I know I said I wouldn’t paint until the end of semester, but my best friend got me a tabletop easel and new paintbrushes for my birthday and I couldn’t very well just leave them to collect dust until May, Sooo between opening presents and going for dinner, I sat out on my desk with my roommate and painted for the afternoon. I would post pictures of me painting, but my roommate is in them and she is *gasp* not wearing makeup so am banned from sharing them. I can show you the fruit of my labour though.
This evening I procrasta-cleaned (procrastination obligations by cleaning, very common around exam season) and then baked banana bread and apple crisp but I still had time in the evening. I could have worked on my actual passion project for my tech class, or my upcoming final in PE but it was far more fun to paint, so I worked on clouds.
I mean they kinda resemble clouds … vaguely. It is definitely an improvement compared to some of my other attempts. The clouds don’t really flow though, there is no movement. They just sit there all BLA. Like I just slapped them on where ever, which I suppose I did.
Anyways. I may or may not post more blogs before May, it depends on how motivated I am to do my real homework.
I really did like the white bark trees. It caught my interest and my imagination.
I think this painting lacked a lot of detail. I would have liked to add more colour to the leaves and a bird in the space hear the right hand side of the middle of the painting. I was tired though and left the painting as is. I suppose I could go back to it at some point and perhaps I will.
I like the white branches and the pink leaves. There is something fun and magical about changing the colours of nature into something more fantastical.
I thought I would try and add a white tree to a grove of fall, fading trees.
I watched a tutorial on clouds and the top most one turned out alright but I still don’t like them. The mountains turned out alright, but the cabin picture had better ones. I like the variety of height better in the cabin painting. The white tree itself turned out fairly well. I like the contrast between it and the rest of the work. It captures the attention more than the faded background.
Anyways I may do more painting before the end of March, but I doubt it as I really do have a lot of homework due in the coming weeks so this is probably where the blogging will end. The painting will go on though.
At some point I knew I’d have to try and make a proper flower. I wasn’t thrilled with the idea though. Flowers, like clouds, are simply beyond me. I would like to be able to sit in my garden and paint one day and I really don’t think I’ll have a garden devoid of flowers. If I want to be able to paint my garden, I’m just going to have to suck it up and learn how to paint a good flower.
Well that went as well as a youtube-free attempt could have gone. I like the white bark of the tree, definitely going to use that in the future. Flowers though will need to be added to the ‘learn how to create’ list. They aren’t all bad though. I could probably pick out five or six flowers I like.
It’s a little hard to see at this size but there are butterflies all over the tree as well The one on the lowest left hand side turned out the best. I found it really hard to be precise when making an image that small. It was annoying to find that my hand shook a lot, with a lot of practice I will probably develop far more steady hands.
When I next sat down with my paint I was a little tired of the trees so I thought I’d give something else a go. Rock came to mind. They are another important feature in nature that are hard to ignore. So I started by creating a sky. Then I gave another shot at creating passable clouds. I made a rocky background and a calm green and blue sea that lead to a blockade of rocks.
considering I didn’t even bother to watch a tutorial on how to make rocks they turned out surprisingly well. The grass is a little choppy and I think the sea probably would look a little better with at least one or two waves. The clouds are terrible but I am starting to think I will need to spend a whole day on clouds to create something passable.
Anyways, I had a lot of leftover paint so I thought I’d try making rocks again. Only I was cooking dinner as well at the time so it really didn’t turn out as well.
The river has not dept and the water doesn’t really flow. Also the rocks don’t look as nice as they did the first time. The picture is alright, but I liked my first one better. Ah well, you win some you lose some.
Last time I painted, I noticed that trying to multitask left me with very sub-par art work. This time I sat down with my tea made, my head phones on and all my supplies set out. I was not getting distracted. I enjoyed creating rocks and I wanted to work at it a little more, so I thought I’d create a waterfall.
I like the flowers at the bottom of the painting and the splashing at the bottom of the waterfall turned out surprisingly well considering I just dabbed on some white paint and hoped i’d turn out. I don’t like the flowers between the rocks though and I think the sky could have used on or two small clouds. Also the grass is too disjoined.
At this point I figured I really should put at least a little effort into creating nice clouds so I watched a handful of youtube tutorials and sat down to give it a try.
The thing I like least about this photo is the clouds. I really don’t know how to do the weird magical whatever that painters do to make clouds look all …cloudlike. That being said. I do like the main mountain and the cabin turned out better that I thought it would. I like that the tree closest to the viewer is different from the ones in the background. It makes the tree pop a little more. I like the birds flying off in the distance too. The little details make the difference. Still wouldn’t write home with this one, but my mom got another picture message!
At this point I was starting to feel a bit more confident in my skill so I decided to just paint what I wanted to paint. I started with a the background. Justing painting as I liked. Then I thought of the tree I painted a while back and thought I’d try something similar. Then I decided to add branches of flowers. Since I had been trying to paint animals I tried to paint the bird I made way back when I watched my first painting tutorial.
And boy did it ever work out! The leaves have a lot more depth than previous attempt. I like the branches of flowers but there still seem to be something off about them that I just can’t put my finger on. The bird, though by no means perfect, certainly turned out better than my wanna be werewolf. Still not worth writing home about, but I could send a picture text message. It was worth that at least.
At this point I have tried to paint a lot of plants and such, but I haven’t given wild life a try. I was still a little wary of going back to YouTube videos so I hunted around my room until I found a Chinese wall hanging my brother got me when he was traveling a few years ago. The wall handing had a bunch of butterflies sitting on a flower laden tree. I wasn’t feeling up to trying to create the flowers, but was happy to give the butterfly a go.
The tree branch itself was alright, but the leaves didn’t have enough depth and realistically the leaves should have been a lot bigger and not look so distant. The butterfly shape was alright but I thought the transition from red to orange to yellow definitely could have been smoother.
So at this point I thought I would give youtube a try again. I really did like the way Marc Charles explained paintings. Not to mention he has an accent which is always more fun to listen to.
Anyways I found an interesting tutorial on silhouette so I thought I’d give it a go. The video was my guide and the painting was my attempt.
You might have guessed that at some point I more or less ignored poor old Mr. Charles and started doing my own thing. The silhouette to the left near the end of the paint? yeah that’s a person turning into a werewolf. The white swirls around the girl? those were meant to be wind at first but then I add eyes and made them little flying spirits because why not.
Generally though it turned out alright. Clearly my silhouettes need some works and I should probably invest in the same brushes Marc uses in his tutorial but it did end up turning out alright so at this point I’ll save my money and upgrade when I have a little more skill under my belt.
Right, so after a while watching videos of people who clearly use wands disguised as paint brushes try to explain basic motor operation to you gets more than a little frustrating. Don’t get me wrong I love youtube but it is frustrating to watch some patronizing old man talk about ‘just simply’ do bla bla bla when what ever he just did was really NOT simple. Anyways, I thought I would take try painting picture of the stuff from around my house. And lucky for me there are two huge paintings my best friends/ roommate and I brought together. The are of the same image, only one is red and one is blue (we figured we’d each take one when we moved away from one another). I thought I would combine the two and make a blue background with red leaves.
I’d say this was my best picture yet. The tree is adequately branchy (yep still using the word. Let no man confuse me for a benevolent dictator. I rule this blog for my own benefit). I like the mix of red, orange and yellow in the branches and the scattered blue and white background looks super cool in person. Like scattered clouds. When I was painting, I stopped looking at the artwork in my apartment after a while so the image is only vaguely similar. This painting was at least worth a facebook message back to mom. Still not worth a proper letter, but interesting none the less.
Right so at this point I’ve tried to recreate a few different parts of nature. Living on an island though, it’s a bit hard to ignore the ocean and I hadn’t tried paint the ocean. This was my first go.
What the hell is that? you are probably asking. Great question! that is what having no idea what a wave should even look like, looks like. Obviously I had no idea how to paint the ocean. Good thing I do know how to use Youtube! And so attempt 2 was born and this time I picked happier, lighter colours (probably a subconscious effort to make myself feel better).
The main point I took away from this was that the wild nature of waves is simply not meant to be captured on canvas. Which is a blatantly lie and we all know it. Many great artist have capture the sea with such sophistication as to leave the viewer breathless. My attempt though, was cringe worthy. But it was certainly better than my first effort and for a beginner it wasn’t all bad. The tree was certainly better than some of my other attempts. Clouds were still impossible but the background trees turned out ok. All around I was please about this one. Still nothing to write home over but I was certainly getting better.
At this point, I had a bit more experience with the art of tree making and sky blending so I thought I’d try creating a bit of depth by making a background with trees in the distance. The result was thus:
Again, I found my trees were not adequately branchy (yes I am well aware of the fact that ‘branchy’ isn’t a word, but this is my blog and I shall rule it as I please!). The trees in to the right turned out alright. I thought the blue in the sky was a little obnoxiously light. Real life doesn’t work like that. If it was dark enough out that part of the sky was that black, no part of the sky would be that blue. Still, clearly better than other attempts.
The next grand plan was to create a winter wonderland! Why not right?! Also, I briefly saw a you tube on the matter. I quickly skimmed through it and gave the painting a go.
I didn’t have the suggested brushes at the time so I had to make do with what I had. I would like to go back and try this one again. First, I want to watch the whole video in it’s entirety and second I want to use the proper brushes. I think it will make a big difference. Still, compared to my very first picture, this turned out really well. My tree on the left hand side is certainly more branchy then the tree in my last image. The sky was alright. I found it harder to blend white to blue to black then from white to yellow to red.