I've been trying to learn the way of the old masters by trying out the Flemish painting technique.
I'm to embarrassed to show off my attempts thus far! I am using acrylic paints along with slow-dri and glazing mediums. I have never used mediums before and they're a joy to work with. MUCH better then using straight water. (though a bit of water still helps) Never even realized they existed before! It's no wonder why I'd have troubles with the pigment flaking off... when you use to much water, it breaks down the binding properties of the paint so there's nothing to hold onto to the pigment.
Supposedly, per one instructional video I watched, about 90% of acrylic painters don't use mediums. I definitely used to be that 90% but maybe that number is a bit over-exaggerated?
While I like working with mediums vs. mainly water... I'm still not fully used to it. I do love the slick shine it adds to my paints though.
My 1st attempt at Flemish, I have no idea what I was thinking even. I skipped the imprimatura and went straight to the umber layer. The next thing I did wrong was use white paint in this layer as well. I then thought, well... the next layers of paint should fix that but no! It really didn't. I can see why it wouldn't work, even after the dead layer, when I tried to do the color layer. Despite reading and watching a ton of videos, I had messed up the process of steps still. (What a newb)
So, my 1st attempt at a realistic eye was not so good... how about my 2nd attempt? Again, maybe I needed some coffee? I skipped the imprimatura, the umber, and the dead layer and went straight to the color! Realizing shortly after what I did wrong again... I tried to go back and put on the umber layer which looks nice and all but... wait for it. I forgot the imprimatura, sigh. Also, I realized there's another layer before the imprimatura layer... I saw a lot of Artists inking their drawings out 1st before they even started the 1st step of the Flemish technique.
My failed practices went into the trash!
You see, I always have worked with watercolor paints mostly or would use acrylics like they were watercolors. So for me, Flemish feels backwards as you're doing a lot of dark colors 1st and then working lightly with color glazes afterwards as the last step.
So why am I trying to learn the Flemish technique if I'm already pretty good at watercolors?
I realize the distinct advantage that comes with sorting out all the dark and light values before hand in a painting PLUS I am in love with the translucent, vivid coloring that can come from finely-honed Flemish painting skills. I'd like to be good enough to sell paintings one day for a living, even if it's just something I do on the side. The Flemish technique, one would hope, could translate and work amazing when it comes to my digital art as well. There were many times I've come across an artist doing their drawings in all grey-scale, only then to add color later and I wondered why they did that. Over the years, I figured out the why but not necessarily the how. Maybe some of them don't realize they're doing Flemish but I'm sure most probably do.
Overall, I'm ready for my 3rd attempt. I drew Akane, from Ranma 1/2, fanart to practice on. If it turns out even remotely nice looking, I'll post it up. If not... it will also go into the shit bin.