I recommend using Unsplash.com to find a reference photo. I am choosing to paint a raccoon. I think animals are great practice for learning how to paint! But feel free to choose your own reference photo. Try to print it out the size you will paint it if you plan on transferring the image to your panel (the other option is to freehand sketch it). We will have time together in class to either sketch or transfer our images. Below you will find a complete supply list. There are a couple of substitutions you can make, for example if you are unable to get carbon transfer paper you can make your own with a piece of printer paper and a pencil. If you don't have an embossing stylus you can use an ink pen instead. For the acrylic spray, any kind will work - gloss or matte depending on the finish you want. This is necessary as gouache will always be reactivated with water. Spraying our painting will seal it and make it so moisture cannot damage it. You can work on any size wood panel you want. You can buy a specific wood panel for painting or even just use a piece of wood from Lowe's or Home Depot. I will be using a 10"x10" wood panel (I will crop this image into a square) for my painting. Let me know what questions you have in the comments!
For the second part of our acrylic painting project we are going to learn about the importance of applying a wash and why artists do it. Below are two instructional videos to guide you through the process of taping the edges of your paper (if you choose to do so) and applying a wash to your paper.
A wash is simply a small amount of acrylic paint with about 25% water added to it, and it looks very similar and has the same consistency as watercolor paint. The goal of your wash is to be transparent, so that you can still see your pencil lines through it. A wash is designed to give a middle ground value to a painting, which provides a surface for you to begin building the acrylic paint on. I apply washes to canvas, watercolor paper and even wood panels when I paint with acrylics.
How do you decide what color wash to apply? Well, to be honest it really doesn't matter but here are some things that I consider. Do I want a warm wash or a cool wash? Or perhaps, like my apple painting I chose a complimentary color and washed my paper green to make the reds of the apple pop more. You could even do a grey wash (black with water) so it's neutral. Brown washes are great too. One important thing to note is never add white to your wash color, it will make it too light. Only lighten and make it translucent with water.
View part one here.
Welcome to our first group acrylic painting project! Our goal for this project is to paint just one object (a form) with a simple background. I am selecting an apple to use as my object. This is a project that I am going to chunk into steps and post the content here, on our club homepage so that you can start this project at any time. I will also be available to answer any questions you have or help you with the process of acrylic painting along the way. You can get support by leaving comments on posts or through email, which is underneath my profile on this page. By the end of our lessons you will understand and feel comfortable with the acrylic painting process. Below are some guides to help you get started! I am including the reference image of an apple that I will be using for this project from Unsplash, which is a royalty-free photo website. If I don't take my own reference photos, I always make sure I am using a royalty-free source to avoid any copyright issues. You may select the same image (download here), or choose a single object (form) of your choice. Stay tuned for the next part of this project lesson!
View part 2 here.
Whether you are a beginning or seasoned artist, the painting and drawing club offers you an opportunity to make new friends, expand your skills and share your passion for creating visual arts in a supportive virtual environment.
Jennifer is a visual arts teacher and artist that specializes in painting and drawing. She is passionate about teaching skills and techniques along with the process of how to make art so that her students feel empowered to make their own creative choices!
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