Today is my fifth painting with acrylics. I felt confident enough to choose a more complex subject, using (of course) another YouTube video. I am learning a lot by following videos, especially ones that suggest brushes and colors, as well as explain techniques.
This painting is done on Fredrix canvas pad paper, 11×14. The canvas, though already gessoed, was gessoed by me. I like that step and feel it is a good way to begin a painting, much like grinding ink prior to doing sumi-e. There is a meditative element to it.
Murray Stewart, whose video I followed, painted his underlying canvas with burnt sienna. I used red ochre and found that the color is just yummy! I live where red soil is known, so it was like seeing an old friend. That said, from there I pretty much followed through the video. About half way, Stewart mentions that the basic work was done, and details were what were needed to finish the painting. I agreed, but watched through to the end.
I have been using titanium white for mixing colors, but decided to use zinc white, as I do with gouache. For gouache, and mixing colors, it is great, but the titanium is a much better choice for mixing colors in acrylics. I am not quite sure where I will use zinc white in acrylics, but I am sure I can do some research.
This video presented me with a lot of material I enjoyed learning: making sun beams, using a fan brush for foliage, dark against light and light and against light effects. More, too, simply by doing. While painting, I found that dipping my brush in water prior to picking up paint made for better painting. The brush wasn’t sopping, and the water in the brush gave enough moisture to allow pure pigment to be spread around. I also found that this helped with glazes.
So, here is Stewart’s video – he did a good job, and he is pretty darn funny, too!