Quick Still Life Sketching in Acrylics – Part 4

In this series we will be creating a monochrome study in acrylics. This is a great exercise as the materials are basic and easy to get hold of – so you can get used to using brushes and mixing paint in a simple manner.

In this session we will be focusing on the pot in the background, with an emphasis on the texture and shininess of the metal.

  • Start by neatening the curved forms and reinforcing the depth of the black paint.
  • The shadows will be almost totally black.
  • Then adjust any halftones while adding more sublte transitions.
  • The curve on the right of the pot (the inside curve that we see) is lightest in the middle and then the tone gets darker as it goes down and up towards the shadow.
  • Finish by adding light highlights on the pot.
  • If these highlights are very contrasty they will make the pot appear more metallic and shiny.

These are the materials you will need:

  • Small panel, canvas or piece of acrylic paper to paint on
  • Range of small to medium brushes
  • White acrylic paint
  • Black Acrylic Paint
  • Palette
  • Easel
  • Pot (for water)

Quick Still Life Sketching in Acrylics – Part 3

In this series we will be creating a monochrome study in acrylics. This is a great exercise as the materials are basic and easy to get hold of – so you can get used to using brushes and mixing paint in a simple manner.

In this session we will be focusing on the swan’s body – beginning to give it more detail and continue increasing a sense of 3D form.

  • We will work our way gradually across the whole form the of the swan.
  • I start from left to right and begin with the neck at the edge of the painting.
  • Look for where the form is lightest and then add gradually darker tones moving away from that point. You can do this by gradually mixing black into the white.
  • Look for things like the wrinkle in the feathers of the neck where it bends.
  • Make sure you pay attention to how the internal wrinkle affects the outisde edge of the form.
  • Finally – heighten the lightest sections by laying in multiple passes of white.
  • This will slowly build up a great glow.

These are the materials you will need:

  • Small panel, canvas or piece of acrylic paper to paint on
  • Range of small to medium brushes
  • White acrylic paint
  • Black Acrylic Paint
  • Palette
  • Easel
  • Pot (for water)

Quick Still Life Sketching in Acrylics – Part 2

In this series we will be creating a monochrome study in acrylics. This is a great exercise as the materials are basic and easy to get hold of – so you can get used to using brushes and mixing paint in a simple manner.

In this session we will be neatening up the edges of the shapes and starting to add more 3D form.

  • Begin by sharpening up the edges of all the forms.
  • Match the colours that you mixed last session.
  • Keep working in multiple passes as the acrylic will likely be pretty transparent.
  • Once the edges of the forms have been neatened and the tones are flatter you can start making the forms more 3D.
  • Add halftones between the lights and darker tones to create softer, more believable transitions.
  • Focus on a sense of texture (note how the brass pot is more contrasty, so it looks shinier).

These are the materials you will need:

  • Small panel, canvas or piece of acrylic paper to paint on
  • Range of small to medium brushes
  • White acrylic paint
  • Black Acrylic Paint
  • Palette
  • Easel
  • Pot (for water)

Quick Still Life Sketching in Acrylics – Part 1

In this series we will be creating a monochrome study in acrylics. This is a great exercise as the materials are basic and easy to get hold of – so you can get used to using brushes and mixing paint in a simple manner.

We will be working from a great painting by Emil Carlsen that features a really nice contrast of textures – the shiny brass pot vs. the soft feathers of the swan. There is also a nice amount of contrast that looks really luminous in the image.

These are the materials you will need:

  • Small panel, canvas or piece of acrylic paper to paint on
  • Range of small to medium brushes
  • White acrylic paint
  • Black Acrylic Paint
  • Palette
  • Easel
  • Pot (for water)
  • We will begin by loosely blocking/washing in some basic darker shapes.
  • Start with anything that helps define the shapes of the main subject (the pot and swan).
  • Use a reasonable amount of water to thin the paint (this will make it dry faster but that’s ok – you will get used to the acrylic as you work with it more).
  • Once the darker shapes have been placed – you can mix some halftones to fill in the rest of the scene.
  • Keep working loosely – we will be refining more as the painting progresses.
  • Finally, you can add some lighter tones to start defining the shape of the swan.
  • These tones will only be a tad darker than white (if you go too dark the swan won’t look bright enough).