Overview of Painting with Colour – where to begin

Coursework 1.2, Creative Arts 1.2 Creative Arts Skills, Creative Arts BA (Hons), Project 2: Developing Creative Skills, Research & Reflection

The course is divided into five exercises:

  • 1. Basic paint application
  • 2. Understanding colour
  • 3. Painting the colours you see
  • 4. Colour relationships
  • 5. Personal palette

Reflections before I begin

As I embark on this new unit on painting with colour, I must admit that I am both excited and apprehensive. While I am eager to delve into the world of colour and experiment creatively, I am also acutely aware of my limited painting abilities. This self-awareness has left me feeling somewhat overwhelmed and unsure of my ability to tackle the challenges that lie ahead. However, I am determined to confront these feelings of doubt and make the most of this opportunity to learn and grow as an artist.

One of the primary reasons I find this unit challenging is my lack of confidence in my basic painting skills. I often question whether I have the necessary foundational knowledge to fully comprehend and apply the concepts taught. This fear of inadequacy can sometimes be paralysing, making it difficult for me to fully engage with the learning process.

However, I recognise that this unit is an opportunity to confront these insecurities and develop my painting abilities. To do this, I plan to approach each lesson with an open mind, focusing on the learning process rather than striving for perfection. By shifting my mindset and embracing the challenge, I hope to build my confidence and develop a more positive outlook on my artistic journey.

Another aspect of this unit that I find both challenging and invigorating is the prospect of experimenting creatively. As someone who has traditionally adhered to a more structured and cautious approach to art, embracing my creativity and pushing the boundaries of my comfort zone is both thrilling and intimidating.

I plan to dedicate time and effort to exploring new techniques, materials, and styles to make the most of this opportunity. I will remind myself that experimentation is a crucial aspect of the learning process and that making mistakes is natural and essential for growth. By allowing myself to explore and experiment, I hope to better understand my artistic preferences and strengths.

In conclusion, while I anticipate that this unit on painting with colour will present numerous challenges, I am eager to embrace the opportunity to learn, experiment, and grow. By confronting my insecurities and shifting my focus towards the learning process, I believe I can overcome my fears and develop a newfound confidence in my painting abilities. I am excited to see where this artistic journey will take me, and I am optimistic that the challenges I face will ultimately lead to personal growth and a richer understanding of art.

What is painting?

The term “painting” often conjures up images of a canvas adorned with strokes of colour expertly applied by a skilled artist. However, this narrow perception of painting fails to capture the true essence of this rich and diverse art form.

At its core, painting is the application of pigment to a surface to create visual art. This simple definition, however, barely scratches the surface of the vast possibilities that painting encompasses. As an art form, painting constantly evolves, with artists pushing the boundaries of what is considered traditional or conventional. From cave paintings to contemporary street art, the history of painting is a testament to human creativity and the desire to express ourselves visually.

To truly understand the concept of painting, we must consider the vast array of materials and techniques employed by artists throughout history. Painting is not limited to oil on canvas; it can also include watercolours, acrylics, encaustic, frescoes, and digital painting. The surfaces artists paint are equally diverse, ranging from traditional canvas and paper to unconventional materials like metal, glass, and buildings. This infinite variety of materials and techniques highlights the boundless potential of painting as a means of creative expression.

Another aspect of painting that warrants reflection is its subjective nature. Art is inherently open to interpretation, and painting is no exception. What one person perceives as beautiful or meaningful art may not resonate with another individual. This subjectivity is not a limitation but rather a celebration of each person’s unique perspectives and experiences to appreciate the painting. As we explore the world of painting, it is essential to embrace this diversity of interpretation and acknowledge that there is no single “correct” way to perceive or appreciate a work of art.

Finally, we must reflect on the role of painting in human culture and society. Throughout history, painting has been a powerful means of communication, storytelling, and self-expression. Artists have used painting to document historical events, explore religious and philosophical ideas, and grapple with the human experience. In this sense, painting is more than just an aesthetic pursuit; it is a window into the soul of humanity, revealing our collective hopes, fears, and aspirations.

Acrylic Painting

As I embark on my painting journey, I’m focusing on acrylic paints for various reasons. Acrylics are readily available and offer an affordable option for those looking to explore the world of painting without breaking the bank. Furthermore, acrylic paints are known for their ease of use, blending capabilities, and versatility, making them an ideal choice for artists at any level of experience.

One of the main advantages of acrylic paint is its user-friendly nature. It can be easily mixed and blended, allowing various colours and effects. This makes it perfect for beginners who are still learning the ropes of colour mixing and application techniques and more experienced artists looking to experiment with new styles and approaches.

Additionally, acrylic paint can be applied in various ways, including brushes, palette knives, sponges, or even fingers. This versatility enables artists to create multiple textures and effects, providing endless possibilities for creative expression.

Another significant benefit of using acrylic paints is their quick drying time. Unlike oil paints, which can take days or even weeks to dry thoroughly, acrylics dry within minutes to hours, depending on the thickness of the application. This allows artists to work more efficiently and build up layers without waiting for extended periods.

Lastly, acrylic paints are water-based and do not require harsh chemicals or solvents for thinning or cleaning. This makes them an environmentally friendly and safe option for artists of all ages.

In conclusion, I have chosen to focus on acrylics as my medium of choice due to their accessibility, affordability, ease of use, versatility, and quick drying time. These qualities make acrylic paints an ideal option for anyone looking to explore the world of painting, and I am excited to see where this creative journey will take me.

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