At the weekend, in the nick of time before the Covid-19 shutdown, I went on a two day course - Painting with acrylics - a fab present for my big birthday last December. The course was run by the highly talented Nicola Slattery in her beautiful studio in South Norfolk.
I dabbled a tiny bit with paint a couple of years back but this is the first time I've actually been in a painting class since school back in the late 70s! I've had a bit of a block with painting and drawing after failing my art A level so this course was a real opportunity for me to lay the ghost of failure to rest.
Over the course of the two days I learnt a great deal about acrylic paints - how to use them, mix them and apply them. There was a great group of us on the course - some with experience, others beginners like me!
I had gone to the course with the idea of releasing my inner abstract artist, but after a couple of forays into this kind of painting I put myself way out of my comfort zone to try a portrait. This was quite a roller coaster. After laying down the background I made the tentative marks of a face and then under Nicola's expert tuition painted in the skin with a colour something akin to an oompa loompa. But then with blending and building lighter colours, a much more realistic skin tone emerged. I had a real wobble with the features but again with patience and concentrated effort it all came good in the end!! Many of us went through this curve of confidence - then uncertainty - and then finally feeling quite proud of what we had produced.
With weeks of social isolation ahead I will be getting those art materials out from under the stair and painting some more!