Monday, March 07, 2011


Late 2010, I started dusting-off my "fine arts" self. Despite the semi-busy days at work, I tried to sneak in some time to paint. Maybe due to the thought that I liked to fight off stress from my professional world and open a brighter channel of myself with a new hobby. Actually, painting wasn't really new to me. Having studied fine arts in the University (though painting wasn't my major), I had a few fights with brushes and different painting media. But then again, those "fights" were like half a decade ago. An old retired soldier.

So it began. Bought some brushes again and a new set of oil painting stuff, I revisited my old canvas which I bought the previous year only to be kept above my cabinet. I began painting some landscapes, portraits and abstracts in oil. Some were wasted panels while some were stroked with pride. After around four medium-sized panels (which I considered my "first batch"), I finally won back the confidence I needed for my new fights.

30" x 20" Oil on Canvas

After my oil sessions, I ventured into acrylic medium. I wanted to hang my finished paintings in my living room, but I was frustrated by how long oil paintings take to dry. My oil works took at least a week before I could display them, and some even longer depending on how thick the paint I applied. What more, I wanted to spread varnish on the surface of my painting but research told me I needed 6-12 months before I could do so. That's a year of waiting, I wasn't too patient. Well, acrylics offered the gift of fast-dry. But It was a different animal. In fact, it was already dry before I could blend another color! What speed! But I loved it too, just a few time of adjustments, and I'm cool.
30" x 20" Acrylic on Canvas

30" x 20" Acrylic on Canvas

30" x 20" Acrylic on Canvas
Finishing around five paintings, I could say I'm really armed to the tooth now. No more old retired soldier stuff. Rejuvenated and ready for a paint smack! Actually, learning (or re-learning) the techniques wasn't at all difficult, thinking of subjects were more challenging. That's why when I started painting again, I didn't have any style of my own, so I took the training wheels of copying. NOT copying as in bootlegging, but copying as in using reference, for figures, colors, shades, details, etc. But now, my unique art style came out naturally. And compositions, they just pop-out. The best part of learning is enjoying what you're doing.
I consider this painting to be the first to bear my style. Acrylic on canvas 22" x 28".
For a detailed article on this painting, click this link.
Closing this article, thoughts came to me. Remembering my old buddy curiously asking me what he needs and what to prepare in beginning painting, thought I'd write a step by step article in beginning a painting hobby. There you have it guys, watch for it. After warming up, my hands are white hot. :-)

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