Friday, July 25, 2014

#20: Just Dandy

Inspiration: Another visit to the library provided the inspiration for these small paintings. I checked out Alwyn Crawshaw's Ultimate Painting Course. This book provides tips and tricks for painting with oil, water color and acrylics. Crawshaw provides a few samples with suggestions for mixing colors and for what size and sort of brush you might want to use. The dandelion painting was one that had instructions  for acrylics. I decided to follow Crawshaw's instructions on the first painting and then apply the techniques on one of my own. When I wasn't exactly satisfied with that, I tried a third.

Just Dandy
4" x 5" 90lb cold press

Daisy One
4" x 5" 90lb cold press

Daisy Three
4" x 5" 90lb cold press

What I like about the paintings:
  • The paintings begin much like watercolors. I like the use of watered down acrylics in the background, the beginning stages of the flowers, leaves and grasses. 
  • Each painting probably took less than 30 minutes to complete. My quickest ever. Up until now I tried to include every detail. It was interesting to give the impression of what I was trying to paint.
What I might do differently:
  • I wasn't especially pleased with the mish-mash of leaves in the first daisy painting. I decided to make the daisies larger so they are the focal point of the piece. 
  • I prefer the more subtle shading on the smaller daisies. The dark lines in the larger daisies I feel are in too sharp contrast with the rest of the petals.
  • Crawshaw added a second, darker layer to his background. I failed to do that with enough contrast in my paintings.
  • I read how important it is to stop and take a 6' view of your work periodically. Looking at the first daisy painting I realize how that view would have been helpful in seeing how awful the background looks!
What I learned:

Crawshaw uses some techniques with acrylics that are more like those you might use with water colors at the start of his paintings. I am enjoying using paints that have been watered down a bit more than those I usually use, and then painting with stronger concentrations of paint on the top layers. I like the translucency that is created and the effects of layering paints.

I used 90lb cold press paper. The company indicated that the paper would be satisfactory for acrylics. I was looking for something a bit less expensive and less bulky than stretched canvas or canvas boards. I liked the smoother surface, especially for such small paintings. The inexpensive (relatively) canvas boards are so course I sometimes get frustrated while painting (yes, even if I do one or two layers of gesso or paint to try to fill the crevices.) I did not stretch the paper so as it dried it curled a bit, so if I want to use the paper for larger pieces, I may want to wet it and stretch it before using it.

No comments:

Post a Comment