Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Rainbow Lorikeet drawing.

On Sunday, I attended another workshop presented by Janet Matthews, who taught us to draw Owls last year. Above is my drawing, and the photo that Janet provided. I'm not happy with my drawing; the perspective is wrong, and the bird looks elongated.  I used the colours that Janet suggested, but the photo is not good to draw from, as it was taken in bright sunlight, and the parts of the bird in the shade are so dark you can't see what colour it is.  
I would like to do this again, but using a better photo, and perhaps in oil pastels, to try and capture the brilliant colours of the feathers.

Last night was the third class in the Acrylics course.  Michael talked about tones, shades, tints, etc., and demonstrated how colours can be changed by adding black or white.  He got us to paint a chart of tones from black through shades of grey to white.   Then he spoke about the colour wheel of primary colours, and how secondary colours are made from that.  We then had to paint our own version of a colour wheel, blending our paints to come up with secondary colours, and then blending those with white first, then black, to create even more tints and shades.  I painted along with the others, but threw it out when I got home, as it wasn't worth keeping.

It was interesting to some of the class, but I have a good knowledge of that through reading books over many years, so I didn't learn much.  I 'threw' Michael a bit when I challenged him on the use of blending primary colours.  I said not all blues and reds make purple, it depends on whether the red and blue are cool or warm shades.  He agreed, but he said it was getting a bit too technical for our class at the moment because he just wanted us to focus on doing what we could with the primaries we had on hand.  Later on he said that I obviously knew more about colours than the others, going by the questions I was asking, and I admitted to him that I wasn't learning much.  I said I probably should have chosen another type of class more foccussed on drawing and design, rather than just playing with colours.  I didn't say it in an offensive manner!  He was sympathetic, and knew what I was trying to say.  He said he would spend a bit of time working with me on anything I wanted to learn in particular, which was nice of him.  He really is a friendly and helpful guy - he just approaches art from a different perspective from me!

Our 'homework' this week is to paint a picture of anything we like, using only black and white to created shading.   We can also try to paint a small picture in only green - toned up or down with black and white paint, and including one other green (cool or warm contrast).

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Acrylic art class homework, second week.

For our homework this week, the tutor instructed us to get used to working with our paints, by just painting something - anything. He said "go out your front door and paint a landscape! A tree!" I took him at his word and took my paints and paper up to the back yard this afternoon. I've made myself a viewer - piece of cardboard with the centre cut out, leaving a 'frame' which I can look through to isolate the area I want to draw. I chose a corner of the yard that has an old tree and some small shrubs up against a paling fence. The chooks were scratching around while I was painting, so I put a little black hen in my picture.
Still not marvellous, but I'm getting the hang of using paint instead of sketching.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Acrylic Art lessons 1 and 2, February 2012

The first painting is my first attempt on the first night of the course. An orange towel with two blue-green upturned plastic tumblers and two limes. I got the perspective all wrong, as well as the colour of the towel, which was more apricot than orange. I needed some tuition in blending colours!

I re-did the first painting from memory - instead of painting the towel draped all the way across the table, I just had part of it where the tumblers and fruit sat.  Layout a bit better.

We were told to practice at home with some still life items, then bring them to the next class to paint them again. This is what I did at home with a plastic lemon container, a vase and an origami box, on a piece of pink fabric. The actual vase is pink, but I changed it to brown, because it got lost in the fabric colour.

I took the lemon and the vase to class, but changed the box to a small tin. I wanted to have three different shapes to paint. My first attempt was pale and washed out. The tutor suggested using less medium and more paint to produce more colour. I wandered off and went back to it several times, each time adding some colour. I still don't like this, but at least it now has some depth.

What have I learned so far? The use of Titanium White to lighten other colours, the use of water or medium to dilute colours to a point of transparency like water colour, and using Gesso to coat the paper I am using to improve the surface for use of acrylic paints.
We have also learned a bit about mixing primary colours to make secondary colours, which most of us knew a bit about already, but he then told us that some colours simply cannot be mixed from certain blues, reds and yellows, given the variation between warm and cool tones.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Gouldian Finches in Acrylic paint.

I painted this picture when I first bought some tubes of acrylic paint, just to try it out. I painted the birds from two photos of birds from our aviaries. It is okay, but I feel there is something missing; it looks 'flat'. When I showed it to our class tutor, he agreed - there is no life in it because it is painted from a photo and not real life. I reminded him that it would be almost impossible to paint these birds from watching them, as they fly around so fast, not sitting still for long. He didn't comment on that.