View Full Version : New to the forum, my first attempts, and a ?

05-26-2006, 07:57 PM
Hello everyone :wave: I am a graphite artist who just recently took up trying to learn acrylics. I'm hoping to learn a lot here, and get to know you wonderful acrylic artists. In brief...I started drawing last August, and after people saw my drawings the first thing they asked me was if I could do paintings for them lol. I also wanted to do murals, so I decided to try to learn acrylic. I'm going to post my most recent graphite work in progress (just to share), and my first 2 acrylics. I really have a love of landscapes, and marine scenes especially in painting, but I want to paint everything lol. I'm wondering if anyone can point me in the right direction...is there a tutorial section here...or anything that can help me the learn how to paint trees, mountains....anything?? I know I have to start somewhere, but my real interest is/has always been realism. Thank you all, and I look forward to interacting with everyone.


current work in graphite....

my first try at acrylics ~ 8 x 10 on canvas ~....

my first try at a landscape...I know it has many mistakes, and I have improved a little since this, but I was proud (lol) at the time as I had never tried a landscape before in any medium, and it was done from my imagination (no ref at all) ~ about 36w x 24t on a painted wall ~.....

05-26-2006, 08:03 PM
Welcome to the acrylics forum. Have you checked out the information kiosk, there is a load of information there about the materials. There are also wonderful classes on all sorts of subjects. Take a bit of time to look around and watch, we have some very good landscape painters who are into the whole process of WIPS (works in progress) and they are always informative and helpful. There are always plenty of opinions to go around and someone is likely to lend a helping hand now and again.

05-26-2006, 08:09 PM
Howard... Thank you for the quick response. Don't mean to sound dumb, but where exactly is this info kiosk? In the hall of fame? These classes sound exactly what I need. I need to find that bad lol.

...ok "DUH"...I just scrolled up and saw it ;)

05-26-2006, 09:12 PM
Let's get you started off right then.

Try here first: http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=329

When you are filled up there, then try here: http://www.wetcanvas.com/Articles2/25905/538/

When you are done with that we can send you off to a few other areas as well.

A good book, you may be able to find at your local library is "The New Acrylics", it is an excellent reference. It has been out about a year. Wonderful intro to acrylics. It is also available at Amazon.com if you so desire.

05-26-2006, 10:04 PM
Ray, your understanding of light and shadow gives you an edge and a place to start...why don't you begin by using black and white acrylics. See if you can link what you know with the new medium?!

05-26-2006, 10:31 PM
Howard... I have been going through the classroom for the last couple hours (with many hours/days left no doubt)...and LOVING it. What an incredible resource. I'll start going through your first link also. After I do all that you have suggested (and I will....I am a sponge ;) ), I'll repost for more. Also I'll look for that book, I have been trying to find the best "bang for my buck" acrylic resource I could. Thank you so.

Mary.... An interesting idea...I'm just so "itching" for color. I do see tonal value very well....I am so lucky it came to me quickly in drawing, but just don't know if I could hold back the color with paints lol. Don't know how much good it would do me either, honestly. I mean..I understand a value scale, and try to incorporate all values...not just 1,5,10...but 2 & 3 ... 6 & 7 ...etc. to get extreme realism, applying it to what I feel/see confidently. My biggest problems so far have been color...and application techniques. In others words I can "see" how it should look, and know how to do it in blacks/greys/whites (with a pencil), but it's when the colors come in (how to mix for what...opaque vers. trans. ...this over/under that...etc.) that I fall on my face. Also how to "do" what I know should be done. (to create smooth, even, graduations in a particular color.....how to properly mix those shades, how to paint the shapes of trees with a brush...what brush/technique to use to accurately portray a grassy field.......watery wash or dry brush??...etc.) You may be absolutely correct, I honestly don't know. If after what I've said you still feel the same (that it would help) I will try it.

Every opinion/recommendation/idea is valuable to me. Thanks for the help.

05-26-2006, 11:08 PM
You'll find your way! It's fun, isn't it?

05-26-2006, 11:21 PM
Howdy Ron, glad to see you exploring, I wonder all over WC absorbing bits and pieces

05-26-2006, 11:50 PM
Heya Dreamz, yeah I've noticed ;) took your advice and I'm over here trying to learn :)

05-27-2006, 03:26 AM
Welcome! You are off to an excellent start! I look forward to seeing more of your works

05-27-2006, 05:56 AM
Welcome Ray :wave: ....nice work:thumbsup: ..... hope to see more of you :D

05-27-2006, 07:37 AM
Ray, do we get to see more of your graphite in progress anytime soon!!! I think I'm in love, but need to see more to be sure :evil: :D Azure

05-27-2006, 08:12 AM
Sounds like you would be a natural for the Venetian Method. While it is traditonally done in oils it can also be quite accomplished in acrylics. If you go to the top of this page to the search box and type in the words Venetian Method, then choose "forums" and hit the search button you will have enough info to keep you busy for a few days.

Charlie's Mum did an excellent class in this process, so keep an eye out for that as well.

I have tried this several time and find it very appealing. Give it a looksee and then go from there.

05-27-2006, 11:59 AM
Hi Dragon! You are really good. You are a natural at drawing. One thing my teacher told us and I've done this myself is to copy the works of great artists. Theydo that in europe. I have copied to learn how to do things. That is just something to keep in mind. I'm self taught. I just started taking classes to learn more but, up till Janurary I've been totally self taught.
Oh, another thing is books. I'm a big book person. You could check out the Artist Guides Like Artist's photo reference. And there are some excellent books. I just saw a great one for landscapes at Amazon. Hugh Greer "Painting Landscapes"

05-27-2006, 03:29 PM
2bears... Hey thanks! :) You will!

3chaway9.... Thanks also!

Azure.... You're so sweet. :o Lol, well those 2 are where am at currently, ( I did progress quickly)...so they are maybe my 8th and 9th drawings ever. I don't normally like showing my older stuff 1-7 (lol), because (to me) they are now weak. But, that said, here are a couple of them...

Loop (member here at WC ~ from the portrait swap over the holiday...

Clio....one of my very first....

Brooke....done right before Clio...my 3rd attempt at portraiture...

an exercise on feautres....very early on....

Howard.... Sounds very interesting, I will check it out thoroughly. Thank you so much for the guidance. I'm off to find that book.

dlake... Thank you for you're praise. I do love to draw, (too bad I had given it up in the 7th grade, and it took me 23 years to rediscover it ;) ), but I'm finding I love painting too!! Just wish it wasn't so frustrating....my mind and eyes know what it should be/look like....it's just not knowing enough "technically" (how to manipulate the medium, and correct color use). BTW thanks too for the book reference, I am a big book learner also.

Charlie's Mum
05-27-2006, 04:55 PM
Hi Ray - and welcome! At the rate you seem to learn, you'll soon be off and running!!!

But, it's always wise to try to learn and understand at least something of the medium before expecting to turn out a masterpiece!
Just like musicians have to learn the basics first, so do visual artists - lol - some of us are still learning after many years (as we should be!!!).

If you want to learn to paint in a very realistic manner, then look at Maverick's Classroom threads in the Information Kiosk (what happens at these open days?) - October, I think, and April '06. The lessons there can then be transferred to other subjects.

Play around with paint and brushes - see how much paint is needed to make a variety of marks; what effect does thinning with water have?; what happens if you use a flat brush, a round brush, a liner etc etc?; what happens if you apply paint with something else? - a knife, a piece of card, a comb?; play and enjoy - that's how you'll learn the kind of marks needed for foliage in your landscapes, clouds in the sky.

Then play with colour - what happens when you mix two colours together?
Different yellows and blues make different greens for different times of the year - add in using an earth yellow instead and see the difference that makes! If you end up with mud, try to analyse why!

You have already trained your eye to look at form and tone - train it to look for the nuances of colour too - the colours in shadows for instance - and the brightness of highlights ... what colours are they?

Well, that should keep you busy! :eek:

I already like your drawings - and you already realise where they need to be improved - so now I'll expect to see developments in the painting sphere - I'm looking forward to it! :D :D

05-27-2006, 04:56 PM
Should look like this:

05-31-2006, 11:31 AM
Wow...SERIOUSLY, thanks everyone!! There is so much good information here, I feel like I have a better understanding already, and still have many class's to go through.

....you mentioned the "Venetion Method"...I saw Charlie's Mum's underpainting class...and LOVED it, also the one by Nitsa, on portraiture. These were my absolute favorites....wondering how much of the tonal underpainting (so much like my drawings)...would show through the translucent colors, and such. Lol...then I check, and this method seems to be a tonal monochrome, underpainting style, makes sense to me :) , perfect call

Charlie's Mum...
.....How wonderful to hear from you in my thread...thank you. As I mentioned above.....I loved your lesson on underpainting...and the result. Do you do this for everything you paint?? (I also loved Nitsa's lesson on portraiture in the same technique) Finally something I fully understand in painting lol. I will giving this way a go on my next painting. Please, any other posts you have done or anything in this technique...let me know.

Lastly, thank everyone for making me feel welcomed :clap:. I'm currently working on my 3rd painting (2cd landscape)...a tropical scene. Wish I had tried an underpainting for this...but there is always next time ;).

Charlie's Mum
05-31-2006, 03:37 PM
The underpainting does show through, in its tonal values - that's the point really, because you're glazing over it with colour and allowing the underpainting to provide the form.

No, I don't always use it! (Shame on me!)

I'm pleased you're finding the forum and contents useful - we'll help whenever we can :D

Incidentally, if you check Maverick's Classroom for October, you'll find he usess a combination od 'underpaintings' - charcoal, used loosely to give some form, then burnt umber (I think) to continue the build up of form before all the glazing.

05-31-2006, 07:29 PM
Thanks Maureen :thumbsup:.

I wanted to throw a couple other questions.....and I guess this is as good a place as any (plus rather than start a new thread). When I use this technique (underpainting)...what I wanted to do was a graphite line drawing (I really just don't like charcoal), and then do my mono underpainting (with full tonal value). I did read not to use graphite (like for a full rendering) before painting, but if it's just the line drawing is that ok? ...or if I use my Krylon workable fixative, then paint??

Other question....right now I've been using my craft quality (Americana) acrylics. I really can't afford to go nuts and go buy the best (Finity, or Golden), but I have seen some "cheaper" stuff....and I'm wondering if I can get tips on the "best" of the cheap?? Here are some I'm looking at...(ie. in my price range :) ).....Liquitex Basics, W&N Galeria, Chroma A2, or Grumbacher Academy...which would you go with?

oh....and here is my current painting/mural (painted on a gesso'd wall). The lower left area is still being worked (ferns on the way), and also I still have to add all the shadows (overhead trees, etc) on the beach/waterline itself. Any tips on how I can add soft shadows to the beach would be great ;) lol. It is my 3rd painting, and my 2cd attempt at a landscape.

Charlie's Mum
06-01-2006, 03:22 PM
Test the graphite with paint over on a separate sheet first to see if it's OK - if it's too heavy, it may lift the paint but many do find a light pencil manageable.
OR, cover with a clear medium to fix it first.

As for cheaper paints - I've used the Galeria and that was Ok .... probably any of the 'good' makes are reasonable - definitely avoid the really cheap stuff, it only makes painting frustrating!!!

The painting - should be good! Nice blue and the colour scheme looks fine.
The clouds are a bit regular though! - and tucking them behind the fronds is a little unsatisfactory - try extending them .... look at pictures of clouds first though!
You'll want to keep the shadows a darker colour of the sand - and a little opposite in temperature probably - so if the sand colour is hot, try to introduce a cooler shade for the shadows - plus reflected colours ;) .... I always try to use colour in shadows (never black for me), but it's intuitive, I don't always analyse why, what and when!