Building an Acrylic Painting with Layered Washes

 

Guest instructor, Zara, introduced her favourite method of developing an acrylic painting by using many washes to slowly develop the picture. She said that this meditative process left a painting which was both translucent and in a illustrative painterly way. 

She used two subjects to paint at the same time  so one could dry while the other was being repainted. Before starting, she mixed a small amount of acrylic paint colour in a little water. She had several pots of these mixed colours which she cautioned us to mix well to get rid of the lumps. They had the consistency of creamy milk.. These little containers of watery colours were her paint pallet.

 She then drew the object (apples) and sky landscape first with a light coloured watercolour pencil. She then used a flat brush to paint in the apples and sky with a light colour and let dry. She began to layer the colours to develop each of  the pictures. She followed the shape of the apple with her brush strokes. She warned us that this type of painting could require 20 or more layers so would require patience. She only had time to paint about 3 layers with each picture and said that they would require at least another dozen layers each. 

We began to see the potential after only three layers with some lovely luminous colours being produced. Many of the members used the rest of the afternoon practising this intriguing method of painting with acrylics.

 

 

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The use of a flat brush

Brushes come in various shapes including round, filbert (a semi round top and great for portraiture), fan, angular, and the flat brush. Each has it’s own uses.

Caroline Marsland demonstrated the use of the flat brush at class. These brushes  come in all sizes. She chose a medium and medium small to show how one could complete a landscape painting using this one shaped brush. A flat brush can make thick consistent strokes or when it is turned on it’s side, will give you fine lines. It is great for blocking in solid shapes of color such as in the painting of the building shown in her demo. She also showed it’s use in blocking in color for trees.

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Painting in the style of Monet

Caroline Marsland lead us in a demo of a Monet painting. She pointed out the Impressionists of whom he was most famous, were into seeing colours in their environment. `Monet painted with thick oil paint later stumbling with thick paint when his eyesite become poor. He used small strokes that blend often giving a feeling of a haze. His strokes for the sky were often verticle and the water horizontal. He often used a ground color of blue or cream. He painted at the lighter end of the light-dark scale.

`his brief biography is as follows:

Claude Monet, in full Oscar-Claude Monet, (born November 14, 1840, Paris, France—died December 5, 1926, Giverny), French painter who was the initiator, leader, and unswerving advocate of the Impressionist style. In his mature works, Monet developed his method of producing repeated studies of the same motif in series, changing canvases with the light or as his interest shifted. These series were frequently exhibited in groups—for example, his images of haystacks (1890/91) and the Rouen cathedral (1894). At his home in Giverny, Monet created the water-lily pond that served as inspiration for his last series of paintings. His popularity soared in the second half of the 20th century, when his works traveled the world in museum exhibitions that attracted record-breaking crowds and marketed popular commercial items featuring imagery from his art.

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The Zorn Pallet

On April 24th instructor Lucy Parker gave a brief talk to the Wednesday Dupont class  on the zorn pallet used by many artists She described the colours used as yellow ocher, cad red medium. black and white. She said that in using oils, the dark colors should be laid down first. This was a brief outline of her colour mix. 

 

It is described as follows on line:

“The Zorn palette refers to a palette of colors attributed to the great Swedish artist, Anders Zorn (18 February 1860 – 22 August 1920). It consists of just 4 colors being yellow ochre, ivory black, vermilion and titanium white. Cadmium red light is commonly used in place of vermilion by modern day artists.

Whilst this may seem like an extremely limited range of colors, Zorn demonstrated through his paintings just what is possible with such a limited palette. Here are some of his paintings which appear to utilize the Zorn palette:”

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Using a Grid for Complex Subjects

Lucy was our instructor for the Wednesday class and took us through the use of grids when drawing accurately. Anytime you want to draw something that requires accuracy such as a portrait, pet, vehicle, a complex still life, etc. we may wish to use the grid method.

It starts with drawing a grid of squares over the photo of the work you wish to copy. These squares can be numbered and lettered  to make it easier to follow when drawing. Next you then draw the same numbers and letters  of squares onto your drawing paper/canvas. You then

carefully copy each square from the grided photo copy onto your painting/drawing surface. Be careful at the corner of the eye and bridge of the nose as these can be tricky.

If you don’t wish to mark the photo you can always copy the grid onto clear acetate and layer it onto the photo. There are also various grid drawing assistance apps on your tablet which you can download and layover the photo to be copied.

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Check out EOS Exhibition on Screen

S E A S O N   S I X
FIND A SCREENING

EXHIBITION ON SCREEN, the pioneering series of gallery and artists films for the cinema, returns for a sixth season, featuring three brand new feature films and encore screenings of audience favourite Rembrandt, back by popular demand.

The new films in Season Six will reveal the story behind Degas‘ obsessive pursuit for perfection; how Picasso’s lesser-known early years shaped his rise to international fame; and the profound influence of Japan on the work of Van Gogh. Meanwhile, Rembrandt will return to screens marking the 350th anniversary of the artist’s death.

  Continue below for dates and synopsises!  
DEGAS: PASSION FOR PERFECTION
Directed by David Bickerstaff
Release date: from 6 November 2018

EXHIBITION ON SCREEN journeys from the streets of Paris to the heart of a superb exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, whose extensive collection of Degas’ works is the most representative in Britain. With exclusive access to view rare and diverse works, this film tells a fascinating story of Degas’ pursuit for perfection through both experimentation with new techniques and lessons learnt from studying the past masters. (read more)
YOUNG PICASSO
Directed by Phil Grabsky
Release date: from 5 February 2019

Pablo Picasso is one of the greatest artists of all time – and right up until his death in 1973 he was the most prolific of artists. Many films have dealt with these later years – the art, the affairs and the wide circle of friends. But where did this all begin? What made Picasso in the first place? Too long ignored, it is time to look at the early years of Picasso; the upbringing and the learning that led to his extraordinary achievements. (read more)
REMBRANDT
From the National Gallery, London and Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Directed by Kat Mansoor
Release date: from 9 April 2019

Every Rembrandt exhibition is eagerly anticipated but this major show hosted by London’s National Gallery and Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum was an event like no other. Given privileged access to both galleries the film documents this landmark exhibition, whilst interweaving Rembrandt’s life story, with behind-the-scenes preparations at these world-famous institutions. (read more)
VAN GOGH & JAPAN
Directed by David Bickerstaff
Release date: from 4 June 2019

“I envy the Japanese” Van Gogh wrote to his brother Theo. In the exhibition on which this film is based – VAN GOGH & JAPAN at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam – one can see why. Though Vincent van Gogh never visited Japan it is the country that had the most profound influence on him and his art. One cannot understand Van Gogh without understanding how Japanese art arrived in Paris in the middle of the 19th century and the profound impact it had on artists like Monet, Degas and, above all, Van Gogh. (read more)
Want to see the previous seasons again?
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Painting the Big Picture

Every year Dupont members get together to paint one of the famous masters in huge formate under the guidance of instructor Lucy Parker. Each picture presents us with a challenge. Lucy  enlarges the picture and makes a colour photocopy, this is then cut into 24 pieces and given to members to paint. Members have to work together to ensure the colours match. At the end of the day the picture is assembled and compared to the original.

On June 7th this year Lucy chose the work of Georges Seurat, ‘A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte’. Much fun was had by all who joined in with this pointillism challenge.

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Monoprinting 24th January

Acrylics and oil sticks, along with materials easily assembled at home, monoprinting was the focus of today’s demonstration.

Using an oil stick and a glass sheet (ex-refrigerator), Caroline covered the glass with a layer of oil colour, then laid the paper on top, and used a pencil to draw the desired image, The first impression was quite faint, but further pressing with various implements brought out a stronger image.

      

Judy then produced her gel pad (must be placed on a plastic sheet to avoid absorption on surfaces).

Here acrylic paints were used and slathered onto the pad using a brayer roller to get an even spread. Paper was applied, and a dotted roller to give texture to the print. Judy noted that any image can be cut out and used as a mask at any point in the process.

   

The third part of this very engaging session began with Caroline putting the glass panel on to a grid-marked sheet, which had the “impression” sheet taped, to facilitate a multi-colour print process.

Caroline then painted a yellow pattern of circles on the glass, printed, then red circles.

    

Finally painting black around the patterns before removing the circles before printing the black , which produced the very attractive image below.

   

The final demo involved painting a sky and water scene, cutting a circle of paper (moon!) and inserting it in the image. Paint was wiped away from the path of moonlight and the paper pressed onto the plate, producing the most effective image below.

 

Equipment list:

Rubber roller

Glass plate (or card covered in Cling Film) or a gel pad

Acrylic paint or ink

Paper, Scissors etc.

Et voila…..with thanks to Caroline and Judy, you are a printer!

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