Social Painting + Friends = Painting – Fear!

8 Feb

Just before the craziness of the Lunar New Year festivities descended upon us, I grabbed my pals and trooped down for an Art Jamming session over at Arteastiq@Mandarin Gallery.

Although we had varying degrees of experience with the “art” of painting, we were all similarly stumped with the “What the h*** do I paint?” question.

Luckily for us, the folks of Arteastiq were well prepared with images and catalogues for participants to browse for inspiration (or just plain copy!). Soon, we got started with the session.

A blank canvas can be very intimidating… but having a picture helps!

Art Jam session = Canvas + Brushes + Palette + Bucket of Water + Free Flow Acrylic Paints + your imagination!

After sitting down with the picture, I sketched a broad outline of the image onto the canvas as best as I could.

This is very faint huh.

Next, I decided to paint in the sky. I really had fun with this, despite being a tiny bit nervous because I never painted a sky before and I never painted with Acrylic too!

The effect turned out pretty nicely towards the end. I realise how fast Acrylic dries (as compared to oil) and how it was easier to work with it undiluted. I have a habit of using my oil paints mixed with a mixing medium before application. This does not really work in the same way for Acrylics! When I mixed Acrylic paints with water as a medium, I get transparent colours. Might have been nice but not quite the effect I needed. Educational nonetheless!

Once the sky was done, I ventured to the tree!

I had no idea how to draw the tree so I returned to some basic steps. After sketching it’s rough shape, I tried to simply replicate the colours as closely as I could, based on what my eye perceived. I blocked in the darkest area (shadowed bits) first, then the lightest shade on the other side, and filled the
middle with a medium shade of the same colour family – burnt umber, burnt sienna and yellow ochre – and blended it with a dry-ish brush.

I did the same with the other landscape stuff in the foreground. Shape, shade, blend.

Some of the colours had to be mixed from the rather basic colours provided, noticeably for the purples and orange for the sky. It helped that I had some experience with this from my oil sessions. Phew~

What I like with acrylic was that it was fairly easy to cover up mistakes as the colours (straight from the tube) cover over opaque and it dries fast enough for u to fix it in one sitting, unlike oil which takes fairly long to dry! But this property also makes blending hard on acrylic, as you have to do it before it dries up!

When it came to drawing the lemming/worm looking creature, I was struggling a bit. (I didn’t even realise I left my free drink almost untouched as I was so focused on painting!)

I could get the colours more or less but having never drawn cartoon stuff much, I could not capture the expression and stance quite right! Anybody who thinks cartoon drawings are for kids and thus easy… are mistaken.

Before I knew it, my 3 hours was up and we had to pack and go!

Oh dear! I didn’t manage to finish the clouds!

All in all… I would say it was good fun!

The folks at Arteastiq provided a cardboard carry case for easy transportation of the painting. Neat!

I would really recommend everyone to give this a try. Even those without prior painting experience can try this out. I would say that the only obstacle is yourself. It’s easy to pick up a brush (provided free), slap on some paint (also provided), mix it all up (palette provided) and paint with your heart (leave that critical and judgemental mind at home!). Go with the flow!!

Take the fear away from painting (it is not just for artists, just like sports is not just for athletes!)

For those who have painted before, the set up makes the session a breeze… No cleaning up! No excuses for not getting to it.

Most of all, it’s fun to do it with friends!

I also learnt something new that day.

I discovered later on, that the picture I chose from Arteastiq’s catalogues was actually an artwork by Turkish artist Coplu. Coplu was born in Turkey and now based in both Turkey and Canada. I was drawn to the simple but conceptually interesting images (kicked up a notch with a dash of humour). Except for the background, he paints with the palette knife (like my grandfather!). Nifty!

The image I picked was from his Dreams series.

It was a rather serendipitous encounter at the Ode to Art gallery over at Raffles City, Singapore, that I found out about Coplu and that I had plagiarised (!) his work for my Art Jam session!


It was interesting to see his works up close and observe his technique. I am so way off! Haha!

That’s how you learn and get better no?

Next up, I learn from the French masters as I recap my visit to the recently concluded Dreams and Reality exhibition.

3 Responses to “Social Painting + Friends = Painting – Fear!”

  1. Little Pixy Boots February 12, 2012 at 6:49 am #

    Great work! Love the blending you did.

    • yuehann February 12, 2012 at 12:55 pm #

      Thanks!! I’m sure if you were around, you’d put us all to shame!! 🙂


  1. Exhibitionist in Geylang… back again! « Still.Life. - February 22, 2012

    […] the other was one I recently did at a Social Painting session at Arteastiq, which is based on Coplu’s work in his Dreams series. Imitating […]

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