Just saying hi

Hi Everyone, 

First time to find this forum, I have been watching the DMP videos for a few weeks, and stumbled on them as I searched for ways to get into oil painting.  I struggled for years to achieve any sort of realism, mostly because I cannot draw to save my life.   As such, I had been painting abstracts in acrylic for a while but stopped once i got married and started having kids.   I always enjoyed the process of painting, even putting gesso on a canvas brought me a sense of sanity... but I hadn't done it in years. 

So my wife's birthday was coming up in October, and we try to come up with unique gifts to get each other that don't necessarily involve breaking the bank.  So this year I (brilliantly or stupidly) told her that I would paint her a family portrait.  She was elated, but I had no idea how in the world this could happen as I not only hadn't painted in five years, I had never painted anything that was supposed to look like anything.   But I jumped in, head first... and quickly found that I was in wayyyyy deep.   The buildup of paint (acrylic) was getting insurmountable around the faces (4 of them...  stupid) as I kept painting over, and over and over, just trying to get to something I could love.  I finally begrudgingly asked for help.  

A buddy of mine suggested oils, he said they were actually easier as you could keep working on something for a long time, scrape it off if you don't like it, etc...   So, on October 21st, I bought my first set of oils. 

I conquered the drawing issue by just using a grid method on existing photos, and then started painting... OH MAN... this is hard, but WOW, what a joyous process.  

Draw Mix Paint has been a critical component to my successes so far, and I honestly have to go back and re-watch videos as I just didn't (and often don't) have enough real life experience until I take what I am learning and just go paint.  

Anyway, happy to find the forum too so I can ask questions and just talk with people about the processes.  I think the thing that I find myself wrestling with the most at this time, other than color value, painting techniques, realism, and the normal stuff is just trying to find the balance of what really needs to be exactly like the photo, and what can be communicated instead through visual cues that tell our brains something exists...  it is one of the things i love most about art in general, how our minds fill in the gaps when given the right cues of what *should* be there in front of us. 

Anyway, long post...   just saying hi.  Still on painting #1.   I don't know when it will be "finished", so may be starting #2 soon...  




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