Demo: Wood Grain in Acrylic
Creating the look of old wood in acrylic is easy if you remember one simple rule: Follow the grain! If you are painting vertical boards then your strokes should be vertical; horizontal boards horizontal strokes. Using the proper stroke will save you a lot of work trying to get the look of your subject and wood grain is a prime example.
Old wood is the most fun because you can add almost any color and it will still be right though the technique works for all types of wood you just need to be a bit more precise.
As with most of our first layer of paint, you want to start with a medium dark color and use the biggest brush you can for the area you are working on, this needs to be done quickly so it doesn’t get over worked. Like I said, you can use almost any color I used sienna, blue and purple as my base with a touch of white upon occasion and did most of my mixing on the canvas. To those colors I would add touches of everything I had on my palette. Overlap your strokes but try not to mix the colors together so much that they become one muddy color, you want to be able to see the individual colors. These colors represent old layers of paint, rust, dirt, grease, mold and anything else that might have happened to the old wood so you end up with something that doesn’t look freshly milled. Let the paint dry between layers.
The next layer is much the same but this time mix your sienna, blue, white and touch of purple to create a grey color on your palette, this will be your base for the lighter layers and it needs to be a shade or two lighter that what you have already. To this you will do just like you did before by adding other colors as you paint, this time however you will be using a dry brush which means when you rinse your brush dry it well and when you pick up your paint don’t pick up a lot or wipe some off before going to your canvas.
When you apply the paint you want to barely touch the canvas with your brush – it should still be the same brush btw – and you can wiggle it a little so it looks like saw cuts on the wood, just remember to follow the grain. You may add as may layers to your wood as you want, each time adding a bit more white to your base color and trying not to cover up all of your under painting, that is very important. It may take 4 or more layers to get the look of old wood that you want so don’t rush the process or you will be unhappy with the results.
After you have reached the point where you think your wood looks they way you want, now is the time to add the cracks and separations between the boards. If you have a liner, this is the time to get it out or you can use a small round brush but a liner will be faster.
On your palette mix a dark color by using sienna, blue and a touch of purple, this should make a very dark color. If you are using a liner you will need to add enough water so the paint is like ink, use this color to create the cracks, holes, and separate boards. This will take a bit of practice so you might want to have a separate canvas to test it out on.
When you have your cracks etc done, you can use the same brush to put a highlight around some of the cracks. Mix white with a touch of yellow, orange and/or sienna to get a warm sunshine color. Apply this to SOME of the lines and cracks to give it dimension.
You might have to play around with it a bit but once you get the hang of it you will want to put old wood in everything!
Our last class is Nov. 3rd so think about what you want to bring to class for critique.
Demo: Watercolor – Negative Painting
Last week we splashed paint to start this demo, I had an idea of where I wanted to go with it so I knew where I needed what colors but this can be done random and “find” the picture after you have done your splattering.
This week I had my drawing on so the first thing I did was to “negative paint” around my leaves. When you “negative paint” you are painting everything BUT the thing you are trying to bring out. Because in watercolor we want to leave our white or light areas, we use negative painting a lot, the more washes you put on an area around a lighter object the more that object will stand out. On the picture page you can see where I painted with a wash of purple and blue to started creating shadows behind my leaves. I can add leaves to the background by using negative painting to pull the out.
I also “positive painted” some of the leaves. That means I added color to the leaves to make their colors more intense.
In the water I use light washes of blue using the edge of my brush in long, horizontal, U-shaped strokes, working back into the shadows and painting around my rock.
Remember Nov 3rd will be our last class so have so have something to bring in for critique. This is a great time to get feedback and suggestions on how to improve your painting also to find out what you are doing right.