ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 12″ x 12″
Not for sale
After painting my grandfather, I wanted to create a portrait of my grandmother in a similar vein. I found a photo Alan took at her birthday party in 2012 with a neat layout and a great expression. The one drawback: the birthday cake was decorated like a giant cheeseburger. It was pretty funny in person, but for this photo it just seemed…odd.
I did a hefty amount of Photoshop work on this to make it look like a more traditional birthday cake. After digging through Creative Commons for a while, I ended up compositing two or three different cakes with a few photos of lit candles to come up with the final reference photo. From there, it was a similar process as the others, with an especially low point midway through. Got to keep on going ’til it works!
- Bad habit #1: mixing my color using the brush itself. This is problematic because I end up with way too much paint on the brush. I don’t want to clean the brush off and lose the paint, but I also usually don’t want to use so much. I go ahead and use it, and end up trying to dilute it and push it around on the canvas itself which doesn’t go well. I’ve misplaced my palette knife, so I have been mixing with the blunt end of a plastic sculpting tool.
- Bad habit #2: relying too much on water. In my studio art classes in college I used both acrylic and watercolor. The acrylic was mostly a means to an end (figure painting) so the focus was more on color, tone, and composition. The watercolor classes weren’t subject-specific and focused much more on technique, which is probably why I fall back on those methods. To use those methods with acrylic takes more patience because I’ve found that water can dilute or scrub off a dry layer of paint. I need to be better about laying down transparent levels of gloss medium to seal it as I go to avoid this.
Now that I am aware of these, I should (hopefully!) be able to avoid them next time..!