Thursday, July 26, 2012

Art Post: My First Canvas!

My department had a work-related event put on by Art Uncorked which involved all of us going out and learning how to paint a picture.  The medium was acrylic on canvas.  I've never painted before with the exception of adding a touch of color with a watercolor pencil to some of my sketches.  We started with a literal blank canvas and the instructor taught us how to find measure it out and find the horizon line.  From there we followed him as he explained how to do each part of the picture.

What a blast!

The group had picked Morning on the Seine Near Giverny by Claude Monet.  I'd wanted to do Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh but I was glad we did this picture because it was fun to play with the effects of water, sky, shadow, and light.

My version of Monet's masterpiece.
The instructor asked me if I'd painted before as he watched me paint the background trees.  I told him no, but I do sketch and I have looked at a lot of art and enjoy learning about it.  He kept saying I had to have watching a painting show on tv because I was using some good brush techniques.  I haven't since I don't watch television.

We learned to mix and layer colors and learned how to overlay the picture with some white to give it that misty, impression-y look.  He taught us about how to paint reflections in the water and how to paint trees.  I struggled to some degree with painting the right shapes but I found the acrylic to be easy to work with as long as it's still wet.  It also helps that Impressionism is inherently forgiving since nothing really has to be that precise.

Here's Monet's original so you can see what we were going for.  I'm no artist but at least it kind of looks like it.
One of the coolest things was seeing everyone's interpretations.  One guy's painting was darker than the others and he added a white blob in the sky so it looks like the moon on the water at night.  Another painting was more dashes and dots so the entire picture was alive with movement and color.  Still another painting was completely different. She'd used the same color palette and there were some trees and some blue for the sky and water but hers looks like a massive storm with 75 mile an hour winds.  It's a wonderful picture!

Of course as soon as I got it home I could see places where I wanted to do more work.  The water reflections need better blending.  I need to add more pink to the sky.  And I wish I could do the trees over again.  Oh well.

I'm thinking I might take an oil painting class later or at least do another Art Uncorked event though I can just see myself filling my apartment with all these canvases.  Might not be a bad thing, actually.


Daphne said...

Love it! What talent!

Jo Jardin said...

Your version looks like a dream version of Monet's...which I guess art is, in the end: a dream. Lovely work.