Thursday, January 27, 2011

Art Tools Sharing

Thought to share this with my fellow bloggers and creatives.

This is NOT a traditional how to work book. It focus on acrylic material handling plus some basic acrylic painting techniques.  Though the acrylic and acrylic medium it refers to is of GOLDEN brand, most of the information is applicable to other brands.

Here is a photo of "acrylic skin" I learn to make from the book.

Left: Acrylic skin. Right: Original image photocopy on plain paper
2)  Color Mixing Recipes Books:

I'm pretty sure a lot of you know color mixing like the back of your hands, but I don't.  And to make the problem worst, my first acrylic painting was of nude girl figure.  Through my internet search, I did find some basic formulas to mix skin tone, but most of these formulas were for 1 color value only.  The instructions on color value change from these formulas are very confusing for me to understand.

These book are recommended to me by the owner of my local art store.  I wasn't quite sure about "recipes" book at first.  It sounds suspicious and honestly a bit tacky.  Also I would feel like a cheat to use "color recipes" to paint.  But after reading the books, I was glad to have got them.  I actually learn more about color mixing from the "color recipes" than from the 2 big fat books I got last year on color theory.

Also, the book comes with a "color mixing grid" which helps me greatly when I need to mix the same color twice or more.  (Again, I'm sure mixing the same color twice or more to you is not difficult at all.  But for me, a total novice to painting, it's a GIGANTIC problem.)

Note:  For my painting "Come to Me", I didn't use any one of the color recipes. I developed my own recipe learning from the book.  However, my "recipe" didn't work that well ...

Lastly, a pix of my painting area for your musing.

My Messy Art Space
Cheers and have wonderful week ahead!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Painting Practice - "Come to Me"

A very belated Happy 2011 to fellow creatives and bloggers!

(Warning:  This is going to be a long post ...and apologize for the quality of the pix.  I really need to learn taking better photo!)

Just got back to work from a 4-week break.  During the holiday, I dived into the deep end and tried out my very first painting on canvas.  It is far from finished but I needed to stop at some point or I could go on forever.  It is the best I could achieve with my current skill.  Hence I'm calling it my painting practice.

"Come to Me" (11 x 14, acrylic, watersoluble crayon & graphite)

As mentioned before, I have NIL painting experience and only began to learn to draw since Oct 2009.  After joining some online art classes last year and watching probably way too much YouTube videos plus getting my hands on 2 instructional DVDs, I dared myself to try out painting for real.

Every steps and aspects of the painting is a challenge for me.  (Example: it took me a few days to mix the skin tone and even now it is still not what I want.  I've painted the hair twice and haven't figured out a suitable color for the girl's eye brows.  Spent 2 afternoons to fix up the lips and the nipples.  A whole 2-days for the eyes.  The list went on and on and on ...)  I was lost and confused most of the time, but at the end of the day, I got through and moved onto the next stage to finish the painting.

There is sill a very very long way to go before I could paint well, but I'll keep trying.  From this painting, you could tell I'm all over the places.  When I looked at the original pencil drawing, there's a kind of elegance which I was unable to achieve with painting.  I hope that with time, my brush work will improve.  Also, with painting, there's a whole new side of material handling and techniques I need to learn and explore.

"Come to Me" (original pencil drawing)

An aspect I enjoyed of this painting was the insects.  The were created from borrowed features of several types of bees, moths, butterflies and dragonflies.  It was a real surprise to me as I'm not really a nature person.  I've always been a city girl.  It seems like drawing and painting have brought out the "nature" side of me.  I've been scouting good reference books on plants, insects, animals and nature in general.

Much of the online classes and DVDs I got were for mixed media art.  After watching them repeatedly for weeks, I realized that it wasn't really my cup of tea.  I prefer a more concentrated (medium-wise) approach to painting.  It might look like a waste of money for these courses and DVDs, but I still considered money well spent.  At least now I know what I don't like plus I did learn some useful drawing and painting skill here and there.

I reckon I will be posting a bit less this year as it takes a lot longer to get a painting done.  Right now, I'm considering to re-draw both "Moon" and "Prickly" for painting.

For this year's creative projects, I'm gonna working on canvas painting from start to finish.  (I've already prepped 2 more canvases for painting and bought another 4 from last Christmas sales.)  I hope that by end of the year, there will be some improvement of my painting skill.

BTW, this doesn't mean that I'm not visiting all your wonderful blogs.  You have all been wonderful and supportive to my creative venture.  I treasure this blogging community which nurtures me as a creative person.  THANK YOU!

I'd like to ask some help as well.

1)  Since the girl's "hair" is yellow and green, I had a hard time to come up with the right (harmonious) color of her eye brows which won't make her look freaky. Any suggestion?  I'm leaving it white at present.

2)  What do you think of the title:  "Come to Me"?  What does it mean to you or does it make any sense to you at all?

3)  What does the girl's hair look like to you?

All comments are welcomed.  Til then, have a fantastic week!