The other day I was cleaning up a hard drive that was getting dangerously full and I took stock of the digital images of drawings and paintings I have created since 2010. Having tried other ‘crafty’ things for a few years before that, I was drawn to painting as a new challenge and loved the flexibility of acrylic paints. My first attempts were pitiful but with help from other artists, books, and a ton of youtube videos, I began to get a little better every day. Here’s a sampling of art from that first year.
I’m not the best at painting every day and I’ve spent long periods doing nothing because of travel and other commitments over the last six years but I have managed to create around 1000 images. Here are some things I’ve learned:
- Practice does make you better but I must learn from my previous attempts and try not to repeat mistakes.
- The more I learned about painting, the more critical I became of my artwork.
- When it comes to tubes of paint colors, less is often better.
- Value, Value, Value (and I don’t mean $$$)
- Composition really does matter
- I can learn a lot from masters like Van Gogh, Goya, Dürer, da Vinci, Tintoretto, Raphael, and Vermeer. I can also learn a lot from artists like Banksy.
- Reading and watching videos about how to paint are not the same as actually painting.
- It’s good to state my intention before I start painting – what mood, feeling, impression do I want to convey.
- Always wash my brushes when I finish painting.
- I’m pretty good at painting dogs.
Here’s my latest dog portrait – I think I’ve come a long way in six years but I have such a long way to go.