Blue Eyes

Burnt sienna plus white is the basic skin tone mix used in this portrait. To that I add varying amounts of permanent rose, a primary yellow, and touch of ultramarine blue. In a child’s portrait, I am careful not to use too much of the blue in order to keep that happy glow. Keeping edges and transitions soft also helps with a youthful feel. Can you feel the lovely gentle soul behind those blue eyes? Check out my art courses!   

Sunflower Drawing

This drawing was done with soft conte and watercolour on terraskin paper. Soft charcoal on any very smooth surfaced drawing paper will give similar results. This is a fun way to work – any unwanted lines can often be wiped away. Shading is fast and easy by scribbling some lines and then smearing them (minute 1:43). If you feel in the end that some colour would enhance the drawing, watercolour or fluid acrylic can be placed on top. Do this with a light touch and a minimal of stirring to avoid over graying of the colour as it mixes with the charcoal. Check out my art courses! 

Midnight Sun

Using the same dried textured gesso and pouring colour techniques (see Acrylic Paint Effects video), I created a background. It spoke to me of a winter landscape with distant mountains. Notice how I used the same colours that I had poured to define the snow edges and hint at the mountains. Near the end, the sky felt too busy to me and so I smoothed it over, still leaving some of the original colour pour showing through in certain areas. A pre-coloured background can help ensure a good colour harmony in the final work, if you are careful to have lots of that colour showing through in the final painting. Check out my art courses! 

Wilderness Dream

Watch this painting develop as the creatures arrive for the story that it has to tell. Beginning with a dry textured layer of gesso on the canvas, I poured colour and sprayed it a bit with water to make it flow. The pigments used were Golden Fluid Acrylics: Quinacridone Nickle Azo Gold, Cobalt Teal, Ultramarine Blue, and Burnt Sienna. After this had dried, I turned the canvas every direction looking for some interesting shapes. I saw the bear’s head near the lower center (minute 0:11) and the bird wing upper center. I proceeded to define these creatures, trying to preserve as much of the original background colour as I could. Adding the stream bed and trees gave context, and the fish completed the story. Check out my art courses!