I decided a few weeks ago that I would make a painting. Not a digital painting, but a good ol' paintbrush-in-acryllic-paint painting. Here's how it went:

It started with this. I wanted to do an underwater scene. It seemed like a fairly straightforward thing to paint – relatively few details to mess around with. Here were the flat colors, as well as a display of my ultra-sophisticated horizontal four-legged artists easel (otherwise known as my dining room table) and circular ergonomic paint palette (a disposable paper plate for mixing the paints). Not shown is a cup of water and paper towels. If you decide to paint, make sure you get the paint off of your brush as soon as you don't need it any more. A paintbrush with caked on paint is no good to you any more.

It started with this. I wanted to do an underwater scene. It seemed like a fairly straightforward thing to paint – relatively few details to mess around with. Here were the flat colors, as well as a display of my ultra-sophisticated horizontal four-legged artists easel (otherwise known as my dining room table) and circular ergonomic paint palette (a disposable paper plate for mixing the paints).

Not shown is a cup of water and paper towels. If you decide to paint, make sure you get the paint off of your brush as soon as you don't need it any more. A paintbrush with caked on paint is no good to you any more.

After doing the initial flat colors, the comments from others were that the top was too green, like a grassy hill, and that the water got black too quickly. I had to agree, so I repainted the whole thing. (In digital art, this would have been accomplished with a gradient tool. Acryllic paint technology has not acquired one of those yet.)

After doing the initial flat colors, the comments from others were that the top was too green, like a grassy hill, and that the water got black too quickly. I had to agree, so I repainted the whole thing. (In digital art, this would have been accomplished with a gradient tool. Acryllic paint technology has not acquired one of those yet.)

Next, it was time to put some texture in. The water received some rays of light (known in CG art as "caustics"), and clouds were added. I'm not great with color theory, so it was a pretty bold choice for me to go as purple as I did with those clouds, but I'm glad I did. I like them. Note for acryllics... a lot of techniques can only be done well when your brush has very little paint on it and is nearly dry. Both the shading on the clouds and the light rays in the water relied on a dry brush.

Next, it was time to put some texture in. The water received some rays of light (known in CG art as "caustics"), and clouds were added. I'm not great with color theory, so it was a pretty bold choice for me to go as purple as I did with those clouds, but I'm glad I did. I like them.

Note for acryllics... a lot of techniques can only be done well when your brush has very little paint on it and is nearly dry. Both the shading on the clouds and the light rays in the water relied on a dry brush.

When I started the project on the first day, my thought was that it was the type of water that Nemo might have swam in. I even looked at Finding Nemo stuff for reference. It seemed only natural that I just try to paint them in, and now was the time to do it. Step 1 was sketching Marlin and Dory out in a sketchbook first. I needed to be confident of the pose before painting it. This was my first try, and I liked it enough that I left it at that.

When I started the project on the first day, my thought was that it was the type of water that Nemo might have swam in. I even looked at Finding Nemo stuff for reference. It seemed only natural that I just try to paint them in, and now was the time to do it.

Step 1 was sketching Marlin and Dory out in a sketchbook first. I needed to be confident of the pose before painting it. This was my first try, and I liked it enough that I left it at that.

Step 2 was to lightly sketch the two fish in pencil directly onto the painting, and Step 3 was to put the flat colors of the fish onto the picture.

Step 2 was to lightly sketch the two fish in pencil directly onto the painting, and Step 3 was to put the flat colors of the fish onto the picture.

Then, I added shading to the fish and a suitable movie quote to make the painting vaguely inspirational. And that was it! It was started and finished in 5 nights, a total of about 8 hours of work. It turned out decently, though nowhere near perfect. (The fact that I can see the imperfection in the art is probably a good sign that I'll try painting more in the near future.)

Then, I added shading to the fish and a suitable movie quote to make the painting vaguely inspirational. And that was it! It was started and finished in 5 nights, a total of about 8 hours of work. It turned out decently, though nowhere near perfect. (The fact that I can see the imperfection in the art is probably a good sign that I'll try painting more in the near future.)

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