September 20, 2013

Painting Adventures

A couple of friends and I decided around a month ago that we wanted to get better at drawing, so we decided to embark on one of those "draw one thing every day for 365 days" projects. Well, if we're being realistic, for approximately 365 days—we even named ourselves "Approximately 1095" (1095 = 365 x 3).

It's been really fun so far:

(I'll write up a separate post later about how/where I'm posting these!)

One day I woke up to discover that my friend Jack had, that morning (on mostly a whim), gone out and purchased a set of painting supplies and was happily painting away on an easel in front of the bay windows in his room.

I thought that was pretty amazing and was inspired to do the same. As much as I like drawing and sketching, the lack of color is sometimes a bit depressing. I've always wanted to experiment with painting (having done digital/Photoshop painting but never physical painting), and decided to try it out1!

Color mixing

The day my acrylic paints arrived (2-day Amazon Prime, ftw), I sat down and practiced mixing a bunch of colors to get a feel for the ratios and color combinations. And it's a good thing I did, because I instantly made the newbie mistake of squeezing out entirely too much dark paint (a dark pigment like red will overwhelm a lighter one like yellow; 90% yellow + 10% red is basically already dark orange).

I ended up with a bunch of index cards with color gradients, much like a Pantone catalog. Pretty fun. I actually like using physical paints a lot more than using a digital color picker, since the colors blend together pretty interestingly when painted, and aren't just one flat color.

First painting!

The prompt of the day for our drawing project was "mermaid" and I knew I wanted to paint a landscape (so hard to mess up!), so I decided to paint the underwater castle from the Little Mermaid.

The hardest part was probably being too scared to paint over things that I had already painted in the background (no undo or layers?!). It was really fun though.

Highly, highly recommend picking up painting as a hobby. It's relatively cheap (I got everything for around $50-60 on Amazon), and it's super fun and relaxing/therapeutic to be swirling paint around for a couple of hours. Not to mention you get an awesome physical piece of art that you can then decorate with, gift, or hide in your closet.

I decided to start off with acrylic because watercolor is really hard to control or recover from mistakes with, and oil has a messier cleanup, but it's really up to your own preference. Enjoy!

I hope to be posting more about the rest of my painting adventures soon! (:

1: I'm still continuing the drawing project, I'll just substitute paintings in every once in a while.