Sunday, June 20, 2010

Painting. Try it

My girlfriend Carol cannot figure out how I can just sit and paint for hours; seeing I cannot wait a minute in traffic without my blood boiling. It's simple. Painting is incredibly calming and relaxing and I really urge any of you who have never tried it to pick up the brush and try it.

First, find a subject matter that you like to observe and paint. I reccomend something simple for first timers.

For my latest painting, I decided to paint a jungle scene from a hiking trip. It's a picture of a ginger flower growing in the midst of vines. Now this is the painting process.

Determine the composition of the entire painting. I never really draw with a pencil, I simply lay out all objects with a simple brush line. I then start by painting the shadow area dark.

I typically fill up the background first, so that I don't have to paint in the background in between the foreground later. As a general rule of thumb, use more subtle colours in the background so that the foreground will stand out.If you need to use a strong colour like RED in the background, I suggest lowering its intensity by diluting the paint with water or mixing it with a dull colour.
Also you can paint the background blurry as if it is 'out of focus range'. To blur the background simply omit details in your subject and paint it more liberally with blotches and no sharp brush strokes.

After the background is done, I start on the forground subject. With every painting, I am faced with new challenges to create the image by combining paint. There is no answer as to how to do this aside from experimenting.Your technique will develop as you gain familiarity with the brush and experience handling the paint. Also, sometimes you have to paint something in a few layers. What this means is simply painting multiple layers of colour that combine to become the richly coloured final layer. How do you do this?
Paint one layer of colour.Let it dry and then paint another layer on top, thinning the top layer with more water so it will have a transparent quality where you can see the bottom layer through the top layer.Look at the leaves two leaves. This is layer 1.

Now look at the same leaf after a few layers.

I was having trouble figuring out how to paint the main subject, the ginger flower.
Many at this point will give up. The best advice I can give here to anyone is to just proceed.Unlike colour pencils or crayons; with acrylic paint, you can always cover the bottom layer completely and redo a mistake if you do not like what you have done. Also sometimes, brush strokes that may not look 'correct' at the start will look much more better and 'correct' as you progress and you can see the picture as a whole.

Once you reached this point where the entire canvas is painted, sit back and take a look at your painting. Looking and criticizing yourself is a good way to teach yourself new techniques and fine tuning your painting skills.
Also start detailing the picture and believe you can make it better.

Although I have a proper easel and painting space; I much rather just use a chair to prop up my canvas and paint in my living room with my television accompanying me in the background. Other than that, you'll need a canvas (easily purchased in an art shop in one utama or ikea) and some paint. I typically use only four colours. Titanium White, Cadmium Red or Scarlet Red, Cadmium Yellow and Prussian Blue. I mix all my colours from these four basic colours.I do not use black. You need a brush and any bottle to hold some water and a board for a palette. the entire start budget should be in the range of RM 50 including canvas. The pet snake(notice sofa arm rest) is optional.
I hope you enjoy painting. =)
any question do ask in the comments and I'll respond.

4 comments:

nomad girl said...

Good job, Linus

J_on_tour@jayzspaze said...

The finished painting looks great with good depth to it, nice to see the background is out of focus.

Cmate said...

Great one!

Cmate said...

Great one!

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Living Life to the full...I hope to live by the principle that success doesn't mean making a tonne of money though I am blessed that i do make a decent sum...but success equates to appreciateing all the God given wonder this world has to offer before my time is up...