Sunday, May 8, 2011

Step by Step

11x14 acrylic on canvas panel

Look quick, because I am about to gesso over this little painting exercise.  This isn't really my composition; it's an exercise from a "how-to" book about acrylic painting.  I have it in my head that acrylic will be better for the plein air event I plan to enter in June.  The scenery for that event is similar to ours here in Janesville, parkland along the Rock River, lots of trees, some buildings.  This little exercise had some of the same features, so I thought it might be useful.  

The result of my efforts are not especially wonderful.  The mill on the left looks flat, and the blue on the roof of the mill and church looks too bright.  Also the river doesn't look flat - a real problem!  That's supposed to be duck weed on the left (something we have plenty of when the weather warms), but it doesn't read duck weed.  It looks more like an odd patch of lawn near the bank.

That said, I was interested in the colors the author used in the under painting, and I liked the way the sloping bank on the left and the distant trees on the right turned out.  I also figured out how to use a little hard rubber tool for scraping out tree trunks.  I'd had it for ages and never used it before, so that was good. I also rather like the pale yellow of the overcast sky - that's a choice I might not have thought of.  So, even though I am about to cover this painting over, I'm glad I took the time to work through it.

This is the library book I used for the exercise.  There is another example in the book of an old willow that I may give a go as well, since old twisted willows are a common feature along the river here and in Beloit.  I doubt that my own style will change any, but I may be able to solve some problems, and increase my confidence when I am out on my own.

Update on the wet camera in the painting bag with the water bottle. Even though it eventually dried out, after a day it simply expired.  Luckily for me I found an identical one for a reasonable price on eBay.  It works just fine, and will never share space with a water bottle. I learned a lesson there, too.


Ann's Art said...

I think your painting was me you are self critical. I see from the book that one of the tutors was Wendy Jelbert. I did a workshop with her earlier this year, she is a lovely lady and ran a really relaxed and informative class. Sorry to hear about the camera though, these things happen I guess, life's lessons.

JoAnn said...

Well, I think your painting is WONDERFUL!

Barbara Weeks said...

This is lovely. Nicely done!