Choosing an art medium and being a Facebook addict artist

I think there should be FAA (Facebook Anonymous Addicts) for artists!  There are just too many art groups online, and for an aspiring beginning artist who is trying to decide what medium is best for my personality, I am finding that I want to join all of the art groups. There are acrylic groups, painting groups, pastel groups, sketching groups, color pencil artist groups, beginning groups, marketing groups, tattoo groups, ink and pencil groups, gouache group, graphite groups,  etc.  There are so many Facebook groups with great examples of art that it is hard to specialize in one art medium when all the art mediums are appealing.   Unfortunately, art supplies are expensive so I must make a concerted effort to decide what medium I should concentrate on.

Here is what I know about myself as an artist: 1) I am impatient; 2) I need quiet time to complete my projects; 3) I seek stress relief; 3) mess, clutter and stuff all over the place gives me anxiety 4) love spontaneity; 5) enjoy pieces with lots of color; 6) need to work in chunks of time; 6) want my art supplies to be simple; and 7) I like to change from realistic and loose/impressionist artwork.   To date, I have tried acrylics, color pencil art, sketching with pencils and inks and watercolors.  I’ve painted and drawn on canvas, rocks, hot and cold watercolor paper, drafting paper and sketchbooks. Here is are my conclusions on what art I like to do!

  • Sketching and watercolor in sketchbooks and journals- feeds my spontaneity, it’s easy and portable—so I can get into Urban Sketching and 15 – 30 minute short thematic sketching
  • Color Pencil Art – Allows me to work in chunks of time, supplies are simple, and it’s portable.
  • Inks, markers and watercolors/watercolor pencils: combines spontaneity, lots of color and doesn’t make all the mess that acrylics, pastels and charcoal does.
  • Acrylics – Although I don’t like the mess, I will use acrylics occasionally. I do like all the bright colors and the impressionistic or expressionism painting. Acrylic probably my least favorite to use, but I can play on huge canvasses.
  • Watercolors – I’ve not used watercolors in it’s pure form other than in sketching, but have used watercolor pencils.  I love the translucency of the art form…just need to do some practice pieces.

So where I am going with this?  I thought I would share a few pieces (some you’ve seen, sorry) so you can suggest what I might be good at.  Remember, I am still a beginner, but hopefully you might give me suggestions on where my focus should be…or is it okay to be a artist of all trades.  Is that what creativity is all about?

Acrylics 

 

 

 

Color Pencil and Watercolor Pencil

 

 

Sketching with Watercolors, Markers and Pen

 

 

 

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Gouache and watercolor – what’s my sign?

Well I did another piece for my 14 day art challenge. Explored gouache by using it with pan watercolor in the painting of a lion. The group theme was “what’s my birthday sign.” As you can guess, I’m a Leo.

Gouache Lion

I bought a basic set of Arteza Gouache Paints. Since I’ve been exploring the use of watercolors, gouache seemed like a natural medium to use with watercolors. Gouache paint is similar to watercolors, however the pigments are modified to be opaque.  It is similar to watercolor in that it can be re-wetted, it dries to a matte finish, and the paint can become infused with its paper support.   Gouache dries to a different value than it appears when wet (lighter tones generally dry darker and darker tones tend to dry lighter), which they say can make color matching difficult, especially after the paint dries. When painting the lion, I had to spend time adding paint and water in small increments to match the colors when I ran out.  However, I loved the quick coverage and total hiding power gouache had. The paint was able to cover my ink sketch.  I felt the medium was  comparable to painting with acrylics when it came to overlaying colors by having the same consistency and coverage.  Moreover, like watercolor, is was easy to switch to different colors by doing a quick wash of my brush.  If you want more of a watercolor wash, gouache can be thinned down by water so that has the same translucency as watercolor medium.

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Gouache has been around for centuries and the art Masters used gouache with pastels,   doing preliminary paintings and even under their oil paintings. Before using gouache, I   never heard of gouache. In fact, when I looked for gouache in the Facebook art groups, I can count on one hand how many gouache groups there are on Facebook. I suspect gouache has been categorised with watercolor since it is water based, or tempura paints.  I found a great tutorial by Minnie Small who does a great job in explaining gouache as well as the painting techniques of using the medium . You can find her video here.

If you decide to try gouache. I would love to see your paintings.

#artistsoninstagram #gouacheart #watercolors #gouacheartist #lionart #animalart #artist #lionpainting #gouachepaint

 

The Art Apprentice – Facebook go to for Aspiring Artists

I’ve not had a chance to continue my work on my new piece…a flamingo. I scrambled to come up with 2 entries for color pencil and the bird category.  The pieces I entered are an illustrative nature piece and an old 5×7 owl eyes piece; however, I think the owl eyes  look “scary”.  Nonetheless, I am continuing on the flamingo for the upcoming fair in September. Below is my work in progress and my scary owl eyes.  I’ll post my finished flamingo piece in a future post.

 

Owl photo reference obtained from photographer, Terence Porter

What’s exciting though, is an opportunity to moderate a new Facebook Page called The Art Apprenctice. What makes it exciting is that this group has 3000+ categorized tutorials all in one place. The artist Kim Holden, is spending endless hours searching the web for tutorials and plopping it in one group! I promised myself though, that I would spend less time on Facebook and do more art.  However, there is a plus to looking at more art, I’m able to look at art critically and see the values, contrasts, perspectives, etc.  So..if you are an aspiring artist like myself, I encourage you to join the group and peruse the site for a tutorial and an artist you might want to follow.  Hope to see you there!

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