July 22, 2013

Morning Fuchsias

I'm giving acrylic painting a try and here's the beginning of my first attempt. This drawing called, Morning Fuchsias came about because I wanted to do a small painting to get the feel of acrylic paints and working on canvas, neither of which I've ever used before. It's small, 14x11 compared with my initial drawing below which is 20x16 inches. I feel like the smaller drawing has more life to it and better composition, not that I know anything about composition. But it just feels better. It's funny cause I didn't care about the drawing when I was doing it, so I hardly took any time with it at all . I just wanted to get to the painting part. 

Here's the larger drawing I spent so much time trying to perfect. It feels really stiff to me. I'll paint it anyway just to see if I can paint, besides I've already transferred it to the larger canvas. 
I changed it a bit from my reference photo with some petal size adjustments and edited out a few things.  I'm also not sure about the colours. I really like the light green buds, I know I'll use those. I have two hanging fuchsias, a darker pink/purple combo and this pale one. 
In his book, Paint Red Hot Landscapes Mike Svob says to make a tonal map, which is what I did here. His work is very strong and full of energy.  http://www.mikesvob.com 
Then it was on to this colour map I did in pencil crayon. I chose rich colours after Gail Johnson's style. Love it!  http://www.gailjohnson.ca. Her work is so vibrant and beautiful. 
My canvas is ready to paint and I'm freakin' out. According to Michell Albala in his book, Landscape Painting, an underpainting of raw sienna with a touch of burnt umber is nice to put down first. Warms up the whole feel of the painting. His is an oil painting book but I'm hoping it's the same for acrylics. http://www.mitchalbala.com/

And finally, there's an acrylic artist I discovered that I'm madly in love with. Her name is Amanda Jones.  http://www.amandajones.ca. I went to see her work up close at the Birthplace of BC Art Gallery in Ft. Langley, B.C. and I think she puts a warm underlay down too. So that's what I'm going to do. She'll be painting in the garden there on the long weekend, August 4th. and 5th. and I'm going. I can hardly wait. The only trouble is I want to paint now and I don't know what to mix the paint with, a liquid acrylic retardant or just water. I saw on the Internet that too much water will make your paint crack after it dries. D'oh! This is really hard. Amanda Jones says, "Just do it." 
Okey- dokey, this afternoon I paint. Oy!