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Author Topic: Birches in acrylics  (Read 2125 times)


  • Easel
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on: September 19, 2011, 04:25:43 PM
Hi all,
Wow, I forgot about this painting I did, well, we did, in acrylics. (It's really my second painting ever.)
I started this painting after my Clouds painting but gave up because, after three tries, I failed at painting the birch bark on them realistically. I didn't like acrylics for a medium... dries too fast for me.
Well, my girlfriend bought all my acrylic paint supplies (that's when I switched over to oils) and decided to finish it by adding the birch bark and a few clouds and a few highlights to the vegetation creating this scene. (I didn't know she had done this. She just popped it on me a few minutes ago.)
It has now become a joint effort between the two of us and I thought I'd share it.
(It's an 9x14 so an inch or so is cut off by my scanner at the top and left side.)

Critiquing is allowed... we're both grown now and can take it...  O0

« Last Edit: September 19, 2011, 04:45:05 PM by thegrindre »
a.k.a. Rick
At my age, 'Happy Hour' is a nap...


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Reply #1 on: September 19, 2011, 07:06:35 PM
Does your girlfriend have a name? You realize of course that you'll have to come up with a combination name to sign this with.  :whistle:
I'm having one of those bad net days so couldn't enlarge the painting. From what I can see  :detective: it looks pretty good. I like the colouring...and the birchbark looks good. Afraid that's all I can offer until I can get it to expand. I think its a marvellous co-laboration.  :clap:
Cheers, Val

�Creativity is allowing yourselves to make mistakes. Work on knowing which ones to keep!�

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Reply #2 on: September 20, 2011, 12:01:29 AM
Don't be afraid of dark tones and to use contrasting dark-light values next to each other in your composition.  More contrast will make your birch trees really stand out. Nice picture!


  • Easel
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Reply #3 on: September 20, 2011, 04:03:47 AM
Liz beat me to it.  Try shadowing (right side it looks like) of the birches.


  • Easel
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Reply #4 on: September 20, 2011, 04:54:51 AM
Questions... would a Payne's Gray wash work for the shadow shading?
Or should I re-paint that side of the trees with a darker white?
What I'm really asking is, how would you guys go about adding shadow shading after the painting is finished and dry?

We've thought about 'going into business together'. Or, at least, doing a few paintings as a team. (It's Rick & Edie, BTW. My scanner cut that off.)

I thought I'd share a piece by my girlfriend... She's been painting for over 60 years and sells some of it as well. BUT, she only works in watercolors. She despises acrylics and landscapes and only paints flowers.
Roses are her specialty.

Thanks a bunch, guys.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2011, 04:58:58 AM by thegrindre »
a.k.a. Rick
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Reply #5 on: September 20, 2011, 05:04:39 AM
Rick, don't use Payne's gray if you can help it - it a deadening color if not used properly. Rather mix up a light blueish purple for the shadow side and then glaze it on. Study painting  by top artists and you will see that Payne's gray is far away from the colors they use.

The blueish purple comes from the reflection from the sky. The natural eye has learned to "not see" it and compensates for it otherwise everything will have a blue tinge to it. It shows up on photographs though.
You are what you THINK about - Napoleon Hill


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Reply #6 on: October 09, 2011, 07:03:34 PM
Interesting Nolan. I thought is was just me that couldn't see these bluish colors in nature (or everyone's fooling me about it). Your statement really makes even more sense when you understand that white or something very light reflects even more bluishness of the sky than dark colors.
The moment you find yourself mostly satisfied with a painting and think you'll "just quickly" do this or that, that's the moment to stop completely. Take the painting off your easel and put it aside for at least 24 hours, then reassess whether it really needs that tweak.


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