Fun Colour Study of a Houseplant – Neatening Edges and Shapes

This series will show you how to create fun studies of plants in acrylics using a simple bold palette.

In this lesson I will show you how to neaten up your initial lay-in of colour, ready for more detailed passes.

You can download the reference image here: http://drawandpaint4free.artcoursework.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/P1090720-scaled.jpg

Materials: –

  • Acrylic paints: White, Bright Yellow, Bright Blue and Earth Red
  • Water cups and water
  • Palette – Paper towel
  • Medium sized flat acrylic brush
  • Small pointed brush
  • Begin by mixing up your darkest colour (likely a blend of your earth red and blue).
  • Mix this with a bit of water to create a slightly runny consistency – then gradually work your way around the piece, filling in any ragged white edges.
  • You can also use this as an opportunity to alter any mistakes in the shapes of the leaves etc.
  • Once you’ve completed the darkest tones, you can mix lighter greens to do the same thing within the leaves.
  • You can also neaten up and slightly embellish the plant pot.
  • Finally, add some highlights back into the leaves using pure white.
  • Acrylics tend to be quite transparent so we will keep doing more of these highlight passes of the next few sessions.

Fun Colour Study of a Houseplant – Laying in Simple and Bold Colours

This series will show you how to create fun studies of plants in acrylics using a simple bold palette.

This lesson will cover the second stage – laying in the major colours in the painting as flat shapes.

You can download the reference image here: http://drawandpaint4free.artcoursework.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/P1090720-scaled.jpg

Materials:

  • Your drawing from the first lesson
  • Acrylic paints: White, Bright Yellow, Bright Blue and Earth Red
  • Water cups and water
  • Palette
  • Paper towel
  • Medium sized flat acrylic brush
  • Begin by mixing up a dark, neutral tone.
  • The easiest way to do this is by adding your blue to the earth red, and keep mixing until it looks like a colour in between blue and red. This is as close to neutral as you will get.
  • It will also be the darkest colour you can mix with this limited palette and serve as your black.
  • Lay this dark tone into all the darkest parts of the image (referring to the reference)
  • You may need to add a little bit of water to help the paint flow, but try to avoid making it too washy.
  • Once you’ve laid in the darkest tonal masses, you can start adding patches of green for the leaves.
  • To mix a cool green, add some yellow and white to the dark base colour.
  • If this feels too warm, adjust the green with some extra blue.
  • Then you can add the brightest highlights on the leaves, this colour can be mixed by adding a lot of white to your green.
  • You want it to be a very pale, light green.
  • Finally, mix a warmer, redder tone for the plant pot (use more earth red and yellow rather than blue).
  • Then use pure white add the highlights on the pot as well.
  • That’s it for now! The next lesson will be focused on neatening up this rough block-in.

Fun Colour Study of a Houseplant – Starting With a Pencil Sketch

This series will show you how to create fun studies of plants in acrylics using a simple bold palette.

This lesson will cover the first stage – making a loose line drawing using pencil.

You can download the reference image here: http://drawandpaint4free.artcoursework.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/P1090720-scaled.jpg

Materials:

  • Paper, canvas or panel suitable for acrylic paint
  • Pencil
  • Easel
  • As this is going to be a sketchy approach – you don’t need to use an eraser, but I recommend starting light with the pencil at first and only getting darker when you’re more confident about the general proportions.
  • Start with a few big, gestural shapes to approximately place the forms of the pot and leaves.
  • Then place a few leaves at the limits of the group.
  • The furthest left, furthest right, top etc.
  • Then once you’ve got these more extreme placements, it’s easy to just fill in the leaves that fill the space between.
  • Pay attention to the particular character of each individual leaf. Some are more round, some are oblong etc.
  • Finally, make the darker edge of the leaf forms darker (with a heavier line) – the darker edge will tend to be facing away from the light.
  • Once you’ve done that, you can pop a few coats of fixative over the pencil sketch.
  • When it’s dry you can start painting.

Tips For Correcting Proportions in Your Drawings and Paintings

This short lesson will show you some techniques for making better corrections in your artworks. Proportions can be really tricky, so it’s handy to have a few tricks up your sleeve when trying to figure out what’s going wrong. These principles apply to both drawing and painting – whenever you’re working realistically.

  • Start by plotting a few basic points on the paper.
  • You can use a vertical guideline (like the one above) to help get started.
  • Pay attention to where the subject crosses this line, as well as how far to the right or left of the line it is.
  • Use simple lines to approximately block in the main proportions of the form that you’re copying.
  • Don’t worry if it’s not accurate – you will just be using this as a starting point.
  • The image on the left is my first at the foot and the one on the right is my corrected version.
  • I primarily relied on ‘horizontal and vertical alignments’ to make the necessary adjustments.
  • To do this I chose a point and imagined a horizontal or vertical line travelling out from it. Then I used that line to tell whether other points matched it’s placement (were they too high or too low etc.).
  • This little trick will help you to problem solve when something is wrong with the proportions in your drawing or painting.

Realistic Charcoal Sketching – Tips for Finishing a Drawing Quickly

In this series we will be working from a sculpture in the Met Museum collection in New York. This is a great exercise for learning traditional drawing techniques in charcoal. The MET is a great free resource for artists who want to copy from high quality images and references.

In the final sessions of this three part series, I will show you how to use accents, texture and quick blending techniques to get a finished look fast.

You can download the original image I’m working from here: https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collect…

These are the minimum materials you will need:

  • Drawing paper
  • Compressed charcoal pencil
  • Hard willow charcoal
  • Kneadable eraser
  • Sharpen all your charcoal to start with (and try to keep it sharp throughout the final session).
  • Then use the compressed charcoal to add some punch to the darker accents across the drawing.
  • Adding selective detail and contrast this way is an efficient method to make the drawing look more finished without too much effort.
  • You can also pass over larger areas of tone with your hard willow charcoal to smooth things out a bit (I recommend watching the video to see what I mean).
  • Finally, see if you can find any little notches of texture that stand out and pop them in.
  • A good example of this is the light chip on the cheek in shadow – I added this in by simple erasing a light shape and then putting a darker note above that.