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Painting In Acrylic

  • A Different Painting Technique

    Painting With Palette Knives

    Forget the idea that palette knives can only be used for mixing colours!

    Choose from a wide range of palette knives 

    Tips for Painting with Palette Knives

    Not only are brushes are suitable for painting – using palette knives can give an entirely different effect, and they are particularly recommended for Impasto technique.

     

    Palette knives are especially useful when you want to achieve ‘clean’, brushstroke-free surfaces. Colours applied with a knife are pure and more vibrant, and due to the range of different sizes, it’s even possible to cover larger surfaces.

     

    Painting with palette knives is more like layering paint, so it’s the perfect tool for expressive marks as well as for realistic details like waves on the sea and tree trunks.

     

    Palette knives are very useful for painting outside (plein air) as it’s not only faster to put the constantly changing scenery onto a canvas with it, but it saves time and effort as knives can just be wiped clean in order to use a new colour.

    Palette Knife Types

    regular palette knives
    • Use a short blade for angular strokes
    • Use long blades for sweeps of colour
    • Use sharp pointed blades for thin scratches and lines
    • Use round blades to avoid sharp lines
    palette knives for unique effects

    Palette Knife Painting Techniques

     

    • Scraping back the paint, revealing the previous layers is a technique called sgraffito (using the end of a brush)
    • Pressing paint onto the surface will make a good textured effect
    • Pressing the edge of the knives is used to make fine lines
    • For making ridges, press the blade flat down into the paint
    • Or simply spread paint across the canvas like butter on bread with the long side of the blade

    Watch this Demo!

     

    Examples:

    References:

    • http://thevirtualinstructor.com/knife-painting-acrylic-paint.html
    • http://www.buildart.com/secrt_of_PaletteKnifeOilPainting.htm
    • http://www.artinstructionblog.com/oil-painting-with-a-palette-knife
    • https://www.thoughtco.com/learn-how-to-paint-with-a-knife-2578778

     

  • Art Profiles: Jonathan Hood

     

    August's Artist Profile

    We were lucky enough to be able to go and speak to one of WASP Dundee’s resident artists, Jonathan Hood for the second of our Dundee art profiles.

    As always we were interested to know about the artist’s background and artistic education. Hood told us;

    “I went to college straight from school but I was very lucky because my school art teacher just encouraged me the whole way.  I remember a careers officer when I was about 17, and he said, “What is it you want to do?” and I said “I’m very much sold on the idea of going to Art College”.  And he said, “To do what?” And I said, “Drawing and painting”. And his response was, “That’s a woman’s hobby, you can’t do that. How about architecture?”  And eventually he said “We’ll compromise, I’ll put you down for art history”.  And I thought you’re not listening to me…And he wouldn’t hear me.”

    Paris and L'Ecole des Beaux Arts

    Despite this Hood did go on to Art College and studied at Duncan of Jordanstone from 1976 to 1979.  He then left his studies there to follow the route many of the worlds and history’s most famous artists have; to study in Paris.

    “That sounds all very grand and everything,” he says, “but it was basically, well, I got into L’Ecole des Beaux Arts, Paris. It was effectively a drawing class but I learned more there than I learned the whole time in Dundee. I was living along the road from the Jeu de Paume and the Pompidou centre, and all these wonderful little private art galleries dotted about the place. If you go over to the left bank in Paris, round Boulevard du Saint-Michel, Rue Saint- Antoine you’ve got all these different tiny galleries.  There were these immediate connections to things and it really blew me open.  I spent a year there and there’s some wonderful stuff.  The way that France and the French deal with painting is different. Painting is very, very much alive.”

    After this seminal experience in one of the world’s artistic capitals, Hood returned to Scotland.

    Getting Started

    “I came back 1980/81 and had a few years knocking around…trying to be a rock star at one point…that was quite good fun.  But I always painted.  At that point I was self employed and I was beginning to get noticed.  I spent a little bit of time on the dole, which is always, and was especially so in the 1980s, a very character building situation.  But there was this thing called the Enterprise Allowance Scheme so I decided to go on that and got picked up by a couple of galleries in that time and I was doing quite a lot of portraits of people’s dogs and things like that. I paint the whole animal rather than these terrible head and shoulders things.  I’d rather do the whole creature.”

    Whilst Hood attempted to establish himself, he was fortunate to be noticed by Christine Heinzel, an event which may have substantially altered his fortunes.

    “About 20 years ago, 25 years ago, Chris Heinzel walked through that door, and says “I really like your work,” and she had just opened a gallery in Aberdeen; Gallery Heinzel which is still running though it’s not run by her anymore.  One of the best galleries on the East Coast, and I took my work up and she phoned me a week later saying have you got any more?  And I said yeah, well why?  And she said we’ve sold it all….which was a bit of a shock.”

    Inspiration and Method

    It isn’t hard to see why Hood’s eye catching work has proved so popular over the course of his career.  We wanted to know a little more about how he chooses his subject matter, materials and his method.

    “I started off doing these landscapes.  I was going out just taking photographs, going out walking, and then people started appearing in them and then the people sort of took over.”

    Jonathan Hood Artist 3 take 5 - 31x31 inches

    “I use various techniques to achieve various results. Sometimes I use collage, sometimes if I can’t be bothered painting an aeroplane I’ll cut one out and stick it on.  Or taking sports photographs, ripping them up and then sticking them back together, you get all sorts of interesting different forms and shapes.  Predominantly I work in oil,”

    “Before I very rarely used acrylics, but I got started using them through a project.  I was asked if I would paint some murals in a little private zoo near Edinburgh.  Basically painting backdrops, jungle scenes, things like that and I thought why not, it seems like a good way of sort of cleansing the mind.    And I won’t really have to think too much about what’s going where or anything like that.  And that was painted in acrylic.  That got me back into that and I thought ok, I’m going to try something out on hardboard, because I prefer hardboard.  You can get great vibrant colours with acrylic.”

    Jonathan Hood Artist New Work 2015

    Spontaneous inspiration is important to subject selection in Hood’s work also.

    “One of the things that I do sometimes is I see something and I just get that click. It’s about observing and it’s about taking your time. One of the first things I was taught about when I first went to Art College was looking and observing.  And just taking in what you see in front of you, because most people will look at that and say what colour is that wall, well white, but there’s actually all sorts of different things you can be trained to see that aren’t immediately obvious.”

    The Future of Art

    We asked Hood about what he thinks prevents people from getting into or involved with art?

    “There’s a lot of fear surrounds art now.  A lot of people seem to feel it’s far too far above them, or they don’t understand it.”

    We asked about what advise Hood would give to those about to embark on an artistic career, the response was practical but ominous.

    “Students are not taught anything practical at college these days.  We used to have a class, materials and methods.  And we were taught how to make rabbit glue, we were taught how to make varnishes, you were taught how to make your own primer, prepare your own ground, chalk and gesso and so on. These skills are disappearing fast.  I come from a time when we’d spend hours in the dark room processing large black and white prints.  People don’t sit in a dark room breathing fumes anymore, it’s all digital.  These skills are disappearing, and at our peril.”

    Fiona MacHugh

     

    Jonathan Hood regularly exhibits work in various galleries including the Sun Gallery, Newburgh, Scotland, the Eduardo Allessandro Gallery, Broughty Ferry Scotland,  Abiergo Casanova Gallery,Lucca Italy, Jeanne o Contemporain 2012 Orleans, France and the Laurel Gallery, Stockbridge, Edinburgh, Scotland.

     He welcomes visitors to his WASPS studio during working hours or by appointment, contact: Studio 201, Meadowmill, W. Henderson Wynd, Dundee, DD1 5BY

    Tel:  0772 933 1250

    You can also follow his work on his Facebook page: www.facebook.com/jonathanhoodartist

     

  • Wonderful Rainbow Artwork

    Research for Inspiration

    I have been researching the last few days for business, looking for new ways to help with our business and, all the while doing so I have had the joy finding many talented designers, artists, textile designers and more. I find this part of business to be exciting and fun,  as it really helps to see what other artists are up to out there around the world, and seeing their unique way of creating.

    Having been to art college and studying textiles I am like a sponge soaking up all the beautiful, colourful and unique works of like minded people. I look at someones work and think, "I could do that". It really urges me to want to go create but, in reality I just do not have the time to create (well I do to be quite truthful but, having two kids, a house to tend to and business to attend to every day I am far too tired to even think of creating. I get as far as "ohhh I really like that crafty make or painting and, just have to go create myself" but, never do it. Time is precious and I am now beginning to realise that any little time to create will be all the worthwhile.

    Anyway, as I was looking through the newsfeed of facebook I found the wonderful rainbow artwork of the artist, Jane Donaldson.

    jane donaldson 1

    jane donaldson 2

    Meet Jane Donaldson

    Janes art is somewhat different in style as has a beautiful whimsical feel to it and her chosen subject is natural with lots of pattern and rainbows of vivid and intense colour. The artist works with ink & watercolours mainly but, also uses acrylics and, creates gorgeous paintings on canvas of more abstract work. You can view her amazing brightly coloured paintings on her website. Some of her work is just below though to give you an insight into her artworld. Quirky, fun and truly amazing paintings. Her art portrays whimsical observations of human behaviour, relationships with one self and others and, the place we call home. Many of Janes’ paintings draw inspiration from life events or musings about her very own life and, somewhat become all about her life, like an autobiography but just through paint and expression. Her work is characterized by tales enriched through the artists imagination and dreams. Her main focus is on colour and does so through her fascination with the human face.

    JANE DONALDSON 3

    JANE DONALDSON 4

    Jane started painting in 2008 but was exposed to art through her family having been to many exhibitions and seeing art of true artists. Her family encouraged expressive art and, this we can see in her paintings. her work has flourished from being a stay at home mum to exhibiting in private collections and commissioned throughout eastern states of Austrailia.

  • Artist's I Love

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

    It is lovely to be able to come into work (in our home office) and actually find a little time to browse online at other new artist's and see what they are exhibiting currently. Nothing brings us more pleasure than to see other artist's paintings and being able to share with other artist's. It is great that we can find inspiration from others and to be able to get out and visit their exhibitions if we can.

    As I enjoy my mug of hot coffee I have found this website with a variety of artist's where you can read a bit about what they do and where they grew up, along with examples of their work.

    Modern British Art

    www.hatchgallery.co.uk is a gallery based in Bournemouth, Dorset, where they specialise in contemporary British Art. One of the talented artists' I stumbled upon is Alison Dickson. Alison grew up in Enniskillen, Nothern Ireland, and lives in Edinburgh with her husband and daughter. She paints beautiful textured paintings using layers of paint and then scratches into them using skewers, knives and anything to hand to create her textured dynamic paintings of harbours, boats and her stuill life paintings also. You can visit her website on the link  http://www.alisondickson.com/abouttheartist.html to read more about her and see her work.

    One of her paintings which I have just completely "fallen in love with" is below. This painting is called "Seabreeze" which is an acrylic on canvas painting. I really LOVE her good use of colour, lovely and fresh and breezy and, has a lovely calming feel to it. I feel almost inclined to walk down onto the beach as I look at this and, feel rather compelled to sit and read a good Rosamunde Pilcher book on this scene - I think The Shell Seekers would be a good choice as fits the bill with this tranquil painting. I would be very happy reading a Rosamunde Pilcher novel on this beach. Haha....x There is something very therapeutic in this painting and I think it is the freshness of the hues of colours used.

    Alison Dickson

    Seaside Paintings

    Alison also paints really unusual and delightful boats and harbours which I also adore. The one shown below is called "harbour by Moonlight" acrylics on canvas. I like the quirkiness of this and the beautiful; blues and greens she has used in the painting. The use of white and cream lighten the whole painting up and adds that beautiful freshness to the painting like all her other paintings.

    Alison Dickson-2

    Alison Dickson is currently exhibiting her paintings at Culross Pottery & Gallery, Culross, Fife and also at Porto & Fi on the Mound,
    Edinburgh. Why not take a drive out and visit and look at Alisons' beautiful therapeutic talented paintings amongst many other artist's work. You can enjoy their delicious  locally roasted coffee, home made cakes and snacks in the Biscuit Cafe on your visit there. Everyone enjoys being able to enjoy a nice mug of something with a slice of cake after a nosey about of the current art world.

  • Painting in Progress

    "Painting In Progress"

    I started this new painting a couple of weeks ago while at home. I brought the canvas over to work so that I could work on it on my creative day. I have created this from imagination and have been really enjoying painting this. Again I have been using the Amsterdam acrylic paints but this time have managed to avoid using the beautiful Rembrandt Pearlescent acrylic paints (an obsession I have with these paints). I have to admit though my painting has not gone to how I planned it to look but, I am happy with it and have enjoyed creating the foreground of the foxgloves - an impression of them anyway. A palette knife was used for the foxgloves and i splattered on the white highlights from it too., but in a delicate way. I am not sure though wheteher to add in some more of these or not but I think what with my poppies it might be ok. If I go on I may overpaint them, which can be easily done.

    I then somehow found myself beginning to paint a small portion of the sea in the horizon, making it look as if thne tide is coming in; this I am delighted with as I enjoyed painting this with a Rembrandt oil/acrylic brush and just being able to feel the smoothness of the paint and seeing the blue and while blend nicely was very therapeutic. It took time to paint but, feel I have captured the sea well here.  I think it is great that you do not have to restrict yourself to using the one material to paint on with and being able to use different tools to capture different textures. The one part I am not totally happy with is my boat. This I am going to fix as it sticks out like a sore thumb and just does not work with the rest of the painting. I am thinking of possibly going over the horizontal blue line with a more prominent and dark blue and, move the base of the boat up. I welcome your ideas and advice on this if you have any? And do you think I should add more foxgloves in or not?

    20130917_124351 20130917_125723 20130917_145838 20130917_145708 20130917_150114

    Above from Left; Studio, Close up of foxgloves, Close up of the foreground, painting on easel

    Below; my Amsterdam acrylic paints and my set up in studio

    20130917_130006

  • Landscape

    Landscape in Acrylic

    Recently I have started this new painting. This is a work in progress where  I am trying to be more expressive - but proving difficult as I am a painter of detail but, hopefully as time goes on working on it I will find my hand loosening up that bit more.

    new painting landscape

    I love painting landscapes, seascapes and flowers and, thought it would be lovely to experiment a little by being slightly different with my approach however, it is not as easy as I thought it would be to be different in my style of painting. But sometimes it is fun experimenting and trying something new.  I started by painting the sand of a beach but, I am not completely happy with it then, moved on to painting the sky using the Amsterdam acrylic colours; turquoise blue  no.522 and sky blue light no.551 with titanium white no.105 and a little Naples yellow deep no.223 - some of which is mixed in with a little gel medium glossy to add a little bit of texture. I dripped the acrylic paint on from the top of the canvas then went over it with a palette knife creating textures and lovely smooth and sharp shapes. On the beach itself I seem to have created an interesting horizontal line so will try and work with that within the painting itself - just not entirely sure what to do with it. I would like to create expressive flowers in the foreground to add depth to my painting and texture too.

    new painting landscape 2

    Feeling very inspired by the artist Amanda Hoskin. An example of her work is shown below, just indicates how much of an expressive feeling she has created in her foreground of flowers. which is what I would like to achieve but, not entirely sure that I will. Keep watching for the finished painting to be uploaded.

    hot_summers_day

  • Basic Painting Tips: Abstract Art painting by Peter Dranitsin

    Learn Abstract Art

    I came across this painting video and thought I would share it with everyone here as he has some great tips and tricks.  Here is what the Mr. Peter Dranitsin said himself:

    Acrylic paintings and techniques have the advantage over other media in that they are long-lasting, yet less costly than oil paintings. Oil and pastels for paintings have drawbacks, pastels being more ephemeral and possibly giving rise to breathing issues due to their chalk residue, and oils for the length of time needed to dry being quite lengthy, perhaps up to months' worth of drying time, as well as the turpentine fumes being bothersome to many. Acrylic paintings are synthetic paint made from pigments blended with synthetic materials. They are water-soluble and can be used on a large range of surfaces; they can be mixed as can oil paints and they clean up easily. In an indoor studio, their smell is less overwhelming than is an oil-based paint.

    While many artists choose oils because of their opacity, the translucent quality of arcrylic paintings and techniques lend themselves to underpainting, that is, applying a monotone of sorts as a primer. Some artists prefer umber with a touch of black, or even umber mixed with ultramarine blue, after which primary mixing all are mixed with white. Generally, the underpainting is applied in glazes or very thin brushstrokes; when the artist feels comfortable with the underpainting, then the 'fun part' begins, the detailing of the final look of the painting. Why do underpainting? Because the depth and luminosity of color is increased, bringing an inner glow to the finished product. Any self-respecting artist will want the optimal outcome for his hard work.

     

    I hope you can actually get some value out of this as I always like to see other techniques.  Let me know what you think.

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