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
- 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).