The blue and green Comma Strokes that I made with my Filbert Brush earlier in the week really inspired me. These little practice strokes reminded me of tiny peacock feathers, so for the remainder of the week I decided to use my new learning about brushes and brush strokes to paint a peacock feather. I took the lead from some artists I watched on Youtube and chose a photograph to base my work off of. I found this beautiful photo online, and decided to use it to guide me.
First, I worked on holding my brush appropriately and only moving my shoulder as I painted. This new learning really helped me! I realized that prior to this week, I consistently used my wrist to create small brush strokes because I thought it would give me more control. Now that I learned to steady my hand with my pinky and move my entire arm, my lines are more controlled.
I started this painting by creating a yellow and white cross-hatch background. I love the depth that this technique creates. Then I switched to a smaller flat brush and started to form the stem by using the dry brush technique that I learned earlier in the week. I used a dry brush to press and drag across the canvas, allowing the color to fade as the paint ran out. I thought this would give my painting the feathery look I was going for. I also used the chisel part of the bristle to create the thin lines.
I gradually added more color to the top part of the feather with my Filbert Brush. This helped me create a smooth rounded center. I waited before layering color on the blue center. The last thing I added to the painting was the bright outlines on the rounded top of the feather. I tried to fade the colors into each other, but the colors still look pretty defined.
Here is the progression of my painting.
The next thing I want to learn is how to blend and fade colors to achieve a more natural look. I hope I can touch up this painting to make it look more realistic. I am proud of my first start after my new learning, but I know that I have a long way to go before I can call myself a painter.
I started a Pinterest Board for Acrylic Painting Ideas and realized that quite a few frequently pinned paintings belong to the same artist who has a blog of her own. Another goal in my Network Learning Project is to find blogs/websites of accomplished painters. I would like to reach out to at least one artist and inquire about how he/she got started in painting and ask for advice for a beginning painter. Like Wagner in his article, Personal Learning Networks for Educators: 10 Tips, I think authenticity is critical to learning and collaboration. I hope that making these connections will other people will broaden my Professional Learning Network and help me to become a better painter.