Tag Archives: acrylic

girliejones – Le Corset Vert

8 Mar


I had a pretty clear idea of what girliejones picture would be from very early on. I was interested in doing a stylised acrylic picture for the art meme, as I’d started one 18 months earlier but never finished it[1]. I thought g-j would like that style and my original notes were:

stylised acrylic painting: still life, involving coffee cup. solid colours – purple/maroon

girliejones likes coffee 🙂 However, a couple of days after the art meme started, girliejones made this post on her knitting blog. Suddenly my brain started sparking all sort of french, slightly Moulin-y Rouge ideas revolving around corsets. I gathered reference material, both from my postcard collection and relevent sources and I started sketching. As seems to be the case with me, early drafts were overly complicated, but I simplified. And then I simplified again[2].

While girliejones draft was completed second only to the draft I did for planeterry, there was a looong period of silence between finishing the draft and starting the actual picture. True, I did manage to finish 4 of the other pieces in that time, but the real truth was I was scared of the acrylics. Well, not scared, but not *comfortable*. It was easy to keep putting it off. However, by the time I did get round to starting, I’d had a bit more experience with acrylics. And while that experience had (very) mixed success, it did start to fix in my mind how they work. I took it slow, ensured each layer was dry before starting the next and everything was OK.

With acrylics you can paint over and over, which makes them more flexible than watercolour. They dry fast too. However, I think I do prefer oils (says she who hasn’t actually used oils in 10 years!!) which don’t dry as fast so you can mix on the canvas, making gradients in tone and shade much easier. However, acrylics work really well for what I was trying to achieve in g-j’s picture – solid shapes of flat colour. Also, painting is much easier on a nice solid board than the canvas paper I used (though it *is* nice paper and I do like its texture). I taped the paper so there’d be a nice white space around the picture (not shown), which was nicely effective but not as pristine as I would’ve liked. Sadly the the paint bled under the edges of the tape so in some bits you can see the ‘history’ of colours I’ve used in the layers underneath. I’m torn between liking this ‘mini’ archaeology and wishing that the edges were neat. My colour mixing is still ad hoc. While I think the colours work well together, they weren’t really chosen by design. I’d like more control of the exact shade I use.

But I’m still really pleased with the picture. I like the texture of the the wall(paper) and think that the stylised curtain has come out well – better than I expected. The wood floor is a bloody masterpiece! I looove the dummy the best, despite the small error in perspective (!) But I’ll let you work out where that is for yourself…

[1]For ‘started’ read: painted a blue square on a piece of cartridge paper and never got any further…
[2] And the final is even simpler again, as even more details were removed.

Scandal! (at art class)

23 Feb


I was shocked – nay I was morally outraged on Wednesday night when the model slipped off her robe and revealed that she still had her pants[1] on!! Entirely hypocritical given – Yo! – I’m not getting my kit off any time soon (if nothing else, the pay is crap) and she was still very drawable, pants and all. But for that split second, I was really and unexpectedly mad that the nude wasn’t nude.

Otherwise, though, great class. We did two quick 10 minutes pics (mine in oil pastel) and then spent a good couple of hours (probably) on a single sustained pose. I took the opportunity to do some more acrylic work and I’m really pleased with the result (see above). Initially the shading on the back was very patchy, as I was trying to blend the tones to get a single smooth colour, but then the tutor suggested I try blocks of tone to reflect the flat background I’d already adopted. This was much better – the body is becomes composed of shapes, which are slightly abstract (‘landscape’ was mentioned). I only changed my approach, though, in last 20 minutes so the paint work is messier than I’d like – and the tones on the leg were just wrong (so I chopped it off in the pic!). However, recent work (which shall be revealed soon) has demonstrated that I can paint neat so I’m looking forard to trying this style again.

Speaking of scandals, there’s another that I’ve been meaning to expose for months:

Models Move

Like, all the time!! Some move more than others, but they all move. It’s understandable, but it does mean that you’re never gonna get an exact representation of the model. But that’s ok because that shouldn’t be the point anyway

[1] AKA underwear, undie, knickers, etc.

Portfolio Finished!

24 Jun

Brian has eyes!


They’re not his eyes (my only photo of Brian is blurry and not very useful) and I’m not even sure they’re the most appropriate eyes for him (perhaps they should be brown??). But they do seem to be the eyes that I’ve always pictured him with. For some reason they give me a real feeling of deja vu.

(Please note that he is much straighter IRL – the photo seems to have come out all crooked. Photographing stuff also changes the colours and probably scanning stuff would be better. But I’m never going to do that unless I get a scanner at home. Hmmm… :-))

The final compiling of the portfolio last night was quite painless (except in my lower back! Two weeks of crouching on the lounge room floor has taken it’s toll). Given I had to paint Brian’s eyes and all, I compiled everything together quite quickly and was in bed by 1 am. Last year I was up to 2 at least. I had spent more time sorting what was going in that last time so perhaps it’s not such a suprise.

I’m pleased because Brian does look like a proper person – he’s in proportion – but he doesn’t really look like Brian so – as always I need to work on my relationships. My brother thinks he looks like Orlando Bloom, although I don’t see it myself. Just in case though I’ve actually titled it ‘Not Orlando Bloom!’

Just in case.

Outside Food

20 Jun

One of the projects from my recent course was ‘Outside Food’. I went prepared with pictures of big pink flowers, but at the last minute decided to do these mushrooms instead:


I took the picture in the Lake district in September 2003 and it spent some time as the wallpaper on my computer desktop. We spent 1 lesson ‘workshopping’ colours and textures for the pic, and a second class actually painting. After then (April some time) it looked like this:


And that how it stayed for a couple of months. I was in two minds about whether I could consider it finished. I knew it wasn’t, but could I consider it finished? I really liked the candy colours (pink, purple, orange) but they weren’t really realistic and a bit jarring. I also really liked the grass effect, which is created using thick and textured white acrylic with many many layers of green ink (bought in a two for one and for which I had no real use before!) So I decided to make the tones and colours more realistic, which is what I’ve been doing for the past few days and I got this:


I think it’s relatively successful, but I do feel a bit blah about it. Also, not much of it was deliberate – most of the texture is through random acts of colour mixing. IRL, it’s very pretty, although I’m not sure I really captured the tone on some of the darker mushys up the back. It’s rather bland compared to the ‘first draft’ though and I think I’d like to do something more abstract, using the original colours. I do tend to get caught up in trying to copy whatever I’m painting exactly and so I’m sure a bit of abstract would do me good 🙂

Brian still has no eyes, but he’s next on my list. My portfolio needs to be finished for Saturday.

Art Class

27 May

Today we had a portrait model in. His name was Brian.


Brian is not finished. He has no eyes, for example. He should be finished by next class, however, as I’ve learnt we’re going to be invigilated again for out certificate. It was actually a bit of a shock when Brian walked into class today, as it isn’t the first time I’ve met him.


Yep – I drew all of him late last year in a 1-day life drawing workshop. i was quite happy with my picture of him at the time, although now i tihnk it’s a bit pastel or candy colour. He’s not really defined enough. (I should have picked different colour sugar paper at the least). That workshop does still represent the longest amount of time i’ve spent on one piece in one go. It was a really good day.

I only had about 2.5 hours painting Brian this morning and finishing will be a challenge, as I don’t have a proper desk – let alone an easel to do it on. Perhaps I could get one cheap somewhere.