View Full Version : Beginners Frustration

02-08-2010, 02:30 AM
I have just started to learn to paint by people like Jerry Yarnell.
I get so frustrated because i cannot for the life of me get my colors to look like his. Im a perfectionist i guess cause i paint the picture and if any of it dont look right i start over LOL at this rate i wont ever get anywhere but waisting boards. Does all artists have that problem. I keep telling myself i have only done 5 paintings but it dont help. Im not giving up but boy does it look easyer than what it is. LOL.

02-08-2010, 07:02 AM
try to not be so harsh on yourself. After all it is only paint. You have to have the colors that work for you. Mr. Yarnell has color that works for him and while he shares and shows how, only you can pick your own colors, those that make your heart sing. Delve into creating work that is yours. Keep the faith and enjoy the process.

PS, we all have been where you are at one time or another.

02-08-2010, 05:35 PM
If you haven't already, if you can find some good videos or DVDs, it might help. You can see how he (and others) handle the paints. It's a much better way to learn than from books.

You should be able to get pretty close. He tends to use a limited palette. He likes to mix Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Sienna (or Burnt Umber, or both), and Titanium White in various proportions. He usually mixes thoroughly with his brush, and then removes the excess paint before going to the canvas.

He often tests a patch on the canvas to see how it looks there (because it often looks different there, compared with what it looks like on the mixing palette).

His DVDs are available from his website and elsewhere.

If you use the same colors he uses (in an artist grade acrylic -- he often uses Liquitex Heavy Body, Grumbacher, and one other brand), and similar mixes of these colors, you should be all right.

02-08-2010, 06:01 PM
Thanks im going to keep going i think i painted to long and got tired. Im learning i need to put it down and rest then do some more. Im ill so i get tired easy. I do have his dvd's my colors are richer than what it looks like on the computer but i realize computer colors are not the same as in real life.

Its hard cause i want it to look just like his but even he says it shouldnt it should be my own creation. Im just rushing things i know better. Just wondered if others had the same problem when they started.

I really like Jerry Yarnell i did have bob ross and i had another guy who painted like bob ross. I also ordered a bird dvd which is preaty. Plus i have the guy who is on here who does wild animal that is sooooo good. But mine look like monsters with sticks on them LOL. Still havent got the idea the base coats which one and then putting the other colors over it. But i will keep trying. My dog at least looked like a mutt. But i was trying to do a Golden retreiver but at least the colors are getting closer to what the picture im working from. I might post it and see what colors those of you who do pets would use or what order even. Thanks so much Terry

02-08-2010, 06:10 PM
You will have to realize that even a drop or two of a color will giveeyou a different one than what they use. They may say mix this and that, but unless you know the exact proportions to the drop, it could very well turn out differently. Also the tv and a computer monitor will skew the colors. What you see in real life is not what is portrayed on a monitor/tv screen. Learned that the hard way from painting to photograph to monitor to printer. All are different. It can be very frustrating at times. I say do not try to get the exact colors they have, do your own and see how it goes.

Charlie's Mum
02-08-2010, 06:33 PM
Another problem may be that acrylics dry darker, so you mix a colour and think 'OK, that's close', then it dries and yuk, it's not what you think!

Don't worry, it'll come right more as you gain experience:)
Meanwhile, try to find your own colours/mixes that you like .... try a different reference from the book/DVD/video so you won't feel you're 'making mistakes'.:) .. (which you aren't!!!)

02-08-2010, 07:06 PM
It can help to use good paints and brands. Some paints shift colors (while drying) more than others. Some paint brands are easier to mix. Some have more-concentrated pigments or better pigments.

Artist grade paints will often be easier to use than most of the others (student and craft acrylics, for example).

Also, some brands (especially in the non-artist-grade acrylics) might use different pigments, compared with another brand. So even if you have the 'same' color by name, you might not really have the same color, or the same pigment. There can be real differences between brands.

Some colors (or color mixes) will shift (usually darken) as they dry more than others. People tend to get used to it and adapt before long. It can take a little bit of time and experience, though.

As the paints dry, the milkiness disappears. This tends to affect the dark colors most. They will look lighter when wet (as if they had a little white mixed in with them). They will get darker as they dry, as the milkiness (or whiteness) goes away.

Most colors will also tend to get brighter or stronger or purer as they dry.

You can do some tests. Just put a patch of color down (it might help to use the same sort of surface you will be painting on -- canvas if you are painting on canvas, paper if you are painting on paper, etc.). Then let it dry, and put a fresh dab of wet paint right in the middle of the dry patch, and a bit more right next to the patch (in the same thickness as the original patch).

This will let you see the difference in color between the wet and dry. And it will help you to get a better feeling for what is happening. Then you can better anticipate the changes next you are painting, and be more accurate with your colors.

Many colors will look different when wet.

Winsor and Newton Artists' Acrylics have very little color shift, and might be easier to get used to. But most people find that they can adapt, to a large extent (to other brands and their color shifts), as they gain more experience. Still, some people prefer to use paints that have little or no color shift.

02-08-2010, 07:10 PM
A note on the color differences between monitors: I looked at some of Yarnell's paintings on three different monitors or screens. The colors were *very* different on the different monitors, even though the paintings were exactly the same.

02-08-2010, 07:23 PM
I hear you loud and clear my friend, Im in the same boat as a new acrylics painter, and Im not even trying to follow someone else example. I find myself I have to wander away from the easel from time to time, to get perspective of what Im doing and like you Im a perfectionist. My biggest message to myself is STOP FIDDLING!!!! LOL. Hang in there Mate, after 5 months of painting Im only just now getting an idea of what brushes I like.
Get yourself a sander and sand paper, you dont like it, sand it and start again, thank God, Gesso is cheap. With every failure, you learn something more..

02-08-2010, 07:36 PM
Sometimes he is painting wet over dry, but other times he is painting wet on wet.

Remember to keep things wet or moist if you are painting wet on wet -- Yarnell uses his atomizer/mister a lot for this.

The paint will blend more easily if you keep everything from drying out too soon.

02-08-2010, 09:06 PM
Both Jerry Yarnell and Bob Ross taught a METHOD which made it easier to start painting, it is not expected that their paintings be duplicated but to use them as a learning tool. Please don't be so hard on yourself, everyone goes through difficulty as they learn a new medium. Some acrylics are harder to get used to because of the color shift from wet to dry, some dry faster than than others which is a good reason to find one that suits you before investing heavily. Keep practicing and it will get easier as you go along. Most of all, remember to enjoy learning to control the paint.... it gets better as you go along.

02-08-2010, 09:33 PM
I get so frustrated because i cannot for the life of me get my colors to look like his. Im a perfectionist i guess cause i paint the picture and if any of it dont look right i start over LOL at this rate i wont ever get anywhere but waisting boards....

One of the strengths of acrylics is that you can paint over mistakes, so that you don't always have to start over.

You can also adjust colors by glazing. This is really something worth knowing about and learning. It isn't difficult, and it gives you *great* control over colors and color adjustments. You can change colors in various ways just by glazing over them.

02-08-2010, 09:49 PM
Hang in there! Your painting will become your own and then you can explore!!! Nancy

02-08-2010, 09:50 PM
Hang in there! Your painting will become your own and then you can explore!!! Nancy :wave: :wave: :wave: :wave:

02-08-2010, 11:35 PM
There are infinite issues in using color.
Translating it from your reference to your painting is what you are doing. Alot to cotend with really.

If your looking at the color on a computer, then the color is eminating out of the screen.

If your looking at a photo, then you still have the issue of whether the photo reference is accurate. For example, get two different art history books and look at the Mona Lisa in both at the same time. The color reproductions will probably be different.

Then, when you paint from real life, say a landscape, You can't find a color as bright as the sun, or even the sky.

So how did Monet or Constable do it?

They paint the painting not the reference.

The world is a point of reference. We scale back the brights to meet our needs on the painting in front of us. At first that is difficult and frustrating but after doing it on every single painting (because in the end, thats just what it is), we do it more automaticaly.

We paint the painting. We choose colors to work within the paint we already put down. we darken the tree so the sky seems brighter. We deepen a shadow so the lights have more contrast. We desaturate some element of the painting so a red rose stands out. We exagerate and tone down and emphasize. We make it rigth for within the painting.

What is our reference is just that, a reference, It is not the painting.

that is a very good expression!!


02-08-2010, 11:39 PM
Hang in there.. I too had to learn to adjust to the drying darker and get used to mixing and mixing to get tones I liked.. I just kept practicing and practicing.. and you will find your OWN Methods, Yes its great to try to follow all of those teachers.. apply some of their techniques into your own methods. it will work out for you .. be patient.
Post paintings here and all of us will help you.. its how I learned. just 2 yrs ago I started painting!!

02-09-2010, 02:44 AM
Thank you all for your advice it is much needed and recieved. My husband knows nothing about art but said the same thing. This is my picture use what i like. I rested this afternoon and came back to the painting changed a few things and its looking much better. Its not how he did it not as perfect but good enough i feel good about it given how long i have painted. Its actually the third landscape painted twice so its not bad i will post it. I still see many things i would like to do better but its a start. Thank you for your help. Terry

02-09-2010, 08:25 AM
What I would do is do one of his paintings then put it to on side for 3 or 4 days. In that time do not look at the reference picture or your painting. Then pick up your painting and look at it, do not compare it to the reference. Is it a nice painting in its own right? If it is job done.