This is my first blog post about my experinment with painting. I completely failed to create anything resembling what was in my head, which is exciting, because I learned something by not succeeding. To begin I put paper onto my 4 year old sons easel, but since I am six foot four inches tall, I had to put it onto my daughters art and crafts table. I took a trip to the local Michael's Arts and Crafts Store to purchase paints and brushes. I picked acrylic paints, mainly because they were the cheapest option. I wanted to paint something from recent memory, so I chose to paint the beach and ocean, my family went there last weekend, and it was a fun memory.
I've worked as a cook in a kitchen before and I love to layer things. I put down a base coat of paint hoping to add layers above it to bring the day at the beach to the foreground. Apparently, with acrylic paints, you can't really do that. What I was left with was an oversaturated piece of paper, and some wierd looking brush strokes. In the picture it appears that there are white spaces, but those are supposed to be yellow or light blue. Since one lady at Michaels was helpful I took a picture of the painting, described what I wanted to do and asked how to fix it. She suggested trying some glitter paint to give the ocean some shimmer. Adding more paint to the paper, just made it wrinkle more. I've never been a fan of glitter, but the effect seemed to make it slightly better. Still I'm not satisfied. You can see the glitter shining off of my camera's flash in the picture below.
I returned to Michael's to discuss my next piece with the people working in the paint section. I met a young lady who had recently graduated with a degree in art. I showed her the picture above and she told me that for what I wanted to do, using acrylic paints as a medium, it wasn't actually bad. This is an exaple of what happens when you use a painting style for one type of paint with the wrong type of paint. She said that for the style of painitng that I seem to be naturally drawn to, I need to use oil based paints. She turned out to be extremely chatty and helpful. We talked about a number of things, including ideas for my next painting. I decided to paint a winter scene. The art graduate and Michael's salesperson helped me pick out my paints, tools, and a couple of canvases. Next, we'll see how I do with oil based painting.
So what have I learned? I learned that various paints have styles that are specific to that type of paint. I learned that if you are using acrylic paints, you can't just paint for a couple of hours straight, or the paper will become overloaded and wrinkle. I learned that I should probably paint with a canvas, not paper. I learned that I seem to be naturally drawn to the style for oil based paints. I learned that you should model your technique to the type of paint, and as such, using a variety of paint on one canvas won't work well. I haven't learned yet, but perhaps my next door neighbor is right when he says that anyone can be an artist, perhaps I really can make a nice painting, if I use the correct type of paint. I'll update next week, hopefully with something that looks a little more exciting!