Beginning Acrylics: Introduction to Acrylics and the Painting Process | Brigitte Miller | Skillshare

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Beginning Acrylics: Introduction to Acrylics and the Painting Process

teacher avatar Brigitte Miller, Artist | Creatively B

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

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Course Project


    • 3.



    • 4.

      Setting Up Your Workplace


    • 5.

      Paint Mixing Exercise


    • 6.

      Value Demonstration


    • 7.



    • 8.

      Transferring the Design


    • 9.

      Blocking In the Dark Values


    • 10.

      Adding the Medium Values


    • 11.

      Adding the Light Values


    • 12.

      Adding the Highlights and Details


    • 13.

      Protecting Your Art


    • 14.



    • 15.



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About This Class

This course is the first in my Beginning Acrylics Series and is an introduction to acrylic paints and my painting process. It is designed for the very beginner painter as the first step in their creative journey. 

This Course in a Nutshell

I'll go over materials you'll need to start acrylic painting, how to set up your work area and then demonstrate how to mix paint. Then I'll show you the importance of using values--the lightness and darkness of colors, to give objects form. Next, I'll take you step by step through my artistic process with a project; creating a beautiful painting of a lakeside scene. In addition, I'll go over how to protect your artwork and how to finish it with some do-it-yourself framing ideas.                                       

Skills You Will Learn

• Basic brush techniques using three different brushes 

• Mixing paint with the primaries: red, blue and yellow (and white!)

• Composition - rule of threes, vanishing point, horizon line

• Contrast using values and color

• A step by step artistic process 

• Some basic painting terms

                                     and more!                                               

Getting Started

To get a head start, a Materials List for the painting project along with a Reference Photo, Paint Mixing Exercise, list of Painting Terms and a Traceable Sketch can be downloaded under the Projects and Resources Tab located below the course video.

My Experience

If you're anything like me, sometimes, even when we want to try something new we don't because we're unsure of where to begin and when we finally get enough courage to look into it, there's so much information that we get confused. (Or maybe you have tried painting and it didn't work out, but you still dream about it. A lot.)

This course is designed to narrow down the wealth of information out there and just give you a taste of acrylics and the feel of painting so there's no need to imagine anymore. In a short time, you'll know enough to get you started and rolling on to your goal of becoming the painter you've always wanted to be.

Painting has been my hobby AND profession for nearly 30 years and I enjoy sharing what I know with others just starting out. Many of my past students have shown their work in galleries, made beautiful artwork for their homes and lovely, timeless gifts for their loved ones. 

Becoming An Acrylic Painter

So, if you've always wanted to learn, this would be a great place to start. I'll continue to add courses to the Beginning Acrylics Series in the future so you can build your skills and grow as an artist.  By following me here on Skillshare, I'll let you know every time a new course is available and we can discuss each project you upload with feedback from me and others taking the same courses.

I can't wait to meet you and help you learn to paint!                                                      





Meet Your Teacher

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Brigitte Miller

Artist | Creatively B

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: [MUSIC] Have you always wanted to learn how to paint? The acrylic medium is a great place to start. Welcome to my course, introduction to acrylics and the painting process. It's the first in my beginning acrylic series and the very first course that I have here with SkillShare. My name is Bridget Miller and I live here in Salem, Oregon. I'm a professional decorative artist and I've been in the trade for nearly 30 years, and in recent years, I've been sharing my skills with others, just starting out. Throughout my years as a freelance designer, I've painted everything you can think of from advertising and holiday decor on window storefronts, to detailed realistic murals created to fool the eye and everything in between. I enjoy using my skills to partner with others in creating something that enhances a space and brings joy to them and others. I also enjoy sharing my knowledge with others who have a desire to learn this trade. Or maybe you just want a fun and rewarding hobby. I'm a certified painting instructor with the Grumbacher paint company. I teach face-to-face classes that are dissociations and craft stores like Hobby Lobby and Michaels craft stores. One of the main concerns I hear from my beginning students is how overwhelming it can be to learn this discipline with so much information out there. I designed this course with a very beginner in mind, scaling back that information overload and just concentrating on the essentials of painting with acrylics while using a simple, easy-to-follow step-by-step painting process. This will give you a jumping-off point. Over time with practice and repetition, you'll feel more comfortable to add and tweak the process and make it your own. In doing this, you'll begin to develop your own creative style. In this course, I'll go over materials you'll need and how to set up your workplace. Then we'll dive right in and paint a project using my process. I will demonstrate in detail every step and you'll be able to paint the project with me pausing and replaying as needed, or you're welcome to watch me paint first. Then when you're ready, re-watch and paint along with me. At the end of the course, I'll give you some options on finishing and framing your artwork. Then I'll explain how to upload a photo of your project, so you can get feedback from me and others who have done the same. I'm excited to get to you on your creative journey. Without further ado, meet me in the next section where I'll go over the course project in more detail and we will get you started. [MUSIC] 2. Course Project: [MUSIC] In my experience, the best way to learn is by doing, especially when it comes to painting. It's a little like learning how to drive a car. I can tell you about it. I can show you how to do it. But when you get behind the wheel, that's when you learn the skills to really get where you want to go. That's why I made this course project-based. It's my way of getting behind the wheel and onto your destination straightaway. It's the way I prefer to learn. [MUSIC] The project that we'll be creating together is a painting I designed from a photo I snapped of a gorgeous sunset on an Alpine lake where my family and I enjoyed camping. If you'd like to use the photo for color reference or inspiration, you'll find that under the Projects and Resources tab beneath this lesson. You can download it if you'd like, along with the traceable sketch, a list of painting terms, and a materials list. You may already have around the house some of the materials listed. I'll go over every step in the project, giving you tips and tricks of the trade along the way. You'll learn to blend a gradient, mix primary colors to make secondary colors, layer to add depth and texture, create perspective with color and size and a whole lot more. At the end of the course, you'll have a beautiful painting to display for yourself or give as a gift, not to mention an enormous sense of accomplishment from the skills you've learned. After you've finished your project, you'll snap a photo of it and upload it by clicking the Create Project button under the Projects and Resources tab. It's there I'll be able to give you feedback on your project and you'll be able to see others' projects and comments as well. For me, that's the best part of the course, where we get to see each other's projects and interact with each other. Without further ado, let's get started. In the next section, I'll go over the materials list in detail. I'll see you there. 3. Materials: [MUSIC] In this segment, I will talk about the basic supplies you need to paint with acrylics and the specific supplies you'll need for the course project. First up and most important is your acrylic paint. Acrylics come in a vast array of colors. However, to start with, you really only need the primaries, which are red, blue, and yellow, and a tube of white. From the primary colors you can make all other colors. I'll explain more about that in an exercise later in this course. The best paint to use for fine art is heavy body acrylics. They mix easily and they have more pigment than craft paint, making the colors more vibrant. They have a buttery consistency which allows you to create texture and painterly brushstrokes. They were created to mimic oil paints like the master painters used, but they're water-soluble, so they clean up with water instead of harsh chemicals. Once dry acrylics are permanent. I recommend starting with a set from a well-known company like Golden, Liquitex and Grumbacher. The sets have everything you need to start and they cost less than purchasing the tubes individually. These companies have been around for a long time, they know their business. I'm a certified art instructor with the Grumbacher paint company, and I really like their paint and how they cater to artists. You can contact them directly if you've got any questions or concerns about their paint and if there's an issue with a particular batch, they will replace it. I've heard from other artists that Golden and Liquitex have good customer service as well. Most often you'll find acrylics in metal or plastic tubes and sometimes in jars. They are non-toxic unless the pigment used is toxic like cadmium and cobalt. However, as long as they're not ingested and the area where you're painting in is well ventilated, you shouldn't have any problems. However, if you have sensitive skin, I would recommend wearing gloves. Now I'll go over some of the surfaces that you can use with acrylics. Most commonly for fine art, you see canvas panels. But acrylics can be applied to wood, paper, walls, and ceramics as well. For the course project, I recommend using a 9 by 12 canvas either stretched around a frame like this one, or a canvas board like this. This one has a nice feature on the back that helps you catalog your artwork. You could also use watercolor paper like this one from Strathmore. It's a 140 pound, which is pretty thick and you could use thicker than this if you like or you could use paper expressly made for water mediums. This one's a cold press paper by Canson and is very thick. Several of my students use these pads because they take less space and they can keep all their lessons together in chronological order. This paper is so thick that you can actually practice on both sides. If you're on a budget that would work and get twice as much out of your paper pad. Another nice feature about using paper is that it's easier and less expensive to frame. Many of the frames that they make for photographs can be used for your art, but you do you, it really comes down to how you want your finished piece to look in the end and the budget you have to work with. If you decide on canvas and you purchase it at a craft store, it will likely be pre primed, one or two coats, sometimes three. If it's not primed, you will need to prime it yourself with a couple coats of white paint, or gesso, which is a chalky white paint that works as a barrier to prevent the acrylic medium from going right through the porous canvas width. It would also be a good idea to coat the surface of your watercolor paper if you choose to use that to paint on. However, the Canson acrylic pad paper does not need to be coated because it has a special gelatin sizing in the paper, making it ideal for acrylic painting. Now let's talk about brushes. For beginning acrylics, I recommend three brushes to start up, a three-quarter inch flat, a half-inch filbert brush. This is one that looks a little like a fingernail. It's flat and it has rounded corners. Then I also recommend a number 4 round. If you can't find a filbert brush, you could also use a half-inch flat brush instead. These are all from Artist's Loft. I don't recommend Artist's Loft brand paint, but for brushes, they're just fine. They all have short handles and that's fine for smaller artwork. You may want to go to a longer handle for larger works of art. Another good brush to have in your art box is a number 2 liner brush. This one's from Princeton. If you're on a budget, just get the first three that I mentioned. Make sure when you're purchasing brushes that they are made for acrylics. Brushes for watercolor and oil paint will not work. Synthetic bristles are the best. They hold up to the paint better. When we get to the course project, I'll demonstrate the uses for each one. Now I'll talk about paint palettes. When you're just starting out, an inexpensive plastic palette like this one or a paper plate will work just fine. You might even have some on hand, but as you paint more and more, you may want to invest in a stay wet palette. Acrylics dry fast and a stay wet palette keeps your pants moist so you'll be able to work with them longer and you'll have less waste. I like this one from Masterson's. It's a shallow box with a very tight fitting lid. It comes with a sponge and a special palette paper that can be changed as needed. They come in two sizes, small and large. You can also make your own stay wet palette by using a shallow plastic or glass container with a tight-fitting lid. Instead of a sponge, you can use blue disposable shop towels or paper towels and parchment paper. Most of my students switch to a stay wet palette eventually because it saves on paint and in the long run that can make it more economical. Another option is a peel off palette. This one has an airtight lid so your paint stay moist and when you're finished with your paint session, you let it dry and the paint can be peeled off. For the course project, a paper plate will be just fine and cleanup is ascent when you can just toss it in the trash bin when you're done. There's a few other items you'll need to get started. You will need at least one container of water to wash your brushes in. I like to use two containers so I can wash my brushes out in one and the other I try to keep clean so I can use that water to thin my paint. If I use my dirty brush water to thin my paint, I'll risk changing the color. Glass containers are great because they don't tip as easy. Some artists use a large container so they don't have to change their water as often. This is my favorite and the one I use most often. It has the two sections that I like and it's made of plastic. It's easier to tote around what I want to paint on location. It also has ridges on the bottom of one side to make it easier to wash the paint from the bristles. On the other side, a raised section to rest your brushes to prevent bending the bristles while they sit in the water. For sketching or transferring my design, I use sidewalk chalk or white chalk pencil. Make sure you do not inadvertently grab an oil pencil because those are for oil paints only and will not work for acrylics. Another must to have is a blow dryer or hairdryer. This one goes from way back, I think it's from the '80s during my big hair days. Some of the techniques used in acrylic painting require the service to be dry, and this will speed the process. I use a toothbrush to spatter paint. I find that it works better than a paintbrush. Lastly, you'll need a rag or paper towels to blot excess water or paint from your brushes, clean off your hands, and wipe paint or chalk from your canvas to make changes. Some optional materials would be carbon paper for transferring your design, maybe a tube of mars black paint for details. You could also use a spray bottle for keeping paint moist and masking tape for straight lines and to hold your watercolor paper down if that's the surface you've chosen to use. In the end, we'll be using water-based varnish for protecting your artwork. I use DuraClear Gloss Varnish from Deco Art. Also gloves to protect your hands and apron to protect your clothes. You may want to use a tabletop easel. I use a lightweight aluminum one made by Studio Designs. I also use a palette knife for mixing paint and applying paint to the canvas at times, a ruler. Lastly, this nifty color wheel for referring to when you're mixing colors. For framing your artwork, you'll need double-sided tape or a glue gun and a ready-made frame like this one from Studio Decor. [MUSIC] Now that we're squared away on the materials you'll need, let's talk about how to set up your workplace maybe in the next section where I'll show you my creative corner and give you suggestions for yours. 4. Setting Up Your Workplace: [MUSIC] There's a few things you may want to consider when setting up your workplace. Let me start by taking you into my creative corner of the world where I create paintings for lessons just to give you a little peek into my setup. I'm blessed to have this dedicated space that my hubby gifted to me. He actually designed it into his plans for his own workshop and office space that he built in our backyard. My area is a storage area above the office space. It has north light windows behind here, and some fluorescent lighting above. My husband also refurbished this antique light table he found at an auction, which is the perfect size for my tabletop easel, stay wet palette, extra brushes, water, rag, and paper towels. I also have this nifty little chair. I got a few paint drops on it, so I threw some more paint on to give it a modern graffiti vibe. I'm not sure that's working, but it works for me. I don't worry about the floor because I use this space just for my messy creating. Here's some extra storage space, and Elvis is in the house. I created that for a theater production awhile back. I don't use this area for videotaping because it works better for me to keep that setup separate. That's an old table behind this area. Here's a snapshot of that setup. I paint flat to better present the lesson. The setup is basically the same other than that. I always placed my brushes, palette, water, blotting towel on my right, and my canvas and paint on the left. I'm right-handed, and I don't want to be crossing over my artwork with paint or water when reloading or washing my brush out. When setting up your workplace, you may want to consider these next 10 things. Number 1, try to find a dedicated space so you won't need to get out your supplies each time you get the urge to paint. Secondly, try to have everything you need at your fingertips so you don't have to get up in the middle of a paint session. I don't have a water source close by, so I cart a pitcher of water and some extra containers out to my work area so I can change my water as needed. Three, time is valuable, so try to keep organized and have a consistent setup each time you paint so you can make the best use of your time. You don't want to be searching for stuff when you can be painting. Number 4, plan ahead to limit interruption. For you, this might mean maybe turning off your phone notifications or letting your family know your paint schedule or schedule your daily painting practice when the children are napping. Have extra consumables on hand so you don't run out in the middle of a project. Six, try to set up near a window for natural light if you can. Artificial light changes the way you see, and will affect your color choices while painting. Seven, if you're working in your kitchen or family room, make sure to protect your surface and your floor because acrylic paint is permanent when dry. Eight, be choosy about your seating. I like my old office chair because it has wheels making it easy for me to back up when I need to see my art from farther away. I also like that it has a little cushion to it, and it supports my back. Nine, don't use a coffee mug or a tea mug or anything with a handle for a water container. I know many artists who have accidentally taken a sip of their dirty brush water, thinking it was their beverage. My mom's an oil painter. While I was little, I ended up in the emergency room because I drank her turpentine solvent used to clean her brushes. I remember thinking it was cocoa. Last but not least, consider listening to music while you paint. It can be great for focus and creativity. Well, I hope this will help you set up your space to create, because once you're set up, you'll be ready to practice on a regular basis to grow your skills. You'll also be ready for the course project. Before that, let me show you how to mix paint in the next section. See you there. 5. Paint Mixing Exercise: [MUSIC] Hi there. In this section I'll demonstrate some basic paint mixing. You can download the diagram of this exercise under the projects and resources tab. Remember earlier in the lesson when I said you only needed three colors and white to make all the colors? In this exercise, I'm going to show you how that can happen. With your three primary colors, yellow, red, and blue, you can make secondary colors, like when you mix yellow and blue, you get green. Red and blue make violet and red and yellow make orange. In addition, from all these new colors, you can make a third tier of even more colors by mixing one primary with an adjacent secondary color, you get a new color, a tertiary, which is a third color. In this case yellow-green, or I like to call it lime. [NOISE] For these colors, your primary mixed with your secondary would give you blue-green. With these two, you would get [NOISE] blue violet. For these two, you would get red violet and so on. This would be red orange. All the brands of paint mix differently, so it's best to use the paint you have even if you mix brands, try one of these wheels and you'll know what you're going to get when you mix them, because they will be a little bit different than mine if you're not using the paint I'm using, this would be yellow, orange. Now you're probably wondering, where's the black? If you mix blue and about half as much red and a little yellow, you will actually get black and I will show you that. Now in different amounts, if you add more red and yellow and a little bit of blue, you'll get brown. I will show you those and I will also show you when we add white. Let me put some paint on the palette and we're going to have some fun with paint. [MUSIC] We'll start by making green using my two primaries, blue and yellow. A lot of yellow and a little tiny bit of blue. Blue goes a long way because it has a lot of pigment in it. I've got a green, maybe a little more blue. I've got a green then wash your brush out very, very well and blot it on a towel. Next, I'll mix blue and red, and I'll get violet. Again, just a little bit of blue and a lot more red. [NOISE] Mix that out. [NOISE] A little bit of red and, a lot of yellow will give me orange, like magic when these colors appear. [NOISE] Now let's mix the primary with the secondary color and get our tertiary or third color. A little bit of the green with yellow and we get our yellow-green [NOISE] which I like to call lime. Our green with a little bit of blue, we get our blue-green. [NOISE] A little tiny bit of blue with our violet [NOISE] and a little bit of red with the violet. [NOISE] Here I'll probably have to make a little more violet. [NOISE] There we go. You get your red-violet. [NOISE] Red and orange will make a red-orange. My orange with my yellow will give me a yellow-orange. That's all your primaries, secondaries and tertiaries. You can keep on going and make a lot more colors. [NOISE] Now to make our black, you're going to use a lot of blue, a little bit of red. I call this a colorful black because it uses all the colors, a little tiny bit of yellow. That's going to give you a very nice colorful black. To make brown, [NOISE] you use a little bit of blue, a lot of red, and yellow. Little more blue. [NOISE] That gives you brown. You just keep on [inaudible] it until you get the brown that you want. Now let's see what happens when we add white. Squish out a little color. [NOISE] It only takes a little bit of the hue to tint it with the white. Another tip to know is if you don't want to ruin your brushes, if you want them to last longer, you'll want to mix with a palette knife instead of your brush. Now I'm not too worried about it. These aren't expensive brushes, and for me it just saves time to mix with my brushes. But to make them last longer, it's best to keep the paint from getting up here in the ferrule of the brush. Because the more paint that gets up in here, each time you try to wash them, a little of that paint residue remains and after a while, your brushes play out. I can show you what that looks like and they start looking pretty shabby. I do save my brushes for certain techniques that are rough on brush. Don't throw any old brushes out. Let's add some white and mix some more magic happen. We're going to make some pastels. A little tiny bit of color, a lot of white, will give you a very soft yellow, very light yellow. We'll do the same with the other two colors. [MUSIC] I've tinted all the primaries, and that's how you make your colors lighter. Now let me talk to you about value. Value is how light or dark a color is. Painters use value to give objects form or to make them appear three-dimensional. Here I have my darkest color black and my lightest white. When I mix or tip my black, by adding white, it gets a little lighter each time. This creates a value scale or a gradient. It's a smooth transition from one color to another. [MUSIC] You can also do this value blending with two different colors. In this example, I'll create a gradient from red to yellow. This information is what I consider the most important concept to understand in painting. Especially if you want to paint in a realistic way. There's a lot more that I could share with you on paint mixing and color theory. But for now, this basic information will get you started. Meet me in the next section, and I'll demonstrate value in much more detail. See you there. 6. Value Demonstration: [MUSIC] All objects have form. It's their three-dimensional shape. In order to paint something realistically as it looks in real life, an artist needs to override their brain and truly observe with their eyes are seeing. Let me explain. Let's have a look at this red block on my desk. I have a lamp post by shining on my block and it's distorting the color. Your brain knows the entire block is red, uniformly red. But when your eyes really observe it, the light source is actually distorting the color. Where the block is getting direct light, the red seems more pink, and where the block is not getting very much light, the color appears darker, maybe like a maroon red. These are changes in value. To make an object appear to have dimension, you'll need to use at least three values. I'll paint the block to demonstrate. I'll start by drawing a sketch of the block on heavy paper made for acrylic painting. Before painting anything, I consider where my light source is coming from. In this case, it's the lap on my desk. Then I observe the changes in color that this creates. My block is red and where the light is hitting it at the top, it's a light red or pink and at the back where it's shaded and the light can't get to it as well, it's a dark red, maroon, or maybe even a burgundy. On my palette, I'll squeeze out my three primaries, white and a little bit of Mars Black. Using a half-inch flat brush, I'll start mixing my black first. Remember from the paint mixing exercise earlier, I used all three primaries to make black, a lot of blue, about half as much red, and a tiny amount of yellow. That's my colorful black. You can also use a tube of Mars Black if you have that handy, I make my black first because as you learned previously, you'll need white to tint to color to make it lighter, and you'll need black to a shade of color making it darker. In my painting process, I usually start with the dark values first. Here I'm mixing some red with my colorful black to make it dark red for the shady side of my block, using a half-inch flat brush and use it on the broadside to cover large areas and on its edge to give me a nice clean line on my block. Then I rinse my brush out, blot it a little on my paper towel, and grab some red straight from the tube to paint my middle value on my block. Next, I add white to tint that red and make my lightest value, and then paint the top of my block where it's getting direct light. Lastly, to further the illusion of three-dimensional on a flat surface, I'll add a little white to my colorful black and add the shadow that the block is casting. You can use Mars Black instead of mixing your black if you'd like. But I prefer the colorful black. I feel like it blends better with my other colors because it has those colors in it. As a new artist, I would try both and just see which one suits you best. You could even use your blue to make your red darker. The key is just to have at least three distinct values, and that will make your subject look 3D on a flat surface. Now, I'll demonstrate this with a more organic subject like this lemon on my kitchen counter. I'm using a pre-primed canvas board. Again, I'll be using all three primaries plus white to create my values. Yellow, red, and blue are my primaries, and then a little bit of white, and we're going to go ahead and paint a lemon. If I had this lemon on my counter, my windows right here, that's my light source, and it's shining on my lemon. Lemon here. There's my lemon, and the lemon being in the way of my light source is going to be casting a shadow onto the counter. Let's go ahead and paint this in with our three values to give this form. If I painted it all yellow, it wouldn't look 3D. I'm going to go ahead and start painting by mixing my black first. I got my black mixed. To make the darkest value on the lemon. I'm going to use yellow, the color of the lemon, and mix it with my colorful black. You could also use Mars black if you have that. I'll go ahead and put my darkest value where I see it on the lemon. The median value is the color yellow. I'll paint that in, again using the broad side of my flat brush for the larger areas and using it on his edge to give my lemon a nice clean edge. Over here, as you can see in the photo, there's a little bit of light yellow on this side. That's because this window is shining on my lemon right here, and it's casting a shadow here. It's also hitting the countertop here, and there's reflective light hitting the lemon right here. If you've ever been in a boat and the sun is hitting the water and it's reflecting on the boat, oftentimes you'll see a watery look on your boat. That's what's happening here. Except there's no movement. But you can see that there's light from this countertop reflecting up onto my lemon. I've got my dark value and my immediate value and now I'm rinsing out my brush and I'm going to go into my white and a little bit of yellow paint in the light value. [MUSIC] You can make it more pronounced if you see it differently. You can put more dark here. Make a dark green for the stem. That in there. I also see a little bit of dark here, and a little bit of dark right there, [NOISE] and a little more dark here. This gives you a lemon form. Now with my number 4 round, I'm going to clean up the edges to make them look a little bit more blended. I move the brush over the area where one color meets another until they blend. It's easy to do when the paint is still wet. [MUSIC] To add to the illusion, we could also add the shadow. I'm mixing a little of all the colors to make the shadow color. Add more and blend that out. I feel like I got a little carried away on my shadow here, so I'll draw this completely and then show you how to correct that. In the picture it doesn't show the shadow on this area here, so you can just paint that over like that. Acrylics are opaque, so anytime you want to remove a line or an area, you just paint right over the top of it, just like I'm doing. It's like using pink to erase. You get the idea, maybe blend this a little bit. I'm using the flat side of my brush to do a little blending. I'll also blend this shadow a little bit more. That looks pretty realistic. [NOISE] So let me show you now with a little bit more challenging object, let's move to a flower. This is a blue hydrangea blossom that I have growing in my backyard in the summer. I always use reference photos when painting because it helps me observe and study my subject easily. The only better reference would be to paint on location or from a still-life that you set up yourself. I'll start this demonstration by sketching the basic shape of my flower directly onto my 8 by 10 pre-primed stretched canvas. The light source is the sun this time, and it's coming from the left side. As you can see from the photo, the lighter side is here. The medium values are in the middle of the flower and the darker values are more towards the bottom right. I'll load my palette with blue, white, and red. We'll start this study by blocking in with paint the entire flower with my three values, light, medium, dark, starting this time with the side closest to my light source. This becomes the background for the layers of petals that I'll do next. We're now using my half inch filbert brush to make my darkest value here, I'll add a little red to my blue to make it dark purple. Next, I'll mix three separate color values on my palette for painting the petals. I have a dark value, a medium value, and a light value. In the median value, I added a little red to mix in with the blue to make it more of a lavender, because I see a little lavender in the flower. Now I'll give it a quick dry with my blow dryer to prepare the service for the next layers. I've got my values here, ready to go, and I'm going to start drawing in some petals. I've got my dark, and now I'm going to put in some mediums. I'm just using the actual shape of the brush to make the petals, and I'm not trying to recreate exactly the photo, but just the feeling of this flower. I tap where I want the outside of the petal to be and then I pull with my brush rapidly towards the middle of a flower to make one petal. Each individual little flower within this blossom has four petals. I'm also extending some of the petals past the initial circle that I created on the background. I'm still using the medium value. I adjust it to make it lighter or darker to show against the previous layer. While I'm painting these petals, I'm making certain that I don't cover all the dark values that I established in the initial blocking in step. If I do, I can pop them in a little bit. But it's a lot harder to get those darks in there if you don't start first and then layer. Again, put him in there again, but it's easier to do by layering from dark to light. Now I'll put in the light values and [NOISE] brush out, and I'll get some more white. I'm going to make a lighter value, so I've got the dark and I've got a medium for several medium values because I'm working wet on wet, it actually mixes and makes other values. Now I will add petals that are this lighter value. I'm concentrating the lightest petals on the side where my light source is shining on them, creating that 3D illusion. I'm also careful not to completely cover the previous layers of petals. Each layer I paint less and less. [MUSIC] I'm going to go ahead and add a little more lavender to give it smart color. I join these in pink and white and blue. Sometimes one blossom will have all those colors. Then to highlight, I'm going to add white straight out of the tube, and just here and there I'm going to tap onto the petals where I think the light would be hitting them and just highlight just to make them pop a little bit more. I also like to pop in on my Grumbacher set a different blue altogether, which will add to the dimension and depth of the realism using color. This is a beautiful blue color process cyan, and when mixed with the ultramarine blue, you get even more colors. [MUSIC] Now you can see that this flower looks 3D. [MUSIC] Then with my detail brush, [NOISE] I'll mix blue and red to get a dark purple. I can get the center of some of the flowers in. Here I just tapped the loaded tip of the brush in a few centers of the individual blossoms. There's no need to do all of them, just a few will do. While I have this color on my brush, I'll make a few darker petals on the shady side to enhance the contrast and values a little bit more. One last [NOISE] detail. I'll highlight the centers of the flowers with pure white. [MUSIC] Well, I hope this helps you understand value and how important it is to painting realistically. [MUSIC] Now let me recap what you've learned so far through the painting demonstrations. Primaries are yellow, blue, and red and with these colors and white, you can mix all other colors. Why it is used to tinted color, making it a lighter version. Black can be used to shade or create a darker value. Value is how light or dark a color is and is used to give objects form. Of course, there's a lot more to acrylic painting, but this will get you started for sure. Now, let's get you in the driver's seat. Meet me in the next section and we'll start Step 1 of the course project. See you there. [MUSIC] 7. Underpainting: [MUSIC] At this point, you should have your materials and your work area set up, and you should know the basics of paint mixing and have an understanding of how value is used to create the illusion of 3D form on a flat surface. Now you will be able to put what you know into practice with the course project, where we'll paint this beautiful sunset over Waldo Lake here in my little part of the world. This project will help you apply the skills I've demonstrated to you and introduce you to the process of painting. Every season artists that I know has a creative process and my goal is to have you learn mine so you'll eventually develop your own. This in time will actually help you develop your own artistic style as well. Let's start with step 1, underpainting. Underpainting is the first layer of paint that you apply to the surface. It's usually gray or a middle-range value. Underpainting is important for several reasons. Firstly, when you start with a mid-value or a mid-tone, it helps you gauge your light and dark values, making it easier to give your painting dimension and contrast. Secondly, if you miss a spot, you won't have the white canvas showing. Three, it's another layer which will make your surface smoother. If you purposefully let it show through, it will give your artwork a visual continuity in color. Some of my students comment that they think it's a waste of paint. If you agree, you can definitely skip this step. But in my opinion, I feel like it gives an art piece a more professional look. Here's a couple painting lessons I've done in the past where you can see the underpainting that I use showing through. Here I let it show in the path and in some of the flowers and the foliage, and in the little cottage. Here behind the trees, it gives it an extra glow. Here's a dog portrait where you can see the underpainting behind the dog. Now let's start painting this first step. I'm going to use my mixing set from Grumbacher's and a 9 by 12 canvas board. I'll load my palette with my three primaries and then using my largest brush, the 3/4 inch flat, I'll mix a little red and a little yellow. You'll mix an orange. [NOISE] This is a mid-tone. It's not dark as the red or light as the yellow, but it's in the middle. This is what I'm going to use for my underpainting. Now, orange isn't the only color you can use for underpainting, but because the picture that I'm doing has a lot of orange in it, I chose that as my underpainting because that's the color that will peek through if I don't paint in a spot. Go ahead in take in your large brush, and using large broad stroke, cover the entire canvas. Don't worry if brushstrokes show because most of this will be covered. The key to acrylic painting is really layering, layering, layering. You're just can do a lot of layers, like I demonstrated with the hydrangea blossom. There was a lot of layering. If it starts feeling like it's not covering well or if it feels like it's just not moving well on the canvas, add a little bit of water. I'm going to paint the edges too, just in case my frame at where those little edges will show. If you're using a stretched canvas, I would do the same thing. I would paint the edges. Definitely paint the edges if you're using a gallery wrapped deeper canvas because those do not require framing. Unless you paint the sides separate, a different color altogether, the sides will show, so you'll want to make the design go all the way around. I'm going to go ahead and turn my canvas over and paint the remaining area. Then I'm going to let this dry. Now, if you do have a blow dryer, you can speed up the drying process by using your hairdryer. [MUSIC] As soon as this is completely dry, we're ready for step 2, which is transferring or sketching your design. Meet me in the next section and we'll get started on that. 8. Transferring the Design: [MUSIC] In this step, if you already feel comfortable at drawing, you're welcome to sketch the design directly on the the canvas with pencil, charcoal, or chalk. Or use the traceable sketch that I provided. If you'd like to use the traceable sketch, go to the projects & resources tab, and it will be located on the right side of the course description. The simplest way to transfer your design is by using carbon paper. [NOISE] Lay that down on your canvas and then your traceable sketch over that. A couple of pieces of tape to hold it where you want it. You don't want it slipping halfway through your design. [NOISE] Then using a sharp pencil, trace the design and check it to see if it's coming through. [NOISE] If you use colored pencil, I'll be able to see where the red line is. So I know if I've gone over that area or not. I don't trace very often. I prefer to sketch directly on the canvas with chalk but many of my students do not want to draw so they use the traceable sketch that I provide. If you don't want to purchase carbon paper, you can make your own transfer paper by blackening the backside of your sketch with graphite. Then turn it over on your canvas and trace your design. If the graphite line doesn't show on your underpainting, maybe you chose a darker color. You could use chalk instead of graphite on the back and then trace. Then you'd have a white line to use as your guide. If you know how to sketch, you can just do it the old-fashioned way and draw in your design [NOISE] using a pencil. [NOISE] Or if you'd rather, you can use chalk and chalk is easier to wipe off and cover with paint. I recommend using chalk and just sidewalk chalk works fine. Or you could also use a chalk pencil for a thinner line. [NOISE] [MUSIC]. That's all there is to it. In the next step, we'll go over how to block in your dark values. I'll meet you in the next section. 9. Blocking In the Dark Values: [MUSIC] For this step, I'm going to start with my darkest color, which is black, and block it in. Now, blocking in means to lay in the color in areas without detail. Just the general idea of where the dark color is is blocking in. Later, with each next layer, I'll be refining more. At this stage, I just need to get the general idea of where the darks are. Just like when I was doing the blossom, I painted the area in its entirety first with the dark colors and then I laid in the petals. That's what we'll be doing here on this lake escape. I'm going to go ahead and mix in my black because that's what I see as the darkest color in the clouds and then also reflecting on the water here. I'm going to go ahead and make the black. I use a lot of blue, a little bit of red, and just a tiny bit of yellow. That gives me a nice dark black. That's my colorful black. I'm going to add that where I see it on the sides here. I'm going to use fairly long strokes, and I'm going to taper them as they come into the center of the painting. Now, I wouldn't worry too much about this particular stage because we're going to put more paint over the top and, like I said, refine it more. Just get the general idea of where the dark is. Don't worry about that orange underpainting peeking through, it gives it a really nice painterly look. I'm just referring to the painting as I paint. On my sketch, I came in a little bit here. [NOISE] It doesn't have to be too exact because every single sunset is different. Every time you paint it, it's going to turn out different. Just the general idea, the general feel of what it was like that day is all I'm really looking for. I'm painting over the trees and I will revisit that later. They are probably darker than this, so we'll add that later over the top of all my layers. It's a lot easier than trying to paint around them. [MUSIC] I'm going mostly horizontal with my strokes. [MUSIC] This is your horizon line here. Make sure you keep that very straight. [MUSIC] Straight across. I use the edge of my brush perpendicular to my canvas to make that very straight line. Make a little more black. [MUSIC] Make a little bit more. [MUSIC] A lot of practice making that colorful black. [MUSIC] Bring my horizon line just a little bit lower. I like things compositionally to be broken up into thirds. Sometimes it looks better than if some things broke up in halves. I'm going to bring my horizon line down to here. I'm going to wipe out a little bit of the color here because I don't want to go this far up, so I'm going to go ahead and wipe a little of that off. Adding a little water to my brush while the paint is still wet will help me wipe the paint off with a paper towel. There we go. Then I'll put my orange back on here. There we go. That gets me ready for my next layers. Meet me in the next step and we'll put in medium values. [MUSIC] 10. Adding the Medium Values: [MUSIC] Hi there. We're going to get to doing the medium values now. I also call medium values bridge colors. Bridge colors get you from your darkest values to your lightest, from one to the other and there's a lot of mediums in detailed artwork and there's less mediums when you're doing a looser artwork. That's one thing that you'll just have to decide for yourself. How detailed or how many values you want in-between your darkest and your lightest. There's no right or wrong. It's just personal style. Go ahead and add white to your palette. I'll go to my ultramarine blue and that is actually one of my mediums because it is a lighter value than my darkest. I can use that straight and almost covering my black but not quite. I'm going to use the corner of my brush in a circular fashion because these are clouds. This brush technique will give the clouds a puffy cumulus cloud look. Now, if I work fast enough, I will be able to mix wet on wet. That's when my paint is wet on the surface and I'm adding wet paint to it and in doing that, I can get other medium values so I will demonstrate that for you. You can already see that this is looking more 3D just in the little that I've done already. Don't forget to repeat, the blue down here in the water. Water is reflecting the sky so you want to repeat it down here. I'll have to add some more blue. I'm using my brush horizontally. Now I'm going to add just a little bit of white to the blue to make a lighter value and you just decide how much lighter you want to go. If you have two blues in the set of paint, you could add two different blues. It's just entirely up to you. Using the corner of my brush, in like a circular fashion, I'm just going to add a few swirls that's going to give me a cloudy look. [MUSIC] You can see how easy it is to blend on the canvas, wet on wet. You have to work pretty quickly. [MUSIC] I got a little lighter value here. I can just add few of the lighter clouds, a couple up here and up in here and right here and just blend it as much as you'd like. Some people like a little bit of a line to show and other people like it more blended so the more you work with it, the more blended it will be. The other thing you can do is completely change our brushes. You can go to your filbert. In the filbert, if you use that, in the same manner, you can get a lot of neat swirls. Then on the water, we're going to get a little bit of a reflection. It's going to be straight lines for waves because this particular lake gets pretty choppy in the evening. I'm going to get a few waves going in here. Now, to get the illusion of depth in addition to color, getting that illusion of 3D, I'm also using size. With the water, I'm going to put small, tiny lines close together, closer to the horizon line and as they come closer to me, to the foreground, they're going to be further apart from each other. This will give you the illusion of depth because we're working on a flat surface we want to create 3D and this is one of the ways you can do it in a lake scape. I'm just using my brush perpendicular to the canvas and wiggling a little bit to make it look like waves. I could also switch my brush to my large brush, and also I could use that on the edge and wiggle it a little bit. That'll give me waves. Try it a bunch of different ways and see what you like best. You don't want it to be uniform. This is water and it is not uniform so don't get too perfect. If you want to change the color just a little bit, make just a slightly different blue. You can add a little bit of yellow and add a different blue in there. It'll turn it more green. That's the bridge colors for the sky area. Now I'm going to rinse out my brush and I'm going to start on the bridge colors for my sunset. I'll start with red and I'm going to move right into this area here with my large brush and I'm still moving the brush horizontally. Some of that background is already the color of the sunset so I'm going to go ahead and leave that. I'm going all the way down to the horizon line and into the water. [MUSIC] Don't worry too much if you pick up the color, the blue, if you pick up too much, go ahead and rinse your brush out. But if you pick up a little, it's okay. But getting a little bit of these other colors mixed in, he's okay because that's just going to help it blend and have fun with it. It's fun to mix colors right on the canvas. I'm going to mix a little bit of blue and red together here and just make that a little more softer and here little softer and I'll rinse my brush out a little more yellow. I'll mix that with the red and make a little bit of orange and then I'll mix that in here. I don't have to be too exact in covering the background here because I've got that nice underpainting. [MUSIC]. I'm just wiggling my brush to make more cloud-like formations. It's also mixing with the background. That's just where the sun is catching the edges of those clouds and as it moves down in the horizon, these lines, just like the water will get shorter. As it moves up, they'll get farther apart. That'll give you the illusion of depth. I also paint smaller clouds at the horizon line and gradually make them larger as they come to the top of the painting. [MUSIC] You can see I'm just getting a little paint on the edge and tapping it. I'm working fairly quickly and I realize as a beginner, it'll be difficult to do this, this quick, so feel free to pause the video lesson and work on this a little slower if you'd like and then don't be afraid to try this over and over again to get it right, or at least to get it where you'd like it. It does not really any right, it's whether you like it and it looks like what you want it to look like. Let's put some yellow in here. This is just one of the bridge colors. As you can see, I'm getting lighter and lighter and lighter with each color. What's happening in the sky is being reflected into the water. If you prefer to draw the whole background and do this on a dry background, that's okay too. [MUSIC] I'm just tapering the edges here. I'll glide across with the edge of my brush and as I'm ending my stroke, I come up from the canvas and that tapers the stroke. I'm going to move to my filbert brush and I'm going to go back into my cloud area and just here and there now that I have these colors further along, I'm going to add one more lighter value to the cloud area. [MUSIC] It just makes it a lot more 3D. I'm rubbing the brush on the canvas in a circular motion and it's giving me a smudgy cloud look. I'm just tapping a little bit with my filbert brush in the places I want to see more light color. It's very dramatic scene. Then using that same color, I always add it to the water. I'm very gently gliding over the canvas just with the very tip of the brush. One a little bit more, more dark purple in here so I'm just going to come back in and add a little bit more of the dark purple. I mixed red and blue together. It's more of a red, violet. Little smoother transition from this color to this color. There we go. Here too. See that in the picture. I'm going to put a little more of that in here. [MUSIC] I want it to be painterly. This isn't meant to be the exact scene that I photographed. It's just meant to be a feeling that I had while I was there. If it starts feeling like it's not moving very well on the canvas, dip your brush in a little water and that might get it to move a little bit better for you. I think I need a little more blue here. I just want to make sure this is triangle shape and then it goes into another triangle shape here, everything converges into this horizon line in what they call the vanishing point where the sun goes down, be the vanishing point in this picture and everything in the picture points to that. Let me make a darker color here. Put in some of these. Some of the land in there. There we go and maybe some of the land this way. That'll be the land on both sides. Again, I'm just going to taper it and then there might be some land coming this way as well. I'm going to use colorful black for that. Those are the medium values. In the next section, we'll work on the light values. See you there. [MUSIC] 11. Adding the Light Values: At this point you've painted all your dark values and your medium values or bridge colors. Now we just need to add our light values in this picture, it's rather dramatic in the colors that I chose. Pretty much a primary painting with all the primary blue, red, and yellow. So there's not a lot of pastel, so there won't be as many light values in this particular painting. I'm going to go ahead and start with my filbert brush, and I'll start in the cloud area. I'm just going to lighten things just a little bit further, I`m going to mix a little blue and a little white, a little bit of yellow. Here I'll lighten these clouds a little bit more to add some more contrast. If your paint set comes with other blues like civilian or cyan, this can be a good place to add that in if you'd like. And I'm just going in a circular motion with my brush. Then I'm going to add a little bit more white to my blue. A little lighter, tested it on there, I need to go just a little bit lighter. Then if I want more blending, I just move it around a little bit more. If I want it less blended, just pop it on there and leave it. Now I'm going to rinse my brush out. And go into my red, add a little bit of blue, just going to make that red violet color. So every color that I have on here, I'm just going to lighten one more value up from where it was. Mountains, then I'll rinse my brush out and then I'm going to add a lighter yellow, and mixed with a little red and a little white, and then I'm just going to add that where the sun is, and I originally had my sun up in here. Now that I've moved my horizon down a little bit, I think I'm going to put my sun right here. Now, normally I wouldn't put it right smack in the middle of my painting, but that this is going to be my focal point. So I'll go ahead and put it right there. Wipe that off a little bit just to see where I'm out here. I like that, that looks good. I like using chalk because I can see where I'm at and then wipe it off if I need to. Now here I had drawn pencil earlier when I was showing you how to sketch your design. So I will take that out with paint. If I had done that in chalk, I could just wash it off. So I'm going to want to make most of my light area around the sun. So let me go ahead and remove this sun by mixing that color, a little bit more red. And I'll just use my filbert brush mixing orange, and then I'll take that out of there. It makes a little more yellow with my red, and I just see a little bit more of that. So I'll just put a little more paint over the top so you can see that, there you go. It`s important to know how to fix something that you decide differently on. Now I'm going to move up in value. And then I'm going to move to my smallest brush, which is my number four, round, and I'm going to mix light yellow, white, and yellow, and I'm going to draw in my sun, with the paint. As I move up in value, I also apply the paint thicker. Then I'm going to bring it out a little bit out to the side while it's still wet, and I'm stabilizing my hand on my other hand, to keep from shaky, then I'm going to dry it. The way you can make the straight lines is to use a palette knife, this is just a plastic one. You could have a more durable metal one, and all you do is mix your yellow and white together for the reflection in the water. Then you get a little bit of paint on your palette knife and just run it across your painting. That makes nice straight lines. Get a nice bead, and then run it along here, it takes a little practice. You could also use the palette knife in the sky as well. Here I'm tapping on the flat side of the palette knife and pulling the paint to where I want it. Try these techniques to see what you like. Always know that you can change it. This will help you develop your style. As long as the background is dry, you can wipe off the strokes if you decide that it doesn't look right to you. It's really important that you experiment when you're new to this, so you can find out what works for you. That's our light values. Now, meet me in the next section and we'll finish our artwork with some highlights and details. See you there. 12. Adding the Highlights and Details: [MUSIC] Here is where we are right now. In this next step, I will be adding the darkest value, black and my lightest value white. I'll need to reload a few colors on my palette. My canvas is completely dry, and I'm going to start with the trees. Now you can just wing it and put them in if you feel comfortable doing that. Or you can chuck them in, resketch them in using sidewalk chalk or chalk pencil. This is entirely up to you if you want to skip this step, that's fine. I like having a plan, so I'm going to sketch them in. You can also reuse your traceable sketch if you want to do it that way. I just start with lines. I make them different heights. I put some close together and some far apart. Here, I'll put them a little closer. Remember this is just washes off. If there's any chalk that you do not cover with paint after it's completely dry, you can wash it off a little water. That'll give me a lot of trees. You could even put in the detail if you wanted. But I don't. I just start with the lines and then I use the brush to do my detail. But it's up to you how much you want to put in. This is where I want my trees. Let's go ahead and make a black. I'll make my colorful black with a lot of blue, a little red and a little tiny bit of yellow. Once you have that color, you can put in your trees if you want to practice on a paper plate first, I would definitely try it out if you've never done trees before. I'll show you how to do these trees with a large blob brush and the half-inch filbert brush. I start with a line, it doesn't have to be perfectly straight, and then I tap on both sides with my brush and wiggle, gradually widening the tree as I move down. That usually gives me a tree and then I just thicken it up where I need it. By tapping color in with the corner of my brush. You could do a different type of tree. These are the kind they have at Waldo lake, but you could also do this kind of tree. On this one, I tap on either side and pull into the line or the trunk using the very edge of the brush to make the branches. Again, I widen it as I move down. Here's a more dense tree. You can choose one type of evergreen or a combination that's up to you. What I would avoid doing is making the trees too uniform, keep them organic and uneven to be more realistic. Try to avoid this. Although you could start there and then make it look a little more organic by filling in in a bit. But you don't want to make it too perfect, could even skip some areas there, there we go. That could be a tree. That's how you do it with the big brush. Let me show you with the filbert brush. Again, you just start with a line and then tap on both sides and you've got a tree. These are in silhouette so they're very dark because the light source is behind the trees in this scene. You won't be getting a lot of highlight on the branches. They are going to appear black or this very dark colorful black. That's a few trees. Definitely practice on a paper plate. If you feel uncomfortable, just go into your canvas. I'm going to stay with this brush and put in my lines for my trees and go ahead and tap them in. [MUSIC] Use the brush you feel comfortable with. You're going to have to definitely experiment with your brushes to get a feel form. Now with my smallest brush, the number 4 round, add the smaller trees. Again, I just tap on both sides. [MUSIC] Your trees. You could pop in a little bit more color if you wanted. I'm going to put a little yellow here and there. Just peeking out from the trees. It's so pretty when you're there at the lake and you can see the sun through the trees. It's just breathtaking. Now I'm going to rinse that brush out and then back to my small brush again and white. You could leave the sunlight this if you want or if you want it a little more highlighted you can add white, like that. How much you add is up to you. You can do it to do it on the outside. You can make the whole thing except the very outer edge yellow. In addition, you could add a little bit of white out here. You can just add it as strokes with the very tip of your brush or you could get this completely dry and do a technique called dry brush. I'll show you that as soon as I dry it. Let's put just a little bit of highlight on some of these waves. Maybe some over here. Here I'm adding white everywhere that I feel the sun would be lighting it. My background is dry. Always know that if you think you've added too much, wipe it off and give it another try. [MUSIC] Well, I have that color on my brush. I'll then add a few little stars on the very tip of my brush. I have quite a bit of paint and I'm just going to tap on my canvas and that will give me a little star. Now, if you'd like to add constellations of stars, grab your filbert brush and go into some white and make it pretty runny. Not too runny, but here again, you might want to try it on a sheet of dark paper or a palette before going directly to your canvas. Also, before I start, I make sure my background is completely dry so I can wipe everything off if it doesn't come out like I want the first time. Now that your artwork is completely dry, go into white and you can try some spatter. All you would do is gently grab the bristles of your brush. You can see the little spatter hit the canvas. I'm going to reload. That's how you get more stars. The other way you can do this is to grab an old toothbrush and put it in the white paint, and then also pull back on the bristles and then let go. That does it like nobody's business. There we go. That's another way you could do it. You can do both or you can do just one. I got it in some areas I didn't want it. I've got a moist break here and I'm just going to take it off the trees. There's just a few areas. It looks a little too contrived, so I'll get that off of there. We want to keep it more in the blue area, like that. There's a couple of places I see that my trees got a little light. I used too much water. I will put another layer of black over these trees. I'll demonstrate a couple more techniques you can try. That will wrap it up. [MUSIC] Now I'm going to get it completely dry before I show you the next techniques. The first technique I want to show you is an alternate way to make dots or spots or stars. That would be to use the back of your brush. Sometimes this is just a great tool to make a perfect dot. I have a little bit of white paint here. I'm just going to dip the back of the brush, the wood side in the white paint and then I could add perfectly round stars to my canvas. I usually have to reload every time, I'll show you that real fast. It's another way of making stars. Another technique I wanted to show you is if you take your filbert brush and load it with just a little bit of your white and then wipe most of the paint off, you can give your son a little bit more of an aura with what I call a dry brush technique. Gently in a circular fashion, go around and around your sun and you'll see more and more of the white appear. If you like that, keep it. If you don't, you could wipe it off real fast. I usually dry it and do that a couple of coats until I get it where I want it. [NOISE] Here's the second coat. That's where we're at. You could add more or less of that if you want, make sure the background is completely dry before you try this technique. Have fun with that. Now we're at the conclusion of the highlights and details step the process. Next, in the next segment, the very last step, I'll demonstrate how to protect your artwork. I'll see you there. 13. Protecting Your Art: [MUSIC] For the last step in my painting process, I'll go over a couple of ways to protect your art. The first way that I will demonstrate is to add a protective coating which becomes a barrier to prevent scratches, dirt, and fading. There's many different products you could use to protect your artwork. Some come as aerosols and some you apply with a brush. Some prevent fading from direct sunlight and others just protect from scratches. I like DuraClear from DecoArt. It's a polyurethane varnish that adheres terrifically to acrylic paint. It's non-yellowing and it dries quickly. To apply a protective coating on your artwork, I first make certain that my artwork is dry and that I'm completely finished and will not be adding any more paint or making any changes. Don't forget to sign your work, I usually sign on the bottom right using a number two liner brush. Here again, if you want to make changes, have a moist cough handy so you can wipe it off immediately and give it another go until you're satisfied. This takes practice. Writing with a paintbrush is very different than a pencil or a pen. Take it slow and make sure the paint is thin enough to move easily on the canvas. After I've signed it and I'm completely finished, I then get my 3/4 inch flat brush in the varnish and I brush it onto the canvas slowly and evenly, making sure to cover the surface completely. It will look milky white at first, and when it dries, it will be completely clear. As long as it's dry to the touch, you can add another coat. For me two coats is usually sufficient. When you're finished with the second coat, wash the product out of your brush immediately with water and dishwashing liquid. Another good way to protect your artwork is to frame it straightaway. I like using ready-made frames because I can do it myself at a fraction of what it would cost to have them custom framed. I purchase my frames from the local craft shop and I usually take my art with me to make sure I can get a frame that compliments my art. For a stretch canvas, one that is wrapped around a frame like this one, I usually use a shadow box frame to make it look like those fancy float frames. This little bird was painted on a wraparound, stretched canvas and needs a frame. I'll demonstrate my do-it-yourself framing with this. I take the frame completely apart and I clean the glass first outside and inside. Then I put everything back together except for the fabric backing and the backboard. With masking tape, I mark where I want my artwork centered. Then I apply hot glue to the back of my canvas and quickly set it on the fabric backing. Pressing down firmly for a minute or two. After that, I gently peel the tape and put the frame back together again. [MUSIC] For the course project, if you recall, I used a thin canvas board. For this artwork, I use an 11 by 14 inch photo frame with a mat included. I like this one from studio decor, but you could just as easily use any ready-made frame for photography or artwork. These frames come in standard sizes that photos come in like 8 by 10, 11 by 14, etc. Sometimes I plan my artwork knowing this, that way I don't have to custom frame. Like the last frame, I take it completely apart and then wash the glass. I then set everything aside except for the mat. Then I center my artwork using tape as a guide, leaving an inch around all sides. I then affixed double-sided tape on the back of my canvas. Turn it over onto the front side of the mat board and press down firmly. Then you can gently remove the tape. After this, I put the frame back together. Now the glass on these frames do not protect your artwork from fading in direct sunlight. You still must coat with a clear coat that has that feature or replace the glass with a special conservation glass, that you can get in a frame shop. Now it's completely finished looking as well as very well-protected and ready to hang on your wall for you and others to enjoy. Congratulations. You're now finished with the project and you're ready to upload it. In the next section, I'll show you the steps to upload your project to share with me and others taking this course. See you soon. 14. Conclusion: [MUSIC] First of all, thank you for taking my course. I know it was a lot of information to take in so give yourself a pat on the back just for finishing. To summarize, the three main takeaways of this course are knowing how to mix primaries to get secondary and tertiary colors, how to use values to create form and the illusion of 3D, and how a simple step by step artistic process can aid in painting more efficiently and help you develop your own creative style. If you can remember these things and put them into practice, you're off to a great start as an acrylic painter. I can't wait to see how your course project turned out. Don't forget to upload it for feedback. Also, if you do the paint mixing exercise, feel free to upload that to the gallery as well. You can find the gallery under the Projects and Resources tab. On the right you'll see the green create project button. Click that and once you're there, you can upload your photo, title and description. Once your project is uploaded, it will appear in the student project gallery. It's there that you can view other projects that have been shared and comment on them. I really encourage you to do this. It's a great way to grow and learn and be inspired. On that note, I hope this course has left you content with your result and motivated to build your skills further. If you'd like to continue in my beginning acrylic series, make sure to follow me here on Skillshare. If you follow me, you'll be the first to know when my next course is available. I will also be able to send you information and updates to help you on your creative journey. You can also check out what I'm up to on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook if you'd like. One more thing, this is my first course on Skillshare so take in the time to leave a review would mean a great deal to me and others who are deciding if they want to invest their time in this course. Thank you so much for taking my course. I can't wait to see what you [MUSIC] accomplished. Let me know if you have any questions, I'll be here to help you. Until next time, creatively B you. Before you leave, check out the bonus section where you'll see how some of my students handled this lesson. Bye for now. [MUSIC] 15. Bonus: [MUSIC] I've added this bonus section because I thought it would be inspiring and motivating for you to see how some of my other students have handled this lesson. [MUSIC] I'm a visual learner and I find that viewing finished paintings in galleries, museums and in my own students' works inspires me as a teacher and as an artist. [MUSIC] It also gives me ideas as to how I'd like to proceed in my own creative work, so I hope this does the same for you. [MUSIC] Enjoy this small gallery of art, then go out and make the world a better place, one brush stroke at a time. You've got this. [MUSIC]