How to choose art classes

Many people who feel attracted to art, sign up for art and painting classes in the fall. Certainly, days are getting shorter and the weather gradually changes from very pleasant to quite nasty, rainy and chilly. I will not list all advantages of joining an art class or painting group this time because I’ve been mentioning them multiple times, and there are so many: from building your confidence and self-esteem and finding a great thing to fill up the long nights to effects similar to meditation which allow one floating away from daily troubles and problems, to mental fitness and rejuvenation of brain cells. The created art becomes just another gain along the way.

When choosing an art class, you should first check out what the instructor does: what are his or her favorite subjects, style, colors, approach. If you generally do not like such art as instructor is doing, so most likely you will the class unsuitable. For instance, if instructor is in meticulous copy creation of photos, you most likely will not be learning how to paint abstracts; or if she or he never do portrait painting, it is unlikely the class will provide with portrait painting skills.

Secondly, make sure the size of group somewhat works with you. I hear people complaining that they signed up for an art class and never got any attention, therefore, never learned anything. Well, if a weekly art class is 2 hours long and there are 20 or even more students in the classroom, how would you get a lot of attention? You can count on some 5 minutes of individual instruction in the best case because no instructor can run around all class while they are showing how to paint something. It is obvious that you have to choose a small art class if you require much advice or want very individual approach.

Thirdly, find out what level this art class is for. If some class is intended for advanced painters, most often, if you are just starting out you will not be able to catch up with others.

Beginner is somebody who hasn’t done at least 200 small size paintings or 150 larger paintings.

Next thing is: be realistic in expectations. That is probably the most overlooked aspect of any art class or studies of creative things.

Learning how to use tools takes time. That means: any tools. Although, everybody has seen a painting brush and quite frequently people have tried using it painting something on their own, it does not mean that you know how to actually use it. Any brush (they come in very many sizes, shapes and are made from all kinds of materials) can be used for some very specific things and also for some very general approaches. It is obviously possible to use just one brush start to finish, but the key is to find one that suits you and the task you want to accomplish. That depends also on your personal preferences, medium and subject.

Materials are an extremely important thing also for an art class, so, the best results will definitely be achieved using good quality materials straight from the beginning.

I have heard this often: I’m just learning, so I will use the cheapest materials for now. Well, that might not work at all because using bad materials can easily become a torture and nuisance. Sometimes students struggle around bad watercolor paper and they think they are doing something wrong, but, in fact, it is the paper which prevents from getting acceptable results. The funny part is that when one has a lot of experience they can survive with bad materials because their mastery will cover up the flaws, but initially, when there is very little knowledge, good materials will help overcoming your insecurities.

Equally important is also having your own materials. It might seem: what’s the difference? The answer is: there is a huge difference between paints, brushes, canvas, papers, pencils and even erasers, not to mention that is one of the most important aspects of learning. Tools matter, surface matters, paints and brands matter. There is no other way to become familiar with some materials in particular as using them.

Many people think that art classes and artistic activities cost a lot of money. Comparatively, I have to admit that is not really true. Most classes are way cheaper than going to a movie, about 8-10 times cheaper than attending a concert, at least 2 times cheaper than getting a hairdo, minimum 2 times cheaper than dining out at a medium quality place, much cheaper than boozing at a pub and so on. If your priority is to eat, work and sleep, that might seem like a big expense, but if you are looking for an overall improvement of your mental state, brain flexibility, memory, life quality and health improvement, it is just something which will pay back over many upcoming years. Therefore, the first question should not be “How much”. While the cost makes up an important part of anything we are doing and affording, there are very many other factors to consider. All classes are different: some are just a few weeks, some are a few months, some are short in a very large group and some are long and almost private. The most important part is to sign up for something that you feel interested in. One should also be prepared to learn, practice and memorize things, be spontaneous, courageous, daring and fearless, as well as have enough personal time for not feeling rushed.

I recently got new pictures and got a chance to post some watercolors on DailyPaintworks site.

I always work harder on pictures than actual paintings.

Colors in context images are much more like in reality.

I loved them, I hope it becomes a source of pleasure for other people, too.

This is the updated painting

 

They sell at $150, plus $15 shipping in Canada and USA.

Clear white on DPW

Enjoy!

Art is created in a different dimension

Art is even more than meditation. It transfers us to a different place, it happens in a different dimension and it results in a completely different experience.

I need, just like most of us, to shut off the world here and there.

To recharge, regain energy and clean my internal, soul-bound me.

I know that somebody might say: well, there are important subject and totally unimportant, and trying to paint unimportant things is just waste of time.

It doesn’t really matter, not one small bit.

It is totally possible to forget to eat, to forget what the weather outdoors is; what day it is and whether there are some urgent chores to be done.

The funny thing is that everybody can get into it.

I certainly would advise to let everything disappear time to time.

 

These are my lovely veggies

Love veggies is available from studio, this website and DailyPaintworks site:

$150 plus shipping in Canada $20 and to USA shipping is $25 because this is a large painting Love veggies

At least on my computer, better color balance is visible: ash berries or rowan berries, watercolor, The fall branch is also on DailyPaintworks:

Branch of ash berries

Sunflower sketch

 

I also got finally better pictures of sunflower sketch and ash berries. Well, in order these pictures were normally visible, every picture should be featured at the beginning of post. I just  really do not care about many things, and frequency of posting is one of them. I am in the middle of a creative uplifting swing. I hope it takes me somewhere higher.

How does it feel to become a rose?

I always prefer and I always advice others to use real objects, real scenes and live models for their paintings. It’s not only because camera does not see things as a human eye does, but also because of immediate presence.

When somebody aims only for technically great achievements in arts, they certainly stick with photos because we quite cannot distinguish between tiny details when looking at something with just our eyes. I’m not painting or drawing anything I cannot see or which is too small to see. I prefer to go bolder and not to use any magnifying glass.

It can be tough with flowers time to time, especially in winter, and they generally do not last as long as painting takes from start to finish. Anyway, whenever possible using real things has its advantages. They also cause feelings, admiration, attraction or vice versa. This is also something we are trying to implement in our paintings. Technical ability is great, but technically perfect and emotionally cold art isn’t speaking to me. I’m not saying that I always keep working until I have achieved absolutely everything. There is something great about unfinished paintings, too. For instance, a chance to add imaginative characteristics or continue with one’s thoughts. When painting is small, 16 x 20 inches (40.5 cm x 51 cm) inches or so, it doesn’t feel right to spend a year painting it. I sometimes return to a painting after 2-3 years.

Therefore, it feels great becoming a rose. As we paint any petal, we build it and grow it to our liking. Although, it’s just a rose, it has it all: some hidden attraction, some mystery and some color combinations that do not always find reflection in a photo of the painting, but they do become visible when looking at the artwork in person.

Wild roses acrylic painting

There are lots and lots of objects which can be painted not even leaving our room. People sometimes say: I don’t want to paint still life, it’s boring. That’s totally wrong. That is the best exercise in painting there can be found. People who can paint or draw can paint anything and draw anything from apple to face. Still life is the shortest way to explore values, edges, color transitions and the ways we can create them. It’s the best tool to learn underpainting, sketching and blocking in the main shapes. It’s also the easiest way to learn about lines and their relationships, as well as all kinds of shadows. Therefore, we should never underestimate still life as subject, genre or way of expression.

Pink rose acrylic painting for sale

The lifeschool blog reviews pros and cons of using supplements and synthetic vitamins: https://inesepogalifeschool.com/2017/02/07/are-you-wasting-your-money-for-supplements-and-vitamins-without-experiencing-any-benefits/

Giving up is not a solution, acrylic painting tips

I feel sad when some students discontinue classes just after one month. I can see potential in just started paintings, people with a little experience in drawing and art usually don’t.  All it takes is pretty much adding a few darks and lights, adjusting some edges and straightening out a few shapes. In fact, any acrylic painting can be whatever the artist expects it to be if we keep working on it.

Sometimes people are short of time, sometimes these are health or financial issues, that require to stop attending classes, but that doesn’t change the fact that there was a good start and it did not get a chance to develop.

I am quite often repeating: nobody becomes master within a few hours. Nobody. I am also not allowing students to compare their just started art: this makes absolutely no sense. There was a reason artists used to cover up their art with a cloth and show it to nobody until the artwork was considered ready and finished. There are lots of tiny brush strokes which can change the painted image to a great extent. Tiny bit of sparkling light, small edge of very deep dark, and everything improves.

Patience and ability to take risks are two very necessary features for anybody who’d like to enjoy creating visual art. I have told this before: time-lapse demos cause people to believe that this is exactly the way one paints: one, two, three and here we go. In reality, we sometimes need to go over and over one spot for many times. With acrylic paint, there are no limitations of additional layers, and we need to apply more layers to create three-dimensional feel and visually attractive effects.

Smearing on paint in one color is not the same what building up that color. I have quite often seen transparent trees and flat bushes. That means: there was no darker blocking color underneath and the light color was stretched only over 2 shades. That cannot make a structure or object look like it is having dimensions.

Many people have difficulties thinking in layers: the most distant, the underneath it all layer, the middle value layer, the defining layer and the highlighting and detailing layer. It is in the human nature: to try to get it right away, therefore, I’ve observed how students sometimes start with details which should be implemented at the end. This approach is fairly essential in acrylic painting because we have to work our way up and closer and that’s how the image evolves.

The other problematic issue is holding color on the spot one wants it to be. We are practising painting on a spot techniques, but quite often artist gets carried away and keeps blending and moving paint until the result shows everything in one and the same color. It is very important to learn using any size brush for painting on a spot which is like running on a spot: brush it on, but don’t move all around the canvas.

Golden birch acrylic painting art classes for adults

I just got done the reference image for the next Saturday painting session: we are painting with gold again. I feel very attracted to the warm shine of gold. There are some images when it really works, definitely, not with any image.

Finally, as I’m washing brushes after classes, I can immediately tell which brushes were used by me and which were used by students. My brushes are almost clean or have the last used color in it. Students’ brushes are usually full of many shades, quite often dark shades which we applied at the beginning of class. That means, the brush wasn’t cleaned during painting. That results in muddy and dirty colors which don’t shine and lack brilliance. Painting is easy and extremely rewarding; however, one must have patience and allow for some time to get where they want to be. It depends also on what our goal is: any painting is nice and great if we do not expect it to become a top-perfection artwork jut after a few classes or painting attempts. We can notice fear and indecisiveness in brush strokes which lack confidence.  Therefore, going for a bank and risk it all is a very important thing with creativity and visual art, in particular. We have to be persistent and even stubborn, as well, quite often, giving up something is not a solution at all.

Accept the fall gratefully

Just like birds, I will take off tomorrow. I won’t go south; however, I will go east, to Latvia. Whether we like it or not, September is soon over, and October will come with its gold to soothe and comfort our aching souls because, oh well, we are on the way to winter. Eventually, snow silver will cover the rusty gold and our sunny dreams, and our feet will be walking the icy and cold sidewalks of freezing towns and cities. I love the colors of autumn, just like we all do! It is such an injustice that this beauty comes with so much pain, so much sadness and so much darkness which follows in the footsteps of comforting and good-bye saying autumn sun. Regardless of personal preferences, nature’s cycles are inevitable for most of us.

I’ve been overwhelmed by life: too many duties, too many things to deal with, so I didn’t have too much chance to post anything. Nevertheless, to calm my nerves before the long trip I kept working on some projects and I also tried to bring to finish the class project which we did recently: the distant blue background and the lonely tree. Pumpkins are going to be uploaded to Fine Art America; maybe somebody will like them as greeting cards or other products: there are so many now that I cannot even list them all.

I will try to report about my adventures in Latvia since I have a new laptop. Laptop is fine, I would not say I’m very excited about Windows 10: they came with so much abusive stuff which I never intend to use that it simply takes me hours and hours to adjust my settings to my personal needs.

Autumn stream 20 x 24 in acrylic painting

Autumn stream 20 x 24 in acrylic painting, might still require some work, oh well, it is good for now!

Overlooking the autumn, 20 x 24 in acrylic painting

Overlooking the autumn, 20 x 24 in acrylic painting, this was our recent class project, I always would love to implement more lights, but this is how it looks at the moment

Autumn is here small pumpkin painting for Thanksgiving

Autumn is here: the small pumpkin for Thanksgiving, 20 x 16 in acrylic painting

Autumn is here large pumpkin and ash berries for Thanksgiving

Autumn is here: the large pumpkin and ash berries for Thanksgiving, 20 x 24 in acrylic painting

Autumn is here and they are gone with the wind

Autumn is here and they are gone with the wind: 36 x 24 in acrylic painting

The painting tip for students as they certainly will paint some fall scenery: put the color you want to use exactly on a spot where you want it. What happens in reality: there is a strange need to keep brushing around for so long that everything inevitably becomes the same color.

Enjoy the sunny fall days and survive patiently the dullness of rains and chills of winds!

The new http://inesepogalifeschool.com/ post is about trusting and relying on ourselves:

http://inesepogalifeschool.com/2015/09/21/seasons-change-why-not-to-change-something-in-our-life-as-well/

 

To praise the divine, to overcome the dullness of routine

By far, my life hasn’t been a fairy-tale, but rather continuous attempt to prove that our powers exceed the known limits we have put ourselves within.  I believe that talk solves nothing. I am deeply convinced that too much fake positivism and superficial “everything is fine” statements can actually cause harm. When our intentions remain only as to-do-lists, there is no result. There is huge gap between the real action and intent.

We often hear that life is not fair. Well, life as such is fair and fine, it is humans who make things become unfair and unfavorable for others.

Therefore, I wish there was much less pretending that everything is fine and much more doing in order it was like that.

For me, praising the divine does not mean unstoppable talking about it. That means bringing the beauty to people and making them understand how little, in fact, we need to experience the most valuable things on this Earth. There would be much less suffering if one day we had opened our eyes and started calling things their correct names. Becoming realistic is not a bad start.

The daily routine is absorbing plenty of time and taking large amounts of energy. People who are not rich have to deal with this whether they are happy with it or not.  Even though, I could do so many useful and exciting things instead of cleaning up and washing dishes or cooking, that is not going to change. I do everything fast, and I have a prevention system in place: to avoid general cleaning, I do not allow any dirt or messes to accumulate. I spend 12 hours or more a day quite often on medical writing. That is the job I make my living with. I wish I earned my living with teaching and doing art, but that is a bit of unreal idea at the moment.

The other energy drainer is my health conditions. Thankfully, I have a huge medical knowledge, so I can realistically access my options. I deal with that, too, as good as I can, and I do not pretend these conditions are going away or disappearing, because they are not. Not all wounds can be healed with good intentions and positive attitude: some take surgeries and some take long treatments. However, I refuse to be completely limited or defined by these conditions. Whining or crying is not going to help, so I am a realist and I am setting for me reasonable goals. This does not mean having a negative attitude; this is just honestly evaluating the situation and having it under control.

I have inherited love to the nature and all Gods creations from my great grandparents, grandparents and my parents. I strongly believe that family either makes one creative and resourceful or completely ignores this necessity by not appreciating the great experiences and benefits creativity has to offer, although, this does not always mean any financial benefits. I am genuinely thankful I have all skills and knowledge to dress myself, sew and design my clothes and outfits, to grow my own garden plants , flowers and vegetables, to cook fantastic meals with little efforts, to decorate my living space and create all necessary items for that and so on and so forth. This is all because of my family. Somebody might call me workaholic, but I hate simply sitting around and doing nothing. I cannot recall any single episode of my childhood or earlier years when I had to admit I was bored. I was always busy. Trying to make something from nothing. That is a great way to, a great way to live since I am seeing some opportunity just about everywhere.

Spring flowers for greeting cards

I am sending flowers to my mom every time whenever there is some important day or some celebration because I know she appreciates and loves them. We are far away, the Ocean is between us, but we can talk on Skype. My husband gives me flowers on every occasion, not only when there’s a celebration or birthday, but just for pleasure, as well. I have always fresh flowers around me, many are potted. I believe he does this because he knows how I am talking to plants and how much I enjoy them. They respond with adorable blooms and never-ending beauty.

Apple blossoms and butterflies for greeting cards

I feel that my duty is to teach other people to enjoy things which are not that costly, but rather a true source of happiness, pleasure and satisfaction. It would be tough going through life without art and beauty. The importance of brain fitness is completely ignored, but I am trying to make everybody aware how this can be achieved with simple sketching and drawing on a daily basis. If one can escape the age related dementia and loss of brain functionality just doing some visual art exercises, why don’t they do that? That’s a good question because physical body is always put first and mental and spiritual well-being is supposed to occur automatically which is absolutely and totally wrong.

I hope I’m doing my part and creating art pieces for our eyes to enjoy. To me, this means praising the divine every single moment not only in words, but with doing.

Robin nest Easter card

Robins nest: a greeting card, poster, art print, and wall art

Spring art prints flower wall art

View on the table of my paintings, originals are 16 x 12 inches each

Wall art for spring decoration

I struggled a lot to get the right colors on photos, some came out ok, some not that much

Butterflies and birds spring watercolor paintings

These are the new images for spring cards, Mother’s Day cards and cheerful prints to decorate our living space for warmer and lighter season. They look excellent as pillows, too, I cannot enjoy enough. Everything is available through Fine Art America at very moderate prices (link on the right side).

Pink rose watercolor painting Orange rose watercolor painting

Apple blossoms and butterfliesSpring tulips

Happy Easter and sunny spring for those who do not celebrate Easter!

Is too much knowledge preventing you from getting started with something?

I’ve noticed when observing all kinds of students of different ages when they are about to pick up some new skill or try to do something they haven’t been trying before: too much preparation can result in never getting started with anything.

Children usually are very successful with absolutely new stuff: they don’t try to over-prepare and don’t try to collect all possible and imaginable tools and references in order to get started. That has been the case with anything in my very long teaching career: it was the same when I was teaching German language and literature, or Latvian, or design, or art.

We are flooded with huge amounts of information: every second, every minute when we have turned on TV or are sitting at computer, or are checking out our phone. This information can be related or totally unrelated, true or false, meaningless or crucial to whatever we are doing and we are supposed to absorb at least some of it. Should we? To some extent we obviously should be aware of what’s going on and do research when we are exploring something, learning something or trying to figure things out.

However, with so many sources and with such infinite amounts of advice, we most likely will feel rather lost.

This refers very directly to drawing, painting and any other creative activity. I know people who would not start drawing or painting because they assume they don’t know everything about it. They are trying to get ready for this activity, to learn “the basics”, to explore techniques and mediums in order to decide what exactly is that they’d like. Many of them never get to any drawing or painting. Why? There are millions of different techniques, approaches and ways to do that.

How it is then possible to find out whether painting is what one wants to do? Extremely simple: give it a try. Nobody knows everything about anything. We can follow hundreds of websites, we can watch thousands of “how to” videos and read endless articles or books about painting. There’s lots of advice out there, and some of that is even useful for us in particular, but most of it will not promote one’s start-up in art. Why not? We have to do before we can decide if we like that or not. Only those who get their hands on that something can hope to get something done.

Other good feature of students who don’t have too much knowledge is that they have no fear. They are not afraid to damage paper or canvas and they fearlessly apply courageous strokes of paint or put down lines on paper. That results in a good or satisfactory first painting. They do not think it is some kind of superb masterpiece but realistically evaluate it, try to understand what went wrong or didn’t come out as expected, and so they can keep improving themselves with the next painting. The knowledge comes through doing and that is the only way to gain experience. Experience is an excellent building block of mastery.

This is how hands-on activities are contributing to fast development of any skill: you see it happening and you try it immediately. Something went wrong: try it again. Watching other people doing and showing things can give us an idea about how we should proceed, but until we haven’t tried it out for real, we will never know how exactly it is done. We can learn all kinds of composition and color theories, but when the paint dries out fast and when the brush is moving, there’s no time to recall all lectures and articles. The way we can make our own color theory happen is to mix, to test, to check and to apply paint. This might take some time until the brain remembers what hands were doing and how this was matching our creative intentions, but eventually we will have it: our own elaborated theory on anything.

The first steps are the most difficult. Those who are afraid to get wet won’t ever learn swimming.

It will be interesting to compare some of these first works with art they’ll be doing in a year or two.

 

Gallery

Art projects for any age: unblocking path to our hidden resources

It has been a while, but that is exactly what happens when I get completely tied up with my medical work: hundreds of pages with tight deadlines for clinical trial brochures, consent forms, synopsis, protocol, so on and so on. This time it was a new treatment with autologous dendritic cells. I still have only a letter to general practitioner, and that’s it. Obviously, until next job.

We still had all scheduled classes and Fun and Pleasure painting, but my exhaustion was so huge, that I did not even look at the blog. I’ve been recovering after this for 2 days, and I’m finally able to post some pictures showing what we’ve been up to.

When somebody says art classes, other people usually understand by this practicing and learning for somebody who would like to be an artist or similar. That’s pretty much incorrect because as the current research reveals there is no other activity more beneficial to prevention of brain aging, avoiding loss of memory and related disorders than drawing, painting, sketching, working with paint and pencil. Its unique character involves boosting brain neurons and there were suggestions that brain aging is not inevitable. How so? Brain is just as any other part of our body, yet, it contains all the vitally important tools for regulating and managing the other systems. However, it’s crucial we keep exercising our brain every day, every hour and every minute because anything in our body which is not in use deteriorates and loses flexibility, it degenerates. Drawing connects the brain function with our fine motor functions, and does even more than language: it allows expressing feelings, emotions, states of our mind, mood, our character, hidden thoughts and memories. As we draw, our hand transfers the ideas onto paper, meaning it’s a reflection of the purest mental work, conversion of one type of energy into another. That is why drawing is used in determination of our brain functions, and it would signalize earlier than any other tests whether everything is still fine, or maybe it’s time to get advice.

We need to move and exercise all our body parts, but mental exercise increases the rate at which our new brain cells survive and make functional connections to the existing networks of neurons. The more active a particular brain cell is, the more connections it develops with its neighboring neurons. That is where art classes come in: as we learn, we intensively contribute to each line we are putting down on the paper or brushstrokes. This boosts out memory cells, therefore preventing them from cell death. Activities that require using all our senses, breaking our routines and engaging in new experiences are extremely good for brain health.

Age does not matter because it is equally important to have good memory in young and even more in old age.

Creative exercises like our Fun and Pleasure acrylic painting afternoons or watercolor exercises should not be undervalued. It seems like a play or some brushing around with different colors, but, in fact, it is a very strong brain ability booster.

I can tell by my own experience: I was reading a book a day and painting or drawing every single day for about 1 hour between ages 8 and 16. I was reading systematically through everything library had to offer. That involved history, geography, art, music, science of the corresponding century and so on. No, we didn’t have internet those times back in 70-s When I moved on and started to study at the University I was only 17 because thanks to this huge reading and art, I had developed a very efficient memory. Therefore, I hardly had to study because I was able to remember up to 60 pages of text which I read through within some half an hour using the diagonal approach. I still can remember every single tough term in texts which I was writing 5 years ago. I never have to make any lists and write notes to myself. In my case, drawing and painting showed enormously positive effect on memory, cognitive function, reasoning, etc. so far.

For young children, artistic activities are as important as physical exercising, especially because they are under-using their own cognitive ability due to the overuse of mobile devices.

We are always welcoming new participants in our art classes!

Plain and simple: creativity unblocks the pathways in our brain and gives us a chance to use our hidden resources, and there are so many.

Daisy field acrylic painting winter blossoms 3 winter blossoms 9 winter blossoms 6 winter blossoms 5 winter blossoms 8 winter blossoms 94 winter blossoms 92 tulips class daisies acrylic 027

Poppies pop and red is such a great color to lift our moods

Poppies is a much-loved subject, and since November is the month which many people in Canada associate with poppies and Remembrance day, we just couldn’t resist and painted some, too. Liz is our champion when it comes to speed since she gets home after class and keeps painting, that way she is always the first one to finish her painting. Well, we are not envious because all of these paintings will be adorable.

Red must be a good color for up-lifting one’s mood because I cannot remember when else we were joking and laughing so much.

The next class is about to start, so I have to be short.

The next acrylic fun and pleasure painting afternoon is on November 22.

Poppies pop Teens watercolor painting class

Teens watercolor painting class

Teens watercolor painting class

Teen group enjoyed painting poppies a lot

Poppies pop Adult acrylic painting classes

Wednesday group

Poppies acrylic painting class

Liz is holding her finished masterpiece

Poppies pop Work in progress adult painting class

Work in progress adult painting class, Gwen at work

Poppies Adult acrylic painting class

Bev’s painting can be seen in front

Poppies acrylic painting for adults

Rose started to attend our classes this fall

Poppies Adult art classes

Gordon has developed his own style, we love it

Poppies Demo and Liz's finished work

My demo never gets done that quick because I have to paint it over and over for 2 or 3 groups, Poppies: Liz’s finished work

Poppies Painting by Liz

This is how Liz’s work looks like, however, light was not that great for pictures, real painting looks way more impressive

Poppies Art classes for adults

Gwen working on her painting: it is going to be very great piece of art

The fantastic blue and why we have to use our own art materials

This was quite a stretch. The painting itself was not complicated, and my chosen colors worked very well. I like this dreamy and fantastic blue shade, and I will paint more similar paintings using the same transitions from aqua to deep saturated blue with adding some warmer ocher, burnt sienna and soft yellow washes next time. I already have the image in mind, I mean, I can see it in my imagination. The stressful part was lack of time, just like always, and too many different things on my plate.

Since I did not paint from any photo, but improvised all the way just like I always do, this painting took quite a few versions. The last one is supposed to be the final version, but who knows, I may just adjust something yet. Oh, acrylics can dry so dark sometimes that the entire painted scene becomes different!

Blue Poetic Gardens project: many versions and steps

I like the look of work-in-progress versions side by side. This painting is not that small: 24 by 30 inches.

The Poetic Blue Garden Acrylic painting of garden path

 

Last night I had about one  free hour, and we had bought some plants for outdoors earlier in the day. This gerbera daisy looked so lovely that I thought I could definitely use some nice warm color and do it “alla prima”. Alla prima means painting from a real life in one sitting and applying wet paint layers over wet layers. It obviously works perfectly in oil and I have done numerous “primas” in watercolor, however, the process becomes much more complicated in acrylic. I don’t use extenders and mediums too much, basically I was relying only on a very fast action this time. I love painting plein-air and doing this without any preparation. That part is easy for me. I was brushing like wind, but the acrylic still wanted to get dry faster than I could apply it. I somehow managed it. It was interesting to test how fast I was able to apply paint which dries in a few minutes. I wouldn’t say the result was a masterpiece, but it was a lot of fun for sure.

Alla prima acrylic painting of gerbera

Well, the brands offered in an art store include everything: from very cheap to very expensive. The quality has been forgotten in many areas, art supplies are no different; and everything tends to become more and more useless. We cannot be sure we are getting good quality materials even when paying a lot for them.  That’s why every student should only use his or her own materials in order to see what exactly they are like.

Those people who started to paint or draw and got behind the first confusion and initial mistakes know that there is usually one brush or two brushes which we tend to use for almost anything and more often than the other ones. We also are more attracted to some colors and we simply cannot stand some others. It is extremely important we get familiar with materials we are using. We have to explore the possibilities of brushes, knives, sponges and other tools and we also have to discover our own ways of mixing up our personal favorite shades and tones. I mean, we have to learn and find out as much as we can about things we are using. Not all paints act the same way, not all mediums, fluids and varnishes create the same effect, and we are able to achieve a superb application of an unexpected color mix which suits exactly our needs only going through numerous experiments with materials and paints WHICH WE HAVE.

People take art classes for different reasons, not only because they want to acquire painting skills. I have noticed the following: the serious and devoted students never complained how expensive or out of their reach something was. If you want to make your brush your best friend and be in good terms with colors and paints, you simply have to always use your own stuff and get familiar with it. Painting with whatever brush and unknown paints can be like walking in somebody else’s shoes: the look is good and the size is right, but walking for some reason is terribly uncomfortable!