Guess Who's Painting?

I finally gave in and tried acrylics again. I used them in high school, but I've never really enjoyed painting as much as drawing with charcoal or pastels. I like getting my hands messy when I'm drawing, I feel like I'm more connected with what I'm doing - using a brush feels so different. Plus, painting takes planning, and if you know me at all, you know that planning ahead when I'm sketching (or cooking) isn't my favorite thing to do.

I bought a cheap set of acrylics a few weeks ago. My mom suggested trying acrylics and pastels together, so I thought it could be a fun challenge. Because if I didn't like the acrylic underpainting, I could just cover the whole thing in pastels and be done with it.

I decided to try Crouching Woman. I've done this figure so many times - I wanted something I was already comfortable with since the paint was already going to be challenging. I did a quick, rough sketch with charcoal so the proportions and angles would already be laid out. I could have underpainted the whole thing, but I didn't.

I started by laying out my highlights.

Then the shadows and mid-tones (Is that the right term? I have no idea...)

 I know the lighting is bad (my living room is a cave), but here is the finished picture next to a picture of the actual statue:

It's a little rough with the highlights, I didn't blend the colors at all since I don't usually like to with pastels. But for a first try with acrylics, I had a lot of fun.

So of course I wanted to do another one.

Woohoo! I didn't even sketch this one with charcoal, I just started with a flat blue and went to town. I realize that trying to add highlights at the end doesn't really work, but that's okay, I'm learning. I remembered the reason I'm not crazy about acrylics - they dry so quickly, there's really no hope for blending on the paper, but I like how these turned out.

I think I'll add some pastels over the paint next time and see what happens.


1 comment:

  1. Good start, Hil! What you are doing sometimes takes artists years to learn -- you are using color temperature for your darks and highlights. So it's not just about lights and darks on a grey scale (although that's critical to art) and adding white, but also the temperature of the colors you use. You did a great job of this on these paintings.

    There are medium/additives that extends the drying time of the acrylics to allow more blending. I'm looking forward to seeing the acrylic/pastel combo!