
I also bought some drying slowing agent for my acrylics so that I can work with them as I was with the water oils.
So, we have been working with watercolor in class. I think it is a very de-masculating medium. I keep hearing, "You have to let it do what it wants." I already have to do that with my wife. I don't want to do it with my paints...
I actually did this one first, lets call it
Last edited by MarkHarchar; March 4th, 2006 at 06:37 PM.
Back to the acrylics. Tried to underpaint this one first. The knife is horrible.
Steinspinne, the fly is supposed to be a bee, but I understand the mistaken identity.
Sorry, I haven't posted in a while. Class has had me really busy. Here is a project that I was working on. The Thunderchicken.