Majestic Sunset, A step-by-step
acrylic exercise with William F, Powell
This acrylic painting exercise is one
that I have presented in one-day, paint-along acrylic workshops
with both beginning and advanced artists. All have completed the
exercise with great success. It can , of course be accomplished
in oils as well. I hope you enjoy it.
- Size: 14" x 18" but of
course, you can paint this scene any size you wish.
- Brushes: Two soft "Bright"
styled brushes about
- 1/2" and 5/8"-3/4"
at the metal ferrule. One soft
- round brush with a fine point.
- Palette and Colors:
- Ultramarine Blue, Cadmium Red Light, Cadmium
Yellow Light, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Umber, Acra Magenta, Titanium
- I use an enameled "butcher tray"
and strong paper towels to manage my acrylic palette. As shown
at right, the main tube colors are placed on a wet towel along
the top of the palette. I then divide the lower portion of the
tray into thirds and place two, square folded, wet paper towels
in the two right areas. At the extreme right is one that I use
for brush mixing cool colors. The middle one I use to brush mix
warm color on. These wet towels work very well to keep the colors
workable. The lower left third is left as clear enameled tray
and can be easily wiped clean with a wet paper towel. Quick mixes
and fine brush molding can be performed on this area.
- There are wet palettes available on the commercial
market and they work very well. I have been using my enameled
tray method for so many years that is just seems to work well
for me. Also, with this enameled tray, I can keep the paints
wet and moist for days if called away. By placing plastic wrap
securely over the tray and making certain the edges are tight,
a type of humidor is created and there have been times when I
returned after three days to resume painting and the paints were
fine. Try it...I hope you like it.
- Let's begin the painting exercise... Step
- Step 1:
- Use the larger flat-styled "bright"
brush and begin blocking in the sky using a mixture of white
and ultramarine blue. gray the mixture slightly
with a speck of cadmium red light. Mix
your colors with a brush, as you go, to
obtain a variation in the values and tints.
Use loose non-directional strokes to create
an atmospheric feeling to the color blends.
- Step 2:
- Continue painting the sky using value
and tint changes.
- Add a speck of white plus a speck
of yellow ochre to the middle light blue sky area for a light
gray-green. then mix peach colors using white plus a speck of
cadmium red light and a speck of yellow ochre.
- Add the peach colors more strongly
- lower left area using white, a speck
of cad red light,
- and a speck of cadmium yellow light.
to Step 3
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