Monday, May 21, 2018

Acrylics #2: The Day

For my second foray into painting with acrylics, I decided to work on the sketch I mentioned in the last post—nicknamed the day. So just for reference, I’m going to show it again....

Overall, I’m happy with how this painting turned out. I was a more comfortable with the medium—I don’t even know why I was stressed out about it in the first place—which partly contributed to how much fun I had while working on it. One of the things I was most excited about was the color choices I’d picked for it.
Last time, I mentioned that I wanted a smoother transition between light and dark. I wanted the shadows to be deep, and the lightest spots to standout. And that meant adding more shades to bridge the gap between the light and dark extremes. I love how the colors turned out, particularly how the blues look against the rest of the painting. I don't know about anyone else, but I like working with blues because its a color that's easy to match with others. I love the coolness of lighter shades as well as the richness of darker ones. I also made a few minor tweaks to the sketch, and while the focus remained squarely on the face, this time around I wanted more detail. With the night, the headband was just a kind of, well, random lines that I added as sort of an afterthought. For the day, I wanted the veil/headpiece/clothes to have a specific look where the details were vague enough to fit my preference, but precise enough for them to be immediately recognizable

Acrylic is a pretty forgiving medium. Unlike watercolor, it's easy to go back and make little tweaks without having to choose a different medium—like colored pencil, gouache, gel pin, ink, etc.— to make corrections. However, my biggest takeaway from this is that I’ve learned more about my own process, and some of the immediate changes I made were focused on how I approached the painting at the start. For the night, I worked from the center before moving out to the edges. That worked out okay, but when I paint using traditional mediums, I noticed that I prefer my first layer to start from the background before then working my way in, leaving finer/finishing details for last. While working on the day, I kept that in mind and found that I wasn't frustrated with the progress with this piece as I added more and more to it. 

It's easier to see what I'm talking about when the two paintings are shown together. So for comparison purposes, here they are side by side. Going forward, I have a couple more projects in mind. I won’t mention the exact details yet, because I don’t have any sketches prepared and my plans aren’t set in stone. That being said, I look forward to using acrylic paint again....

Have you used acrylic paint before? If so, what do you like or dislike about it? If not, would you try it?


Comments are appreciated and always welcome. :)

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