I started with a background of 16 squares that changed in gradation of color from a darker blue at the upper left (sky) to a darker gray at the lower right (pavement). I pained over that with a transparent wash of white to tone it down. I painted the houses that are down the street from me. I like the rhythm they create as they march up the hill. And yes, one of them really is red. But that wasn't enough for a painting so I added the cat looking at the bird on the tree branch - both common sights around here. I tried to tie it all together with the pops of red.
Of the 10 elements of composition, I think I used:
- Focal point: The red house.
- Variation in values: It's mostly cool, but the pops of red and the tree branch add warmth.
- Not equal parts warm and cool colors.
- The elements are apart, not touching.
- It feels unified: Houses, a bird, a tree, and a cat seem like they belong together.
- Rhythm: Created by the houses.
- The canvas is not overloaded: Though it may be a bit too sparse.
- Acrylic medium is great for transparency, but doesn't dry quickly! I had some problems last week just adding water to create a transparent color and had used acrylic medium the previous week with better luck so I did that again this week on my background. And waited. And waited. It was still tacky 18 hours later!
- Don't use your finger to see if the paint is dry! At least don't use it in the middle of the painting. I ended up with a finger print. That I tried to fix. And messed up a background I really loved. I've fixed it now somewhat, but it was better before the fingerprint.
- I still need new brushes. I haven't bought any more because I'm not sure what to get, but I know that I'm using some of my brushes more than others and that the cheapy ones seem to scratch off paint better than they apply it.
- Water is still frustrating me. I think my paintbrush is free of water drops and poof! Just when I'm least expecting it, a drop lands on my painting and when I try to get it off it takes a layer of paint with it. I'm not fully drying off my brush with a paper towel before applying paint and have been successful so far.