I’ve started dabbling with painting. Sometimes I copy paintings and sometimes I paint from life. This week’s work has reminded me how much it takes to develop a way of seeing.

copy apple
Copy of apple painting (acrylic on paper)

This apple painting is a copy (unfortunately, I don’t know who the painter is.)

If I’d put an apple on my kitchen table and tried to paint it, I doubt I would have used the dark shadows and background that make the colours of the apple so vibrant. I used the painter’s understanding of composition, tonal values and colour.

When I paint from life,  I have a hard time figuring all those things out. And brush strokes. I don’t know which brushes to use, how wet or dry they need to be, how to make the transition between shadow and light and between one colour and another, and all kinds of other things.

life teaport2
Teapot on my kitchen table (acrylic on cardboard)

There’s an endless amount of stuff to learn about technique and materials. But for me the most important thing is developing a way of seeing.

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