First we are asked to “start by exploring the range of marks and shapes that can be made with you brushes”.
I have painted before this course, but it was mainly playing and attempting to use watercolour. I have a limited amount of brushes at the moment that are suitable for acrylic and the medium itself is fairly new to me.
I played on sheets of A2 and made a note alongside the daubs as to which type of brush I used. It quickly became apparent that acrylic behaves very differently, according to how much water is involved in mixing the paint and brush strokes are very visible – which could be both and advantage and a disadvantage depending on the look one is going for.
The next part of the exercise asks us to “from memory, paint a small and simple landscape (about A4). As a daily walker, I am outside a lot, but sitting down to paint from memory was harder than I expected. I painted two pictures of familiar dog walks.
My first attempt. I struggled at first with no reference to work from, but as I realised acrylic can be painted over constantly, I relaxed a little.
Conclusions from this painting
- you can see every brush stroke
- mixing colours is going to take practice
- This only really came to life when I added the shadows
- I think I am going to want to work larger, acrylic feels like an expressive medium that would work better if one doesn’t tighten up.
- I will need to load the brushes better – this is very scratchy as if i’m afraid of using the paint.
- Acrylic dries really fast!
I tried another……
Conclusions from this one…..
- I can successfully paint over ….but better after it dries.
- Again…colour mixing 😦
- There are a few more brush uses in this one
- Both pictures, better viewed from distance….take a step back regularly.
“Paint a piece of fruit”
Working in my sketchbook this time, I thought I would use only three colours, noticing my my mixing wasn’t so good last time, I thought this would be an opportunity to try other ways to achieve colour. In this first page I used Lemon Yellow, Cadmium Red and Black.
- The first attempt is a watercolour like approach, but this paint dries so fast it was tricky.
- Second i used a bolder approach using a firm, square headed flatter brush, less water, more paint – better for the medium I think.
- Third started with a rough brush and then finished with a soft one for more definition.
Trying two different colours, Cadmium Yellow and Crimson (and black).
- The first attempt here has the most successful stalk! 🙂 I took more time and layers, usting the fact that I could correct as I go with acrylic. Brush marks show and colours mixed on the paper.
- Second attempt – I tried again with lots of water – more successfully this time I think and the shadow in a colour – I like.
NB (for me)
Need a sheet of paper to test colours and water content.
Keep Kitchen roll handy and several jars of water to keep brushes really clean, if this dries your brushes are ruined.