So last week in my art class we learned about colour- mixing colours, shading with colour and contrasting colour. The first exercise we did was painting fruit. Here was my attempt:
Ok, I lie. The first project was actually to paint coloured balls. I did a red one and a yellow one. The red one was fine but the yellow one my husband said looked like an egg cup with custard nestled inside of it. So, I’m choosing to not show those here.
After the failed balls, I was adamant that I was going to paint the fruit. I didn’t finish the apple, and I didn’t get any of the shadows done, but all in all I was fairly happy with the fruit. Sure, it is a bit confusing as to just where the lighting may be coming from, but surely that isn’t fatal?
So, once we had “mastered” the fruit, it was on to sunflowers. And that was the project that I have put in
every waking hour of my free time a bit of time on this past week.
So, overall I’m happy with the painting. It isn’t great in any way but for a first painting it isn’t too bad. And you also didn’t see how bad it was in the beginning…… My biggest issue with it is that it doesn’t actually look like sunflowers. More like mini-sunflowers. With this first real painting under my belt, here are a few of the things I have learned along the way:
1. Acrylics dry very quickly which is great because then you can paint over your mistakes. However, if you paint over the same mistake several times, even acrylics will not have the chance to dry and the colours will kind of slide over each other making a mess. I recommend for areas of repeated mistakes to let the paint dry at least overnight. For example, if you look at the stem of the droopy yellow flower on the right you will see what looks like a shadow. That is really green paint from failed leaves showing through about fifteen layers of brown that hadn’t dried properly between layers.
2. Painting is supposed to be quick. At least that is what the people with videos of themselves painting on the internet would have you believe. I am far too embarassed to say how many
days hours went into this non-sunflower sunflower painting but let’s just say it wasn’t quick.
3. If you paint in leaves for the sunflowers, and your husband tells you that they look like a “giant green pillow” you can paint over the leaves with your background colour. Then you can tell yourself that the painting actually looks better without leaves and avoid the whole issue.
4. Different brands of paint do not mix well. So if you are thinking of avoiding the art supply store because you have been there so often lately you feel like you practically live there- don’t.
5. When you put your painting on an easel, make sure not to leave a white rim at the bottom of the painting where you couldn’t get to it because of the easel. When you then try to guess what paint mixture you used for the background and it isn’t the same, the bottom line of your painting will be a different colour.
And perhaps most importantly 6. Some of the “rules” of painting and art and colour mixing stress me out. Then my husband reminds me that some of the things that I am learning will have no application to my rug hooking. He’s right. There are things that I need to get out of this and things that I don’t and I need to focus on the things that will help me further in my art form. I think it is clear from the above, I’m not going to become a painter anytime soon.
The project for this week is landscape painting. I’ve chosen my photograph and have told myself that tomorrow night I’m going to start on it. Will keep you posted.