This video demonstrates important acrylic painting techniques in order to create a still life painting from beginning to end.
- Watch the 30 second short (shopping for palette knives)
- Watch the 3 min. version (still life set up)
- Watch the 3 min. version (glass palettes)
- Watch the 14 min. version (painting)
Techniques covered in the video include palette knives, choosing acrylic colors, using a palette knife, mediums that can be added to the acrylic paint, acrylic varnishes, painting details, and much more.
Demo led by Teaching Artist Alex Rowe.
- Payne’s Grey
- Titanium white
- Permanent rose
- Naples yellow
- Mixing white
- Cobalt Green
- Cobalt Blue
- Alizarin Crimson
Materials provided by
One of the many challenges I encountered while working on this piece was mixing the right colors I wanted, and properly shading areas of both shadow and different tone altogether. I found it was extremely easy to end up wasting a whole bunch of paint trying to mix a small swatch for just one small area of the painting, because you keep adding and adding paint and mixing it in and realize later that you have a giant lump on your palette that you won’t even use.Ruth Lee
Additionally, I learned the hard way not to let brushes soak in my water container for too long (and completely dry them on a towel before diving into paint again), because when painting larger swaths of color, I began to realize that even a tiny bit of water turned my paint into a wash and killed the thick opacity of color I wanted.
I experimented with many compositions before choosing a final setup. The objects were placed on a silk cloth, which I moved around to create folds that would be interesting to paint. Next, I made a preliminary observational sketch with pencil on a wood canvas, and then began mixing colors. A challenge I faced during this time was knowing which colors were most important to the piece – I wanted to cover as much surface area in as little time as possible.Julie Sharpe
Then, I would be able to focus on details later as opposed to starting with detail work (which is a habit I have). After covering most of the canvas, I started to correct mistakes and work on details. At this point, I worked mostly from a photograph that I took of the piece because I got hungry and had to use some of the food for a meal!
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