Adventures in Acrylics

When I was in high school, I started painting with acrylics. I had absolutely no idea how to use them properly and my interest in them was largely on how it was a cheap way to decorate my room. My bedroom had light pink carpet and I used to paint directly on the floor. Let's just say that I bought a lot of rugs over the years to successfully hide that crusted mess from my mom. First lesson learned: acrylics are impossible to get out of fabric!

Here's my senior photo with an acrylic painting using an image of the Sydney Opera House from my Colors of Australia calendar – and boy did I think I was such a bad ass! 

I don't think I did another acrylic painting until after I got married and moved to Vancouver. Someone in our complex put a few canvases out by the dumpster and I brought them home to repaint. The biggest canvas was large – 24x48 inches! – and I wanted to do a simple geometric painting with lots of bright colors to brighten up our dingy student apartment.

  Untitled,  24x48 inches Acrylic on canvas

Untitled, 24x48 inches
Acrylic on canvas

I'll skip past the projects I've already mentioned on here and catch you up on where I am now. I've invested in some higher quality paints, blindly bought some mediums without knowing their purpose, and have jumped straight into painting a 16x20 inch Renaissance-style portrait on a wood panel (more on that when I'm finished) 

Just to give myself a break from the extremely undertaking, I needed a fun little side project – and the second I came across the gorgeous Picasso bug, I knew I had to paint it. It's just so cool!

  Picasso Bug , 8x10 inches Acrylic on canvas board

Picasso Bug, 8x10 inches
Acrylic on canvas board

Since I like to give myself a little challenge during my art practice, I wanted to focus on three things: extreme realism, shading and mixing challenging colors (if you look at the first photo closely, you'll see three jars of failed attempts at getting the jade green right!)

I'm happy with how this turned out! I think I'm starting to get a hang of working with the quick drying acrylics and I am ready to get back to that wood panel portrait. Wish me luck!