Wednesday, November 4, 2009

SpirARTuality: Acrylic Paints

November's SpirARTuality event was taking an acrylics painting class at the fantastic Root Art Center.

I have very little training in art, so the very first thing out of our instructor's mouth was fascinating to me. She set out two reds, two yellows, and two blues and told us that there are both warm and cool colors of each primary color!
So she prefers to work with 6 primary colors (3 warm and 3 cool) plus black and white when she paints. So that's what we did.

She had our canvas paper all prepared. It was taped to a piece of cardboard both to give it pretty finished edges, and to keep it from warping when it got wet.

Our first task was to put down a wash over the whole paper.
I had fun testing out mixing paint and water, but made quite a mess (and obviously I was much more interested in the activity than in taking good photos!):

We then chose an artist to copy. Since we were simply working on techniques today, we didn't need to waste time on figuring out what to paint.
We chose Van Gogh. Analyzing the picture I chose, we saw that it was in the cool range, so I worked with the cool blue, red, and yellow as I mixed and painted. Susan's painting, too was in the cool range (even though it had lots of yellow). We painted for about an hour, then stopped and the instructor led us in a little critique.

Susan's sky and grass were just fantastic. But the light blob wasn't just right, so she went back to work on that. I didn't have enough defintion between the sky and the water. I liked the sky, but wasn't too happy with the water. So when I took it back, I tried using warm colors for the water to see if they would make an interesting contrast from the cool sky.

Here we are, working on our revisions.
I was surprisingly pleased with the result of my first acrylic painting. It's by no means a masterpiece, but it's not too shabby, either. And I love the contrast in the sky and water now. How interesting!

Our reflection questions for today's project is:
When in your life are you imitating someone? Who is the person your are imitating? Are you glad to be imitating them?