top of page

All Paintings Have an Ugly Phase

Oh no, you found a beautiful reference photo, you transferred the image on it either by tracing or gridding, and you started painting.

I recently started a still life of sunflowers. First thing I did was paint the background (I like to paint my background first). Sometimes you need to paint the background after you paint or started your focal point.

Then I transferred the image to my background.

After I transferred the images, I started to block in the focal point (my two sunflowers). I also started adding my contrast to the stems and leaves.

After blocking in the image, I let dry over night. Acrylic paintings are about layers, so I find if I let dry well over night, I achieve a better art. The next day I started to add color to my sunflowers In blocking in the image, I also noted where the shadows would go using different colors of white. As we all know sunflowers are yellowish orange in color. Some sunflowers are more red and orange; there are many varieties of sunflower. I decided that my sunflower was going to have a lot of orange tones to it, so I mixed my orange colors, and instantly hated the painting and color choices. The painting was now in its ugly phase. And boy did I not like it and was surprises by how ugly it was.

I put it away to dry and moved onto working on my blog and gallery. A few days later, I took out the painting and two yellows -- Primary Yellow and Cad Yellow Hue Med. I also took out some Marigold Yellow and Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold and Quinacridone Burnt Orange. I had determined that the Quin Nickel Azo Gold and Quin Burnt Orange would be the shadow colors for my sunflowers and the Primary Yellow and Cad Yellow Hue Med would be my highlight colors. I started with the flower on the right. The left is still not done but so far it is looking much better. The ugly phase is slowly becoming beautiful.

Don't let the ugly phase stop you from painting. Put it away for a day or two and then return to start adding the color and beauty.

Until the next blog, happy painting.


bottom of page