Starting my acrylic painting lessons

Daily Art 06-11-2018 two-color palette painting exercise
It’s so satisfying to see my palette paper all messy with paints finally!

With the move complete, and most of the boxes unpacked, I finally get to start back up with art class! My new area of focused practice is mastering acrylic brush work. After a quick value study I learned just how much I need to work on getting familiar and comfortable with the actual motion of painting with acrylics. Much different from watercolors, which is what I have more experience with.

I’ve been experiencing serious mental blocks when it comes to learning this medium. Not because I don’t want to learn it — I really do — but because I had in my head that I should be able to paint great, original paintings from square one. Once I accepted the fact that simply following some existing tutorials and even doing some playing around would do me a world of good, I passed that mental block and dug in.

It felt awesome to actually be painting something! I enjoyed the setup process, and getting familiar with my tools. For my first lesson, I chose Will Kemp’s warm and cool still life painting. I loved the idea of just using two colors plus white, two brushes, and the 8×10-ish format. I mixed my own burnt sienna from my red, yellow, and blue paints.

Daily Art 06-11-2018 two-color acrylic painting lesson from Will Kemp

For my first acrylic painting, I was very happy with the results. There are some wonky areas, like the handle and rim. And it looks a little stiff to me. But the tutorial is fantastic, and this particular subject is nice and simple. I love the way the burnt sienna jug jumps off the cooler background. It’s amazing what can be done with just these two colors.

I’m going to repeat the painting again tomorrow, but doing the steps more on my own instead of following the video. I also printed a copy of the reference photo which will help tremendously — I’ll be able to make more decisions about what values and colors go where instead of relying on the instruction.

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