Again, I post this stuff to Facebook all the time, so I feel like I’ve shared, but rarely do I put it here in the blog, which I should. So, here’s to sharing!
About eight months ago I decided to pick up a paintbrush and see if I could paint. Yes, I know that’s random, but I wanted to try. I’ve never been an artist or anything, so I had no idea if I could do this. This is my first painting. (All images can be clicked to open hugely into a new tab.)
My first attempt at painting in May 2016. Inktense on 140# cold-pressed (CP) watercolor paper. Copyright Ann Christy 2016.
Note the lack of facial features? Yeah, I wasn’t there. But I wanted to be. Here are a few more attempts.
Entitled “Tango.” Copyright Ann Christy 2016. From the story, “The Mergens.” Inktense on 140# CP.
Entitled “Our Lady of Fire and Vengeance” Copyright Ann Christy 2016 (From the story, “The Mergens”). Inktense on 140# CP.
Entitled “Delta.” Copyright Ann Christy 2016. (From the story, “The Mergens.” Inktense on 140# CP.
Note the primitive and not very realistic eyes? Well, I decided there that the only way to get better was to get better…as in focus on each feature. So, I started by focusing on eyes, which are really important for making a painting connect with a viewer. I mean, you can seriously suck at many other parts of the body, but the eyes will make or break you.
These next pictures are me practicing eyes.
Blue eye practice, October 2016. Copyright Ann Christy 2016. Watercolor on 140# CP.
Brown eye practice, November 2016. Copyright Ann Christy 2016. Watercolor on 140# CP.
Self-portrait eye practice, January 2017. Copyright Ann Christy 2017. Watercolor on 140# cold press.
Eye practice with Bob’s self-portrait using a phone camera. Many folks very kindly put up images of their eyes on Facebook when I asked for one to paint. I selected Bob’s due to the clarity of the photo and unusual iris patterns. January 2017. Copyright Ann Christy 2017. Watercolor on 140# CP.
What really surprised me was how fast a really dedicated person can make progress. I’m not a natural artist by any means. In fact, it’s very alien to me. I’m more of a science person, yet there is something undeniably soothing and satisfying about this art stuff. I’ve still never had an art class, so I don’t even know if I’m using the right brushes or materials…or even if I’m using the brushes correctly. All this is sort of a learn-as-I-go experience.
What does that mean? I think it means that anyone at all can do this. Truly. I think any person can pick up a brush and grab their medium of choice and go to town. Very quickly you’ll discover what you like (oils-no, acrylic-no, watercolor-yes) and narrow in on your particular style.
I’m excited to see what happens next.