Acrylic Painting: Explore A New Composition Using A Reference Photo | LaurieAnne Gonzalez | Skillshare

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Acrylic Painting: Explore A New Composition Using A Reference Photo

teacher avatar LaurieAnne Gonzalez, Painter | Dog Lover | Bob Ross Wannabe

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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

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Preparing the Paper


    • 3.

      Painting Process - Part 1


    • 4.

      Painting Process - Part 2


    • 5.

      Painting Process - Part 3


    • 6.

      Painting Process - Part 4


    • 7.

      Painting Process - Part 5


    • 8.

      Painting Process - Part 6


    • 9.

      Painting Process - Part 7


    • 10.

      Painting Process - Part 8


    • 11.

      Painting Process - Part 9


    • 12.

      Painting Process - Part 10


    • 13.

      Final Painting and Tips


    • 14.

      BONUS: Black Gesso and Gouache


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About This Class

In this class, I will show you how to paint from a reference photo, as well as, how to add into the painting an element that was not in the original photo to create your own original composition.

This class is intended for those who have taken my other painting classes and/or for those who have painting experience and want to learn a new technique to incorporate into their painting practice. However, if you are a beginner or new to my classes, I recommend taking my classes in the order below:

1. How To Find Your Own Style As An Artist - very important to start with! 

2. Acrylic Painting: Learn The Basics For Beginners 

3. Acrylic Painting: How To Paint An Abstract Landscape

4. Acrylic Painting: How to Paint Using a Limited Color Palette 

5. Acrylic Painting: Explore A New Composition Using A Reference Photo (this class)

6. Acrylic Painting: How To Create A Mixed Media Painting

In this class, you will learn about:

  • How I use reference photos and sketches together
  • My favorite paints and brushes to use
  • How I start all of my paintings
  • My painting process from start to finish

At the end of this class, you will have the skills to paint your own painting using reference photos and sketches together. 

Below is a photo of the colors I used for this painting, but you can use whatever colors you would like!

IMPORTANT: The paintings you create from my class examples are for learning/educational purposes only. Those paintings or ones heavily inspired by my class example (or my other work) cannot be sold or reproduced in any way. All of my work is copyrighted and that is a violation of the copyright. Please stick to painting from my class examples only (not from other work on my website) or work from your own inspiration photos.

I have linked all of my supplies below*:

Blick Matte Acrylic Paints

Specific Blick Colors used:

Yellow Orange Deep, Sage Blue, Purple Madder, Orange Medium, Black, Teal Green, Yellow Oxide, Dark Blue Deep, Celadon, Yellow Medium, Amethyst, Red Light, White

White Gesso

Black Gesso

Golden OPEN Acrylic Paints

Golden Painted used:

CP Cadmium yellow primrose

Prismacolor Colored Pencils

Watercolor Paper Pad

Large Filbert Paint Brush

Paint Brush Set

Blick Paint brush sets

Gesso Brush Set

IKEA Brush Set

Artist Tape

Glass Palette

IKEA Utility Cart

Holbein Acryla Gouache

Winsor & Newton Designer Gouache

*Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning, at no extra cost to you, I will make a commission, if you click thru and make a purchase.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

LaurieAnne Gonzalez

Painter | Dog Lover | Bob Ross Wannabe

Top Teacher

Hi Friends! I’m LaurieAnne and I am a full time painter in Phoenix, AZ. I mainly work in acrylic to capture all of my travels in paint but I also teach online painting classes and created a course I offer to professional artists on my own website called Art to Print where I teach artists how to make professional quality prints from their original art. 

Subscribe to my newsletter exclusively for artists and be notified of new course announcements.

To keep up with what I am doing, hop on my email list or follow along on Instagram! 

With this link you get 2 free weeks of Skillshare Premium. Feel free to share it with your friends and family!

See full profile

Level: Intermediate

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1. Introduction: Hey everyone, my name is Lorianne and I'm an artist here in Phoenix, Arizona. In this class, I'm going to show you how I like to use a reference photo to create my very own original composition. I am going to share with you my favorite painting tools and paints as well as show you all my tips and tricks from starting to completing a painting. This class is for those who have some painting experience, but beginners are welcome to give it a try. Head to the next video and let's get started. 2. Preparing the Paper: Hey everyone, I'm going to show you how to prepare your paper for my painting classes. For these classes, I've been using this Canson watercolor paper. This is a great paper. I will link it in the description, but it is super cheap. It's like $10 for 30 pieces, and this is an 11 by 15 inch piece of paper. Great paper. You should definitely get this just for general practice of watercolor. I am going to gesso my paper first, and you definitely always want to work on the rough side of this. There's like more of a smooth side and then a rough side. First to prepare, we're going to use Gesso. I love my Gesso from Golden. It's just really good quality Gesso, and I like it. I recommend this. All you need is just a regular old paint brush, and you get this at a hardware store, just something cheap that is wider so that you can cover more surface area. We're going to get started. Whenever I Gesso, I do not water it down at all. I just go straight into the paint and just start painting. Just make sure you cover all your surface. The whole surface area. For me, it's okay to paint on the table, but if that's not okay for you, then you should definitely put something underneath here. The reason why you want to go all the way to the edge, because once this is dry, we are going to tape it down. If you don't get it all the way to the edge, when you pull your tape down, it will likely pull off some of that watercolor paper, and you'll leave you with a really rough texture on the edge. You can even pull off some of the paint on the painting. Just make sure you get all the way to the edge. Once your paper is fully dry, we are going to tape it down. This is just an artist tape. That's white. I like white, you can get whatever you want, but this is particularly for art projects, but you could use masking tape, whatever you have is fine or if you want to buy this, I will link it in the description. I'm just going to tape it down. I'm just getting it straight with my table right now, but I like to do it half on the tape and half on paper, or half on the paper and half on the table. You can see through it. It's a little transparent, so you can see through it. That's just like a general rule of thumb, and then you'll know how to do the others. There you have it, you are ready to paint. I just want to reiterate how important it is to gesso your paper, let it fully dry before you tape it down. Because this is gesso, when we remove our tape, it's going to have a very nice clean edge. Otherwise, it could rip the paper off if you don't gesso it all the way to the edge. It will rip the top layer of the watercolor paper off. That is how you prepare your paper for my classes. Let me know if you have any questions, and I will see you in class. 3. Painting Process - Part 1: Let's get started. Today, I am going to show you all how to paint a desert scene that's going to be a little bit more abstract, also what I'm doing is I'm adding and I'm working from a photo, but I'm adding in something that was not in this photo, this is actually a photo I took of the desert out here in Phoenix, but then I sketched a Camel Back Mountain, which is a well-known mountain here in Phoenix as well. To super impose, only if it's not so hard but put it into this painting, this is just like a way that you can make up what you're painting like I usually paint straight up just from a photo just because it's easy. Then within that photo I will make things up like maybe the colors won't be accurate or I will just make it a little bit more abstract or whatever. But today, I am actually adding a whole element into the painting that is not in the photo, I will show you how I do that, I like to start off my paintings, I sketch them out and I'm going to grab a pencil that I want to use in that, you usually just pick something, I'm going to go with hot pink because I really like hot pink. I usually pick something that's going to be pretty different than the actual colors of the piece, which this isn't terribly different, I mean, I'm not going to have any neon in here, but I just like to have a contrast thing color for my sketch. First I'm going to sketch this cell, the way that I'm going do this is I'm looking at this in terms of shapes, you can see right here, this guy that's a big shape right there, then like the mountain and right here's a big shape. Then this right there that is a shape, then this one here, you can see how these broken up into shapes. We get 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, overall shapes, that's just how I like to see it in a broad sense versus trying to be like, I'm going to sketch this little piece out, it just makes it a little bit more general and helpful. Let's start sketching, one thing I like to look at is here, I have this picture plane, it is a fat rectangle, this is similar proportions. Here's this, we'll hit 1, 2, 3, if I didn't like that, it would be, I'm going to make it get smaller. If your first sketch isn't what you love, then sketch over, I do that a lot like this. Let's see him trying to figure out what is the best, that's good, that gives us a little bit more space for the mountain, let's see, this is something too you have to consider because you're adding something new that isn't part of this picture, your proportions can be weird and all stuff. We're going to go with that for now, then what I like to do is I like to block off my piece, I'm going to start. Usually, I'll just go ahead and this is dry, I'll go ahead and squirt out most of my paints and just say, this is Black Mark like white, I'm going to be using several of the same brand paint today, but I'm also going to be using golden open slow drying acrylics. I love these paints because they exactly what they say, they dry slower than regular acrylics, which is perfect if you are in an environment like me, if you're in the middle of the desert, slow drying acrylics are great. I'm just going to squirt some of these out and then we'll get started. 4. Painting Process - Part 2: We'll start off with these colors and may add some in as I go. I like to block off my paintings with this little IKEA brush that I found in the children's section at IKEA. It comes in a pack with some six brushes or so with other different types, which I don't really like the other ones that much, but I love this brush. I don't know why, something about it, I love it. I will link all of my materials, all of my supplies, and everything in the description of this class so you can find what I'm using. So let's get started blocking off. I'm calling it blocking off because it's literally what I'm doing. We got these sections and so now I'm getting the color, the general color of each section and I'm going to paint it in just to make it simple. This is how I start all of my painting. You just block it off and you don't have to worry about having the exact same color at this point. That's not that important. Don't focus on that too much. Then this will be the green, this will be more of a gray purple, and then we've got more of this peach color here. We're going to try to keep this painting loose, I don't want it to be too representational. I want to keep it abstract. This is just a really good exercise for anybody. Well, I just put that on the paint. I'm making a mess over here, but that's okay. To my right, I have my big bucket of water that I'm cleaning my brush out but you can't see and it's on a lovely IKEA cart that I love which I'm sure if any of you all have been to IKEA, you've probably seen that. I can also link it. I have paints and paint brushes, and on the top I have my giant water thing and then my paper towels, I can roll it wherever I want. It's awesome. I can link that too if you would like to get yourself one. I'm going to mix some green over here and this is a little bit of a brighter green, love this. So part of it is pretty green, but the other part is a little bit more yellow. Let's give part of it a yellow fill, here we go. We've got more of this up here so I'm going to just paint it. There's also, you can see there's some dark, so that's a grayish-greenish dark which I didn't screw up any black, I'm going to screw up black, and all the paints I'm using right now are the Macro brand. Like I said, I'll link all these. These are great By the way. They dry really, really [inaudible] They're not like the highest quality paint. I would not probably paint with these solely for one of my paintings that I sell. But they're great for studies, quick studies, sketches, and just playing around, they are great for that. They're not terrible, you could use them for a professional painting, but personally I probably wouldn't, just because I really love my open paints. Those are like my jam (sic). 5. Painting Process - Part 3: The desert. Oh, I don't know if I've finished explaining that, but anyways. Being in the desert, I found out the hard way or it does not really the hard way just anyway, anybody would find out that the regular acrylics dry really, really fast here because it's just such a dry climate. I've found these open acrylics and they are slow drying. They just literally, they just dry slower. Sometimes they will not even be on my palette really is like the darker color sometimes will still be wet on my palette the next day. What that tells you anything? I mean, they're pretty tacky the next day but like stiffen kind of tacky but they are still wet. That gives you an idea of how those are great for a dry climate. These however, dry super-fast, these Blick matte acrylics, they dry so fast. I don't really use them that much for professional paints, but stuff like this I love, like just sketching out and playing around with them. I'm going to work on getting a little bit of a grayish color over here. Oh man, I really did make a mess, that's okay. Now we're going grayish purple and a great thing about these paints though, is that they have so many fun colors. When I was in the Blick store, when I bought these, I was having a blast. I mean, I was trying to keep myself from buying them all because a. they're super cheap. I think like one bottle was like $2 and usually they have a sale going on and so you can get stuff like super cheap and they just have a really fun selection of pretty colors and they're just fun. I recommend playing around with them for sure. I've blocked it all out except my mountain, which I want my mountain to be purple, purply, purplish. Let me see if I can mix a color that I want. I'm going to start off with a lighter too, because I don't want to get the general feel of my mountain up here. Camelback mountain is a famous mountain here in Phoenix and people hike it. I mean, it's like a legit hike. Hiking, that something that I've learned since we've lived here. Hiking in Phoenix and in the desert is not hiking in the South-east. Like people, well, first of all, is a completely different experience like back home or I imagine on the west coast like there's tons of trees and you're in the woods and you're leisurely hiking. At least that's the only hiking I've ever done in my life until I moved to Phoenix and my friends took me hiking. I'm telling you people are like running up the mountains here because it's all desert. It looks a lot like this sometimes even less like, this is actually pretty filled with plants and stuff like the hiking mountains around here aren't even really well, okay. Sometimes they're pretty foliage, I know that's not the right word, but I can go on with it. Anyways, hiking here in the desert is an extreme sport. There's literally people running up the mountain. You will never find me doing that. So if you come here, and you expect me to go hiking with you is going to be leisurely, and it's probably going to be on flat ground because I just don't enjoy that, I just don't. Taylor and I tried to do it once when we moved here, we made it to like, "okay, so let's just imagine." People would like to seriously, they hike up to this point. That's like the peak of the mountain and that's the big deal. Taylor and I made it to like right here and we were so proud of ourselves, and we took a photo. Then once we like met people and we were like, yeah, we hiked camelback mountain and we told them where we got to there just like, "you didn't not hike that mountain." That's funny because we made it to basically the base of the mountain but after you got through the parking lot and 'til where we got, we're pretty worn out, so whatever. Anyways, back to painting. I'm now going to have it all, but I'm going to do my sky. I don't like to wait too long to do my sky just because sometimes it's like you get like this whole perfect desert scene, and you're just like, "Oh, it's so great," and then you go to your sky and somehow your sky ruins the whole thing. I just like to get it in there, write-off just so we don't have any surprises later and don't feel like the sky messed us up. This is going to bring it right to that edge, neither unnecessarily touching the edge, but just getting it right close to it. 6. Painting Process - Part 4: Feel free to leave your pencil marks visible. I really love when that happens. I will end up painting something that I can still see some neon poking through, and it's just a fun detail to have in your piece. This sky, not crazy about it, but we'll work on it more. It's a little too blue. I didn't really mean to make it that blue, but guess what guys? I will probably say this every single class because it is so true. This guy right here. This Afro-ed awesome man, Bob Ross, his famous quote is, "There are no mistakes, there are only happy accidents." We're just going to let this be happy accident and we're going to see what it does. Stay tuned. I'm going to be done with this for now and then we'll see what happens. I'm going to clean my brush, and be sure to clean your brushes between brushes or colors, because you don't want to ruin your brushes. Dry paint is such a paint to get out and most of the time just destroys your paint brushes. So just make sure you just get real good and rinsed, then you will be fine. I'm going to start with my flat brush. This is just a regular old flat brush that I actually got in Italy when i was studying abroad, so it's a special flat brush, lots of memories. I'm going to start adding in some of the different colors. You can see we've got some yellow here, and again, I'm really going to try to keep this loose and abstract. Which to be honest, it's hard for me because I tend to stick it really, sucked in and I see all the details and I want to put all the details in, but I love this practice of keeping it loose. That's what I'm going to really try to do, we'll see how I can do that well. You know how I'm going to do this? I'm just going to do just blobs of color. Usually, I want a different yellow in here, where's my other yellow? This yellow is great, it's yellow, it's so bright and light and I love it. It is CP cadmium yellow primrose. What a nice name? Primrose yellow. Like I said, I'm just going to try to do like blobs of color. Here we got plants, plants, plants, blob, blob, blob, blob. We're just getting the vibe. That's just a good rule of the thumb. Get the vibe. As long as you've got the vibe, you will be good to go. I'm mixing a green over here, hopefully you can see it in the screen. Just more blob is going on. I see some grayish blobs up here. I rinse my brush. This little section is purply, grayish, bluish, I really like it a lot and I just love. That's something that if you have not spent time in the desert, I really recommend you go and you spend some time because it is gorgeous, it is filled with so many colors, and stupidly or not stupidly, I just had no idea. I always assumed that desert was ugly, which is the furthest thing from the truth. It is gorgeous, I've never ever been so inspired by landscapes since we've lived here. So go to the desert if you can, it is beautiful, you will not regret it. 7. Painting Process - Part 5: You will regret it if you go on the summer, I'll tell you that back. Summers here in Phoenix are not a joke, they are awful. The last few day here, the highs, it was a 115 yesterday may be, 114 and 115, it was not yesterday, the day before, it was rough. Taylor and I went to a movie yesterday and we drove through our neighborhood a different way. I didn't even know they were building a new house down the street because I haven't left because it's too hot. It's literally so hot that it makes you just never want to leave. That was shopping and thankfully, he said it's only been there for a couple of days so it's not like I'm completely clueless as to what's going on around me, but just a little bit. I'm just going through and there's so many different colors. Here's some peaches, green, blue, purples, grays, yellows, I'm just building it up. Paintings, they are just a collection of layers. Just build it up and you can always paint something out if you don't like it, and don't forget, we can paint it out, it's easy to do, very easy to do. This is looking very colorful, like a rainbow. Change your strokes, instead of just strokes back and forth, do up and down, do zigzags, do all kinds of different strokes, just experiment. Let's get up in this near the mountain, let's get some colors up in here. I'll probably switch brushes here, I like to just switch brushes because they all do something a little different for me, and I'd like to have a variety in my work. I clean my flat brush, it's been very good to me. Oops. I'm going to use my, I'll show you, my filbert. I love this filbert, and it's really cool because it's got like a grippy handle, so nice, very comfortable filbert, and I always feel like as a person because his name is filbert, it's like a friend, hello filbert, but the filbert is great because it has,let me show you, it has this nice shape to it. What is that? That you can get it real nice wide stroke if you wanted to. But then if you turn it sideways, it can get real thin like this tip can get real thin, you can get a real nice thin line, I love my filbert. You can also do that with the to an extent with the flat head or flat brush, but it's just the filbert is a great brush I really do love it. It's got this nice rounded edge, so your marks they are going to have like a roundness tool because you can see my flat brush, they're all squared and flat. But this guy, is going to give you some nice round strokes. I don't know if you all can see this in the shot, but I've got my picture right here, and I'm just looking for some darks and painting them and just go in. But I just remembered I need to keep it loose because I'm telling you I can get so caught up in getting way too detailed and there is a time and place for that. I do that a lot, I've done a lot of super detailed work that I absolutely love to do but for the purpose of this painting, I'm trying to keep it loose. There's a little bit of dark in the bottom here. Some where I try to get that suggested with a stroke. My paints are already drying up over here. [inaudible] Here's a trick, I do this from time to time. I have this tiny little squirt bottle and I will just mist my palate. Awesome, great way to keep things wet over here on your palate. 8. Painting Process - Part 6: Okay. When you're doing abstract, more of an abstract piece, you can totally be representational like with my filbert, I can give the vibe of plants, with this rounded edge, which is totally great. I am trying to keep it looser just because I don't want it to be terribly obvious of what it is that I'm painting, but you can absolutely do that. Break the rules, break my rules, break your own rules, do whatever you want to do. Just do something. Sometimes I'll sit here and I'll get so caught up, I don't want to ruin this canvas, which is ridiculous because you can always paint over it, so that's a dumb argument. I'll just think too much about it, and a lot of times I have to remind myself, just do something. It doesn't matter. I read the most amazing quote the other day from Picasso. I'm probably going to butcher it, but it's said, "I begin with an idea and then it turns into something else." That is the most true words I have ever read, because it's so true. I began with like, to be honest, this looks nothing like I originally had in my head. I was thinking it was going to be way more sketched and whatever, but I like it and I absolutely love what is happening right here right now. I'm going to not mess with that anymore. That's something else that you've got to remember. Sometimes you just got to stop. I am the queen. I was going to be like, "oh it's great," and then I'll do something else, probably like what I'm doing right now, and then I'll ruin it, but I'm not going to ruin it right now. Just going to add a little bit more variation down here, and then I'm good. I really like what is going on right there. Like be your own ally. If you're anything like me, you can get ahead of yourself and you can ruin something, so learn to say no to yourself. Done with that. Now I'm going to move the up the page. I'm just going to try and put in some darker colors. Lets see which. Actually I'm going to remove what I just did. What I had do that, was I just clean off my brush. I'm just going to scoop it off the page. Just scoop it on off. Another thing to note is that smaller brushstrokes or smaller brushes, which creates smaller brushstrokes, are going to create a busier piece. I really need to get away from this section because I feel like I'm going to kill it any moment. Just say no , I'm saying no. Oh my gosh, what have I done? See guys, this is what happens. It's okay or as Bob Ross say, "no mistakes, happy accidents." Let's see if Bob is right this time. Then I just got to do a little bit more. I can't stop. I'm done. Moving on. We move on up the painting. There's some nice bright, I think these are called Choya plants. I'm not 100 percent sure, but I think that's what that is. Just going to dot those in 9. Painting Process - Part 7: Apparently, the choir, rumor has it, this is what I've gathered just from my friends who are from Phoenix that they jump at you, which I've never witnessed this, so I don't know how true that is, but apparently, part of their defense mechanism is if you get too close to them, they have these like spiky balls and they will jump. I don't know how true that is and I probably I'm taking it way more literal than it means. People are like, oh yeah, they jump at you. I'm picturing this killer plant like something from Mario that's just going to jump on you the minute you get close to it. I'm always keeping my distance wherever we are in the desert because I do not want to get jumped on by a spiky cactus. Let me tell you, that sounds horrible. Hazel, of course, she's always super interested and wants to check out all the dangerous jumping plants. She thankfully has not gotten hurt yet. We've been here coming up on four years, so she is doing pretty good. That's an example. That's a pretty thick line, but I'm sure you can get really thin line. See how that thin line is? Isn't that great with this thick but a real nice thin line. Just a good versatile brush. I'm a big fan. Normally when I do paint, I use the OPEN colors like I showed you, this. Great. I mix my own colors, but these Blick Matte colors are just so fun. They're really fun. I don't really have to mix my colors terribly well. But if you are familiar with mixing paint colors, then I definitely encourage you to do that because you get very interesting results, because you get your own thing. It makes your painting your own. But if you aren't familiar with mixing your own colors, this is a great place to start, just get a rainbow. I would avoid. I mean, you can see I'm mixing them here and try not just to go straight from the tube, just because it will be way more interesting if you had a little bit of variety, but these are a good place to start to just play with colors. The mountain. Let's work on this mountain. First of all, I want to put a little bit of dark in here just to separate it, maybe just a tiny bit, lets just see. Because in my drawing there is actually dark in there and that's like fake. The [inaudible] back part is fake. But I do like having just a little bit of dark here, which here's my Filburn being awesome with its ability to do something nice thin lines. Hopefully, you've done this, but if you haven't, take photos of this process, of the painting process because that is so fine to go back and look from your first sketch, like take photos throughout the whole thing. You can see just what you've done in this when you paint. I love doing that, it's like it makes me feel good to see my progression. Go a little bit of dark there, separate the background from the foreground. Now the mountain, which I'm a little nervous about because I like all my other parts of the painting and I don't want to mess it up. But that's another thing you can not get too precious with your work and you have to take risks. That is, you just got it, you have to take risks. 10. Painting Process - Part 8: All right. So I have my shadows sketched in and I'm going to try. I'm going to start off with putting in some light colors and we'll see if this is a good idea or bad idea. That's something too that I do not do, probably what a lot of people do, a lot of people, they will go and they'll paint all their shadows and then they'll do their lights or whatever. I go back and forth between shadows and lights like a million times throughout the painting process, that's just what I do. So do whatever is comfortable for you because that's what's comfortable for me, is just going back and forth with it all. Again, I'll show you, so you can see I sketched in the shadows, but right now, I'm painting in the white spots with the negative space of my sketch. This is very colorful. I wasn't really intending for it to be this colorful, but it's nice, it's pretty, it's okay. I'll run another palette space over here. Right now I'm mixing, trying to get a nice darker color so I can do some shadows. Yeah, this is a good color. I feel like for stuff like this it's very easy to overwork it, so just trying not to which you know, knowing me, there's a high possibility that I will do it just because I do. I can't help it. It's like you just can't stop messing with something you know you shouldn't be messing with, it's what I do. Old camel back. You are a pretty mountain and is cool because we can actually see camel back from our house and from my window right here. If I looked out there, I could see the old camel back, and it totally looks like a camel. This part isn't the best representation of it, but this is the head, this is the ear, and this is the hump, and this is its legs. It's laying down, so imagine that, and then this is its hip and then it's feet are kind of tucked under it. So cool, totally looks like a camel. All right. I like that. I'll put a teeny bit more of dark just to get a little bit of contrast to the sky, which we still better work on our sky. Nice. All right, sky, sky, sky. What are we going to do with you? I think I'm going to put some whites, more white just because this is a very, very, very colorful painting, which I love colorful paintings, but sometimes less is more. It's interesting, when I did my desert series, which you can see that on my website, but when I painted my desert series, my mom was like, "Well, where are the clouds? Why aren't you painting any of the clouds?" I was like, "Mom, we rarely have clouds here in the desert." So it's just interesting looking at my paintings because then I did all these Italian landscapes and we had gorgeous clouds in Italy and there's like, I have pretty clouds in Italy, but in the desert, the clouds, in my paintings at least, they didn't feel like they fit. We do, I mean, we sometimes have clouds, don't get me wrong, there are clouds sometimes here, but for the most part it's just a wide open, clear blue sky here in the desert. 11. Painting Process - Part 9: I don't know if you can hear, but Hazel is dreaming in the background so she's doing these little barks. So if you can hear that, that's what that is. Okay. The sky, I'm trying to decide if I'm done with this sky and so I'm just messing with this right now. Let me get some more white. This has a purply-bluey thing to it and I like that, but I want to have a little bit more of variation, even if it's just very subtle. We're going to blend this all in real nice and this is my little Ikea brush that I love. I'm going to show you one of my favorite brushes particularly for the sky. I'll rinse this and then I can pull it out. This brush is great. I get this from Bullock as well and it is also a filbert because it's got that rounded edge. Doesn't get quite as thin as this little filbert over here because all filberts are created differently to get different types of filberts. But I love this brush for sky and I just stumbled upon it. I just bought this on a whim and then it became like the best sky brush ever. I'll show you. It's just got these great, see, look at these great strokes. Great strokes, and with that, I'm going to be done because I like that sky. I like where that went very subtle. You can see there's a little bit of pink in it, white, blue, and we will let that be. Okay, so for my final thing, I'm going to grab my drawing and I'm going to go look and I'm going to make sure there's nothing that I'm missing that I wish I had. 12. Painting Process - Part 10: Something that you can always do, which I will just do it to show you. There's some gorgeous so where is in this painting. See right there. I'll add some little, still keeping it loose and keeping it abstract. Now we have some representation of some swirls. I love that. Let's see. I love my little thou art. I be more careful because I don't want to mess anything up. Again, I'm thinking about that, because I said earlier, that I start with an idea and it turns into something else. I love that so much because it's so true. This is nothing what I had in mind when I started this and it's okay, because I love just the process of creating and being okay with that. That's something that is probably a learned behavior over the time of being an artist. You'll learn just to let it go and be okay with what you end up because it's just a process. You just never know what's going to happen and you've got to learn to be comfortable with that. I personally love it, even though it did take me a while, trust me. It takes a while to get used to, so don't feel bad if that doesn't come easy to you. Just chill out and let go. It doesn't come easy to a lot of people. I think we're going to be done with this painting today. I am going to let it fully dry and then I'm going to remove the tape and I will show you the finished product. I hope you enjoyed this. This is just one of many ways you can do an abstract painting. I have another class that is specifically for an abstract landscape that's more simpler. You're not going to have mattes, brushstrokes or colors it's a lot more simpler that you can take as well if you want to just get back to a very simple landscape. It is called acrylic painting, how to paint an abstract landscape, you can see it in my profile. Anyways, I hope you enjoyed this and please paint something and show me what you did, upload it to the projects section under this video and let me know if you have any questions. Thanks so much for watching. 13. Final Painting and Tips: I am back and I have taken the tape off and it has left me with this beautiful white crisp edge around the painting. I love this. This is my favorite part of this whole process of working on paper because it looks messy and crazy. You're just like, do I like that painting? I don't know. Then you take the tape off and it is magic. It is seriously a magical process. I hope you all got as excited about that as I do. Anyways, it is possible for paint to bleed under the tape. You may get some little down there, a little feathers or something coming out in. Here some, here some, right here. Not a big deal at all. Personally, I keep them just because it adds some character to the piece. But if it bothers you, get your gesso, get yourself a flat paint brush and just get a little gesso on there. You can just dab it right away. Not a big deal. But like I said, I just keep mine because it shows that this is an actual piece of original art, is not just a print, it is something that's handmade. Usually hand-made items had a little bit of flaws to them, but they're really beautiful flaw. It just shows the uniqueness of the piece. I really hope you'll enjoy this class. I Really enjoyed teaching it and show me what you do. Upload your projects to the project tab underneath this video and let me know if you have any questions. I'm happy to answer any questions. Thanks so much for watching and I'll see you all next time. 14. BONUS: Black Gesso and Gouache: Just for fun, there is a thing such as black gesso. I just painted my very first thing with black gesso the other day, and I haven't finished it yet. But it's the same texture, it's like a matt gritty texture. But it's black, which would be pretty cool probably even with these matt paints that I've been using a lot lately, because they're pretty opaque. Additionally, gouache would be really cool on here, acrylic gouache, or just regular gouache. Winsor & Newton makes a designer's gouache that's great. It's like watercolor, but it's opaque, and it reactivates with water. If you are familiar with the watercolor paint, once it dries, you can add water to it and reactivate it and keep painting with the exact same old palette that you were using. But then there's this brand, it's called Acryla, and it's made by Holbein. It is an acrylic gouache that does not reactivate with water, it's more like acrylic paint, but it dries matt. Similar to this matt acrylic paint, but this is super popular, people love this gouache. So that may be worth looking into, and it dries matt. It would be really cool on this black paper. I'll probably be doing some test paints with this soon.