Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Acrylic Painting Class

Right up the road from me is the Art Center where I am now taking a beginning acrylic painting class from Sharon Harris. Today was our first class and we learned about the color wheel and blending colors.

For our first exercise we're taking each primary color or hue, then blending them to get different values, temperatures, then a neutral. For example in the the first row I have used cadmium red, added white for a tint, added gray to red for a tone, added black for a shade, then added yellow to warm up the red, then added blue to cool down the red, then added green to neutralize the red. For the last set of colors in the red row I have added white to each of the previous sets to get what would be used for reddish skin tones.

In the past whenever I chose colors, whether it be painting a room, a quick painting on canvas, choosing a seat cover color, I just went by eye. Usually I'm pretty good choosing colors by eye, but sometimes the colors I chose weren't quite what I had in mind. So before I can start on a painting, I have homework to do. I want to get all the palettes done for all the colors so I can start painting.

The photo above shows the first acrylic painting I did of an ocean and sky about 50 x 60 inches. I knew nothing about acrylics and just masked off for a silver border and started painting the ocean water and the sky. I worked on that painting for weeks and finally saw some depth to the ocean and horizon.

This is the painting I left in my old house which Gary and I both miss terribly. We'd sit at the dining table, eating dinner and gaze out into the ocean, dreaming of different scenarios for what could be happening in the sea. Gary would joke I needed to add a life preserver with just an arm sticking up. Gary says he isn't artistic, but I know he is, he always comes up with wonderful ideas.

In my mind I want to do more abstract style paintings with lots of blended colors, textures and vague or ethereal suggestions of thoughts or ideas. I'd like to add some texture material like cheesecloth or sand, maybe some wax, or who knows what to the paint. I'm looking forward to this new exploration of art in painting. I want color, color, color, soft or bold, loud or retreating, gentle or demanding. I just want to get some paint colors on canvas and see where it takes me.

Did you remember to say white rabbit? I did, and I can really use some extra good luck this month, hope it works.


  1. Hi Meredith, thanks, I hope we both have good luck.

  2. Love that painting. I think you'll enjoy the class &&& excel. You're so talented!

  3. I like that painting! You are such and "art adventurer"! An inspiration.... Hey, thanks for the "white rabbit" reminder on my blog. I forgot! But am starting the day over... White Rabbit!

  4. Thank you for the reminder. I think you caught me in time.
    Is there anyway you can get your painting back? Perhaps you can now paint another and incorporate Gary's ideas.:)

  5. The painting class sounds like fun - enjoy!!!

  6. i did remember "white rabbit"... but it was the 2nd thing i said... does it still count for good luck?
    i am just gonna say yes!

    you are going to have so much fun with this painting class!!!

  7. White rabbit! I did it this morning..In fact I said it when I woke up at 2a.m., then 4a.m. then again at 7.

    I love your painting from the other house..do another one like it. I paint a lot in my journal pages, and I like abstract stuff too. Good for you on the class...I never learned color theory or mixing, just eyeball stuff, which can lead to some disasters. I really need to take a class.

    I'll e-mail you later about the Mail-Art.

  8. And a white rabbit good day to you too, Linda! :)...I admit it wasn't the first thing I said, but coming into my kitchen, looking out the window and seeing 'our' rabbit tracks this morning reminded me. :)
    Have fun with the painting class.

  9. Love the painting! And I love your sentence near the end, starting with, "I want color, color, color..." That's what is drawing me to painting as well, that use of color, in the abstract, all about color. Thanks for the inspiration!

  10. Yaaay! Another medium!! I love watching artists express themselves through new mediums!


  11. Love the ocean painting! Great that you're taking the painting class! I majored in Fine Arts in college and took several painting classes, but acrylics are my favorite medium. Love the ocean painting!

  12. sounds very interesting linda, i've been told that technologically speaking, acrylics have come a long way in closing the gap between them and oils. have fun

  13. Acrylics are fun! Good for you for finding a class!

  14. Hi Turquoisemoon, thanks, much work to do and so little time.

    Hi Patricia, thanks, there's always next month, Hay I told you it wasn't easy.

    Hi Patti, thanks, it was too big to fit and would cost a fortune to ship, at least I have a photo of it. I hope they kept it.

    Hi Cynthis, thanks, yes I think it'll be fun.

    Hi Michele, thanks, positive thinking and then next month try again.

    Hi Barbara, thanks, I may have to do another one, yes let me know about mail art. I looked it up on wiki, cool stuff.

    Hi Trish, thanks, I have a hard time not saying smething to the cats before I get up, rabbit tracks what a great reminder.

    Hi Teresa, thanks, yes color and of cours the lack of much in the winter perhaps has an influence too.

    Hi Cindy, thanks, right back at you, love your quilt designs.

    Hi Marguerite, thanks, do you still paint? Must have been beginners luck with that painting, no expectations just pure fun I guess.

    Hi Jim, thanks and acrylics are non toxic unlike oils and theres always a pallete knife and mixed media additions.

    Hi Judy, thanks, yes the class is so close to my home too which makes it very convenient.

  15. Rats! I forgot to say white rabbit. Can I do it next month?

  16. Hi Ronna, thanks, you can do it any month, it is fun thing to do, stmulates the mind and is harmless what could be better.

  17. Hi Linda,

    Congrats on finding the easel. Hope your feeling better. Call me if you need anything. sharon


I love suggestions, questions, critiques, thanks for your comment