Art is a practice and practise means doing something regularly!
I wanted to quickly jump on here to share! I quickly did some water colour tests this afternoon after a “little break”. Life happens and sometimes art takes a back seat. *shrugs* haha
Today I took the opportunity to test my water colour skills, it just goes to show I’ve forgotten some of the techniques after taking such a long break from using them. With watercolour painting it’s all about timing and preparation, drying time and mastering this comes with patience and muscle memory.
Art is a practice and practise means doing something regularly!
I tried a few wet on wet, wet on dry techniques to create this butterfly. First, I tried a few samples of gradients and picked the colours combos I liked the most. I traced this butterfly from an old drawing I did for my 365 day challenge in 2019/2020 and painted it the same way I painted the gradients. I was rough with it and liked that the paint didn’t say in between the lines. I went over the butterfly again with lead pencil. I did consider lining it in black in but decided it would be too harsh for my liking.
It appears that Windsor and Newtown (W&N) products are very expensive to purchase in Australia. The 12 set of W&N tube set was 16 pounds which is equivalent to $30 AUS. So bizzare. Note to anyone travelling to London, buy art products over there, it’s so much cheaper!!
To be more free with my lines, to allow my hand to flow without too much thought behind it. I am still yet to “get there” but am enjoying the process.
A lesson on ink.
Ink is a super fun medium to play with. I have been playing with Sumi ink lately and have found it loose and free. As someone who has tendencies toward careful and slow mark making using ink has helped me to loosen up. To be more free with my lines, to allow my hand to flow without too much thought behind it. I am still yet to “get there” but am enjoying the process.
Fun, loose and quick!
I found doing these studies helped me to use my ink brushes on my digital drawing apps.
What I learnt:
Ink makes you commit to your strokes, don’t think too much. Have a word/picture in your mind and paint.
There is little room for error.
Simpler the better.
You can achieve different values by adding more water/ink. The more water the lighter the wash (just like water colour).
Quick strokes work best.
Composition is key.
Rhythm is needed, light touches to create dotted thin strokes and more pressure to create bold voluminous lines.
If you’re looking for a quick art exercise to do to relax, these colourful dots are are both beautiful and simple to create. Pretty straight forward… grab your water colour and dot away.
Lisa talks about these exercises as ‘colour meditations.’ If you find you’re feeling stressed or just need some thing to do to calm your mind, this will do the trick!
Come to think of it these pieces remind me of those stick on ear rings they made when I was little. They were sparkly and came in difference shapes, like moon, circle, triangle, flowers. Do you remember these???
I had to joy of painting this weekend. This is my second attempt with oil paints. I found some close ups from Vincent Van Gogh’s painting and attempted to recreate the images to learn the techniques that he used in his vibrant art works.
Best part of this painting:
I love how the paintings turned out – they have a lot of character.
My favourite painting is the one of the flowers – I enjoy the value range and the placement of the white flowers.
Look at images on Pinterest and choose a few to recreate – as a study!
Think about how much paint you need for the painting.
Prepare your palette, I stuck an A4 piece of paper onto my wooden board.
Squeeze out the paint on to the palette based on how much of that colour appears in the painting.
Get your paint brushes ready, look at the strokes on the painting and pick paint brushes you think might do the job. (It’s a good idea to do test swatches to get an idea of the brush strokes at an earlier stage so you’re not fussing about at this point)
Stick tiny canvas’ on cardboard or an old magazine to keep it stable as you paint.
Have tissues next to you.
Set up the work space, with the palette on the right and canvas in front of you.
Things I learnt:
I would use waterproof surface as a palette. I thought printer paper might work…. WRONG! it just absorbed the oil and made it difficult to mix the paint.
The canvas’ were small 7cm x 10xcm so in order to create those lovely brush strokes I could have used a thinner brush.
It was hard to apply paint to create those stiff lines by using paint brushes with softer paint bristles. The one you might use for acrylic paint blends the paint and makes the strokes flat, you can see this on the yellow trees.
Stiff paint brush with oil paint is better for impressionist Van Gogh type paintings.
Working from dark to light works well.
Prior preparation: I found photos of art that I loved and made me happy. I pinned these on my Pinterest board.
I have a rolling to do list on my Iphone note and wrote this “Tiny Canvas oil paintings” down as one of the fun projects I could do in my spare time in the month of August. This got me excited and geared me up each day to paint.
When inspiration stikes me and I have a spare few hours, I take out my paints and act quickly.
Painting for about an hour to an hour and a half on small canvas’ is a good amount of time before you’ll become fatigued.
The more you paint and mix colours the better you will get at visually identifying the warmth and coolness of a colour and adjust accordingly.
Find inspiration before you sit down to paint, the creating process is much quicker. Save pictures and photos through out the week in preparation for the moment you sit down to create.
Post editing tricks: 1. Use channel mixer to get the WB levels right, meaning getting the whites as white as possible. You will need to adjust the reds, greens and blues to make the image cooler or warmer. 2. Use Curve layer to adjust the value range which will determine the level of contrast of the photo.
…..the lockdown continues in Sydney, NSW. I attempt oil painting on a small canvas. My favourite part of this painting is the texture and strokes.
This is my first attempt at using oil in this impressionist way. This was really fun and intuitive, I found the medium much more forgiving then watercolours because you can layer over and over again to achieve the colour you are looking for so mistakes are rectifiable. I only used a bit of paint of each colour, mostly white, red and yellow to achieve these peachy colours.
prep surface by painting one layer of gesso on canvas (10 x 7 cm),
once dry, tape the corners of the tiny canvas to a piece of board to stabilise it,
set up on an easel,
work off a photo on my phone,
use two paint brushes, one for warm colours and one for cool colours,
work from light to dark colours,
block out shapes large to small.
Some things I learnt about using oil paints as a beginner:
Adding white gesso helps the paint dry faster and gives your painting texture,
Have a rough idea of how much paint you need before you squeeze paint onto your canvas – you don’t need the same amount of each colour,
After a while all the colours start looking the same so be intentional with the values you are trying to achieve before you start painting,
As tempting as it is …. don’t touch the painting for 24 hours at least.
Hang in there, when this is all over we can embrace the freedom together!