Going tiny

I just wrote about I have to take a break from the fiddly work resulting from painting all those small details in my endless, circular river picture. And I have started a new picture, from where I grew up. A sea house, after a photo I took one winter night.

Now, I also have another project in mind, which isn’t a painting project, but one which includes the shaping of clay. Yeah, I want to make a clay figure. Some time. A figure that is painting, so I figured, I need a small canvas and easel. I could make it in clay, of course, but … I bought it instead.

My new canvas and easel. And the brushes too.

Of course, such a small canvas requires painting small details. Which is fiddly work, right?

Right!

Good thing I’m taking a break from doing the fiddly work then. Except … well, it’s just such a tiny little canvas, it can’t take that much time to paint it. So I did. I spent quite a while to figure out what to paint, but ended up painting a miniature of the one I’m currently painting on a large canvas, just in summertime.

Sea house in summertime

It was a fun, little project. Sure, I could spend more time on it and get the details even better, but this was more for fun than anything else. Besides, I can buy more of those canvases without ruining myself, and the paint expenses should be manageable, too.

And I will!

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Add some water …

It’s time to paint again – and to finish the painting. And today I’ve done both. Judging from the ime I used, around five hours total actively painting, I think I do get somewhat better at it. I probably spent more time figuring out what to paint.

And, what did I decide to paint? The title of this post gives a hint, but you’ve probably already seen the painting below.

reaking waves

Quite a watery picture, with the splashing waves. Personally, I’m happy with the result. Just need to add my signature.

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Summertime …

I have a confession to make: I have painted very little this summer. It’s not that there haven’t been enough opportunities for me, as the weather has been on the “stay inside and paint”-side a lot of the time. My concentration has been elsewhere, tho.

Part of the reason might be the “impossible” motive I’m working on, purely from my own imagination. I’ve done a few changes, have some more to add (or it would look very empty), and … well, still need to think a bit about how and where to add stuff. To make it look like a rather simplistic version of reality. It would, of course, be cool if I could make it look realistic, but I need to paint a lot more to become better for that to happen. Maybe revisit it as a project later?

But, while I painted very little, I did paint. A little. The front and back cover of a sketch book, again.

While the ideas for motives had roamed around among my thoughts for a while, when I sat down to paint it was done quickly. For me. A few hours, despite it not being the largest canvases to paint on.

Still simple, not too many details (small details on a small canvas can become too small) but I’m quite happy with the result. And just as important: I painted!

And in a couple of weeks, I’m back to painting classes.

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1, 2, 3, testing

Sometimes, you just have to test something, either because it’s a new, unknown product, or because you want to try something new. Recently, I made a quick little painting, just as a quick little test. And as such, I didn’t care much about getting the right proportions and stuff like that.

So, I took my sketch block, made a quick and dirty sketch – on the cover – and started painting.

Not at all proper proportions on the figure – but a lot better than the sketch 😜

OK, so I painted on the cover of my sketch block. Big deal. What’s that got to do with testing something new, or unknown?

Well, I did mention in an earlier post, about the various acrylic mediums I bought, and there was at least one of them I just had to test, to see how it worked. And did it work like I hoped, and mentioned in that earlier post? Eagerly, I brought the sketch block with me to a little, dark room to see …

It’s dark. It’s glowing. It’s … green.

It was partly successful! It’s glowing in the dark, but I must admit: I had hoped it would take on a bit of the colour I had mixed in, but it didn’t. It glowed green.

Well, come to think of it, the test itself was 100% successful. It didn’t give me the results I hoped for, but now I see what it does, and I can take that into consideration when thinking of other projects where it can be used. Some ideas are already entering my thought train. Let’s see what station they leave at.

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Oh, the possibilities

Painting with acrylics doesn’t have to be on canvas or paper only, it can be used for a lot of projects. I’ve mentioned models earlier, pre-made or homemade sculpts in clay, but of course, there’s 3D-printed stuff, objects made of wood, fabric, smartphone covers … Quite a lot, really.

Of course, some surfaces needs to be prepared in some way; they might be sanded, or primed. A wooden plate, or object, might be primed with gesso, to make it easier to paint, and using less paint in the process.

There are also different acrylic mediums, to be used with different materials. A fabric medium is perfect if you want to paint on your clothes, for example; it makes the paint easier to work with, and the clothes won’t be stiff like they might be if painted without the medium.

But there are mediums that are useful on your canvas (or other preferred painting surface) too. I got a little selection myself …

Various acrylic mediums, for future enjoyment

I was looking for some clear gesso, to prime a little wooden chest that I want to paint, in the style of an old treasure chest. I found it, but there were also a few others that caught my interest: What about a glow-in-the-dark medium? Cool! An image from computer games came to mind: A dark cave, with glittering, illuminating gems … Can be fun to see it in the dark.

A pearl medium? I’m sure that can be fun to try, too. And what about a shimmering/iridescent medium? Oh yes. I’m sure that cave with the gems can have a nice treasure, too, with shimmering valuables …

My mind is toying with the idea, and is a lot further on the path than my painting. I still have a special nature-motive I’m working on. But I’ll get there, it will all be used!

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The Watermill

As you know, if you’ve read previous posts, I paint. I’m not a fast painter, but I paint. Hopefully, with practice I will get enough experience to be able to paint both faster and more often. And of course, better. That usually follows practice. 😉

Anyway, I’ve finished another painting now. Unless I at some point have a close look at it and decide to do more with it – but as for now, it’s finished: The watermill.

The watermill
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Working with models

It’s not uncommon for painters to paint after live models, be it people or still life. As expected, this isn’t quite the same as painting after a photo; in the latter, you have the option to divide the photo up in lesser squares to make it easier to place correctly on the canvas. This is of course rather difficult with a live motive.

However, there is, of course, another way to paint a model. Yes, I know bodypaint is an option, but that’s not what I’m thinking of now. I’m thinking of something more complicated. A way where you really have to work with your models before even thinking about painting them.

It’s when you first make the models. From the ground up. and then paint them. Well OK, I know you can buy finished models, too, to paint, but this time it’s about the modelling act. Making models out of clay.

Years ago – or decades ago really – I bought some air drying clay. I never got any further with it than repairing the toe of a chicken-figure, but I kept the clay, airtight so it stayed soft. This was what I was looking for when I found the Folk Art acrylic paint mentioned in an earlier post. But why would I look for this? Am I tired of painting, wanting to sculpt instead? Nope. Not at all.

However, I got curious again, after having watched several videos by Ace Of Clay on YouTube: Where is that clay of mine? Do I still have it? Honestly, I don’t know. It might hide somewhere, or it might’ve been thrown away. No matter what, it doesn’t matter.

This isn’t because I lost interest in the topic, far from it. It’s still fascinating to see the figures made, and also dioramas, houses and more, be it from air drying clay or baking clay. And while I won’t give up painting, I have made some purchases …

Air drying clay, polymer clay, copper wire, and tools. I’ve got it!

The first purchase was the DAS air drying clay. An impulse-buy after I saw it in the shop. Then I needed some tools, of course, so I ordered the first set. This was a toolset to cut and mark the clay – but I noticed that pressing cavities in the clay was occurring often – so another set of tools were ordered.

Also, was air drying clay the best for making figurines? Maybe not… But at this point, I had already bought a package of baking clay. Professional, even, which should be extra good for that kind of work. I also bought some copper wire that can be used for armature and a roll of aluminium foil. This can be shaped roughly into the form of the figurines – the models – so that I don’t use as much of the expensive clay. I only need to use a thin layer.

Do I need more now, to start modelling? Probably not, not equipment, at least. Even if a pasta maker seems to be a favourite tool, as it makes it easier to knead and work with the clay. But what I need most, is the time to sit down with it. Currently, I prioritize the painting on canvas. I’m still learning there, and need to spend time on it to become more confident and faster.

A modelling career will have to wait a bit longer – but this time I don’t intend to forget it for decades 😉

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