Reflection on Part 1

palette-knife2As a relative newcomer to painting with acrylics I feel I’ve already learnt a tremendous amount. The basic exercises were extremely useful, particularly the difference between opaque and transparent techniques, and how different coloured grounds can be used. I’ve also now begun to understand that the brushstrokes used contribute enormously to the overall success or otherwise of a painting.

One of the most valuable outcomes of Part 1 is that I’m now seeing more when I looked at other’s artists’ work. I find myself making a mental note of the brushstrokes, ground colours and the use of transparent and opaque paint. I became particularly aware of this new level of observation and understanding when visiting the Richard Diebenkorn exhibition at the Royal Academy.

Some things I feel I need to be aware of and focus on as I go forward with Part 2 include:

  • Continue to explore different brush strokes and improve my blending and mixing of colours. I still feel very much a novice in these respects.
  • Consider how I can make better use of light and shadow in my paintings.
  • Have an open eye for how composition can be improved… experiment with composition before embarking on the painting.
  • Understand that an acrylic painting doesn’t get finished in one session – setting my work aside and coming back to it a few days or a week later will allow me to see it with fresh eyes and make improvements. Of course knowing when to stop is also critical!
  • Make more time for the course reading list. I’ve so far worked my way through This is Modern Art which I enjoyed because of its open interpretation of what is art and free licence to think what you will.
  • Think ahead and be prepared… be on the look out for suitable subjects for future exercises, have several boards prepared, make sure I’ve got adequate supplies of paint in and stop wasting so much paint!

I enjoyed Part 1 and I’m looking forward to Part 2 even though it looks considerably more challenging…

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