A week ago I said I wanted to teach myself how to paint. The best way to learn something is to just jump right in. Sometimes. It’s not good advice if you want to learn how to fly a plane, for example. I ordered some new brushes and some gouache paint and got to work. Learning how to do something in the art world is thankfully the same thing as playing, in my opinion. I learned by doing and you learn not only how the materials and paper work, but also how the artist works. For my part, I learned (again) that I work too fast and I get impatient but that doesn’t always work against you when you use watercolors. Sometimes you make interesting mistakes and the colors run together and the end result is different but sometimes better than you expected or planned.
I am excited to see how something turns out so I
sometimes usually will paint something over or next to a color before it properly dries and the colors run together and although it can create an interesting result, it doesn’t always and the painting is ruined.
It was a humbling week, trying to learn something new but I never felt discouraged or anything. I was excited to show off what I did, for good or for bad.
Anyway, I wanted to do a quick run through of some of the art I did this week.
The first painting of the year was a fox. It was this fox:
It’s okay. I decided I didn’t like the mouth and when I tried to fix it I made it worse (I’ve had relationships like that) and the whole thing was a mess. Before I could even try fixing the mouth I smudged it and tried to cover it with a gray box and then it just uuurrrgh. I wanted to give it another try and it turned out a little better but it’s just…a little too cute. The colors are better on the first crack but the mouth is better. The two were done with acrylic on smooth bristol board with crappy brushes. Paint and smooth bristol board does not work.
The next day was even a bigger mess as this was meant to be a kid leaning against a stegosaurus and I knew quickly this was not going to turn out well. The idea was good, but this was not the right paint for this. If I take another stab at this I’ll build layers of colors and use a different hue for the dinosaur. I also worked too quickly on this and ended up sabotaging myself. A disaster. But that’s okay.
So I painted Jiji from Kiki’s Delivery Service. This, as well as the dino-saster were both acrylic and although this looks okay, there used to be a bright pink mouth here but I wasn’t patient and when I when I went to touch up the black around it, the colors ran together and blended together. More black paint was added and the mouth was gone completely.
Thankfully the next day my shipment from Amazon showed up and I got to play with my new paint. The lessons I learned from the earlier paintings were applied and I slowed it down a little. I waited until the orange was dried before adding the stripes to Hobbes here but the gouache dries faster and flatter than acrylic anyway. This isn’t a great drawing but the colors are nice, bright and consistent.
Princess Peach was next and I was excited to try a few different shades of pink. It’s fun to blend and make new colors and I played around with the dress and the hair and I like how this turned out but until I get better (or slow down) I might need to use a pen for the black lines instead of a brush. The black has some uneven weight lines and kind of ruins it. But the colors are very pretty.
We stay in the Nintendo world and move from the Mushroom Kingdom to Hyrule for Link here. This is probably the best painting so far. The colors are good and I think the black outlines are better than Peach. I gave to my son who hung it in his room. That was pretty cool.
After a week of playing around and learning the paint and getting comfortable and confident with the brushes, I wanted to try something a little different. The below painting is a mess and it’s beautiful. I wouldn’t change a brushstroke. Well, except maybe the feet but whatever.
So that was the first week. Thanks for all the likes and kind words on Facebook. I am happy with the progress and I’m having fun with this.