In Lesson 3 we start to play with our paint, which is always the fun part! We will create a test page that explores the acrylic paint quality of transparency and opacity. This is a practical lesson that will help you to chose the best paint options when you go to start a new project.
I also touch on the idea of "cool" or "warm" bias of paint. We will circle back to this quality of the acrylic paint in a later lesson.
Below is the worksheet with all the measurements to create your own chart for this lesson.
Subscribe on Youtube to keep up to date with the latest of my Acrylic Painting 101 class. There are a number of videos to come yet. It is a fairly comprehensive beginner acrylic painting course.
All about reading our Paint Tubes this week!
This is a very short lesson. I discovered over the years that knowing what information is on your paint tubes helps to save money! It helps to know if the paint is made with one pigment or multiple pigments. When mixing paint the more pigments the more complex it is. I try to keep to working with single pigment paint colours, tho there are some exceptions. The one exception is Alizarin Crimson Permanent Hue. I did a test on the various options and chose to use the brand Liquitex for this pigment.
Subscribe on Youtube to keep up to date with the latest of my Acrylic Painting 101 class. There are a number of videos to come yet. It is a fairly comprehensive course.
Lesson 1 - Terms & Hue, Value & Chroma
Like every single medium there is consistent language that is regularly used to share ideas and concepts. Acrylic painting is not an exception. In this video I go through the basic terminology that artists use to communicate with. This is language that I used through out the whole course and beyond. As well, I do a quick demonstration of the 3 elements of Colour: Hue, Value & Chroma. Find the link to download the handout for this lesson below.
This is a class that is designed for absolute beginners. Someone like you, who might have gone to an acrylic paint night (pre-covid or post-covid) where you had such a great time that it sparked a deeper interested in learning to paint. Or you might be like me, who wanted to do acrylic painting for a long time but it took a while to get brave enough to to even attempt. I was unsure even where to start and mistakenly spent money for supplies that I ultimately never used and had to get rid of after I actually started painting. I hope that this video will save you both time and money.
Over the years I have taught this class many times. Each time I go back through and tweak each lesson to contain the most up to date information that I have learned. This course is not exception. Below is an image from way back in 2015 when I began to teach this class here in Yellowknife NWT until all our lives were all so rudely interrupted in 2020.
Below is the video for this week. I go through some of the supplies you will need. I also show you the difference between the various acrylic paints and explain the differences between acrylic paint consistencies that you will find at the store. I share some of my favourite paint brushes, metal palette knifes, masonite boards and so forth.
Let's begin right now with the supplies that you're going to need to be successful with this class!
This week I learned the results of the 2020 Signature Status application that I did at the end of February with the Federation of Canadian Artists. I am honoured and thrilled to have earned my Senior status (SFCA). :) The young woman who called to tell me that was very thrilled for me and she told me that I accomplished something unusual…I bypassed the first level and went directly to the highest level for their organization. She said that doesn’t happen very often.
The other notable thing is that I am the very first artist from the Northwest Territories to receive Senior Signature Status with the Federation of Canadian Artists!!! How cool is that! Totally.
I started this process 4 years ago. There is a very developed process to be able to earn the Signature Status with this Canadian arts organization , which was founded in 1941 by a group of professional Canadian Artists including: Lawren Harris, Arthur Lismer, and A.Y. Jackson from the Group of Seven. :)
I have worked hard to create works that would be accepted into whatever the eclectic theme of the show was. The first painting that got accepted was for the 2016 from Life show was 'Castle Dragon'. I was over the moon to be accepted. I set up this painting which I painted directly from life when we were living in a very small apartment and I had an exceedingly small room to paint in. Kinetic sand was a revelation! :)
Over the next number of years I had more paintings rejected than accepted. :) But I finally made the 7 juried Qualifying Exhibitions. Below are the successful juried paintings. Can you see my skill progression?
For the Signature Status application I had to enter 10 images to be screened in. I chose to focus in on my bird paintings in acrylic. My flowers are strong but watercolour paintings require framing and are so much harder to ship. Of the 10 paintings, they required that 3 paintings be created in a small series to be physically sent to FCA.
I chose to do one of my favourite birds - Yellow Warblers. I spend a lot of time in the spring and summer doing bird photography. I realized to create cohesive series that I needed images that had the same kind of light. Thankfully I found these three images to work from that I captured on the same day but different parts of Niven Lake here in Yellowknife.
The next decision seemed to be what size. Do I do them all the same? Or do I do them different sizes? How can I unify the paintings beyond the subject matter?
I chose to have all the paintings be 16 inches tall. Each cradled board would be the same height. I think that this was another interesting element to the paintings. I lined up the boards right beside each other and did the background at the same time with it lighter at the top to slightly darker at the bottom. I think this also connected each piece to the other.
I found that working in series requires a very different thought process and was an interesting challenge. :) I started these paintings near the end of January and finished the last one just hours before the deadline at the end of February. It was nip and tuck whether I would make it. Thankfully Vancouver is an hour behind us. That was helpful. I had everything uploaded and paid for just 1.5 hours before the deadline. :)
A BIG CONGRATULATIONS to the 33 other artists who also were successful earning their Signature Status! Check out the on-line show aptly named SUCCESS here!
So far I have done 19 days. Some of the themes has been 'How I got Started', 'Tools I Use', 'Studio Space', 'Courageous Moment', and todays post is 'Newest Work'.
It has been an interesting exploration of my artistic career over the past 25 or so years. Some of the photos (like the one below) are from the late 1990's.
So you can see my work started out very simply. I was learning to draw, how to dye fabric, and how to create compositions. This particular piece is at my parent's home. My Dad actually complained about how bad the mosquitos were. And, if you knew my Dad you would know that was highly unusual. He can be outside working in all kinds of conditions and with all kinds of bugs for hours on end. So if my Dad was complaining it meant that the mosquitos were beyond intolerable. So I made a quilt for my first show and gave it to my Dad as a reminder of last time the mosquitos were abundant.
This piece was later in my textile art career. It is part of a 5 part series called "She's Coming Undone" that I did . This one represents the period of time in which she is starting to heal, she is looking towards the new possibilities of life though her feet are still on the path she was on...she is at a crossroad and she has some decisions to make. Does she continue on the same path that brought her to this point of crisis in the first place or does she follow the rainbow hopeful new path that is unknown and veiled and somewhat frightening? Change for human beings is really hard. We like to understand what to expect even if it is difficult and repetitive and we don't want to be working so hard to alter our perceptions and ways of reacting. I know people who continued to smoke even after a cancer diagnosis, or remarried a person who was comfortably like the one before, or whatever the crisis was whether it be health, relationship, work related by continuing on in similar ways so as to be comfortable and not do the intense work of change. But what if there is small changes that can bring sufficiently new ways of perceiving the world in ways that are helpful and can provide a enough of a deviation not to fall back completely into what precipitated the crisis in the first place.
Yes I spent a lot of time creating work that looked at various life difficulties with my art quilts. I loved the challenge of these works.
Above was my last art quilt that I created in 2013. You can see the influence of learning how to paint had created an impact to my quilting work. I now understood how to build layers of value from dark to light to create the illusion of form. Fabric that looks like plastic bags...that was a challenge to create and I think I did pretty well. :)
I hope you will stop by Instagram (Click HERE) and check out the April challenge days. I still have 11 more days to go.
Thanks for stopping by on this sunny spring day. For those who celebrate Easter I wish you a Happy Easter!
So a couple of weeks ago I was getting ready to drive to Edmonton for a friends/family visit. On Saturday night I received an order for three canvas prints and it was heading to Edmonton too. Normally it take a week to 10 days but i thought I would ask the local company 'Signed' owner Janet if she could get them done by Tuesday afternoon...and she said 'Yes'.
I picked them up Tuesday afternoon, wrapped them up and then called Sherry who ordered them to see if she would be around on Sunday afternoon. It was so fun to hand deliver the prints and get to meet Sherry.
Thank you for the order and for the lovely visit Sherry! I can't wait to see where you hang them. :)
I have started a 100x100cm (40x40in) painting of a Great Grey owl. More on that next week. See you next Friday. Have a wonderful weekend and I hope spring is springing where you are. Thanks for dropping by.
Explaining my art in just a few seconds is not easy. Every artist needs to figure out what is called an “elevator” pitch. How can I hook someone in a very short period of time so that they will be interested enough to go and check out my paintings? It is not so easy to do.
Part of my challenge is that I like to paint such a variety of themes. Flowers, birds and still-life’s make the top of my lists…but other topics sneak in randomly.
It took me awhile to codify my watercolour flower paintings to I ‘paint summer sunshine all winter long’ (as winter is very long in Yellowknife). I think that works quite well to explain in a simple way what painting flowers make me feel like. I am quite happy with that.
Now birds are relatively new to my painting life and I have yet to come up with that perfect phrase that captures how I feel about painting these amazing creatures. I love their antics and how sometimes we don't even notice them around us as they go forth creating new life and living their lives.
Maybe you can help me to find the perfect phrase to explain my bird paintings. Check out more bird paintings HERE and comment below what strikes you when you first look at them.
Thanks for dropping by. See you next week Friday.
A number of my watercolour flower paintings have collectors who lived far away! This painting called 'Grandma’s Garden' was transplanted to Nova Scotia! I love the frame and matting. I love how each person makes the painting their own with the framing and matting choices.
I do my watercolour paintings on 140lb Arches cold press paper which allows the painting to be carefully rolled for shipping. I can ship paintings anywhere in the world in a tube. Makes transplanting my watercolour paintings so much simpler.
Now the frame that this painting was displayed in is needing to be filled at Visual Effects with another pretty flower painting. Watch for that in the next few weeks. Still working on the commission. Got a bit stuck with it but I have figured my way around it.
Below is the step by step process I do to get to the final painting. I layer very pale washes until the value is correct on each petal. The lighter the petal the more careful I have to be and often they take more layers to get to where I want them to be. This painting I did the background last...which is different than I normally do. But it works.
Thanks for stopping by. See you next week.
A year ago I just took a deep breath and entered two paintings into the Richeson75 Still Life and Floral. Much to my amazement one of my paintings was juried into the show. So this year i go over to enter and look what I found!
The letter R is my flower! Wow. Wow. Wow. So amazing. :) Sometimes being brave has its rewards.
Lol I entered again this year but I will tell you that I have no expectation to be juried in. I think last year was just an aberration.
Thanks for stopping by on a Saturday! I just had to share and it couldn't wait until Friday.
Yellowknife watercolour and acrylic artist Shawna Lampi-Legaree’s latest venture can best be summarized as capturing moments of beauty from the world around her.
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