Author: horsenettle

Sketch Endeavour

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Artist Andrew Tischler posted a challenge for artists to improve their drawing skills by sketching every day. His video is inspiring–he’s already so accomplished and yet he’s sketching for two hours every day!

I can hardly find two hours, but I can find fifteen to twenty minutes now and then to practice. I’m using a Stillman & Birn multimedia sketchbook and either my Blackwing pencils or a lead holder with a 2B lead.

We’ll see where it takes me.

Days 1 and 2:

Days 3-4:

Two Pete Paintings

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Both using Golden High Flow Acrylics on Strathmore 400 acrylic paper.

I experimented with painting one on a golden background and the other with a gray underpainting. Both methods created unusual effects. The golden background definitely made the painting bright and crisp. The gray underpainting looked nearly done on its own. I added several layers of paint, but I’ve learned to test colors first for transparency as some of the shadows were blotted out and needed repainting.

Curious Squirrel

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This cutie was studying my neighbors when I snapped its picture. I used a second reference photo of a field of weeds for the background.

Golden High Flow Acrylics can be used much like watercolor, so there’s a comfortable familiarity for me. They’re great for glazing. I love the glow that appears when a layer of Nickel Azo Gold is brushed over pretty much any other color. I’m struggling with detail, though. I either overdo it with a bold color or wash everything out with too much white. For this one, I ended up using some colored pencil for the finer lines.

I used a watercolor canvas board for this tiny 5″x7″ painting. Next, I’ll try these acrylics on paper.

Golden High Flow Acrylics

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I tried acrylics for the first time, using a very liquidy type called Golden High Flow. They’re the consistency of ink yet extremely saturated with pigment. They called out to me because of their permanent and lightfast qualities, plus finished artwork doesn’t have to be placed behind glass.

I attempted to paint with them like watercolors, but they were far too vivid. I had trouble keeping paint in my palette and not making a mess, too. So, I bought some empty paint markers, filled them with paint, and used a damp brush for blending. This works best on a gessoed surface or something that doesn’t absorb quickly or you’ll get dark lines from the markers.

I overpainted my test piece. When I look back at it in an earlier stage, I think I like it better, except I’m fond of the little dragonflies I made from stray dots in the finished piece.