Acrylic painting demonstration

An acrylic painting is shown in stages through a series of photographs. This technique adds some drama to figure painting although (WARNING) like any formula, it can be over-used! Stages 1, 2 & most of 3 are shown in the first image.  Oops! I hope to start photographing earlier next time. The idea of stages becomes artificial but serves to break down the process for this purpose.

1: Underpainting the canvas in two sections with yellow (for the sea) and orange-purple (for the sand). I wanted the warmth of the dawn light to glow through the planned sea colour. 2: Painting the figures in solid shapes. 3: Painting the sea over the yellow ground. When painting around the figures I allowed some of the yellow to remain.

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4: Adding some details to the sea and drawing the outline of major shadows in the foreground with charcoal.

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5: Painting the sand.

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6:  Adding the basic shape and colour of the grasses and darkening the shadows. This ended up being a mistake and later I had to lighten some of them quite a bit.

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7: Painting in the figures. I kept them as simple as possible and allowed the dark underpainting to show through for shadows on the figure. Also adding more warmth to the water colour with some touches of yellow wash.

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8: More painting on the grass and working on those buckets!

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9: Tweaking the bucket colours, softening the shadows and filling out the grasses. And…almost forgot those fishing rods.
The ‘final’ painting “Men at Play” (approx 20×30″). Now I see it here, there are still a few changes to make. I usually allow some breathing time before I call it quits.

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What would you do to it now? Is it too late? This technique also works well for larger figures and for still life. Have you tried it?

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10 thoughts on “Acrylic painting demonstration

  1. If you mean, have I tried photographing the process of my painting – well no, I haven’t. I have thought about doing so but then get so involved in the act of painting and forget. I like to see your process though – a revealing and learning idea – thank you for sharing.

    1. Hi clinock. I meant the actual technique of solid shapes first. But what a strange process it was to photograph, so stop-start and so much extra effort! There is a good case for the video camera over the shoulder.

  2. If you are interested in using a video camera to record the process of painting check out: http://liamrainsford.com – Liam’s blog is called pictureS. He is a brilliant teacher and lovely man. Liam uses time lapse video to record his process for on-line teaching of painting in oils.
    Thank you so much for your art rat cafe Follow – I am honoured.

    1. Thanks clinock, for the link. I did “pick up” PictureS through your blog and have been watching his videos. They are really inspiring. It was his work I was thinking of re the video over the shoulder. He has such skill! I enjoy his choice of music too.

  3. Congratulations Philippa- I enjoyed “seeing live”your demonstrations. Great teaching tool for all to see. Best wishes Jack Condous

  4. Thanks for the compliment on my picture. (My Reply button is not working.) These painting remind me of some French 1800s painter whose work is hanging at the National Gallery of Art. Yours is more modern, naturally. I will get his name for you next time I am down there.

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