Week 10: Activity

Student Choice: Acrylic


This week I chose to try my hand at painting. My sister had a set of acrylic paint, brushes, and an extra canvas. I didn’t know what I wanted to paint, so I decided to paint this elephant that she has as the wallpaper on her laptop.


This is my first time painting with acrylic. I prefer water color and have done some in the past. The thing with water color is that you always have to be conscious of what colors you are laying down where. If you accidentally get a darker color where you want it to be light, you might end up ruining the whole thing. You can’t just paint over the old colors with new paint like you can with acrylic. Also with water colors, you tend to use very little paint. These two aspects of water color painting is completely different in acrylic painting, though. As a result, I left a lot of the white canvas showing through.


After looking at some of my sister’s paintings, I realized just how little paint I used. Here is a good example from a painting that I have in my room from my great grandfather. This section of the painting is from a rock that is emerging from the ocean. You can see that the rock is given some texture not just through the use of colors, but also through the buildup of paint. You can also see that he used a much wider range of colors compared to mine.

IMG_5402So, what have I learned about acrylic painting? First and foremost, don’t be afraid to lay down some crazy colors, even if they don’t seem perfect. I spent way to much time trying to get the perfect colors. Instead, its more important to get many different colors and form many layers. Its the combination of layered colors that gives the painting its final color. Don’t worry as much about each layer. Instead remember that each layer is a small step in process. The second thing I learned is sort of already handled on its own. I think my problem was less about not using enough paint, and more about now painting enough layers. In my head these paintings were all done at once, when in reality, they can be very long projects, spanning many days of painting and letting layers dry.

When I finished my elephant painting, I was satisfied with it. Looking at it now, I see that it isn’t real finished, but rather it is more like a good first layer. Its going to need some revisiting in the coming week.