FoC Project – First Foray

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So far my new flow on consciousness project is going great! I went to Michael’s and spent about forty-five minutes in the painting aisle to try to figure out what I wanted to get. I have no idea what any of these things are for – except that I’m pretty sure the brush is the thing you hold and the paint is what goes on the… canvas? Yeah. That’s the extent of my knowledge.

I knew I had a few options for kind of paint, and I knew I did not want to do watercolor. I am not really a fan. I wanted something thick that produced vivid color. I picked up some guide and it explained the different types of paint. I decided to go with Acrylic because it is water-soluble – seemed like a safe bet for a beginner. There were a hundred different tubes of color and I felt completely lost. I then noticed a “starter kit” and took a loot. It included a few paper boards to paint on, six different tubes of acrylic color, a set of brushes, some paint knives, and an easel. After much deliberation I decided to get it because it was a great value. I also picked up another more complete set of brushes that were on sale.

I came home and set everything up. Check it out:

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So, I went about trying to mix some color. I know nothing about mixing color, except from the Barney song… when you mix red and yellow you get purple! Love that song. I mixed some red and blue… and got this really weird dark brownish mauve color. Not the results I was expecting. (The art teacher that runs a figuring drawing workshop where I model explained this to me. If the red is a warm tone and the blue is a cold tone, it will produce mauve. Similar if it is a cool red and warm blue. They have to be the same temperature to get purple.)

Nevertheless, I went about making some random strokes on the page. I liked the fan brush a lot, and I was able to create these streaks and blotches of color. Then I realized I liked it when they all went straight and perpendicular to one another. So, I went about doing this over and over again in layers with different colors. I continued to experiment with what color combinations produced what results… after the red/blue fiasco I figured I couldn’t guarantee that yellow and red make orange.

At the end I painted a big question mark, mostly because I thought it would be interesting but also so I could see how I did with painting in a straight line or at least a purposeful on. That takes more patience and a steady hand… can’t hurry. Gotta be gentle. At least I do, but then again I tend to do everything with too much force.

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Interestingly enough, this background reminds me a lot of a couch I used to have. I didn’t realize that was what I painted until it was done. Strange. Oh – and I was listening to the Yo Yo Ma Pandora station.

After that, I switched up the music to a Habib Koite Pandora station – a funky mix of African songs. I started with what I wanted to be pink but came out kind of salmon (just from red and white, sheesh) and a light orange color. After that, I painted some triangles because I wanted to see how my shapes looked. Man – corners are difficult! Perhaps I am doing it all wrong, but you can’t get sharp corners drawing like you would with a pencil. After the triangles, I wanted triangles around those triangles. Then I drew some red raindrops, but those didn’t look much like raindrops so I made them into bombs. After that I did some of the previous technique with the fan brush in black across the front. Last, I wrote tell me to see how my writing looked (not great) and also for a dark element. Here’s the final product:

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Then, this morning, I wanted to paint some more. This time I painted a landscape – green spiky grass and a silly-looking tree and a blue sky that faded into night at the top of the canvas with some stretchy blue clouds. Then, I tried to make a sunset and destroyed it. So, I just dipped my brush in water and swirled it all around the canvas. All the paint watered down slightly and blended together, making an interesting color. After that, I just played around with brush strokes on the page. I experimented with a lot of amounts of paint and different kind of strokes. Layers and layers of different lines. This is what it looked like when I finished painting:

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I really love the parts where the paint is thicker and creates a textured look. I think I may pick up some thicker paint or spackle and play around with texturizing either before I paint or while I am painting. Unfortunately, the finished product is not at all like when it was wet. I think this must be because this paint is listed as either opaque or translucent… and the translucent paint behaves that way because when the water evaporates there is not as much pigment. I think. Anyway, when I came home a few hours later, this is what it looked like:

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Needless to say that is not what I wanted. Perhaps I will also experiment with painting similar designs on top of it now that it is dry. Maybe that is the trick.

So, I am looking forward to lots of experimentation. Different materials – different kinds of paint – etc. I am actually thinking watercolors might not be so bad. I am also seeing paintings for technique and style. I wonder – what if I covered a canvas with different lines of masking tape and then colored inside the part of the canvas without tape on it? What a cool way to get different lines and bizarre shapes! I’d also love to try blending the paint directly on the canvas as opposed to on the mixing tray. I bet I could get some cool designs that way!

Very excited about this new creative experience!

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