Acrylic painting: learning to create layers and make a beautiful Beetle shield. | Mijntje Strengholt | Skillshare

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Acrylic painting: learning to create layers and make a beautiful Beetle shield.

teacher avatar Mijntje Strengholt, Mijntje's Masterclass

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

11 Lessons (1h 4m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Materials

    • 3. Mixing colors

    • 4. Creating a beautiful underground

    • 5. Sketching part 1

    • 6. Sketching part 2

    • 7. Sketching again, this time on the Underground

    • 8. Starting to paint, 3 body parts

    • 9. Putting the bleu

    • 10. Legs

    • 11. Final touch

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About This Class


This is is a beginners class , as it is a step by step guide.

But when you are a more advanced artist this class will still be fun and...

my tips and tricks will help you brush up your skills.

For the materials that you need for this class, i made a short video and also you will find the list under ‘projects’

In this class....

  • we are gonna get our fingers dirty while sketching with charcoal, 
  • i show you how you can create a  beautiful transparent underground
  • And We’ll have some fun splashing our paint
  • I’ll be teaching you to create different layers, and how that brings more depth to your work.  
  • I’ll show you what negative spaces are and how you can make them work for you.
  • And I’ll teach you a little trick to steady your hand, when you need to paint the small stuff

At the end of this class, you will have a lovely Beatle, to hang on your wall.

I say.. let’s get your paints and brushes out, and let’s get started.

Meet Your Teacher

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Mijntje Strengholt

Mijntje's Masterclass


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1. Introduction : My name is mainly strangled of monkeys master cost. I'm a professional artist from hollowed, and I've been teaching our classes for more than 10 years. Today. I have a great cost for you, or B2. And I love beetles with all the different kinds of forms and colors. This class is a beginners class as it is a step-by-step guide. But when you are more advanced artist, this will still be fun and my tips and tricks will help you brush up your skills. Welcome. The Manchus masterclass. 2. Materials : Before we can start, we need to see if materials are in order. I will show you what you need. Also, you will find the list under projects. So for materials, you need some tape to tape your paper to the table, or maybe to a board, which can be any board, wood or cardboard. It just has to be a little bit firm. If you do not want to sketch on your thick painting paper, use sketching paper. For painting. Use either mixed media or watercolor paper. A big size is best. You need the five basic colors of paint. Red, yellow, blue, white, and black. I use all different kinds of paints, usually studio quality in jars and tubes. You need a palette. And I like to use a disposable one, as it is just very easy. A palette knife. And I like mine to be long and flat. You need three or four brushes. One big size for our underground. A smaller one for painting, plus an extra one for smoothing the paint. And last, a small pointy one for sketching charcoal and chalk than an old piece of cloth. And of course, a bucket of water. It might help you to print out the example. So you have it closed and you can draw lines on it if you like. You will find the picture under projects as well. I most of the time do not prepare my paper as it really also works fine without it. Your paper might get a little bit wobbly, but it will straighten out when dry. If you like to prepare your paper, do it at least an hour in advance. 3. Mixing colors: Let's mix some colors. We need the basic colors on our palate. So that is what we're going to do. First. As I said before, I really like to use a palette knife to mix my colors. If you use a brush for mixing your colors, your paint will just really get stuck in your brush and your brush will just be full of paint instead of the paint being on your palette. I'm just not such a fan of it. So let's start with mixing the first green color. And green is yellow and blue. Now, I'm not going to take too much blue to start with, because the blue colors to green colors though, the yellow quite strongly. So I, if I wanted to make a light green, I'm not going to put too much blue. Now, your blue might be a little bit different from mine. It doesn't really matter. The green of this beetle can be different kinds of green. I think I'm just going to put a little bit more blue, but really you see, it is really not that much. So let's see how colors it might be too much. I think it's pretty good. I could put some white to make it a little bit more light. I'll show you what that looks like. Just gonna put this a little bit here and I'm going to mix a bit of white in here so you will see and even lighter color green coming along. And you see. So that just gives a bit more of an up pig look. Actually white really helps to make your color more opaque. There's some colors that are not very opaque, like a red, sometimes a blue, even the yellow. It, it can also depend on the pigments that are used for making the paint. And just see if I now put my finger, I'm going to show you there's the light. And this one is it just a bit more darker? And I'm just going to mix these together. You see? So again, it doesn't really matter for the color. It doesn't have to be strictly the color that I make. You can just vary in this and this green. Well, as I put it here, I'm just going to scrape this off a little bit and put that here. And as I need a darker green as well, I don't have to clean my palette knife for mixing my next color. I'm just going to take the same colors, but just a little bit more blue right now. So I'm going to take, of course, that is, what happens is then the yellow gets a little bit green. And I'm just going to take a bit more blue. Actually, I really took too much blue, so also take care of that. Don't put too much paint on your palette. To begin with. It's a waste of paint if you're not using it. What you can really do well, when you have like big blobs of leftover paint like this. In the end. Take an extra jar with a lit and just put your paint in there when you're done. You will see that eventually if you have been putting paint in there for awhile, the color is going to be a really nice greenish, bluish, greenish grayish color. So do collect that leftover paint. It's beautiful. It really becomes a nice color. So this green is getting a bit darker, which is what I want. It doesn't have to be a very different color, so I'm quite happy with that. And I'm just going to put that here. Now. I will clean my palette knife because I'm going to mix the red and I don't want my green to be in it. So I'm just going to clean that with my piece of cloth. Okay. The red that is in the ear has a purplish color to it. And if you want read to be a little bit purplish, we need some clue. So I'm gonna take my red mix that right here and just take a bit of blue, not too much. As we know the blue colors quite strongly. And just take it little by little, and we don't need that much of red. It's for the thorax of the beetle. And we don't need that much. So this is already quite good. It could be a little bit more pinkish actually, so I'm going to mix a little bit of white to it and see what happens. Sometimes it's a bit of a surprise. Maybe put a bit more red and mix these next to each other. You see now it is a bit too light. So I'm just going to add a bit more of blue and red, not so much blue. Because if you put too much blue, the color is not yet. It's going to be a purpose like a real poor people, but you're going to lose the reddish Luke. So make sure bit more red. Here. You can kinda play with this mixing. I truly like mixing. I usually pick up a t or maybe coffee and I sit down and I really get into this because I love how you pick up one, you know, you mix one color and then you put a bit of white orbit of blue or even black and yellow. I mean, you can just go around and mix all the colors that you want, but you go from shade to shade and you just take some of your last chain and put it next to it and just keep on mixing your colors in it. You will just, your colors will become so beautiful. And these leftover spots, I always use them for new colors. They really, really work well for creating beautiful new colors, as I just said. All right, now I have two colors of kind of purplish. One has a bit of Y2, it, the other one doesn't. I think this one is a bit too dark. Well, if I'm going to mix it with water, I think it will be fine. You see your color will become more transparent when you mix it with water. So we're going to see, and I can always, when I put it on my paper, I can always change it a little bit different. Think if it's too dark and that it needs a bit more light. That's it. We don't need to mix more today. We're going to start and making our wonderful underground for our Beetle. Let's go. 4. Creating a beautiful underground: To begin with, our underground will not cover our whole paper and it will be transparent. It is very fun to create this greenish underground splashing around with paint. Then our underground needs a bit of drying time. And drying time is sketching time. I just put my paints on a clean palette and I'm ready to start. And we are starting with this brush, some cloth and an extra brush, clean and dry for smoothing. I do not take a lot of paint. I want my paint to be transparent, so I make it pretty watery. We will use both colors of green, starting with the light. Let me show you. Here we go. And this really is a bit of a free exercise. I invite you to play with your paint. The paint will start running, which I really like. If you don't like this, either put your paper flat on the table. Are just take your cloth and Take it off. If you love the running, but you tape your paper to the table, you can even still do it at the end. When you're done. Just create a few running drops with some paint and a lot of water. Use your cloth in it a bit. We're not filling in the whole paper. As you can see, we want to make something that kinda looks like a stain, like something fell on the paper with the drops and all. Let's do some splashing. I really love doing this. Take some blue and mix it a bit with your green if you like. Put a lot of water and fill up your brush. Put your finger on top of your brush and go splashing. Then work a little bit more with you. A bit of blue splashing as well. Let's put a bit more dark green and smooth it. Now rinse your brush and take some red. I will take some of the light red. If you didn't mix this one just to make sure the darker one is really watery so it doesn't color too much. Let it run and use your cloth to smooth it. We're going to let this dry. And waiting time is sketching time. So let's get to sketching. If you don't want your paint to dry up during sketching, spray bit of water on it and put it in the fridge. This is a great tip, and even without the spray of water, the fridge will still slow down the drying of your paint. 5. Sketching part 1: For sketching, we use charcoal on the white paper. If you want, you can use chalk later on your painted underground. This beetle has three main regions. A head, a thorax, and the abdomen, which we can to start with, put down as a circle and try to use all of your paper. Smaller is really more difficult. And even if you have a small size paper, just use the whole thing. Second part, the thorax is more of an oval form. And notice that it really leans on the abdomen a bit like a scale. And from here we can create this oval part. So do not just pile the body parts on top of each other. It's not a snowman. They need to overlap. The head is a bit of a square with on top to hill like bumps and two eyes, one on each side. And both the antenna grow out of his head and they are segmented. Now let's go over the form again. Start by the eye's going down round here. Now as we can see, the side here of the abdominal is not completely round. Of course we made the circle first, but now I'm going to make it more like the real shape. Here. I need to go out a bit and then go straight down, bending back here towards the end. Now let's move it to beat with our finger and you will see that the form will come out better. Then for shading. I will black and decides and create depth by smoothing. Just darken this up quite a lot. When you smooth, move from dark to light and use the charcoal left on your finger to give a bit of color to the lighter parts. Leave the middle open. Let's work our way up and put more shade. First, really dark and then smooths towards the middle. Same with the head. Let's move over to the other side. Make the head quite dark as it is actually black round here. And let's just fill this up as well. Remember to go out here and down, bending back and finish here. Then filling in the whole side of the abdominal as well. Smooth it with your finger. And you see with all the charcoal on my finger, I can just keep going. Also in the middle of the thorax, I make it darker, going all the way down, creating a line. Again smooth it. Let's put the line between the thorax and the abdomen with a bit of shade. Also by the neck, I put a line. I'm going to make the head a little bit more dark. I'm going to leave out the eyes. 6. Sketching part 2: Now let's start with this leg, which comes from the thorax. I start with the stick form. And I see that the leg is going sideways a bit. I'll put this point here and create this line on my example. So you can understand where the leg is supposed to go. It's got a left-right motion here. To give it a bit of body mass, I'm going to add an oval form here. And here. Little bit of more of a triangle form. It's a bit wider at the top end, going smaller towards the bottom. Then just fill it in a bit and smooth it with your finger. The last part has three segments. The middle leg. This leg comes from the abdomen from this point. Right here. Again, I start with the stick form and I am going out here a little bit. Then I want to go down here. But the question is, how far away from the body is this leg? And so at this point, I'm going to explain you about negative spaces. A negative space in art is the space around and the space between the subject of an image. The subjects of my image here are the legs of the beetle. Here this leg actually creates a rectangle form like this. This here is my negative space. And this space is so much more easy to understand then the empty space around it. So looking here at this negative space, I can see how for the leg needs to go out. Let's make this last part of the leg going down this way. And I'm going to give the whole leg some volume again with an oval. And here a more rectangular form. Smooth it a bit with your finger. The third leg. Now, let me put a line here in the middle of the bugs abdomen on my example. And I see that the leg starts just underneath it right here. And it will go down this way. The second part of the leg comes in and I want to know how far. So I'm going to look for a line to relate to. And here I see that this leg is pretty much in the line of the body. So I put this line and it will help me relate. Also, I try to find a negative space to help me. And that is this triangle form that I created by putting down design. And for this last part of the leg, I go down here. Day slag also still needs some volume. And I'm just going to fill this up as I did before. Last is this little thing sticking out here? Let's go to the other side. Again, starting with the stick form. And remember it's got a left-right motion here and some body mass. The oval form. And up here the more triangle form. Smooth it a bit with your finger. And then put the last part, the segments. Second leg again from the abdomen here at this point. And then down a bit. Look for your negative space here. It will help you understand how far this leg needs to go out. Last part this way and some body mass. Third leg starting here. And also here, I need to know how far my leg goes out. I do see that this leg is a bit more inward then the other one. But to make it easy on myself, I'm just going to repeat the same thing as I did on the other side. And we just keep it pretty much in the line of the body. Still need some volume and I just fill it up. Bit of smoothing. And the last part of the leg down here. And last is this little thing sticking out here. I guess we're done. Let's check if our paper is dry and we can start on the real thing. 7. Sketching again, this time on the Underground: Sketching just the outlines this time, you could very well do this with jock. I will use charcoal as it is more visible for you. So better for teaching. Chalk is actually much lighter and very easy to erase. So maybe a little less scary. But I invite you not to be scared and just start. We want our BI tool to be mostly fitting within our background. So I put the end and the beginning down and all the parts in between. Do not put this on your paper. It won't be very pretty. Just put it on your tape on the side. And these are just guidelines. I'm just guessing the distance by I I create the skill here for the thorax. And again, this oval form. Next is the head. And remember, this is more like a square and it's to heal like bombs on top. We'll do the antenna later. So let's go and make it again more flowing. Here, the eye, the thorax nice and round. For the abdominal body shape. We need to go out here. And then straight down and bending the line towards the end. On the other side as well. Start with the eye. Going round the thorax out here and down, then bending back towards the end. Now take up your cloth and lets take away the charcoal that is outside of the drawing. 8. Starting to paint, 3 body parts: We're going to start painting with this brush. And if you do not like to use your fingers while working, put down an extra brush for smoothing. This extra brush needs to be dry and clean. As I want to create nice layers, I will need to use a darker green then my underground green. Let's make this darker green with some water. I don't want this color to be completely opaque. I still want to be able to see part of my first layer. So I smooth it. And you will still be able to see the underground coming through. And I keep adding green. I also make my paint absorbed the charcoal. And I smooth it. As I wanted to be able to see my first layer. I don't use a lot of paint. And you can use some extra water here to make the paint to be more transparent. Green line in the middle and smooth it a bit to the sides. Cover the whole shield. When you are done with your green rinse your brush and take some yellow watery. I will just put it on both sides. We are trying to create more depth. And we do this by putting layer over layer tab a bit with your finger or use your extra brush for smoothing. I think I want to put a bit more dark green around the shield. So I will mix my dark green a tiny bit with black. And really be very careful with this black because it colors of the strong. Use some water if you need to. We still want transparency. And I smooth it. And you can see that layers create depth. Let's take some red for the thorax. And my paint here doesn't need to be very transparent. I don't still have to see the green here, but I do want my red to vary in color. So I smooth it a beat in different places. To top of the Forex is a bit round. Then I take a bit of extra read. Just read and tap that in with my finger. Then take some white on my finger and tap that in as well. My red paint is quite dry by now actually, and that makes it harder to top in the white. I'm just going to dip in my finger in the water and use the water to mix the white better with the red. Just creating a bit of light here. We're moving to black. Painting the head. We start with the eyes and going up towards the two bumps here and just kind of fill in the whole head. And here again, I talk with my finger and take some of the paint off. That already creates a bit of light because of the light color underneath it. Quite a bit of black. I just put a bit more to finish. 9. Putting the bleu: Let's pick up the smaller brush. And the next color is blue. Can be any kind of blue. Now I put a bit of water to make my paint flow nicely. Some Payne's need very little water to make them flow well. Others are a bit more thick and do need more water. That just really depends on the paint that you used. And you will notice right away if your paint doesn't flow well because then it will be really hard to make a line. If so, just put some more water. So for making lines, I usually take up my brush a bit shorter. Normally I would hold my brush up here. Now, I take it up here, short. Then I put my pinky on the paper. Can be here, can be here. And this really helps me to steady my hand. So with my pinky on the paper, I create a nice blue line. Again, put some order if you need to. Just following the outside line. And we're going down all the way. Now here for me. But that is personal. It is hard to take my brush and make a line going up. I rather stop and start back again at the thorax and then work my way down. My pinky is on the paper. I also want the blue to be on the body. So I just paint this in a bit. I use my finger or the extra brush to smooth it. Put some paint first and then use your finger. If you want to be more transparent, just use some extra water. Again, use some water to make your paint flow well, and also to make it transparent. Don't forget to smooth. Go all around the shape. Layer by layer. Better to put two layers or maybe even three instead of just one opaque layer. It just really creates more depth these layers. Let's take a bit of black and put that on the shoot in the middle here. And I also smooth it. Then rinse your brush and take some light green with some water. Just going to put a bit of green on the eyes. And around its neck. Kinda like a necklace. 10. Legs: Let's get ready for the legs. You can go at this in a few different ways. One, you can pick up your brush and paint the legs to you can do it with charcoal and leave them charcoal. That's what I'm gonna do. Three, you do them with charcoal and then paint over the charcoal. And four, do them with chalk and paint over the chalk. If you are a bit unsure with making these legs on your underground color, take some chalk. It is just most easy to take off if you need to. As I said, I will be using charcoal, but I will also pick up my brush later. And first lag starts here. Remember the left-right motion, the bending and the segments on the last part. Let's give a bit of volume to the legs. Again with the oval form and the triangle. And I use my finger to smooth it. Now let me show you with paint on the other side. Take some black and some water to make the paint smooth nicely. I go out here and the left-right motion going up. Making segments on the final part. You can tab and smear the painting it with your finger to get some light. As this is a beginner, I will not get into the tiny details of the leg too much, though. If you are a more advanced artist, I invite you to get a bit closer and make these details. They are pretty fun to do. They are fun to do. Let's go to the second leg. Starting here, going outward a bit. And remember the negative space. This is what I'm looking for. And I don't want my leg to go out too far. And also this last part is a bit segmented. Giving this lag a bit of volume. I put an oval and smooth it with my finger. The second part is going from smaller to a bit more wide print, not too wide. Let's also do the other side. Remember the negative space. We go out here. And the last part, the segments and some volume to this leg as well. Last leg. And we start with this body line. Remember, when we were sketching, the legs stays pretty much within the sideline here. Let me put an extra line here on my example because I want to show you something. I see here that the third leg actually starts at the same height as where this section ends. So that can also help you to find the starting point of the third leg. I see mine actually falls a bit short. And still this also, alright, if it's just a bit different, remember the negative space, this triangle here. And just go down and give it some volume. And Smith it. And if you are doing this with paint, just fill the form up and tap with your finger. And this second part is more of a rectangle form. Last part of the leg again is segmented. This little part here. Don't forget it. Same on the other side. First, I look for the relating sideline. And I remember the negative space. I go down, I just fill it in right away. Last segmented part and add little things taken out. We still have the antenna is funny. Mine who's actually a natural one here. I'm going to just put the black anyway, and I make them both segmented. One thing we can still do is put some extra color on the legs. So if you have your little brush full of black, and let's take some light green and put a bit on every leg. 11. Final touch: Let's put some shine on the body. And we're going to do this with white. Now be a bit careful with your water here. It might be quite dirty, and then it will color your white paint gray. So maybe get some clean water. Let's take some white and put a bit on the head and smooth it. A bit on the thorax. And again it's worth it. And last on the shield. And smooth by topping. Or you can also use your extra brush. Of course. Let's also put a little bit of yellow and then define a little touch. Just a bit more white. A little shine. Yes, we're done. Thank you for taking my class. I hope you loved it. I would love to see your BI tool. So please post it for me. And of course sign up as my next class will be a new fun learning project.