Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Painting 7: Group Event Canvas Painting

 A Day in the Field
11 in. x 14 in.
Craft Acrylics on Canvas Board
February 2017
1.5 hrs

So this will probably be my shortest post yet since this painting literally took me under two hours and had zero planning/preparation. I created this during a women in engineering canvas painting event. All of the materials were supplied so I used cheap craft paint and cheap, soft brushes. 

There are a couple big projects I've been thinking about and tossing around in my head so I was considering doing a prototype of one of those to sort of lay things would while I had a limited supply of paint and 1.5 hrs to be as creative as I possible could.

Instead I decided to paint something - anything - whatever vision appeared in my head - and just go for it. I wanted to paint non-stop as hard as I could for an hour and a half (since I'm normally a really slow painter) without worrying about the details, without using any references, just purely going off of what was in my head an experimenting with which techniques would work best for the equipment at my disposal.

I had this vision. This is something that I've wanted to paint but not exactly in this form. I wanted to paint something for my dad, or at least something that feels like him. I have this vision of a grand majestic watercolor of fields and trees and pheasants flying overhead and my dog (a beautiful majestic [crazy] German Shorthaired Pointer) poised angled slightly toward the camera, coat gleaming in the sun, foot pointed, muscles rippling - a hunting dog's paradise more or less. This is not that picture. This was a slightly warped picture that popped into my head with a much more simplistic layout, almost whimsical dog meets bird subject. I wanted everything to be strokey and simple but still give off the impression of what the picture was.

Overall I'm really happy with it. I have a couple (one main) issues with it and I was hesitant to event titles this 'Painting 7' since I wouldn't truly consider this a complete actual painting, but I was proud that I displayed what I wanted to displayed, I had a bunch of fun making it, and it mostly matches the vision in my mind.

This was the first time I painted completely without reference (besides for one quick glance at a pheasant to check their coloring and another quick glance at my dog to make sure I had his spots in relatively the right place) [the previous fanart landscape was another picture I did mostly without reference except for the horses]. My goal was to just paint and to see if I could actually put my mind on canvas. I have this notion that I am not a talented enough artist to do that, but at the same time I've never really trusted myself to try, so I wanted to just go for it.

Obviously this is not a very detailed piece. Between the time constraint and the brushes constraint and the materials constraint my main goal was to give it the feeling of a field even though I have big chunky blocks of grass but I still think you can really feel the texture, etc.

[apparently I lied about this being a short post; I can make a novel out of anything]

I was really proud of these birds. Just a couple quick strokes and Voila! I was so unbelievably proud of the bird on the far right (though I wish his shadows and highlights were reversed so they made more sense.) But this was literally 2 seconds work and honestly it's probably one of the best parts of the picture.

Here's my little pheasant. Wish he had a little more shadow variation but I was mainly focusing on color. He is a bit flat though...

This is both my favorite and least favorite part of this piece. Of course it's my puppy and I love him, and overall I think the impression of the dog is decent (though it begs for detail and muscle definition and nice deep shadows) but the rough halo around the dog from later darker additions of grass is what bothers me the most. I wish he had a nice clean outline so event if he wasn't super detailed, he'd still stand out as I wanted him to. I was pleasantly surprised with how much I like his ear though (and event his face shape in general - though the pointing leg could do with much improvement and definition).

Overall this was really great and I definitely want to be a big more free with my painting. The last two paintings were some of my fastest and probably most fun to paint because I did them so much more free form than usual. I'm finally learning not to rely of references so much and to explore life and expression a little more. 

Hopefully this was a good warm-up and I can finish a real new acrylic painting soon ;)
[or maybe I'll just go back and hide in my watercolors; acrylic is scary]

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