Dolphin painting in impressionist style by l1chen
This is my first attempt at painting something after I began formally studying art at home in my free time. I really enjoy the impressionist style, and I thought it would be suitable for me to begin working with to learn more about light and color. I have much room to improve on my techniques, but I still enjoyed making this piece.
I based my painting off of a photograph and chose a fairly light color that I saw in the water portion of the picture. I mixed my own hue from some acrylic paints and watered down the mixture a bit to paint a wash. I think I made the paint too wet since it warped the paper a bit (it's 90# watercolor paper). The warping decreased as I progressed through later steps.
I did my best to work fairly quickly before my paints dried. First I laid out the darkest values, then the mid-tones and lighter tones, and finally the highlights. I was amazed at how effectively the highlights brought the piece to life. In retrospect think I could have done more to adjust the dark blue-green area in the upper right portion of the piece. As my first practice piece, though, it turned out better than I expected.
Digital Paint Over
Used ArtRage to sketch out some changes I'd like to make to the actual painting. I added purple hues to the water and darkened the water toward the bottom to create depth. Then I added gray tones to the dolphin's belly and light orange and yellow tones in highlighted areas.
Edit Of Digital Sketch
Tried adding a bit of orange accents and darkened the water on the far left and right to frame the piece. These digital markings are just rough estimates of how I want to apply the paint. I removed the gray on the belly because it didn't seem necessary. I think I'm satisfied now and ready to make these changes to my actual painting.
I did another session of painting with acrylics and managed to reproduce the digital colors fairly well. I even managed to smooth out the texture of the dolphin's skin a little. There are still things that I could improve about this painting (I especially didn't like how the highlights on the water turned out). I think I have learned some good lessons with this practice piece, and I am ready to move on to a new project.
The Artist has asked for critique!
color composition, brush strokes
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