Amateur art, canvas painting with acrylics.

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Amateur art, canvas painting with acrylics.

Post  artattempt on 1st May 2011, 1:20 pm

affraid
Just thought I would add my two cents worth here as “nearly” a painter with something that strangely became quite exciting.
There are two styles of painting I have tried for a few hours each day with a helpful pro painter of 30 years experience calling in to give me some tips or I would go to him and ask, but letting what was in me through hard work and lots of my own experimentation come out and not just his style of painting taught to me.
I thought sharing of this experience may be help full to some one out there from the little I have learnt through a lot of trial and error and that very helpful professional painter’s tips on what to do with the types of paintings and colours I wanted to achieve in the four months of no work for a few hours a day with no actual lessons.
The main one I wanted have a crack at was to copy from a reference like a photo onto canvas with my interpretation of the photo, still getting it close to the original lay out though, this sought of suited me as to the details that were needed in the way my mind works, a fastidious stubborn type.
The next style is injecting obvious brush strokes, that with close observation, the painting can look quite ugly.
This style normally needs to be observed from a distance to be appreciated.
The first style focuses on the details and felt much better to me as it could be closely observed or from a distance, both give visual appreciation of what your hard work had produced.
The two styles can be combined or follow a singular style if you like.
The emphasis on the details means it should closely resemble real life with little interpretation, a consequence of this style can be to restrict the observer’s imagination directed at the painting, disallowing a much deeper interest and the loss of retaining the observers imagination for far longer as they appreciate the painting in their way, possibly quite different to the original artists meaning for that painting.
I found the best style to start with is to use an exact reference like a photo you have taken of something you are interested in and try to copy it onto a the canvas.
You can than keep each example as you attempt to copy your photo with paint to canvas, which is to photo quality, impossible!
You can look back at your attempts and see your progress at the same photo until you get a good result.
Personally I covered over my failures until the canvas was visually gratifying and the painting than became a reference to what worked and the next time I needed to remember a technique i had learnt via trial and error, when you look at your painting, it comes back to you.
To learn painting this way, you have to make use of and retain your back ground colours, this is paramount.
This means if you are painting a rock formation, look at your photo and mix up the colour matching the darkest shade in the photo.
Remember acrylics dry just over fifty percent darker than it is,when applied.
In relation to mixed colours you have made for backgrounds, you should store these in separate containers marking them, as main back ground,sky,trees,hills,these are very important as you go along and should be left for only the purpose you made them, back ground colours!
What can be a good idea at times is to extract some a particular back ground colour into its own container and add or take away colour to make the rest of the colours for that area, like the dark green back ground, put some in another container and add yellow to it in one corner and the other corner place another blob of back ground green and add less yellow or some blue for blue green leaf colour, or a hint of violet to brighten it towards pink, the painting will look very good when you work from one colour and altering it to suit what you want, at the end of this there will be brief explanation of colour making.
The next step is to apply this back ground colour quite thick to the entire canvas.
Once this has dried, if there is some sky to be included in your painting or areas of foliage like forest or grasses, make a line with a pencil(push very lightly on the canvas or it will leave a permanent line in the canvas)this is to show where the area of sky or foliage finishes.
Once your paint has dried do not be afraid to use an eraser on the pencil lines to remove them, it will not affect dried acrylic paint at all.
Mix up the darkest shade of the sky or foliage and apply it to the area as a back ground colour quite thick and smooth for total coverage, do it more than once if you have to if coverage is not achieved in the first coat.
You now have back ground colours for each part of your painting.
This allows you the opportunity to paint over that part of the canvas if not happy with the out come with that background colour and go again and again if needed, covering your mistakes with that very valuable back ground colour you mixed up a lot of.
Each time you paint over a mistake, let it dry, than it never happened, you have the power over this canvas!
Never try to make shapes or raised parts on your canvas by applying very thick paint, unless this is what you intend on doing for a particular affect and there is a need for that at times but do not do this unless you are shore it is what you want as it becomes part of your painting and can not be removed.
To get depth
Finish each section of the painting as it moves forward, like hills in the distance, trees closer up and keep moving forward finishing behind before moving forward even though a lot of what is at the back will be painted over and some times only some can be seen of this through what you are painting as you move forward, this is essential for depth to your painting!

The best ways to see how to make your scene rise from the painting is to put lighter colours over darker colours, allowing the edge of each colour underneath to be seen.
For instance a ten mil dark blue dot with a 7 mil medium blue dot on it, than a 4 mil dot of very light blue on it, this will begin to take on a three D affect and make it rise up from the painting.
Painting trees
With trees you need branches out from the sides decreasing in size as they go up the tree and the ones in the middle should go out to the side only slightly and rise on a steeper angle than the side ones to give a realistic look.
Once a trunk and branches have been applied, use a small stiff bristle brush and little dab on a very dark green to indicate the darker inner leaves, leaving some spaces where the leaves should be in content, than use the same brush with slightly a dryer paint apply a medium green leaving half of the dark green colour exposed.
The last step is to mix up a very bright green to indicate new growth with the application of yellow to brighten the green, do not use white!,it takes colour out, it does not brighten.
You than dab on the light green liberally over the medium green to roughly half the content of the medium green clustering towards the top of the leaf clusters.
Depth will appear with this style of painting.
You need to make sure the middle of the tree has had the same procedure as if there is a branch coming out from the tree, make the leaf cover very densely in the centre where the trunk of the branch should be, the tree will look more rounded this way and have depth.
Make the branches varied as to where they begin, the front, sides and back.
An oval shape and rings around the oval shape should be at the beginning of a branch, at the front and the sides, the front and rear should rise more than the side branches and the rear branch should have no shape where it meets the tree a part from being round, than butting up against the tree, it will look like it is coming from behind the tree this way.
Make sure the tree trunk is totally finished as with the branches before adding the leaves or depth will be lost.
Once the leaves go on make sure some small parts of the trunk and branches are visible through the leaves to give more depth.
Always begin from the back of your painting finishing each part as you work forward and paint over what is at the rear and depth will appear, always use darker colours the further back you want parts of things to appear and lighten as you paint what is to be at the front of the object.
The objects at the back have to be worked out and made smaller at the rear and get bigger as the painting progresses forward.
Personally I make what looks like a spear to begin with and build on that for trees and they can look anyway you wish as you expand on branches, leaves,lumps,knot holes,cracks,bark colours, bends, what ever, have a reference or three(phtos) of different views of this type of tree beside you to inspire you .
Making and using your paints.
When you need SMALL amounts of colour, this is best done by using a Chinese take away container or similar for instance.
Place blobs of a chosen colour around the container and blend as you wish, plus you take a tiny amount of colour and place it on the underside of the lid to mix those tiny bits you need from time to time so when you close the lid the paint retains moisture for longer ready for next time and it does not drip down, if it does dry off a little just shape the paint, if there is enough into a dish shape so the water will sit in it, add a drop or two of water and mix in with a tooth pic or the end of your paint brush or the brush, until it is good to go again.
There are two ways to use acrylic paint, thick or thin, the first can look a little grainy, the other way is best for using a line brush or want a defined smooth edge once you have made it quite wet, wet paint covers the grain in the canvas far better, but does not give good colour density cover.
If you wish to create a transparent look, like an insect wing, draw the out side of the wing with pencil lightly, than you water down your made up, say, aqua dark blue paint by around 80 to 90 percent water to 20 to 10 percent paint and paint into the wing area, than once it is dry do the same with green than with purple, or just stick with the aqua blue, the back ground must have already been finished and this will look like the wing of a dragon fly over it, or what ever.
This is an excellent way to put a water look over something as well, though it should be, for ocean light blue, or maybe dark blue or purple as the water deepens and for rivers dams, aqua blue.
You can than draw in a few lines in dark pencil to show wing or fish fin structure to some degree.
Never be afraid to experiment.
You can do something similar for fish fins you fish keepers, just use white watered down and than watered down silver over it, for the structure of the fins before the silver is applied use a strong bristled brush and drag 50-50 mixed water and paint over the fins just leaving lines and not cover with paint completely.
To finish off
Purple variants, use red and blue as the base, brighten with violet and darken with navy blue, always use tiny amounts to alter colours as you go or you will ruin the colour and have start again.
Pink variants, red and white, alter with tiny amounts of violet.
Brown-orange and green or orange-blue-black.
Brighten with yellow or violet; do not use white to brighten colours!
Maroon, red and brown.
Gold, orange and yellow.
Good luck fellow arty types jocolor
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artattempt

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Join date : 2011-05-01

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