My First Acrylic Painting

My first "serious" acrylic painting (detail)
My first “serious” acrylic painting (detail)

I first used acrylic while working through Color: A Course in Mastering the Art of Mixing Colors, by Betty Edwards, an excellent resource for learning the basics of color theory.  The above painting was the final exercise in that book and was painted on October 25, 2012.

If you’re still interested in painting after you’ve worked through Color, you should consider reading Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter, by James Gurney, which is more accurate (e.g., it brings you up to speed on the most accurate color wheel, “YURMBY”) and more comprehensive.

The above painting used cheap acrylic paint on Bristol board.  Acrylic, unlike oil, can be very difficult to use because it dries quickly and is permanent when dry (e.g., you can ruin your brushes by letting acrylic dry on them; it also dries on your palette).  I had a difficult time creating the above painting.

I plan to create more acrylic paintings in the future, probably on canvas, and I’ll mix some medium into the paint to slow down the drying time.  I might even use transparent and opaque watercolor along with the acrylic (all of them are water-soluble and compatible).

Here’s the setup for the painting above.  I freehand sketched the flower arrangement and then returned to paint it at night using a flashlight.  Tough!

Setup for my first acrylic painting
Setup for my first acrylic painting

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