Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Landscape painting in acrylic

Landscapes are one of my favorite things to paint because, well, most people like them. Sometimes as an artist it is easy to get caught up in "your vision" and forget that your ultimate goal is to find someone that wants to put your art on their wall. Much of the population likes clean, organized and well thought out art that they can enjoy looking at for at least a few years. Plus, after doing a few of them you will be busting them out at warp speed, making it easier to part with them for less.

Landscape painting doesn't have to be boring. There are of ways to make them look interesting. You could make the wind look like it is blowing really hard like the above picture (actually a seascape) or do a painting with something on fire. The normal tranquil lake in a forest scene works well too.

What ever scene you decide to paint there are few tricks that will save you tons of time.

1) Paint the background first!
Classic rookie mistake is to jump right into the meat of the painting which is usually located in the middle ground or foreground. Painting anything but the background first is going to leave you spending hours of time painting around everything you foolishly painted first. Paint the background, let it dry , then start on the rest of the image.

2) Paint in layers.
This goes right along with painting the background first. Paint all following "Layers" of the painting as you perceive them getting closer. That means that all objects in the foreground should be painted last and vice versa.

3) Experiment with a wide variety of tools.
Brushes in all their variety, sponges, rollers, palate knives, straight edges, virtually anything can be used to apply paint. Try them all to see what they do. Some will be major time savers or give you an effect you could not have done yourself. You can even scratch through layers of wet paint reveling what is below or let it dry and sand through it. Go crazy!

4) Don't paint super tight.
Expressionistic paintings are really one of the coolest paintings to look at. From a few feet away they look like a 4th grader painted them. From 15 -20 feet away they look photographic. Stay loose and you will probably master that effect. It helps to get some distance on your painting every now and then by walking away and seeing how it looks from afar.

5) Use photographs.
They are quick and easy and you will have all the time you need to do your stuff. Not that you shouldn't go paint from life, Its just more likely you will get a sunburn. Use a projector if you have one. (after you paint the background) This isn't about drawing after all its about painting.

6) Mix colors.
No one likes to see colors straight from the tube. They are super boring. Mix your paints and make a color that has never been seen before! Really!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

My art car

The art car is one of my favorite forms of art expression. I like them because they are literally traveling museums. They tell the world that you are an artist no matter where you go. There are even huge festivals for art car enthusiasts.

I made my art car from a 1994 ford ranger. Most art cars are made from older vehicles for reasons I'm sure you can guess. My car had a horrible red and green paint job as seen in the picture. I decided to make my ugly car into a beautiful desert storm military vehicle. The upside-down "V" on the side was used on humvee's in the Desert Storm War so that the U.S. would not fire on its own vehicles. The "V" stands for victory. (All of the "V" information was provided by a friend of mine that served in the war.)

Other special features and future plans for my art car:
The picture doesn't show the details but I have popped rivets all along the body, hood and camper to imitate armor. This was a long process as rivets have to have a hole to go into before the rivet can be set. So I had to drill tons of holes before beginning the difficult task of riveting.

The custom flat khaki paint job was no small task either. It took several hours of masking windows before I began the difficult task of using spray paint to cover the entire surface of the car. Before spraying the car I had to sand the existing clear coat to make sure the paint would stick. Since the rivets were exposed aluminum I had to spray them with a primer.

I also painted all the chrome surfaces which was a process in itself. Painting the chrome rims and bumpers required me to sand them, spray them with a special etch primer then paint them khaki. The entire paint job took 8 cans of spray paint and two cans of primer.

Along the body there are custom stencils I painted using spray paint. This required some time as I had to make sure the stencils were level and properly spaced.

The Inside cab is next on the to-do list. I want to customize all the interior to match the grungy military style. I currently have installed a CB radio and have camo seat covers. I also plan to add bullet holes (not from a real gun) and a smallish dragon to the front of each side. I want to add areas that look like they have taken some damage as well.

So get out there and make your clunker into a masterpiece!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Pop Art Style

The pop art repeating image always makes for a fun and interesting art piece. Here are some student samples from when I was student teaching. These paintings make great beginning art assignments because advanced drawing skills are not required Drawing is usually the lesson where young artists get discouraged.

To make your own pop art painting you only need to draw your image one time. After that you can simply use a piece of graphite paper to copy the image over and over in the different squares. Once the drawings are in place it is time to start painting. Make sure to use some of the same colors throughout the painting to help move the viewer's eye around the piece going from similar to similar.