Tag Archives: acrylic painting

Splatter!

14 Oct

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I work part-time for a national homelessness charity, just a few hours a week where I run fine art courses for people who use the service. Today I started an acrylics painting course. I like to jump straight in with something practical so I did a group abstract painting exercise. After a quick explanation of what ‘impasto’ is, I laid a canvas roll onto the table and everyone – there were six of us – grabbed a pot of Daler Rowney System 3 paint and, using either a palette knife or fingers (rubber gloves provided), splattered paint onto the canvas as we walked around the table.

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After we’d all done one circuit, we changed our pots of colour and went round the table again, splattering as we went. And a few more times, building up random layers of colour. Finally, we put the paint down and spent a minute or so scraping and scratching through the paint layers, revealing the colours underneath.

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Then we used some old window mounts to look through and work out the compositions we liked best. This led to a discussion about what makes good art – controversial – and I’d taken some examples of Jackson Pollock’s work to look at, to get a theoretical and historical perspective.

The Daler Rowney System 3 acrylic paint, mixed with screenprint medium, was kindly donated by Swansea Print Workshop. They let us have acrylic paints left over after their screenprint courses, which is great because they’re expensive quality paints. We worked in a room kindly lent by the National Waterfront Museum.

Putting The Work In….

1 Aug

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Putting The Work In…. So the past few days I’ve been slapping an underpainting onto a canvas but now the serious stuff has to start, I need to get stuck into the details. I want to have the head thrown back from the torso so I took a few photos of long-suffering Husb (I guess he must be my Muse) and drew this one into my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 tablet using a free Markers app. I blocked in the background in a beige-y colour and then worked up the drawing with white and a couple of brown shades, finishing with orange on the eyebrows. I used the stylus and my finger, the stylus gives a more defined line. Husb is very tall and I am short so I am used to seeing him from this angle. I love a nice bit of foreshortening.

Here’s how far I’ve gone with the underpainting ….

I’ll get the head painted on in more detail next ….

Anything Goes…

31 Jul

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I’m not a painter. I draw, I make original prints, I experiment with mixed media work. But I rarely paint. So as far as I’m concerned, anything goes. If something doesn’t work out, I can paint over it and start again. So I don’t know what the rules are (well, some of the basic ones, but that’s it) and I’m going to do whatever takes my fancy. When I do printmaking, I prefer to work with just the three primary colours, Process Cyan, Magenta / Red and Yellow and I’m trying to keep to this principle with this painting; I’ll see how it pans out. I’m also keen on trying to draw more than paint, using very thin washes of translucent colour that flow from the brush with the sort of lines and marks I use in drawings.

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Just Get On With It!

30 Jul

Just Get On With It!

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I find making art really hard. People often say to me, “how lovely to work at something you enjoy“. WRONG!!! It’s blood, sweat and tears all the way for me. I get stuck in cycles of creative self-doubt which are absolutely paralysing and I’ve been in one for some months now. So today I gave myself a good talking to and told myself to just get on with it. I started a painting a few days ago, putting on a dark ground and then a rough underpainting in pale grey, so today I mixed up a fairly thin wash of black acrylic ink (Liquitex Heavy Body) and did some quite quick and intuitive linework.

Although I have an original life drawing for reference, I am trying to work without it as much as possible, and rely on my imagination and intuition. I really must snap out of this and stop being so afraid to create. After all, if I don’t like what I do, I can always cover the canvas with gesso and start again.

Practising What I Preach

26 Jul

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I’ve been doing quite a bit of teaching lately and I encourage people to experiment, to loosen up, to enjoy playing with the materials and see what turns up. And I really should practise what I preach! So I’m trying to chill out and splash about with paint and not work directly from life as I normally do – although I am working from a life drawing, but very loosely. Let’s see how it turns out.

I don’t like working directly onto white so I put on a basic wash made from diluted blue, red and yellow Liquitex acrylic paint. Then I blocked in the figure with diluted white Liquitex.

An Inspirational Talk

25 Jul

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Husb and I went to a talk by the veteran artist Hanlyn Davies at our local art gallery, The Glynn Vivian, this evening. I really appreciated it and learnt a lot. I’ve been trying to break away from always working directly from life, tapping into my imagination, but I’ve been finding it hard going. Watching Hanlyn run through a slide show of over 50 years work has given me a bit of confidence to let go a bit and keep experimenting. I added a bit of red paint to the canvas board I started painting last week, when I was using up leftover Liquitex acrylic paints at the end of a teaching session. There wasn’t much left this week. It’s going to be interesting to see how this develops, I’ll keep it intuitive.

 

Waste Not Want Not

18 Jul

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I was doing some teaching today and there was some acrylic paint leftover, good stuff, Liquitex. Waste not, want not, I thought and used it up on a canvas board. I rubbed a layer of black on first, in a rotating motion with a large stippling brush and when that was dry, a layer of diluted green/blue and finally, working from the bottom right with a blunt hoghair brush and some maroon. It’s completely random but I need to loosen up my techniques and work more intuitively. It’s also good for my students to get into the habit of using up all their materials and trying out different things.

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