First Try

10/22/2009 03:04:00 PM Edit This 15 Comments »
Today is sort of gray and it's supposed to start raining this afternoon.  So, I decided to try making a painting with acrylic paint.  I've used acrylics before in my mixed media art, but I've never attempted to do a painting.  I've shied away from it for a number of reasons .... it dries too fast (I don't have one of those special acrylic palettes that keeps your paints moist); I haven't mastered how much water to mix with the paint - it's either too thick and blobs, or it's too thin and is too transparent for what I'm looking for; it leaves hunks of paint on your palette that are hard to get off .... well, I'm sure there's more, but that should suffice.  I've always been a watercolorist when doing paintings, so I decided to experiment a bit.

I've had a number of small canvasses for quite awhile along with a few tubes of acrylic paint.  I have 6 small tubes of Golden acrylics (3/4 oz each), and 9 tubes of Liquitex Basics (which I've had for a very long time and forget now why I bought them).  I started with a reference photo taken in the 1970s during a trip my sister and I took one summer.  We camped our way from Michigan to the West Coast (I use the term "camp" loosely - we actually slept in her van every night except for a few times when we slept in a motel .... that's another story).  The photo had nothing but water in the foreground, and the painting ended up looking only remotely like the photo, but that's OK.

I kind of like the background, and I think the water is only so-so, but the foreground is rather disappointing.  I really don't like the tree at all, and the "grasses" are rather boring.  But, since I'm a work in progress, and so is my art, here it is, warts and all!



15 comments:

Margaret Weiss said...

Nancy, you painting is lovely, especially as a first attempt. You will get better and better as you go and will get addicted. Please visit my blog sometime. Margaret Weiss. http://margaretweiss.blogspot.com

Gary said...

A lovely painting. I especially like the color. First attempt? Hmmm

lynn Logan Roselli said...

I love your painting. The foreground reminds me of a Asian style painting. The colors of that are in the tree complement the foreground colors nicely. I to0 have difficulty with water. One of my teacher told me that since water reflects the landscape bring the landscape down into the water.. then blur it out. I have yet to master that!
Lynn

Maron said...

Gosh, I think your painting is lovely! We are always our own worst critics!! I just love experimenting with new techniques and materials. As I grow older, I am more accepting of my own work as having merit...=)

Lisa said...

Your painting is beautiful.

Possum Patty said...

Love the mountains and sky. Love the grasses and tree. Maybe this is material for two different paintings? Super first try.

Donn said...

I think you did very will for your first acrylic painting. Only suggestion, put a little reflection of the mountain in the water. The foreground grasses will develop as you go on. Nice work.

Vicki Holdwick said...

nancy,

I love this; especially the tree.

You never cease to amaze me with your diverse talents.

xoxo

Alex said...

I can't believe it's your first attempt o__O because this is astonishing! Love the tree, the bushes, the background, the sky... everything is so harmonious and beautiful. I'd love to try acrylic too one day.
Thank you so much Nancy for your wishes... if you have a chance to visit Southeast Asia, be sure to look for them blueberry cakes as they are pretty common there. ^^ Tanna's looking for recipe too, so I might be able to get homemade ones someday, YAY!

raena said...

You may not feel that you have mastered the medium, and like others said, I can't believe it's your first attempt, but what I noticed was the mastery of color! The depth you've achieved in this is wonderful!!

LisaC said...

I'm thinking this is great for a first attempt. I like the tree, it looks very autumn like (or it could be cherry blossoms in spring!) You really have the pespective, or depth down too. The water looks good. I'm impressed. I haven't attempted a real painting yet :-)
Lisa

Michaela said...

What a beautiful painting. Can't believe this is your first attempt. Love the red tree. Well Done!

Dan Kent said...

I have a full set of acrylic paints that I can never get myself to use because it takes so much time to set up! But I will do it someday, and grit my teeth and post the results too. I think this is a fine first attempt, and congratulate you for doing it! I love the foreground plants - very stylish!

freebird said...

I am doing my first watercolor and it's not coming out quite like I wanted. I probably should have started with something a little larger than an ATC and a rose probably wasn't my best choice for subject. Now that I have you chuckling, be proud of yourself for giving this your first try as it should not be your last. The only thing I could offer to you is that in acrylic unlike the watercolor you are used to, the paint will hold it's shape so instead of smudging the background of the grasses before putting your top layer on, try using a ragged brush or a rake brush and dry brush upward strokes of a few colors for the background grasses. The top will be ragged like grass and your foregrasses will still look great on it. I really like your mountain and water. I hope my watercolor comes out good enough to post. If it's anywhere as good as yours, I will.

My sister uses a folded damp paper towel in the bottom of a lidded fast food tray for her palette keeper. Her paints stay fresh for days.

kazumiwannabe said...

It's lovely, peaceful and enchanting! It's funny that you don't like the tree - I love it, I think it gives depth and strength to the whole, perhaps because it's different, bolder than the background. Love the harmony and balance of the whole painting!