Another Month Away - Painting, Week 1

 I decided to embark on painting and Tableau and running hobbies, which kept me busy. Sadly, due to painting "class", a GI issue that curtailed running, and Tableau being done for work, I kept thinking "Well, the next update will be great and I'll have something to share!"

I have things to share all right. It turns I'm not a great painter, but also that sometimes community classes don't have great instructors! I took a painting class at a nearby art center that offered painting classes, pottery classes and jewelry classes, as well as yoga and a few other classes aimed at small children. While I didn't learn much beyond I am not a good painter, I did enjoy having a space to go paint, and signed up for an annual membership for the open studio times.

The class materials were:

2 canvases, 16" by 20"

3 canvas panels

Assortment of brushes

Acrylic Paint Colors: 

• Cadmium Red

• Cadmium Yellow

• Pthalo Blue

• Ultramarine Blue

• Burnt Umber

• Titanium White

• Alizarin Crimson

• Lemon Yellow (Hansa)

• Permanent Green


So, I found those colors, assumed the canvas panels were the same size as the canvases and bought a pack of brushes. I assumed the first class, we would do some sort of color mixing or brush stroke exercise, and paint along with the instructor.

Nope. Week 1: "Paint a color wheel! You only need three colors to make all the colors. Well, I guess you have to add white eventually."

Uh, ok.


"Now, go paint either still life or from a photo you like."

That's it? Just... go to it? Do I use my canvas panel or my canvas? Have I picked the right brushes? What photo should I choose? Are we really not going to go through rudimentary exercises, like how to efficiently put paint on a canvas or use our brushes or water down paint or color mixing?

Nope. Oooookay. I googled "Easy Acrylic Painting" to find something to paint.


Uhhhh, okay, this. It has grass, a tree, the sun and some clouds. That can't be too bad, right? The instructor walks around to each student and says something about the value of colors. He walks back to the front of the studio to show his painting of a golf course.

"I always put paint down on my canvas to tone it. Never have that white canvas showing! Here, I've covered my canvas with yellow."

Oh, okay. I'll mix a dull yellow and put it on the canvas, then start on the grass and sky, then it'll be time to clean up. 

Here's my canvas panel at the end of week 1:


Honestly, kind of a mess. But, not a big deal, it was only class number one. It'll get better when I learn how to mix paint and use brushes. Right?

Week 2

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