January 14, 2006

Illustration Friday - E is for ...

E is for ... a blotched Experiment.

Having seen many great-looking illustrations done solely with acrylic, I thought I'd get some to 'play' with too. Since acrylic dries faster than watercolor (which I'm an absolute disaster with), I thought it may be easier to work with. But ... the result speaks for itself. I simply have no technique, I wield the brush as if it's a colored pencil, and have no idea what to do with all the unevenness and blotches, as well as how much water to mix the paint with.

It is Exasperating.

I'm thinking of signing up for a watercolour class ... but I have zero interest in painting landscapes (which is probably what watercolour classes do most of the time, I reckon). Advice, anyone?

Oh, the big boy in the image is an attempt to copy an illo done by the late Stephen Cartwright, whose work I just discovered from a colleague who's a big fan of his. It is from the story 'The Lonely Giant'. You may not see the resemblance because mine is a joke in comparison!

16 comments :

Doug said...

I was thinking this looked like Cartwright. I really like his work. You say LATE... is he gone? I think you did a really good job with this. Keep it up!

Lois said...

I think the key to painting with acryics is medium!!! Use it instead of water, and you can make great glazes.
Keep Experimenting.

Makita said...

I have taken just one watercolor class... it was designed for educators and we focused on still lifes (a small vase with flowers, fish, etc.)... we didn't do landscapes. I like the result of your 'experiment' though... as Lois said, keep experimenting. :)

marc said...

Great job.Really very beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Exasperatingly Excellent! All classes paint boring stuff but it's the technical skills you are there to learn.

constanthing said...

Thanks for the encouragement, guys. I sure have a lot to learn about proper techniques, but I'll keep at it :)

Jonesy, Cartwright died of a stroke in 2004, he was only 56. I'm a new fan of his now, I especially like his little character illustrations.

Don said...

Just keep doin how yer doin. :-) I've just begun watercolors on my own (no lessons)and there are more than landscapes to do! I would like some instruction, though... I think it would help me, and you... just don't "force" a style. Just be you.

Mustashrik said...

hey there!

i love your sensibility towards light hearted humour! ;)

ticklemeraven4@yahoo.com said...

Who say watercolors are just for landscapes?? I use watercolors for my illustrations frequently, and have never done a landscape...(in watercolors anyway) after you get throught the initial..oh crap I hate this stuff!!! reaction...they are alot of fun to work with.Try it...what do you have to lose?

miragee said...

I was thinking about trying acrylic too, but maybe I should think more about that:-).

I think your illo is a pretty good start. If I have a chance to experiment acrylic one day, I'll definitely show to you how terrible it can be:-).

Good luck!

Ginger*:)* said...

I like your work, all of it. Keep working with acrylics, you already have a good color sense. I didn't sign up for the watercolor class here for the same reason... landscapes. What I need to focus on is illustration for children's books.
Have you ever tried computer painting? Digital painting can be overlayed on any traditional painting that is scanned into a computer and there are many programs that can enhance your already fine work.

gudbrandsdottir said...

I dont know about the watercolour classes, but I think all classes is about teaching something....
Keep on experimenting and dont underestimate your self!! Great work you have here!

carla said...

Well, I think you are underestimaing yourself...just keep playing around. I am having the same frustration with acrylics. I haven't painted in over 20 years, and have just recently started again. It ain't like riding a bicyle, that's for sure:> I would like to take classes to learn techniques. I can apply them to any subject...I just need the "tools." I think you should consider that approach. Anyway...I like your painting...especially the exaggerated big guy:>

Alina Chau said...

Fun nicely done illo!

Q. E. Kids said...

It's very silly and we liked it.

Leezy said...

Adding a bit of linseed oil to the paint mix works wonders. Gives you enough time to blend before the acryllic dries, and adds a nice vibrancy to colour. Be careful that technique doesn't dictate your style, which happens to a lot of people, then it all begins to look samey. Sometimes, no technique encourages you to experiment more and helps you find something that you are more comfortable with and that no-one else can replicate. Anyway, your acryllic work looks pretty darned good from what I can see. Don;t be so hard on yourself, enjoy making a mess, and you'll find your way. (Oh and sometimes, if you stretch your paper, as if it were watercolour work, you'll not get so many blotches, especially in background or large area washes). Hope this helps a bit for ya!