Wednesday, 27 March 2013

My First Painting...EVER!

OK so I am setting about learning to paint in my usual way: a logical build up, but no set direction. 

I asked questions about easels and then built one in the response to advice from my blogging-buddies.

I then researched mediums, favouring oils or tempera but ending up with acrylics simply because I was given a pile of them, to which I've added a few more.  

I bought 20 canvases.

Bought brushes and a set of palette knives and some books. I watched a few videos on the internet.

I'm the sort who has to dive in, I really can't be bothered with test pieces, or exercises. So here, after 3 weeks of preparing and positioning myself, is my first effort. The first time I have ever painted!

                                                             Painting #1                                         John Simlett
Acrylic on Stretched Canvas
14 inches x 10 inches


I felt as if I were doing needle-point with blacksmiths tools. The brushes felt awkward they went were they wanted to go and not were I wanted them to go. As you can imagine, for a pen & ink man who works accurately, this was a bit of an awakening! However, I had bought a book on brushes and brush strokes and began using them (almost) properly.

My next problem was mixing paints - here Sandra Busby's advice on learning Colour Theory (almost) started to pay off. I watched a video on the internet and improved my mixing technique which made the vase come out reasonably well.

Lessons I have Learnt

When I get too precious with the subject I over paint (the roses)
When I relax and go with the intuition my work improves (vase)
I need to learn about Mediums and Glosses
I need to learn about glazes in acrylics as they dry quickly.
I must draw everything accurately: the tray is badly drawn as I was keen to start painting.

I would welcome a constructive critique. 

21 comments:

  1. Well John, I am ASTOUNDED by this! The fact that you have a background in precise and technical drawing and yet you have still managed such bold, fluid brush strokes is amazing!!! This is something I've been trying and failing to achieve for years!
    And the colour theory paid off - That blue/grey against the Sienna is beautiful! And I love the scumbled effect of the background... and the glass is fantastic! Honestly, aside from the perspective of the tray, which you already knew anyway - this is REMARKABLE!!! I can't begin to express how impressed I am! This just has to be signed, framed and hung on your wall :0)

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    1. Thank you, Sandra; your help and support have really been important

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  2. sooooo one thing right off the bat, I hope you'll photograph your work straight on in the future...this oblique angle is distracting. Looks to me like your first painting is quite successful...congratulations! I especially like how all the colors seem to relate to one another. Bravo!

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    1. I'm sort of airborne now... but will try photographs that straight on!

      Thanks for your comments.

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  3. You're right about intuition. But don't make a list of what you have to learn or you'll exhaust yourself. Follow your nose. I think the tray is fine. Its position contributes to the composition. The painting is a fine painting; it flaunts your draughtsmanship. Great start and you know it. You're a talented guy John. Did you have fun after all that procrastination? That's the irritant thing.

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    1. I always have fun, Linda ... but I have my own way of getting things done which includes 'procastination'.

      Thanks for your kind support and comments

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  4. Waouh !!! Bravo, John, you have to insist and try, and try again... and try to be happy and quiet when you are painting. No stress !

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  5. Congratulation for a GREAT first painting! I love the vase!

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  6. Thank you, Anne ... it is all stress-free and full of fun!

    Thanks for dropping in!

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  7. Holy smokes John!! This is FABULOUS!! I have seen less quality of work from people who have been painting for years! I am very impressed. If you're interested in layering paint you might want to check out Kimberly Kelly Santini's work. She paints with acrylics and layers them beautifully.

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    1. Thank you Crystal - I shall check out her site

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  8. For a first time, it is great! Most important item - have fun doing it.

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  9. Constructive critique coming up:

    Monet: Watch out !!!

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  10. Oh. My. Goodness. What can you NOT do? This is an amazing start. You set the bar high for yourself on the first one already! Can't wait to watch your journey in paint. I really like your background (among other things). It looks like you incorporated several colors into the background instead of opting for a solid. I think this adds a lot of interest without distracting from the subject. Well done!

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    1. Thank you Minnemie and this week you did mono! :0)

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  11. Your first piece ever is so much better than anything I've ever produced, John. Love the vase color and beautiful job on the glass reflections!

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    1. My hero, Axel Haig said it is a mistake to compare the standard of your work to the standard of another - it can cause dissatisfaction. Rather, he suggests, we should compare the standard of our current work with that we have produced in the past and ensure we can maintain improvement and raise our standards.

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  12. John, why is it, that I am not surprised at all, by your wonderful first ever painting. It's great, love the vase and the flowers the background compliments the subject. John all of this is not easy and you have done a magnificent job. Enjoy!

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  13. Thanks a lot, Joan, you comments are always welcome

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  14. Good grief!!! This is amazing for a first effort John. Well done you!!! I'm off to break my brushes.

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