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Old Saturday 4th May 2013, 10:25   #1
Dave B
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Painting 101 - help needed!

Hi everyone

It's been a while, but I'm still here, lurking...

Lately I've been feeling inspired to try to put brush to paper again. Although I used to sketch and do pen & inks quite a bit years ago, I've never got to the point where I enjoy painting. For me, painting is the point where I ruin a perfectly reasonable field sketch!

One of my struggles is that I am extremely s-l-o-w, so knowing I will take eons to finish anything tends to prevent me starting.

Another is the way paint tends to end up as a muddy mess on the paper.

Anyway, enough moaning... I have decided the solution is to have another go, with the following rules:

1. Limit myself to 2 hours a pop
2. Take WIP photos along the way
3. Post them here and ask for advice on how I could do things differently.

So here goes. Please add your 5 cents on anything from materials to techniques - all contributions gratefully received! Please don't hold back for fear of discouraging me - I'm here to learn!

The first pic shows you what I'm trying to make a representation of. I've tried to show the brushes I've used at each stage, as well as paints etc.
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Last edited by Dave B : Saturday 4th May 2013 at 10:28.
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Old Sunday 5th May 2013, 07:33   #2
orniodesigns
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If I were you, I would change the painting medium to acrylics, pastels or something thigger than watercolor. Maybe even to colored board would be good solution for you!

That would propably give you results you like!
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Old Sunday 5th May 2013, 11:37   #3
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It's lovely Dave (welcome back . . .again). I'd agree with Hanna in the respect that the background wash looks a tad overworked for the medium (watercolour) but I feel that's mainly due to the choice of paper above all else. I think for this kind of piece would benefit from a big and bold all-over wash with a size 14 brush - cutting into the bird. Where the application of paint is more considered (on the bird) it works perfectly. So - maybe a change from cartridge to a NOT watercolour paper would be a plan. I think there's a heck of a lot of work in this considering you limited yourself to 2 hours, and this just proves that you do have the speed to keep your work fresh from start to finish. Keep on son - it's a doing thing :)
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Old Monday 6th May 2013, 02:32   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orniodesigns View Post
If I were you, I would change the painting medium to acrylics, pastels or something thigger than watercolor. Maybe even to colored board would be good solution for you!

That would propably give you results you like!
Thank you Hanna

I've been looking at your astonishing gallery - you have an amazing appreciation of light. Your backgrounds are just the kind of thing I would like to achieve - believable but understated so as not to detract from the main focus.

The Tengmalm's Owl with the sunlight breaking through is perfect. What media did you use for that one please?

Thanks again

Dave
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Old Monday 6th May 2013, 02:39   #5
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Originally Posted by timwootton View Post
It's lovely Dave (welcome back . . .again). I'd agree with Hanna in the respect that the background wash looks a tad overworked for the medium (watercolour) but I feel that's mainly due to the choice of paper above all else. I think for this kind of piece would benefit from a big and bold all-over wash with a size 14 brush - cutting into the bird. Where the application of paint is more considered (on the bird) it works perfectly. So - maybe a change from cartridge to a NOT watercolour paper would be a plan. I think there's a heck of a lot of work in this considering you limited yourself to 2 hours, and this just proves that you do have the speed to keep your work fresh from start to finish. Keep on son - it's a doing thing :)
Hi Tim

This is really good, practical advice. So it looks like a sortie to the art shop is required. As a novice in these things, what should I ask for ("NOT watercolour" seems rather broad!).

Lacking computer access yesterday, I did another hour, and tried to 'beef up' the background, making it still more overworked. It's probably beyond repair now, but I will press on to the finish regardless!

Anything else I need to do/avoid at this stage?

Thanks very much

Dave
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Old Monday 6th May 2013, 14:35   #6
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Well, a couple more hours, and the thing is done. In a way, it's a great example of why I don't paint - eventually everything becomes a muddy mess.

I've a feeling many folks have a similar problem when attempting watercolours, and I would value simple advice on how I might improve!

Thanks

Dave
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Old Monday 6th May 2013, 20:03   #7
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far from it - in fact, I think you've rescued the areas which I'd described as 'overworked' (shows how much I know, eh?). It's a really fine wee piece and should tell you that all you really need to be doing is just that; doing. The more you do the better it gets. I think . . .
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Old Tuesday 7th May 2013, 03:22   #8
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Originally Posted by timwootton View Post
far from it - in fact, I think you've rescued the areas which I'd described as 'overworked' (shows how much I know, eh?). It's a really fine wee piece and should tell you that all you really need to be doing is just that; doing. The more you do the better it gets. I think . . .
Thanks for the encouragement Tim. I will have another bash once I have been to the art shop for some different paper (Bristol board - does that exist?).

Meanwhile the painting has gone under the 'chisel' of the tablet (my equivalent of Ed's Black & Decker - the difference is that the original stays in one piece!). I'll post the end result soon!

Thanks again

Dave
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