My First Painting Class

So last term I took my very first painting class. I did ok I think for first time painter, but far from anything worth mentioning. Which is why I am going to talk about each project in depth! We used mostly Oils, but there were a few times we used acrylic paints as well.

Here are all my paintings for the term. Don't judge too harshly! But if you want leave me a critique, as always, feel free.

24 x 20

The first abstract painting thing... I think looks pretty cool. It is extremely vibrant and colorful, and for a first painting I think I did a pretty good job... at what I dont know, but It looks better than some other first paintings I've seen (granted those were by second graders). In my intro to painting class on the first day we went around and talked about what painting experience we had. People had long resumes of their accomplishments and or skills, but when it came to me I said "I've used paint by numbers before". It got a pretty big laugh and the professor then went off on a long rambling speech. The thing was I wasn't joking, but thank god people took it as one.

We were given two weeks to finish the painting. I took a day designing and laying down color ideas. The painting is suppose to be grid based so I felt that probably all the people would do variations of squares and or what not to accomplish this. So I contemplated what I could do that was still grid based but without being obvious squares? Could circles be grid based? of course, but its still just a basic shape repeating, and thats when I came up with the idea of these organic shapes (that if reduced to basic lines or the negative space) would form a simple tic tac toe grid and then I thought, "well I might as well throw some circles in for good measure just to have some shapes and plus they look cool". People questioned weather it was a grid or not... the professor ruled in my favor... although i think hesitantly.


8 x 10

The small hand painting was just a quick study of my hand, it was literally done in... maybe five minutes. It was just suppose to be a mock up of tonal transition and conceptualization for the larger picture. It also gave me a chance to work with acrylic, and.. I dont know how I feel about acrylic. We had two weeks to finish the small painting and the larger hand painting.


18 x 24

The large hand painting is pretty far from done, the hand still needs to be rendered completely, and the background was suppose to be something but couldn't figure it out and so it became blue with these horrible yellow streaks... (garrish). I think the foreshortening and form of the hand are pretty good. For me each painting was an exercise in staving off frustration. I knew not a single thing about painting and so.... I wasted so much time just trying to teach myself habits about painting that I hardly had time to figure out technique, and when I felt I had finally figured out something technical, it turned out I had done no such thing. I felt really lost at times. It was really quite pathetic.


18 x 22

Now the self portrait is... really really really bad.... I mean really bad....I hate to admit that I painted it. The painting feels like it was painted by a third grade kid that eats paste all the time, that's who turns this kind of self portrait out. It is so embarrassing to show it, but I feel in the long run it will be a piece that I can point to and say, look at the progress I have made. Also to make myself feel better I always say, Van Goghs first self portraits look really bad. dont stare too long it sucks at the soul.

Anyway, there are things in the picture that resemble me, but its kind of a caricature of me really. I don't understand how to mix good skin tones (hence why Im like some other ethnicity), I drew the form nicely, but when fine tuning it and looking in the mirror everything became sort of wonky. The perspective gets all mixed up and discombobulated, There are harsh outlines, everything looks flat and stretched its very weird. I noticed that the eyes weren't aligned properly the day of the critique so I decided I could probably easily fix it with an hour before class. So i fixed it, the result was that I moved the eye to an even shittier position, I really dont know what I was thinking....

Anyway, I think we had two weeks on this one as well.


6 x 12 8 x 8

Now then we had a few class periods where we did quick 5 to 10 minute paintings on poster board from sketches that we made over the weekend. No pictures allowed just notes on color or whatever we sketched. the colors kind of run on these boards so it was interesting trying to learn how to paint on them.

1. the trees and contrails one is, well it should have had a better composition.

2. Sand dunes, i think that the sky is probably (even though its subtle) a very good representation of what was going on that day. I think the forms of the people are ok, but obviously simplistic because of the time. The ground is a bit... flat and... vibrant. I am color challenged it seems.

There were several more but I seem to have misplaced them, which could be a good thing.


24 x 20

and then finally the last one, the landscape (I included two shots one is kind of over exposed and the other one is dark, I couldnt get it quite right so its somewhere in the middle of these two). I think it looks better in person because I took a lot more time to think about brush strokes, as well as having had 5 weeks of getting into a routine. I was feeling fairly confident that I wouldnt completely suck ass at drawing or painting some trees. I believe we had 2 weeks and a class period to finish this.

I like it, i think I did pretty well. I am obviously still challenged by color, and I dont have a real nice concept of how to paint, but it looks ok for my sixth painting ever... who knows.


  1. Holy shit! Nice work, stud... I will pay TOP DOLLAR for the self portrait!

  2. lol do not mock my self portrait! god it is so hard to look at... it is amazing how self conscious it makes me feel. When I look at it I feel like I am the biggest sham to art since....

    i wish i had a good punchline but i dont.

  3. SHit dude I guess I forgot to comment on this- I'm impressed! Next time you do a forest/ocean/etc. themed painting you don't want laying around the house let me know. I would love to hang it in the bar!