Monday, December 16, 2013

Starting a Painting

Over the last three years, I have been learning a lot about painting. As a self-taught artist, its been a steep learning curve starting with the most basic stuff on mixing colors to refining my techniques. And to top it all off, I had to learn how to properly finish a painting from Etsy! (more on this later).

Most of my paintings are done with acrylics on canvas and here is a quick look on how I do it and how I learned to do what I do. 
  • Step one is do a ground layer on the canvas. I prefer a very light yellow as the grounding background on my paintings. There has been times when I have skipped this step, started out with the colors I want for the background and regretted it. Using this grounding layer helps cover up missed spots later on, especially when there is only a thin layer of paint. In many instances, the ground layer would still show through, but be part of the background and add more depth to it.
  • Step 2 is doing the actual background. I have started to play more with my background colors than doing my basic stuff. My usual basics is doing a blend of tones of the same color with a mottled look (that might disappear once the painting is complete).
An octopus I am just starting today 
  • Step 3 is sketching out the subject. I start with a charcoal pencil for the initial sketch. I have learned the hard way about erasing the sketch lines after the painting is complete. Charcoal seems to be the most easiest to get rid off. 
  • Step 4 for me is to sort-of finalize the outline using a marker, usually black or brown. It is ok if there are small errors here, as the next step of filling in the subject can correct those. 
In my next post, I will write more progress steps and photos, as I work through this octopus!