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Acrylic painting of a white tiger standing among birch trees in autumn.

Autumn Tiger, an acrylic painting I painted for a good friend for Christmas.

Happy New Year!

I have more or less returned from my Christmas and New Years celebrations, and am looking forward to another year. The time shortly before Christmas is often a very busy time for me, as I enjoy painting or otherwise creating some of my gifts for family and friends. This year I painted my largest canvas painting yet–with a style I’ve never tried before.

A close-up of the tiger in the painting.

A close-up of the tiger.

This is my first painting done in an impressionistic style. It’s fashioned after another painting my good friend (and recipient of this painting) admires, with enough similarity to be complimentary but with enough individuality to make it a unique piece of its own.

I found I really enjoyed this style of painting. It was fun to smack on paint with individual brushstrokes, and allowed me to let go of some of the perfectionism of detailed, realistic painting. I’ll definitely be playing with it some more in the future.

Things I learned from this painting:

  • Painting in the process, an unfinished painting.

    An early stage of the painting process.

    The more expensive paint is way better. I typically use tole painting acrylics, such as Folk Art and Delta. They work well for painting rocks and hold up well to that medium. These are the bottles seen in the pictures here. However, for this painting, I wanted a paint with more body to form the ridges characteristic of oil paintings. For this, I used some of my more expensive acrylic paints I used in college, and re-discovered their superior quality compared to my usual paints. Their color is richer, their consistency smoother, and overall easier to work with. I’m a convert!

    A photo of the tiger painting

    A photo of the painting. The sides of the canvas are also painted.

  • I can scan my canvas paintings for the best digital copies. I scanned this painting in parts, and piece together the scans in Adobe Photoshop Elements. This worked way better than a camera, getting clarity at a very high resolution. It did take all evening to piece the scans together, however, but definitely worth the time.
  • Imperfection can be beautiful. As I’ve said, I’ve never done an impressionistic piece before. I’ve tried for details and realism, but somehow the imperfections–the impressionism–of this piece capture more emotion and atmosphere than any of my other realistic paintings. In time, I’ll become more distant from the painting and more objective about its strengths and faults, but for now, I am happy with the outcome.

So that’s what I’ve been up to recently. How about you? Have any fun New Years resolutions?

God Bless,