Tuesday, 22 December 2015

‘Abstract Acrylic’ Study No. 4 – Mixed Media

My 4th study from ‘Abstracts 50 Inspirational Projects’ by Rolina Van Vliet is pure experimentation with mixed media. For this project I used acrylic paint, oil pastels, aluminium foil and a sand & modelling paste mixture. Since it was the first time using aluminium foil, I thought it wasn't bad. It doesn’t look finished, but I’m not sure what’s missing; part of me wanted to drip paint all over it a la Pollock… maybe another time.

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Painting Project No. 8 from 'Ways to Learn Acrylics'

Project number 8 ‘Understanding light, shadow and planes’ from "Little Ways to Learn Acrylics: 50 small painting projects..." by Mark Daniel Nelson was the most difficult exercise in the book so far. The first attempt was not successful for too many reasons to list. I almost gave up but instead decided to do another one completely from scratch.

To save canvas the second painting was done on acrylic paper, which didn’t look as nice. My stay wet pallet was handy to keep the mixed paint fresh so doing each section more than once was not a problem. When a line went wrong I would simply wait for it to dry and paint another. Lines are difficult freehand, especially the corners, so when it looked presentable I stopped. The only thing not completed was the step to add a line for the box lid; it didn’t work in the first painting and I didn't want to ruin it.

Perspective is really difficult for me, so I’ve bought a book… will blog about it another time.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

‘Abstract Acrylic’ Painting Exercise No. 3 - Work Sequence A

Assignment number 3 in “Abstracts 50 Inspirational Projects” by Rolina van Vliet turned out really nice, even though my painting is a slight deviation from the monochrome colour requirements specified in the book.

To make starting the project easier, I followed the examples in the book and used red with gold outlines. After that, my own colours and marks were used. I had fun with a new tube of Pebeo relief outliner paint and may have gone a little design crazy, but I'm happy with the results. After all it’s my abstract... the book just gave me inspiration.

Friday, 11 December 2015

Painting Project No. 7 from 'Ways to Learn Acrylics'

My next project in "Little Ways to Learn Acrylics: 50 small painting projects..." by Mark Daniel Nelson is No. 7 'Introductions to values: Misty mountains'. The first painting was not successful because the colours were way too green and I accidentally omitted the last layer (sky).

When the paint was dry I tried again; matching the hue of the the dark mountains and lighter ones behind was easy. The next layers were more difficult because I wanted to move away from the green tint that I mixed in the first painting. Instead of adding only unbleached titanium I mixed in some ultramarine blue and titanium white; this made the paint look bluer. The exercise calls for only adding unbleached titanium to the mixtures, but this made the lighter layers look green.

Because I painted over the first try you can see some of the previous layers. I could fix it, but probably only make it worse. I really enjoyed this exercise, it helped me to learn about mixing values and colours. Additionally, it provides more practice working with edges, hopefully by the end of the 50 projects I will be able to have clean edges in all my paintings.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

‘Abstract Acrylic’ Painting Exercise No. 2 - 'Working from a figure sketch'

This study involved working from a figure sketch and drawing it abstractly in ink; even though I took a life drawing class this wasn’t easy. It also required sand, which I couldn’t find, so I used a sand & modelling paste mixture.
My first attempt didn’t look right because the ink figures weren’t anatomically correct so I started again. The second time wasn’t really successful either, so I cropped the painting and have posted it even though it's not perfect. I enjoyed using the sand mixture and liked the way ink worked with wet paint, but my figures looked funny. It's difficult to get an accurate body shape that is also abstract.

Rolina van Vliet has done it to perfection in her example on pages 52 & 53 of “Abstracts 50 Inspirational Projects”. This is a method I would really like to explore more.

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Ways to Learn Acrylics…Painting Project No. 6

The next project in Mark Daniel Nelson’s book “Little Ways to Learn Acrylics: 50 Small painting projects to get you started” was 'Applying a simple glaze: Bread and butter’.

My first attempt at drawing the piece of toast was inaccurate so I decided to do it in pencil first and then paint over it. How hard could a simple square with a bubble on top be? After adding all the layers it certainly proved difficult to do; it didn’t resemble the example in the book, but it looked good enough.

All my painting teachers say that mixing primary colours makes paintings look better and more cohesive, but it’s nice to use paint out of the tube because it makes fixing mistakes easier.  I might try this one again after I’ve done all 50 from the book…watch this space.

If you’re doing these exercises too, I’d like to know how you’re getting on, please leave a comment or e-mail me.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

‘Vibrant Acrylics’ Sixth Painting Exercise Benny the Cat

Initially the fur looked much darker than the example in ‘Vibrant Acrylics’. To lighten it up I added more yellow highlights and probably went a little too far. The large brushes are hard for me to control so I’m using smaller ones and this contributes to the different look. As usual my perspective on the cat is a little skewed; the painting's not perfect and doesn’t look like Hashim Akib’s version in the book, but I still like it anyway.