Painting – Acrylics/Sunflowers Part I

Longwood Gardens Sunflowers

This sunflower photograph was pleasing, but pointing in the wrong direction, I flipped it in my photo workshop, and added it to my final composition. I will have to be careful that I don’t misrepresent the direction of the shadows when I begin to paint.

I am very new at painting with acrylics. I have painted with watercolors for well over twenty years, and I still plan to use this medium in the future, but I have been enjoying the boldness and opaque qualities of acrylics.

To start I coated the 18 x 24 inch canvas with a layer of gesso. I don’t have as large a palette of colors with acrylics and used a combination of cobalt blue and ultramarine blue to begin painting the sky.

I had a good time creating the clouds. In watercolor the use of white is taboo.  You must save portions of the paper completely without color to give the effect of white.   This can be difficult and one loose drop of paint can spoil the effect you are attempting to achieve.

In acrylics, the whites are opaque, and produce good coverage. I was able to actually enjoy painting the clouds, and painted exuberantly, rather than holding my hand and creativeness in check.

I blended the cobalt blue into the white at the bottom of the clouds to give them some stability and shadow. I used medium extender to keep the paint wet longer, giving me more time to move it around.

I will update the progress of the painting in a few days. So far I am pleased with the progress.

Thanks so much for your comments. They fill my life with sunshine.

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