Tag Archives: acrylic

Self Portrait #3

DanSelfPortrait3
Self Portrait #3
11”x14”
Acrylic on Canvas

This portrait was an experiment in loosening up and letting the brush strokes show.  It didn’t look very promising at first, but I persisted.  In hindsight, the colors I mixed were too brown/green tinted and the result looks a bit muddled.  I should have started with “normal” skin tones and adjusted their hues more subtly from there.  Also, the overall values of the skin tones are too dark.  I learned a lot of good lessons from this one and plan to apply them to the next painting.

Jeremy Bolm

JeremyBolmPainting
Jeremy Bolm
12”x16″
Acrylic on Canvas

(Painted from a photo by Kyle Kenehan – http://kylekenehanphoto.tumblr.com/)

Resist

ResistPainting.jpg
Of the many faces I’ve photographed at the 16 protest rallies I’ve attended so far in 2017, this one caught my eye more than any other.

Resist
11”x14”
Acrylic on Canvas

Mark Hollis

MarkHollisPainting
Mark Hollis
11”x14”
Acrylic on Canvas

This is the fourth painting in my portrait series of early 80s musicians — Mark Hollis of Talk Talk.

I had two basic goals for this painting:
1) Start with a large brush and only switch to smaller brushes for specific details.  I have a bad habit of getting bogged down with detail too early in the process which tends to give the painting a more “tortured” look.  I think I achieved this goal.
2) Don’t obsessively blend.  In past paintings, I feel like I spent too much time blending paint to produce smooth skin tones, etc.  This is often very laborious and, in the end, can create a less compelling finished product.  For this painting, I took a very casual approach letting the brush strokes shine through.

David Sylvian

DavidSylvianPainting
David Sylvian
11”x14”
Acrylic on Canvas

I experimented with a watercolor-style on this acrylic painting of David Sylvian.  I did the initial sketch with very thinned-out blue paint instead of the usual 3B pencil.  Most of the paint applied was very watery to get the desired effect.

If anything this experience has made me want to pursue pure watercolor painting.  I’m working on my drawing skills now and hope to get my feet wet with watercolors soon.

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Orange and Pomegranate

OrangeAndPomegranate
“Orange and Pomegranate”
16″x12″
Acrylic on Canvas

I’m paying my dues as a beginning painter by tackling the classic still life painting.  I learned a lot from this exercise and hope to do more in the future.

Self Portrait #2

danselfportrait2
“Self Portrait #2”
16”x20”
Acrylic on Canvas

This is my second self portrait and it was a challenging one.  I made a lot of mistakes and learned some good lessons:

  1. Use a smaller canvas when you’re painting something that is new or challenging for you.  I chose a rather large (for me) 16″x20″ canvas for this project..  As a result, all of my mistakes took so much longer to fix which was frustrating.  Also, having to fill so much canvas real estate meant that the painting took me four days to complete.  By the end of the painting, I was at the end of my patience and didn’t have the drive to fix some of the remaining defects.
  2. Take the time to mix your skin colors correctly.  It’s better to spend an extra 20 minutes getting it right than to spend an extra 1-2 hours fixing it later.
  3. When roughing in the dark colors for the underpainting, make your edges soft.  Also, be careful not to make areas too dark as you can end up fighting to lighten them later.  Water down your burnt umber (or whatever paint your using) to make areas lighter.

My hope is that, as I practice more and gain more skill, I can start moving from realistic depictions to more painterly representations.  In the future, I would like to produce the above image as an underpainting on which I can build from to create a bolder finished product.  However, at my current skill level, I’m ecstatic to be able to produce this.

Here’s a short video showing the different stages of the painting:

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