Saturday, 9 April 2016

Painting Project No. 40 from “Ways to Learn Acrylics” - Tin cup

Project number 40 in “Little Ways to Learn Acrylics: 50 small painting projects...” by Mark Daniel Nelson is ‘Reflections on metal: Tin cup and cherry’. This was not as enjoyable as painting the boat even though it was a similar exercise. Creating form using multiple shades of grey from black and white was very challenging. Not mixing enough paint to finish a painting continues to be one of my greatest weaknesses. In the end I just tried to paint and not stress about perfection. It could have been worse.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Painting Project No. 39 from “Ways to Learn Acrylics” - Boat

‘Creating texture with layering: Old boat’ is project 39 in “Little Ways to Learn Acrylics: 50 small painting projects...” by Mark Daniel Nelson. Painting boats are really fun to do so this exercise was easy to complete. It was especially relaxing to create different layers and not worry too much about detail. This is a fantastic exercise to do more than once and try using different colours and  backgrounds.

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Pallet Knife and Acrylics at The Seasons Art Class

In my Monday Seasons Art Class we learned to use a pallet knife with acrylic paint.

In the first assignment we were instructed to use any colours to explore different pallet knives and what marks you can make. It was only an exercise but it yielded pretty nice results.
For the second assignment we were to use only a pallet knife to paint a shell or sea creature, thinking the sea horse would be easy, that’s what I did. It was difficult to draw something specific with the knife so really not  a fan.

For the final assignment we were to create any abstract we wanted, so similar to the first assignment this red, white and blue abstract was born.
It’s strange because I started taking art classes to train to draw and paint more realistic looking things and what I really like to do is create abstract art. Abstract may be my style, but I’m going to take a drawing class next term to be sure.

Thursday, 31 March 2016

Painting Project No. 38 from “Ways to Learn Acrylics”

'Painting wood: Chair' was project 38 in “Little Ways to Learn Acrylics: 50 small painting projects...” by Mark Daniel Nelson. This was an interesting exercise and for once I didn’t go crazy trying to make everything perfect. Painting the textured wood surface first worked, except that painting the background as negative space didn't leave room for error:(.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Painting Project No. 36 & 37 from “Ways to Learn Acrylics”

Today I'm posting two still life projects from “Little Ways to Learn Acrylics: 50 small painting projects...” by Mark Daniel Nelson. They both involve perspective, straight lines and cast shadows…all the things I’m not good at so don’t expect much.

Project number 36 ‘Warm light, cool shadow: Gift box’. This exercise is similar to project 8; didn’t like it then, don’t like it now. Not finding my style yet but I am learning what it isn’t. As with the cardboard box, I spent a lot of time working and reworking the sides but this was more difficult because it had a ribbon. I left it on my easel for days messing around and then finally accepted the fact that it’s never going to be perfect.

Project number 37 ‘Rendering intricate details: Clothes peg’ was described in the book as having intricate parts that make it a challenging subject. Well that’s putting it mildly. Even though it was difficult to paint, the 'Clothes peg' was much easier than the ‘Gift box’. It might be because I didn’t get too worked up about the accuracy of shape and perspective.

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Acrylic painting from Karen Pearson’s Art Class - ‘Alice’

Watercolour classes with Karen Pearson were a good opportunity to learn drawing and composition but my watercolour skills didn’t really advance.

To my surprise, in only one of Karen's acrylic painting classes I felt a big improvement. At home, there were a few minor adjustments but for the most part the painting was finished in 3 hours. As always there are things that probably could be perfected but I want to paint something new in her next class.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Painting Project No. 35 from “Ways to Learn Acrylics” - Balloon dog

Project 35 in “Little Ways to Learn Acrylics: 50 small painting projects...” by Mark Daniel Nelson is ‘Rendering a transparent object: Balloon dog’. This exercise is now my favourite; from the first step the image was pretty remarkable. My only regret is that I painted it on mixed media canvas and not a canvas board. The book suggests trying this exercise again with different balloon animals and colours… will do it after finishing the book :).

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Painting Project No. 34 from “Ways to Learn Acrylics” - Bulb

The final 16 projects in “Little Ways to Learn Acrylics: 50 small painting projects...” by Mark Daniel Nelson is Chapter 4, ‘rendering surface and form'.

Project 34 ‘Painting simple highlights: Light bulb’ was an example in rendering focus on glass and metal.  In my opinion, the painting was uninspiring but the lesson was a good one.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Watercolour Duck & White Swans in Wendy’s class

In one of Wendy’s classes we painted a white duck in watercolour; I painted the same duck Wendy demonstrated. Watercolour is still a difficult medium for me to use, so it was easier to follow by instruction. Even though much more time was spent on it, mine didn’t come out half as nice as the tutor’s or the original.

The next week we were to select an image of a white bird to paint in acrylics. Painting in acrylics is much easier and I drew an image from Paint My Photo. I was happy with the final painting and even signed it :).

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Oil Pastels with The Seasons Art Class - Pear & Cow

In my Monday The Seasons Art Class we spent the first three weeks learning to draw with pencil then the next two weeks learning to use oil pastels.

The fourth week was about the different marks you can make with oil pastels and then a tutorial on drawing a simple object. With a pear in front of me for inspiration, I drew in oil pastel on A3 mixed media paper. The pear came out looking pretty nice and I enhanced it a little in photo shop to make it look even better.
The next week was about drawing simple shapes to form animals. For my subject, I drew a cow from a photo onto A3 mixed media paper. My cow came out really nice with minimal effort. Oil pastels are pretty awesome and I want to experiment with them some more :).

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Painting Project No. 32 & 33 from “Ways to Learn Acrylics” - Landscapes

These two projects are the last in Chapter 3 - 'beyond the basics'.  Can't believe it, but my first painting in “Little Ways to Learn Acrylics: 50 small painting projects...” by Mark Daniel Nelson was back in November. Looking forward to moving onto Chapter 4 and probably for the first time in a long time finishing what I started.

Project number 32 ‘Accenting with a complementary colour: Birch trees’ came out better than I thought it would. At first, the steps to finishing the painting seemed odd but the final result was pretty nice and despite my prejudice...I liked it.
Project number 33 ‘Using exaggerated colour: Expressionist landscape’ was all about various colours as well as shapes; in my opinion it didn’t look so great. Probably should have tried to do my own thing and make some alterations to the instructions, but really I’m just ready to move on to the next chapter.

Friday, 11 March 2016

Craft Show Farnborough - Greeting Cards

My addiction to making cards was intensified by the Farnborough Make It craft fair. Even though it was £9.50 to get in I couldn’t stay away. After some research and one awesome blog post  it looked like it was worth going. My friend Snezana very graciously gave me a Cuttlebug and I needed more dies, embossing folders, stamps, paper, and ink pads. A previous trip to Hobbycraft wasn’t enough and I just needed more!

Spent £53 on products at Farnborough and couldn’t believe it. The money just flew out of my wallet and into the stallholder’s hands. It’s a good thing I didn’t have more cash on me; only charged the entry fee and one heart die at the end.  It’s amazing how much time it takes to put together just one card. Although, I do have ideas and pieces of things to use for future cards.

The balloon card is created with stamps and layout ideas from Issue 29 of Creative Stamping magazine. The flower card is from a Sizzix die cut and paper purchased at Hobbycraft.

The cake card is partly from a stamp that came from the Creative Stamping magazine and blue ink stamps from the show. The circle card is from a circle cutter and paper purchased from the craft show.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Painting Project No. 31 from “Ways to Learn Acrylics” - Sunflowers

Project 31 in "Little Ways to Learn Acrylics: 50 small painting projects..." by Mark Daniel Nelson was 'Creating contrast with temperature: Sunflowers’. I’m not experienced with painting sunflowers but all in all they came out pretty nice. I probably should have stopped sooner because with too many layers of yellow, the flowers don’t pop as much as they did. I prefer the poppy painting.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Painting Project No. 30 from “Ways to Learn Acrylics” - Poppies

Project 30 in "Little Ways to Learn Acrylics: 50 small painting projects..." by Mark Daniel Nelson was ‘Massing multiple objects: Poppy field’. As mentioned before, I don’t like massing or painting from loose paintings; but I do like poppies. This project started out looking good, then there was a moment where it went all wrong. After working on it for a day or two I was able to salvage the painting to a point where I really liked it. This method was difficult but effective and the poppies look vibrant.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Painting Project No. 29 from “Ways to Learn Acrylics” Landscape

Project 29 in ‘Little Ways to Learn Acrylics: 50 small painting projects...' by Mark Daniel Nelson was ‘Massing in nature: River and trees’. Sorry to say but I didn’t like this exercise either (see Project 28; Bananas); not a big fan of massing. This whole chapter is really challenging for me; loose painting from images that are loosely painted is a real nuisance. I worked on this landscape over several days until it looked presentable enough to publish.

Couldn’t wait to start Chapter 3 but now I can’t wait to finish it:(

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Painting Project No. 28 from “Ways to Learn Acrylics” Bananas

Project 28 in ‘Little Ways to Learn Acrylics: 50 small painting projects..." by Mark Daniel Nelson was ‘Massing shapes: Bunch of bananas’. The technique called ‘massing’ involves combining groups of small detailed shapes into larger more generalized shapes. Well I didn’t like it; for me, it’s easier to work from a more specific outline.
My first try came out really awful so then I painted a bunch of bananas that were in my kitchen. After getting a feel for what bananas looked like, I went back to trying the project from the book. In the end I was satisfied with the final product.

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Abstract Acrylic Paintings

With my sudden addiction to making greeting cards, three art classes, and an almost pathologic need to get through the 50 small painting projects book, I’ve forgotten what I love! Abstract painting… this blog is for you. These two paintings were started about three or four weeks ago and today I was determined to finish them.
The larger one 40cm x 50cm was supposed to be green, yellow, red and black, but as ever I was in a hurry and couldn’t wait for the black to dry. The first layer was really nice but the white of the canvas was showing; more black was added and it covered up some of the good stuff. The green was an acrylic ink and a little watery so when the third layer dried it was very translucent. The final layers were in Jackson Pollock style.  I may work on it some more but for now it’s done.

The smaller one 25cm x 30cm was originally just yellow and black. My husband liked it but I felt it wasn’t finished. Using the JP style, I painted outside in my garden and boy was it cold... but worth it. I love this style of painting because you can always rework it and it’s never wrong.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Painting Project No. 26 & 27 from “Ways to Learn Acrylics”

I’m posting two projects from ‘Little Ways to Learn Acrylics: 50 small painting projects..." by Mark Daniel Nelson today. One is a city scene the other a snow scene, both on 8" x 8" mixed media paper.

Project number 26 ‘Large shapes and small details: City scene’ is a pleasant abstract landscape. The approach to ‘loosely represent the larger shapes in the scene and add a few well-placed details’ seems simple; but in my opinion... it’s not. My painting looked alright, however if the steps weren't mapped out for me, it might not have.

Project number 27 ‘Simplifying a landscape: Snow scene’ in my eyes isn’t a great painting. By not taking it too seriously the results were better than expected. The example in the book had too much blue so I used a lighter shade to make the snow more realistic.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Painting Project No. 25 from “Ways to Learn Acrylics” - Rooster

Project 25 in ‘Little Ways to Learn Acrylics: 50 small painting projects..." by Mark Daniel Nelson was ‘Painting with coloured shapes: Rooster’. The idea was to paint ‘subjects with soft edges and gradated colours’ and the book indicated that it’s ‘more difficult to paint in acrylics than images with distinct, hard-edged shapes’. It was difficult for me as well, primarily because I was working from a painting and not a photo or real subject.

This project is now at the half way point; only eight more paintings till Chapter 4. It looks like all the paintings till the end of Chapter 3 will be difficult as well. A free style mark making technique is hard to duplicate exactly as the original. Only having the finished painting and not the original image makes it tough to interpret what the artist has in mind… even with instructions.

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Craft Day - Greeting Cards

No watercolour class due to half term so my friend Snezana and I had a craft day. She has so much craft paraphernalia that there was too much choice, which made it difficult to know where to start.

My first attempt was easy with a card Snezana prepared earlier to use as a guide. It was really labour intensive (seven layers and some tinting with inks) to put everything together; but when I was finished I was hooked. It’s so rewarding to know that you designed (well sort of) and crafted something so beautiful. I hope my mother in law appreciates my effort:).

For the second card we looked on Pinterest for ideas and found this butterfly card that was absolutely gorgeous. Can’t find the link but when I do I’ll add it here. Snezana didn’t have the same butterfly stamp so we used one from her many binders. The embossed brick background was also different from the original and I added a ‘with love on your birthday’ stamp for my father in law's birthday. O.k. so everything doesn’t line up perfectly and my photo isn’t that great, but that adds to the appeal, right?

For my third try the butterfly card was so nice a similar version seemed ideal. This time with less layers and a fitting sentiment stamp (I hope) for my Aunt. The fewer layers made it lighter so mailing it to America wouldn’t be so expensive. The day went by so fast that this card was put together after I got home. Instead of sticky tape I used PVA glue and the butterfly paper got all crinkly, which luckily you can't see in the photo.

I am so hooked on making cards that I bought a permanent adhesive roller a ‘handmade by’ & balloon stamp; I also want to buy embossing powder and a few other stamps. Going to try and keep spending to a minimum but my husband doesn’t believe me:(.

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Painting Project No. 24 from “Ways to Learn Acrylics” - Abstract

Project 24 in ‘Little Ways to Learn Acrylics: 50 small painting projects..." by Mark Daniel Nelson was ‘Redefining the brushstroke: Drip Painting’. Jackson Pollock is one of my favourite artists so there was no trouble making this painting. The only thing is knowing when to stop. I took a few photos of the different layers just for fun.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Painting Project No. 22 & 23 from “Ways to Learn Acrylics”

Moving right along; I’ve posted two landscape projects from ‘Little Ways to Learn Acrylics: 50 small painting projects..." by Mark Daniel Nelson.

Project number 22 ‘Varying brushstrokes: Road and sky’ came out nicer than expected. Most of the landscape projects in this book haven’t really been my thing. For some reason I liked this one; it’s loose, was easy to create and the image is easy on the eye.

Project number 23 ‘Using loose strokes: Impressionist landscape’ didn’t come out as well as the previous one. The technique was similar but the colours were more vibrant. This painting was hard for me because I was working from the artists painting and not from my own image. I like the technique but would like to try it on one of my own landscape photos.

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Royal Academy, British Museum & Tate Modern - London 2016

My birthday was last Saturday and my husband took me to London for the weekend. He bought me a membership to the Royal Academy of Arts and we went to see the ‘Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse’ exhibition. It was Friday night and very crowded so there wasn’t enough time with each painting. I want to go back and get a better look some time during the week. The great thing about becoming a friend of the RA is you can go to the exhibits for free.

On Saturday, we went to the British Museum for Francis Towne’s watercolours of Rome.  It was pretty amazing to see all these fantastic paintings in watercolour from 200 years ago. It’s the first time I’ve seen so many watercolour paintings in one place by one person. It was also interesting because Towne used ink and wash for most of his paintings and I love that technique. The museum had some wonderful sculptures as well.

On the way home on Sunday we walked down the south bank and I got some really great photos of performers that would be nice to paint.
We also went through the Tate Modern to see what exhibit was in the Turbine Hall, but weren’t too impressed. It wasn't a wasted trip because the book store had a great selection of books to improve painting skills; it was nice to browse and see what might be interesting. I picked up three that looked good and bought two on Amazon…more about that later.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Painting Project No. 21 from “Ways to Learn Acrylics” - Flowers

Project 21 in ‘Little Ways to Learn Acrylics: 50 small painting projects..." by Mark Daniel Nelson was ‘Using expressive strokes: Flowers in a glass’. The instructions for this exercise were to create simple shapes for the flowers by scribbling or hatching.

Because I don’t like to see white on the canvas, my first version had a light purple background.

The purple background didn’t allow the flowers to look as vivid, so I prepared a second painting with a white background. This painting was done very quickly and the flowers were brighter; but I think the first one is better… possibly because it’s tidier.