Art Class (Acrylics): Day One

So I started taking this art class (every Wednesday night for 4 weeks), and I thought I would do a mini-blog series about what I am learning. Obviously I won’t really be sharing a lot of the actual technique, but rather sharing my experience.

DAY ONE: July 5, 2017

Work was fairly busy today, and I got through it with the [very effective] combo of hazelnut coffee and frequent reminders that I would be starting this art class after work.

I took off as soon as 5:30 hit, and drove up blasting the Secret Garden soundtrack (since I’m cool as heck and that shit gets me inspired). I devoured a bowl of curry rice in my car that I’d heated up before leaving work, and changed into some denim shorts and an old t-shirt before walking into the class.

I was pretty early, so I sat down at one of three free tables, twiddling my thumbs and checking my phone. Shortly, the tables filled (with all females, of course), almost perfectly segregated by age. I was at the 18-25 table (my rough estimate). Love when that happens.. like in kindergarten when the room forms this perfect yet natural division by gender.

So, the class begins, and my teacher is essentially exactly what one might expect… And bore a freakish resemblance to my grade 6 art teacher (plus ten years and a shorter hair cut). She was one of those free-spirited, artsy women in their late 50s, and had the perfect art teacher voice – soothing with a quirky sense of vocabulary.

We started by learning some technique and just listened to her talk, and then got into an exercise where we painted a monochromatic ice cream picture with gouache and then played around with colour using a translucent glazy palmer (which totally ruined my originally not-so-bad monochromatic piece).

Moral of the story: acrylics are very pigmented and honestly more difficult to work with than I thought. But, this was just one technique.. maybe gouache is not my thing. We’ll see if next week’s class is better..

Tokens of wisdom:

  • Practice. Your first layer is not your last layer with acrylics (meaning, it’s a working progress… be patient, play around.)
  • You will probably suck at first., In fact, you will. It’s inevitable. But this is the time to EXPERIMENT! See what techniques you like, what brushes (soft or hard), what mediums, etc. Guaranteed, you will hate at least one of these classes.
  • Everyone’s piece will look VERY different – there is a huge personality factor in terms of what we observe from the object/photograph as well as how we chose to represent it (colours, form).
  • Use wax paper (or anything disposable) as a palette for acrylics. Or else, you will spend more time washing the paint of those plastic palettes than actually painting.
  • Invest in good brushes at first – they last you ages and it’s way more frustrating to have bad brushes than cheap paint.
  • Have fun with it. Do not be scared.. you aren’t making masterpieces here.
  • The versatility of acrylics (you can paint on just about anything.. and you can layer things on it (multimedia — oils, paper, objects, whatever you fancy).
  • Don’t always jump to cover your mistakes, work with them.
  • Get to know your classmates – an interesting scoop of people join these things.

And that is all. See you next week.

– Dose of Delight

 

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