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frankj72
04-19-2009, 09:05 AM
Hello,

First of all,I recently joined, this is my first post and wanted to say hi! I have just taken up painting, and I tried one painting in water soluble oils and 2 in acrylics. For now I will stick to acrylics because I like the consistency and the feel when I spread them on the canvas (or paper), and overall it seems the colors get less muddy.

I have no background education in art, except I liked to draw when I was a kid :), and I am hoping that participating to the discussion on this website could help me slowly become a better painter.

I post here my third painting, it has been a struggle. In particular, I had problems with shadows: I painted the sunlit area of the building with yellow ochre and titanium white, and for the shadow area, after trying loads of different hings, i settled with adding yellow ochre+titanium white (less than for the sunlit area)+ultramarine blue+a touch of alizarin crimson... (i have a limited number of colors for now)

My questions are:

1) when painting, should one start with the shaded areas and then paint the brighter ones afterwards? Is there a general rule which makes it easier to proceed?

2) how can a mix the shadow color for a yellow ochre building?

I would be very grateful for any sort of feedback that would help me initiate a more structured approach to painting. Thanks.

vickilyn
04-19-2009, 09:20 AM
Hi Frank, great to see you taking up this wonderful occupation, great effort here. Lyn

gaykir
04-19-2009, 09:43 AM
I love this! It's very stylized and the color palette is so inviting. I'd say it looks to me like you are not having any problems....I'd hate to see you change a thing!

~~Kathleen
04-19-2009, 11:55 AM
Welcome to Wet canvas Frank.
You are doing very well here.
I have added a couple of links to some self-directed help Classrooms our members have been presenting on this forum.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=543223

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=532941

They can be found up at the very top under the heading "Information Kiosk."
You will find a wealth of information up there and they are so enjoyable to read as they are a hands on presentation between the members and the class leader (who is usually very proficient in the topic that is being explored.)

Keep at it and please keep us updated with your progress.
~~Kathleen

LavenderFrost
04-19-2009, 12:46 PM
Sounds like you already know how to work with colour. Nice work.

halthepainter
04-19-2009, 01:31 PM
Hello,

I post here my third painting, it has been a struggle. In particular, I had problems with shadows: I painted the sunlit area of the building with yellow ochre and titanium white, and for the shadow area, after trying loads of different hings, i settled with adding yellow ochre+titanium white (less than for the sunlit area)+ultramarine blue+a touch of alizarin crimson... (i have a limited number of colors for now)

My questions are:

1) when painting, should one start with the shaded areas and then paint the brighter ones afterwards? Is there a general rule which makes it easier to proceed?

There probably about as many ways to start a painting as there are painters. Some artists do a preliminary drawing, some mass in colors, others will do a monochromatic under painting, others do an underpainting in complementary colors, I do a very rough sketch with thinned down burnt sienna, just to locate the elements of my painting and make sure everything will fit on my canvas. I tend to paint top down, back to front, then locate my darkest darks and then add midtones than my lights. (I started out as a pastellist and have maintained the same techniques)

2) how can a mix the shadow color for a yellow ochre building?

Your shadows look pretty good in your painting. It looks as if you mixed a purple in with your yellow ochre which is appropriate. You can gray a color down by mixing it with it's complement on the color wheel. To get a really dark color, you will have to mix it with darker colors such as ultramarine or burnt sienna, but if it is a shadow of a warm color your dark should be cooler. Sorry getting too verbose here.

I would be very grateful for any sort of feedback that would help me initiate a more structured approach to painting. Thanks.

You've made a remarkable first start. There are a number of items that you will do differently as you grow as an artist and there is no point to mentioning anything now.

You have done very well with few colors. I paint with five colors plus white. I use a modified "John Stobart" pallete. During art school he was advised to learn how to use a few colors really well. Look him up on the web. His paintings are fantastic. He uses: ultramarine blue, cad yellow, windsor red, permanent green and burnt sienna and titanium white. He always mixes his greens. The tube green is used to produce grays. I get execllent darks using burnt sienna and ultramarine blue. You don't have to go to the expense of buying a lot of different tubes of paint to make great paintings.

Once you get a few more paintings off your easel, get out in nature and paint plein air. I personally believe that painting from nature makes you grow more rapidly as an artust than painting in a studio. (Just one painter's opinion)

You've done remarkably well very quickly. I look forward to seeing more of your work.

susme48
04-19-2009, 01:43 PM
Welcome to our little corner, Frank! I think you have done really well here! I agree with Gayle, and Kathleen has pointed you to some good links!

Lady Carol
04-19-2009, 03:49 PM
Frank, welcome to the forum.

To specifically answer your questions...

1. There is no rule on how you approach a painting, however you must have some knowledge of transparency of the colour (some are more transparent than others) or painting light over dark can be an issue.

2. You could glaze blue over the building to cool the colour and help it appear to be in shadow.

I think you have done terrifically for a "beginner" :D :wave:

*dee*
04-19-2009, 07:01 PM
Welcome....and wonderful start!!!! :thumbsup:

when painting, should one start with the shaded areas and then paint the brighter ones afterwards? Is there a general rule which makes it easier to proceed?

There are others who could better answer your questions, but I don't think there is a hard and fast rule regarding which comes first, light or dark.

So far, I usually start with a "mid" and then lighten the highlights and darken the shadows...that seems to work best for me.

the shadow color for a yellow ochre building?

Often, when I'm unsure about results, I'll use a "practice board...or panel" lay down the base color and then apply light glazes of the color(s) that I think will produce the right shadow(s).

Or, if I'm working from a reference photo...I'll open the photo in PaintShopPro and zoom way in on the shadows....and see what colors the majority of the pixels are....and I'll work with those colors. (Sometimes you'll be amazed at the colors that show up when doing this!)

The posterization feature in image manipulation programs is handy as well.

old_hobbyist
04-19-2009, 09:53 PM
Welcome to WC! and to the acrylics forum. You asked a couple of Qs. As a rank amateur hobbyist, I've struggled with these Qs as well. Here's some of my views.

should one start with the shaded areas and then paint the brighter ones afterwards

First, darks v. bright. I always paint in three general steps - darks, brights, then midtones. Because you are working in acrylics, blending is usually not an easy task. You'll find this out when you try portraits or figure studies. As a result, midtones become extremely important when blending. For some reason, it took me a long time to paint the darks REALLY DARK! Oh, and never be afraid to use BLACK! Or at least raw umber and phthalo blue.

mix the shadow color for a yellow ochre building

You have hit the right combination for the shadows. Think complementary colors for lights and darks! (Check out a color wheel for this).

IMHO, you have struggled just the right amount. Comp is good, color is good, details are right on. Keep struggling just this way! Jim

frankj72
04-20-2009, 06:14 AM
Hello,

Thanks to all for the suggestions and especially the encouraging comments. I wasn't expecting much of a positive response, in fact, I was about to chuck the painting half way through! I guess there is always a risk to giving in to the frustration when beginning something new... that wall on the right probably has 5 layers of paint underneath that didn't look ok at all.

I will check out the links that you suggested to me, and I'll put up the next painting when I have it.

Ciao,

Frank

arl
04-20-2009, 06:18 AM
Beautiful colours.

PattiLou
04-20-2009, 10:07 AM
Hello,

Thanks to all for the suggestions and especially the encouraging comments. I wasn't expecting much of a positive response, in fact, I was about to chuck the painting half way through! I guess there is always a risk to giving in to the frustration when beginning something new... that wall on the right probably has 5 layers of paint underneath that didn't look ok at all.

I will check out the links that you suggested to me, and I'll put up the next painting when I have it.

Ciao,

Frank

Welcome to the forum Frank.

I think you have the right colors in the shadows of the building, at least in my opinion.

We all feel frustrated sometimes. You did very well with this painting, keep it to see how you grow. I kept my first painting and can see all the mistakes in it now, lol. I figure I learn something every time I paint and also when I read Wet Canvas. Hope to see more of your work.

idylbrush
04-20-2009, 11:45 PM
As others have stated, a great beginning. Look forward to seeing more in the future. this can be a life long learning process, enjoy the ride.

OkeeKat
04-21-2009, 12:05 AM
Hello Frankj and welcome to our little corner of WC.:wave:
What a great start you have made, alot of wonderful advice here.
Look forward to seeing more of your artwork.
Keep up the good work, just practice, practice and practice.:thumbsup: