BBQ Squid: Mixed Media Acrylic Painting

Teaching Artist Lauryn Welch demonstrates techniques for creating a mixed media acrylic painting that is inspired by a taste of a texture.

14 min. video

Inspired by her experience eating BBQ squid at a Japanese restaurant in New York City, Lauryn creates a thumbnail sketch using Copic sketch markers to plan for the acrylic painting.

Lauryn explains different types of brushes she uses and their specific advantages.

She demos her color mixing process, different Golden mediums that can be blended in with the paint to create different visual effects, unusual items like coffee grounds which can be mixed into the acrylic paint to achieve texture, and much more. 

Video Walkthrough

  • Mixing Colors
  • Cadmium colors & safety
  • Palette knives & brushes
  • Additives for acrylic paint: coffee grounds, gels, Lumiere paints 
  • Let the painting guide you!

Prof Lieu’s Tips

Clara cartoon

The most common issue I see with palette knives is people don’t press down hard enough with them in terms of physical pressure, it’s more like they just are pushing the paint side to side.

Mixed Media Acrylic Painting, Lauryn, banner

You have to press down and hard, people are shocked when they see just how much you need to do!

If there is anything I have learned about palette knives and mixing colors, it’s that it takes physical pressure to do, otherwise it takes so much longer than necessary to fully mix your colors.

Art Supplies

Mixed Media Acrylic Painting, Lauryn, banner


Work by Alexia Towle

“Acrylic paint is one of my favorite mediums, but I still feel very new to it. I wanted to explore with texture, and since fish are slimy and wet, I could experiment with how I would create that effect.

Bright colors are also not something that I am too familiar with, so I learned a lot from this piece! I had a lot of fun layering the colors to create a scaly look, and I reckon the white highlights communicate well that the fish is shiny.”

Alexia Towle

“I love acrylics because they’re so smooth, shiny and rich. And by mixing them with other materials, you can achieve a wide range of textures! 

I don’t like fried squid, so I chose to do my own version–korean fried chicken. I used a mixture of coffee grounds and chia seeds to make the fried chicken, some wrinkled and painted tissue paper for the lettuce and kimchi, and put some white acrylic in a plastic bag with a small hole cut at the end.

I even added real sesame seeds sprinkled on top to make it more realistic. I really learned a lot from this project, because I got to test the limits of the paint and have fun seeing what kinds of textures I could alter it to express.”

Ruth Lee
Work by Ruth Lee
Work by Neve Rechan

“I was a bit stuck at when it comes to creating depth, and differentiating the plants- but I just changed the hue of the paint by mixing them and that did the job! 

The most memorable part of this experience was using the new texture element in my work. For the cactus pricks, I used toilet paper and for the sand I used some chia seeds mixed with acrylic and topped with salt!”

Neve Rechan

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