I have reached my goal of painting 8 2’x2′ acrylics by the end of December. Paintings 1-3 were in a previous post, here are the rest.
This painting began with the row of trees in the background. I liked the misty quality, so wanted to part with the photo, which showed 4 large tree trunks in the foreground. I jumped from making it a lake, to a field, to changing the elevation and making it a creek bed with large rocks. This was a much more challenging piece, as I was using my imagination to create the composition.
I chose to work more abstractly in this piece. I started out doing drip painting, and then putting in birches in the foreground and other trunks and sky in the background. The top of the canvas was originally the bottom, as I placed my brush with wet paint on the top and let it run down in streams to the bottom. You can see the original streams of purple in the sky with the yellow shapes as sunlight.
I continued working abstractly, with a black and white photo that showed fence posts disappearing into mist and trees. I used purples, pinks, and grays and changed up the composition. The figure was a “happy accident”, as Bob Ross says. I was putting paint into the area in the trees. Later, I looked, and there was a brush stroke that was faint, but looked like a walking figure. I used a small brush in a couple places to darken the value, and it looked like a person. So I left it, and it became part of the story of the painting.
I chose a night scene for my 7th piece. It’s actually purples, not blues. I painted the background first and spatter-painted, but didn’t like the warm violet colors. So after it dried, I painted over the whole thing with a deeper blue-violet, and re-spattered it. That’s one thing I like about acrylics–if you don’t like something, you can let it dry and paint over it! I used a photo reference and changed up the composition by adding smaller trees and a sliver of a moon.
My last and final painting, is now my favorite. I found a photo of a red cardinal on a branch set against frosty native grasses with plumes. I didn’t want to have a bright red bird in my collection, so I chose a chickadee, as it is more muted. I used more yellow ochre, black, and white to obtain the buff colors. I like the muted, calm colors. I used a reference photo of a chickadee, but changed up the position of its feet and added a branch for it to sit on.
Well, there you have it! I really grew as a painter after this series of paintings, and they are all quite different, and challenged me in a variety of ways. Each stretched my skills, and I’m excited to share them with others!