Workshops, Colors and Brushes

painting workshopAs a self thought artist, I’ve never received any guidance regarding the way in which I paint, my techniques or my choices when it comes to sending a message out there, through my work.

I believe that in order to evolve and further improve, we need to interact with others with the same passions as ours, exchange ideas and receive advice from those who have much more experience than we do. In the end, we only learn by being motivated to become better, and there’s no better motivation than seeing that you can do much better.

For the first time ever, I’ve decided to attend a workshop, and meet other talented artists from my area. What I was mostly interested in, was to see how others paint and find out more about what inspires them. Also, receiving a few tips and tricks was more than welcomed.

For a challenge, at my first workshop I picked as a theme water reflection, only to play with light, distance and reflection. As water is always a challenge for me, it was a very good opportunity to get better at it, in a very motivating, creative and inspiring environment.

I must say, I learned so much about the message I send through a simple shade of blue, that I couldn’t be happier. Amazing how such a small difference in paint shade, brush and painting technique, can place an object far far away or very close to you.

Here’s the final result:

mountain lake reflection

Even if not perfect, progress is being made. Challenging ourselves is the best thing we can do. The results might not always be the ones we want and envision, but they always put us one step forward in our journey to becoming who we want to be.

Even if, while creating art, we reach a point when we’re asking ourselves if what we’re doing is ever going to make us better, that’s the moment when we have to keep moving forward and practice until we get the desired results. For a person who a year ago couldn’t paint water at all, I think that stubborn attitude got me pretty far 🙂

If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you.

If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you

 


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Learning How to Paint Fur in Acrylics – 10 Days Challenge

A while back I made the decision to improve my painting skills. Something I always wanted to learn how to paint better are animals, but fur isn’t easy to replicate with a brush.

Doing a bit of research online, I realized what I was doing wrong. When you look at an animal’s coat, you don’t see a single color only. A mix of various shades go in, before the final paint, even if at a first glance, we only see a one color animal.

So, I want to share my technique, step by step, while I’m also learning how to paint it right:

1. I started with the sketch of the animal, in crayon, drawing the outline and basic shape.

2. Then I moved on to adding the base color, lighter or darker, depending on the light and also the fur color, by areas. This created depth and made the fur look much more real. Depending on the final color of the animal, I choose as base color, either grey, brown or blue.

3. Moving on to getting the cat closer to its final coat, I started adding hairs, with small movements, using a smaller brush. Later, I gave it a ‘fluffy’ touch with a larger brush.

4. Final steps, highlights. Using a mix of white, black and blue, I added the finishing touches, bringing some shine into the fur, keeping in mind the light on the animal’s coat, especially in the dark background paintings. 

In order to master the technique, I took a 10 days challenge and painted a different fluffy cat per day. Before you call me a crazy cat lady, in my defense, I only picked cats as subjects, because of the fluffiness of the fur 🙂

Here are my teachers, time lapse pictures/videos included:

Day 1 – Fluffy Grey Kitty

Started with a brown base color, and a grey background. Gradually added grey, black, white and brown hairs, and finished with white and black accents.

Day 2 – Moon Cat

Started with a black and dark blue background, and a dark grey+blue base for the cat. Gradually added lighter grey and white hairs, taking into consideration the shine of the moon, on the cat’s coat. The background clouds are a mix of white and grey, softened with a fluffy brush/sponge.

Day 3 – Gold Fish in Trouble

Started with the dark grey background for the wall, and a light grey for the table. Added a brown (both lighter and darker) base color for the cat, finishing off with black, grey and white hairs. Whiskers were done last, together with the white accents on the wall background, and the fish bowl.

Can you hear the Jaws theme song on the background? 🙂

Day 4 – Lion King

Big kitties are also kitties, so why not a lion?

To show better the painting technique, I’ve decided to start a video time lapse, for my paintings. I think it turned out pretty good, as I can review all my moves and the entire painting process is easier to follow.

day4-lion

Day 5 – Kitten Playing with Yarn

Time lapse video of making the painting, step by step:

day5-kitty with yarn

Day 6 – Sleeping Kittens

Time lapse video of making the painting, step by step:

day6-sleeping kittens

Day 7 – Leopard

Taking painting to the next level, with another big kitty, a gorgeous leopard.

Time lapse video of making the painting, step by step:

day6-leopard

Day 8 – Tiger

And why not an ever bigger cat, a tiger?

Time lapse video of making the painting, step by step:

tiger

Day 9 – Fluffy Grey Cat

A test kitty, to see if my painting technique improved since the first grey cat painting, from day 1. Definitely mastering much better, the fluffiness in the coat!

Time lapse video of making the painting, step by step:

day9-kitty

Day 10 – Sleepy Best Friends

Painting dogs isn’t that much different from painting cats, so I just had to give it a try. What can be cuter than a basset puppy and a kitten sleeping?

Time lapse video of making the painting, step by step:

day10-puppyandkitten

10 big and small cats later (and one puppy), I’m very happy with my progress. My technique improved from one painting to the other. It was all a matter of mastering the right moves and the order of adding the color paint. Looking forward to my next challenge!

I’d love to hear your opinion on my progress. Which painting is your favorite?


Contact me to buy an original painting or a very high quality reproduction on canvas 


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