And That’s a Wrap!

I can’t believe how fast these past weeks have gone by. It still feels like there is more painting to do. I thoroughly enjoyed painting landscapes as my learning project. Even though it is technically “school work” it didn’t feel like it at all. Between working full time, blogging, and having class painting was a nice break where I was able to relax and focus on one task and not the million and one other things.

For my last post, I am going to break down each week of my Learning Project, mentioned some key learning that took place, resources that I learned from, and show an image of each week’s final painting.

Week 1 (Introduction to Painting Landscapes with Acrylic Paint):

  • Provided a current status of where I was at in terms of my prior experiences painting.
  • Focused on what direction I wanted to take my learning in.

Week 2 (Painting Begins! – ‘Smokin  Oakin’):

  • Learned how to paint Oak trees from a YouTube tutorial
  • Practiced in sketchbook before going to a canvas
  • Learned about tones & Highlights found in trees from Mark Waller
  • Learned how to paint grass
  • Followed this tutorial for my ‘painting’ of the week

 

Week 3 (‘Painting Clouds… It’s harder than you think’)

  • Learned the basics of painting clouds from this tutorial
  • Practices three times on the basics on a little canvas first until I felt I was ready to tackle a big canvas.
  • Followed this Youtube Tutorial to show what I had learned about clouds and to see what I could learn about painting a canola field

Week 4 ( ‘Time, Paint, & a Lake’)

  • Followed this YouTube Tutorial
  • Attempted to do my first time-lapse but found out there are a few tricks to getting it right.
  • Learned that creating good art takes time and that it can’t be rushed.
Lukas Vermeer Flickr via Compfight cc

Week 5 (‘Progress with Time-Lapse’)

  • Shared my learning regarding numerous ways to create a time-lapse
  • Some advantages and disadvantages of different programs
  • Provided an example of a time-lapse

 

Week 6 (‘The Night Sky’)

  • Learned from this Youtube tutorial
  • Learned how to paint stars
  • Learned how to make spruce trees look natural with a fan brush

Week 7 (‘The Sea is Calling’)

  • For this week I followed Katie’s YouTube tutorial
  • I learned about how adding multiple layers of paint adds to the overall quality of a painting.
  • I also learned more about her online community of artists through her YouTube channel, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

All in all, I really enjoyed this project and the opportunity it gave me to learn about something I was interested in. For that I am thankful. It was a pleasure to take ECMP355, and to all of my classmates of future ecmp (or related subjects) students keep learning and enjoying it!

The Sea is Calling!

For the final week of my learning project, I decided to paint a seascape. Once again I turned to YouTube for some good painting inspiration. Without a doubt I found exactly what I was looking for, a beautiful seascape tutorial with soft gorgeous colors. The artist’s name is Katie and here is her YouTube tutorial on how to paint a seascape:

I must say that Katie’s YouTube channel is an excellent source to learn from. At the start of her video, Katie directs you to the description box of the YouTube video and tells you what colors she’ll be using through the painting and provides a link to the image she is painting. Katie also recommends having some type of copy of the image you’ll be using near you so that it’s easy to refer back to once you have started your painting. Katie does an excellent job of explaining what she is doing, why she is doing it, and how she is accomplishing her final product. Which is great to know when you are trying to learn. Thanks, Katie! For more information, Katie can be found on the following social media platforms Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

After watching her video a few times off to paint I went! The first thing I did was break down my painting into a couple of sections as you can see here. As Kim and I were discussing on a previous blog post, nature is imperfect and when you are trying to recreate it you have to be careful not to try and make everything look “perfect”. Nature is random, and maybe that’s what makes it so beautiful. My point here is that in this image you can see the two sections coming together at random points and it is important to do so in order to keep the painting looking like the original image.

Next, I started blocking in the shadows and hills, Which starting to give my painting a bit more structure in that there is now a solid background and skyline.Which prompted me to start on the next section… the addition of clouds.

 

With the clouds beginning to fall into place we start to see more variations of color brought to life. The clouds are wispy and blended into the background. It is in this stage where we flip the image of the clouds onto the water, keeping in mind the mirrored image of the clouds should be a little bit darker.

Next, I started to bring more colors into play, specifically to the clouds. This would be the more pinky and yellowish tones. These colors are added to the canvas with a scuffling method.

 

 

Lastly, I went and did some eye detail, adding more blue back in and defining a few areas with lighter colors. Along with darkening up the shoreline in the distance and creating a shore along the bottom of the canvas.

 

 

Overall, I am quite happy with how this piece and this weeks learning went. Here is a time-lapse of my painting from start to finish:

 

The Night Sky

This week I out my focus towards painting the night sky. While I have tackled other forms/variables of sky (i.e. painting clouds, sunsets, etc.) I have not yet tried painting the night sky, up until now. This week was also the week where I wanted to try and form my own timelapse. Some parts went well and others, well, I learned from them. As for my inspiration this week I followed this YouTube video by MarsupialPudding:

I absolutely loved this artist’s technique! I definitely learned a few tricks! For example, how the artist in the video uses a fan brush to form the tree tops.  By using the fan brush in this way the artist is able to manipulate the paint in a way that makes it look like real trees with ease and efficiency. If you were to use just a really tiny brush the paint each branch of the tree it would be very difficult to get the same effect in that the branches would be very defined, looking either like they don’t belong or ‘too perfect’ for what a real tree actually looks like. A real tree isn’t uniform, it is perfectly imperfect. Secondly, I learned that when painting a night sky it works the best to paint your background first and add in color afterward, as it is easier to make a picture lighter and more colorful after than it is to make a picture darker while trying to keep the bright colors. Thirdly, I learned to make stars it works well to dab either a fan brush or a smaller brush in white paint and tap the end of the brush (as shown in the video) to create tiny specs (STARS!) over the desired area of your canvas… p.s. wear something you won’t mind getting tiny white specs of paint on.

As I mentioned earlier, I wanted to create a timelapse for this painting. So, I did my research and tested out the time-lapse option on my iPhone and everything worked out well. I was good to go! And then I ran out of storage… once again finding out after I was already into my painting. ARG! Another learning experience I suppose. So for all of you people out there that are about to create a time-lapse make sure you have enough storage! Anywho here is a glimpse of my painting getting started in a time-lapse format (click on the link to view).

Overall, I would say I am happy with my progress this week. I learned some very useful tips; as well I learned to make sure you have the right amount of storage. Here are my final results for this weeks painting:

 

Progress with Time-Lapse

Learning from last experience with the Time-lapse, I focused my work last week on exploring different methods to do a Time-lapse ( using apps, a phone camera, etc.).

iPhone:

Lukas Vermeer Flickr via Compfight cc

Thanks to Chesley for mentioning on her blog that iPhone has a Time-lapse option and thanks to Tanya for providing a link to MacWorld I have learned quite a bit about iPhone’s Time-lapse option. From fooling around with this Time-lapse option on an iPhone 6 and after reading Mac World’s article I learned the following:

  • How to turn on the Time-lapse mode on
  • Which iPhone and iPads can use the Time-lapse feature in ios 8
  • Just because you record longer doesn’t mean the video will be longer
  • Some tips for shooting Time-lapse videos:
    • Keep the iPhone still
    • Record movement
    • Capture something that changes slowly OR record something that changes quickly

Some Interesting Apps:

The article 5 Best Apps to Record Time Lapse Videos on Andriod, ios, and Windows Phone explores the five apps: Lapse it, Timelapse, Microsoft Hyperlapse, Framelapse, and Overlapse. Each of these apps are in different stages of development here is a breakdown of each.

Lapse it:

While I didn’t physically download the app (as it is not free). I did learn the following:

  • Pros: Easy to use, functional, shoot up to ten frames per second.
  • Cons: There is a supposed ‘blind spot’ when filming.

Timelapse:

  • Minimal editing features
  • Constructs the Time-lapse as it goes rather than storing hundreds of pictures.
  • Pros: Provides a player and gallery, supports high and low resolutions.
  • Cons: Potentially may still have some bugs.

Here is an example of a Time-lapse:

Microsoft Hyperlapse:

Is still in the testing process, there is a google plus community anyone can join if they wish to use/test Microsoft Hyperlapse. From what I can tell it is relatively easy to use. Here are a few of the things I learned:

  • Pros: good video stabilization
  • Cons: Only shares to Facebook or Instagram, and it can’t apply it’s effect to existing videos.

Framelapse:

Framelapse is probably, in my opinion, is probably one of the most advanced of these apps. It has many features to choose from. They do offer an upgrade to the Pro version (for a price) but may worth it depending on what you are looking for.

  • Pros: Fast to process a Time-lapse after it is created, all can be done on a phone, both the free and upgraded option provides many features.
  • Cons: Doesn’t save photos, no video-editing options, pro version is somewhat expensive.

Overlapse:

Overlapse promotes an “easy to use” Time-lapse creator.

  • Pros: Easy to navigate
  • Cons: Gallery is lacking in comparison to other apps

After reading and testing out these apps/features I plan to use the iPhone feature or Timelapse to show my learning progress this week. Read my next learning project post for more information on how (specifically) to create a timelapse officially and to view my progress with painting landscapes!

Time, Paint & a Lake

For the past week, I have been tackling one of the most time-consuming paintings I have ever done. Even though it is only one painting it took me three sittings (each for approximately three hours) to complete this painting. This past week’s landscape was a campfire/cabin by the lake. This landscape enabled me to practice what I have learned about in previous weeks (i.e. clouds and trees) but in a different context.

This week I chose to learn from Chuck Black: Wildlife and Art. His YouTube channel features a number of different videos ranging from what you need to paint, time-lapses, and painting tutorials. This past week I chose to learn from one of his time-lapses and while his painting skills are phenomenal I think I would have to try a different video, maybe one of his painting tutorials, next time as there was a visual of what he was doing but no audio or direction to learn from otherwise. Here is the video of what I learned from this past week:

Along with the painting this week I tried to document my learning in another form. My own time-lapse! However, this did not go as planned 😦 I chose the app Quick Lapse HD to perform my lapse. I downloaded the app and set it all up (very easy to do so- the app guides you through it), setup painting supplies, pressed the play button and started painting. Little did I know that unless you buy the upgraded version that you only could record a time-lapse for 20 seconds… I found this out after I was three hours into painting… whoops! Oh well, I learned for next time!

As I mentioned earlier, I had to break my painting sessions up into three. At the end of each session, I took a photo. Day one was mostly laying the groundwork for the painting. Which actually takes longer than it looks. Here is my progress after day one:

As I mentioned earlier, I had to break my painting sessions up into three. At the end of each session, I took a photo. Day one was mostly laying the groundwork for the painting. Which actually takes longer than it looks. Here is my progress after day one:

 

Day two began and the painting slowly started to become more intricate. This session was more so about adding to the water by blending as well as defining the trees and cabin. Here’s my progress after day two:

 

 

And last but not least, the final day! After nine hours of work, this painting is complete! And for the most part, I’m pretty happy with it. If I were to paint it again I would add something more to the right side of the painting. Only because I feel the left side is busy and full and in comparison, the right side looks bare. Maybe some trees/rocks/land to the right side just above the water line would make it look more full. Anyways here is my completed painting for this week’s post!

 

Painting Clouds… It’s harder than you think

After doing a little googling I sat down to do a little painting. Clouds this time! I had settled on this video, however once I started to actually try to paint along with the video I found it difficult to follow along. So back to the drawing board I went!

This time, after doing some more googling and watching youtube videos I settled on this one:

I absolutely loved this video! So helpful! What a treasure online learning is when you find the right resource! So once again I went to do some painting. However, even with the right resource learning can sometimes be hard!

My first attempt at painting clouds went okay… ish. But I found myself doing exactly what the video says not to do. Which was blend the clouds to much and leave a bright white strip along the top of the clouds. So onto my second attempt I went!

 

This time I tried a different approach. I blended less this time and added more white. This did not go well. The extra white I added on made the clouds look chunky. I would also have to say blending is probably one of the most important parts. With clouds you add the white paint first and then blend the bottom of the cloud into the background. When I blended less this time it make the clouds look as if they were animated and it created a blue gap between clouds that should have been overlapping… not the look I was going for.

As it turns out sometimes it really is “third times the charm”. At least for these clouds anyways. This time I blended a fair bit, but not to much, maybe blending half an inch under each cloud. As for adding more white, I still added extra, however, I only added highlights where I thought the clouds needed a little bit more eumph! So to speak. Overall, I’m happy with this go round of clouds.

Now after all of this practice on the smaller canvases it was time to put my cloud skills to this test. I went and found this YouTube video that was a painting tutorial of a canola field with a lot of clouds! Should be easy with all the practice, right? Not so much. But that is okay! I have been pushed out of my comfort zone with this painting, but I am loving all of these learning curves. Because of all the practice earlier it wasn’t so much the clouds that were the tricky part but the field. But I suppose that is why it is called learning. If I were to do this painting again I would make the yellow/white dots (the canola) smaller and closer together. But that is something to learn from! Here is a picture of my practice being put to use!

With all things taken into consideration, I would say that I am happy with my learning project progress this week! I also have an idea for the next step in my project… Lakes. rivers, and streams!

Smokin Oakin

When I begin thinking about different landscapes one of the more common elements that are consistently repeated are TREES. With that being said, this post will be about my progress with painting trees that show up in landscapes. But of course, there are many types of trees. For today I’m focusing on an Oak tree. For this tree I chose to use a YouTube tutorial as inspiration to learn from. Before going to my main canvas I took a practice go round in my sketch book.

As you flip through the slide show below it shows my progress from the first step (creating the branches) to the last step (adding the white highlights on different area’s of the tree). Each of these steps I learned was significant because when focusing on landscape painting the smallest details are often the ones that matter most.

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Before jumping to the canvas to paint what I had just learned I wanted to learn more about how to paint grass. For this I followed this video.

My last step before jumping to the canvas was to do some more research.

In this video, I learned about the variety of shades, colors, tones, and highlights that trees carry and how each of those is presented can make a difference in your painting. Mark Waller from Explore Acrylic Painting has a variety of YouTube video’s that not only apply to painting trees but also all about landscape painting (I might have just hit the resource jackpot). Something to keep in mind.

Finally I went to my canvas! I felt pretty confident after doing my research and practicing in my sketch book. For this piece I chose to follow this painting tutorial on YouTube while bringing in what I had learnt in the previous tutorials. Here is my result!

There is definitely room for improvement. I could have spent more time on the grass and the background is very plain. If I were to do it again I would spend more time on the grass as well as put something in the background to fill up space. Something to learn from!

Overall I’m pretty happy with the results. However, this painting was more of a step in the right direction for this project as the focus is on landscapes, not trees. But trees are one vital element to more landscape pieces. Well that’s one tool for the tool belt! Check in later for more progress about how my learning project is going!

And so it Begins!

Welcome my learning project! For this assignment I have chosen to learn how to paint landscapes.

To give you all an idea of where exactly where I currently am with my paintings here are a few pictures:

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It is my goal to, through this project, to learn more about landscapes and gain some new painting techniques. I want to take my paintings to a new level. Often times after finishing a painting I still feel somewhat dissatisfied, like something is missing. I am comfortable painting most things, with the exception landscapes. I am comfortable with a lake/sunset reflecting on the water paintings but struggle with other scenes. I am hoping to find the solution to this through my #learningproject ! Previous to today I have worked with various mixed media (i.e. gauche, watercolor, pastel, chalk, etc.), but my favorite is acrylic. Acrylic paints drys fast and allows your paper or canvas to be rolled up without the fear of cracking. Acrylic paint can be mixed with water to get a more transparent look when applied to canvas (Acrylic paint when mixed with water is comparable to water color). Acrylic paint is affordable (especially when in comparison to higher quality paints or a different medium, such as oil paints), which is important to take into consideration  for us university students and well as for teachers and students. While I did take these points into consideration when deciding on my medium, I chose acrylic paint because it allows for flexibility and it is durable.

As for what I’ll be painting on, that will vary between canvas, paper, heck maybe even on wood! Who knows!