I work mostly in pencil. A month and a half ago I decided to take the Illustration Master Class (IMC) and tried to learn how to paint. Everyone said I did pretty well for my first painting in acrylic washes. I don’t know. I did not like it very much. I did not like the result. It was too blotchy, too unclean, not tight enough for my taste. Not the kind of things I was used to doing with my pencil. I wasn’t as comfortable with painting as much as I am with my pencil work. But I wanted to learn how to paint and I wanted to paint. It looks like so much fun, and I did have lots of fun painting at IMC. I painted from 8 am until midnight, stopping only to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. I did not even socialize or go drinking. I was bent on learning how to paint in the 6.5 days I had in class.
I returned from the class, still on a high from meeting and talking to various artists, from the very famous to just plain me with every artistic level in between. I decided the one thing the artists who had art degrees had over me is they know their medium well, the same way I know my pencil. I know how each pencil feels, from different brands to different hardness of the pencils, how they make their strokes and how I can push them to get what I want out of them. I don’t know anything about paint or brushes, other than you use one to lay down the other on paper or canvas. So I decided I needed to know my paint and how to use it. This is where I should start.
Starting with the paint I already owned, I paint swatches from the soft body to acrylic ink to acrylic calligraphy ink from Germany. I wanted to see what each color looked like on watercolor paper from pure pigment to very diluted. This would also show me how the paint felt at the various stages of dilution. Since I interested more in layering or glazing methods, I also wanted to know how the paint reacted when applied wet on dry and wet on wet.
This painting experiment took a couple of weeks, mainly because I stopped in between to do other things, but I learned so much about the paint color and how it feels. I already have this knowledge with pencils and I wanted to gain the same familiarity with acrylic paint. I learned that I do not like the soft body paint so much. I love the feel of the acrylic inks but the acrylic calligraphy inks are more vibrant in color. This was a good learning start.