Modern Acrylic Painting: Explore Techniques to Create On-Trend Art | Cat Coquillette | Skillshare

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Modern Acrylic Painting: Explore Techniques to Create On-Trend Art

teacher avatar Cat Coquillette, Artist + Entrepreneur + Educator

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.

      Acrylics Preface


    • 3.

      Supply List


    • 4.

      Mixing Colors


    • 5.

      Brush Control


    • 6.

      Backgrounds: Smooth Blend


    • 7.

      Backgrounds: Ombré Gradient


    • 8.

      Backgrounds: Textured Abstract


    • 9.

      Donut Painting


    • 10.

      Tropical Leaf Painting


    • 11.

      Geometric: Herringbone


    • 12.

      Geometric: Gold Veining


    • 13.

      Geometric: Color Blocking


    • 14.

      Galaxy Painting


    • 15.

      Bonus Tips


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About This Class

Learn how to paint with acrylics– with a modern twist! We’ll explore ten separate styles, so you’ll finish the class with a stack of brand new paintings. Taught by illustrator Cat Coquillette, a full-time artist and digital nomad.

Why acrylic paint? In addition to being incredibly easy to use, acrylics yield some of the most vibrant and versatile results.

This is the perfect medium for creating modern paintings with graphic color blocking, ombré gradients, thick texture, and delicate line-work.

We’ll create 10 individual paintings:

  • 3 styles of backgrounds:
    • smooth-blended
    • ombré gradient
    • textured abstract
  • Modern donuts with realistic icing
  • Tropical leaf color-blocking
  • 3 styles of geometric patterns:
    • herringbone
    • intricate linework
    • metallic whitespace Miniature galaxy
  • Miniature galaxy

This class is welcome for everyone! Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced artist, you’ll discover the joy of acrylic painting and learn how to infuse modern techniques into this easy-to-use medium.

After taking this class, you’ll have everything you need to pick up a paintbrush and create your own masterpieces.

Additional Resources:


Ready for the next step? Learn how to scan in your acrylic paintings so you can edit digitally and sell them as art prints online!

Meet Your Teacher

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Cat Coquillette

Artist + Entrepreneur + Educator

Top Teacher

Hello there! I'm Cat Coquillette.

I'm a location-independent artist, entrepreneur, and educator. I run my entire creative brand, CatCoq, from around the world. My "office" changes daily, usually a coffee shop, co-working space, or airport terminal somewhere in the world. 

My brand aspires to not only provide an exhilarating aesthetic rooted in an appreciation for culture, travel and the outdoors, but through education, I inspire my students to channel their natural curiosity and reach their full potential.

CatCoq artwork and designs are licensed worldwide in stores including Urban Outfitters, Target, Barnes & Noble, Modcloth, Nordstrom, Bed Bath & Beyond, among many others. ... See full profile

Level: All Levels

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1. Intro: Hello. My name is Cat Coquillette and I'm the founder of CatCoq, my illustration and design brands. I'm a professional painter and I've licensed over 100,000 of my paintings with brand names like Target, Urban Outfitters, ModCloth, Bed Bath and Beyond, HomeGoods and more. My class today is going to focus on one of my favorite mediums, acrylic paints. When it comes to painting with a modern style, acrylic is hard to beat. I'm going to walk you step-by-step on how to paint with acrylics with a modern twist. I'm a big believer in hands-on learning. So instead of just talking you through these techniques, we'll be creating a bunch of paintings, all incorporating different skills from simple to more complex. By the end of this class, you'll have completed 10 individual paintings, all incorporating new techniques that you'll learn along the way. You'll learn how to paint really simple motifs like doughnuts and tropical leaves. Then we'll practice different methods of Ombre background blending and textured abstracts, which will carry over to create these really modern geometric patterns. We'll polish everything off with a galaxy-inspired minimalist acrylic painting. Along the way, we'll learn how to fix mistakes, add in fine details, incorporate metallic accents, and paint with whitespace and minds. This sounds like a lot to pack in, but I want you to get the absolute most out of my class today. Everything is broken up into individual videos, so it's easy to follow along at your own pace. This class is perfect for beginner artists, but also great for anyone who wants to brush up on their paintings skills. I'll cover all the supplies I use, show you my favorite tricks for blending the perfect color, and walk you through brush control techniques. Acrylics are one of the most accessible paints out there. You've probably already painted with acrylics or tempera paints as a kid. Acrylics are easy to use, inexpensive, and incredibly versatile. They dry quickly, paint on just about any surface, and are really easy to fix mistakes and layer as you go. Acrylics are also really great for achieving a modern aesthetic. The pigments can be incredibly bold and opaque, so incorporating bold graphic shapes with flat swatches of color adds a contemporary touch. Because acrylics dry quickly, we can easily layer and build up our paintings as we go. I like to use a combination of solid flat colors with painterly brushstrokes. This juxtaposition feels really modern and unexpected. Geometric patterns are also incredibly versatile and add a sharp modern touch. We'll be using a lot of metallic tones within our patterns, which will give them a nice shiny kick. If you have any questions throughout this class, you can post them in the discussion thread down below. Don't forget to follow me on Skillshare. Click the follow button up top and you'll be the first to know as soon as I launch a new class or have a big announcement to share with my students. I frequently surprise my followers with freebies and give out a handful of Skillshare premium memberships each year, just my followers, which means an entire year Skillshare for free. Plus when you follow me, that means that you'll be the first to know as soon as I launch my next class or have any sort of announcement to share with my students. You can get in the loop by hitting follow up top. You can also follow me on Instagram @catcoq to see my latest works in progress. Ready to open the door to creating beautiful acrylic paintings, hit enroll and let's get started. 2. Acrylics Preface: Before we dive in, I want to give you guys a quick download of the medium that we're working with today. Acrylic is a fast drying paint made of pigments, suspended in acrylic polymer emulsion. Basically, what that means is it's a water soluble paint while it's wet. So we can mix water into our palettes to soften the consistency. When the paint dries, however, it is completely water resistant, which means it won't break down again if it gets wet. I love using acrylics because they're great if you want to achieve a really modern aesthetic. They can be very opaque, which means you can paint these solids swatches of color without the layer beneath showing through. This has some great practical uses when it comes to layering and going for a more graphic approach. I know I've already mentioned the versatility of acrylic paints, but it's really important. When it comes to texture you have a lot of options with acrylic. You can paint smooth, well blended areas of solid color, or you can lay a paint onto your brush and go for painterly thick sweeps with visible brush strokes. When it comes to affordability, it's pretty hard to beat acrylics, they're relatively inexpensive, especially when compared to oil paints. There's also a huge variety of brands out there. If you want to try out acrylics for the first time, but you're not quite ready to splurge, you can still buy beginner level sets and achieve beautiful things with them. Acrylics dry very fast. Depending on how much paint you have on your surface, it could be entirely dry within minutes. Oil paints will stay wet for hours, days, or weeks depending on the humidity and temperature. Acrylics are also really easy to maintain. Brush cleaning is really easy, all you need is soap and water. You'll also need to clean your brushes quickly after painting with acrylics. If you wait too long, the bristles will be filled with dried paints. On the other hand, cleanup is a snap compared to other paints, especially oil, where you need to use turpentine or mineral spirits, which are both toxic to clean your brushes out. So acrylics, soap and water super-easy. Acrylics are also relatively safe to use as long as you don't drink your paint water, or lick your brush. They're water-based, so you can use water to dilute that paint. Also, because of the water, they're not going to stink up the room. In essence, acrylics are great for beginners and they're incredibly versatile. You can paint on just about any surface, from paper to fabric, to wood to glass and chances are you've already painted with acrylics or tempera paints as a kid. If anything, we're picking up where you last left off. All right. That is my quick breakdown. Let's move on to my recommended supplies. 3. Supply List: Before we begin, I'm going to go through a few of the supplies that you'll need for the class today, starting with acrylic paints. You don't need to have every color of the rainbow. In fact, you can just start with the primary colors plus whites, which is red, yellow, and blue. With these three colors, we can mix just about any color in the rainbow. If you wanted to have a few extra colors of tubes of paint, you can do that as well. I also have a few customized colors that I by in large tubes, because I use them so frequently. Prussian blue and lavender or two of my favorites. If you don't have these exact colors, no problem. This class will be very fluid, so you'll be able to choose the colors you like as we paint. I also love using metallics. I use a metallic gold acrylic as well. If you have silver or bronze, feel free to pull those out. In terms of brand loyalty, I prefer to use Winsor and Newton acrylics, but there's a lot of brands out there and a lot work just fine. In fact, I think I'm spread between three brands right now, Winsor and Newton, Maries and Sakura. Between all of these paints, they have different consistencies, some are thin, some are thick, and that's no problem, you can mix and match. Some of these paints like the Winsor and Newtons, I bought in the United States, and others like these Sakuras, I found here in Bali for less than 1$. It's not the price that matters, it's how you use the paints. If anything, the three colors I'm most likely to splurge on and spend the most money, would be the three primary colors, red, yellow, and blue. Because I wind up mixing these three colors together to make most of my palette, I want to make sure the quality of my primary colors is superb. I also don't buy a black paint, I mix it myself and I'll show you how to do that in a later lesson. There are two different types of acrylic. The first one is fluid, which means it has a thinner body and will drip out of the tube. It's a little bit more transparent on the page. The second type of acrylic is heavy body. This is that really, really thick paint that will go on heavy on the page. We can mix and match the two together. When it comes to buying colors that aren't in the primary palette, I'm a sucker for buying these really cheap small tubes. You can get a lot of color variation here and they're relatively inexpensive to buy. They're great for when I'm feeling a little bit lazy and don't want to mix every single custom color. Alright, brushes: I have no brush brand loyalty whatsoever. Instead, I look for attributes of a good acrylic brush. Acrylic brushes are usually longer and sturdier than watercolor, as they're often pressed really heavy onto that surface. They also don't need to hold as much water as watercolor brushes, so the bristles will often be stiffer and coarser. I use a mix of synthetic and sable brushes depending on how much I feel like splurging at the moment. But I'm pretty certain these are all synthetic since I bought them in Bali and they were super cheap. When it comes to brushes, I like to have a little bit of a variety. I usually have two large brushes that have these really thick bristles, two angled brushes, one larger, one smaller, and to round brushes, one slightly smaller than the other. Now let's talk painting surface. The great thing about acrylic is you paint on just about any surface. The paints are plastic based, so they'll adhere to just about anything. Paper, Canvas, wood, glass, even fabrics. When it comes to the paper, I like painting on mixed media, it's this very thick Canson paper that has a nice slight texture to it. Plus it's pretty thick, so it's going to hold that paint really well. Some other surfaces you can paint on are canvas. I bought this one, [inaudible] from Winsor and Newton. You can also paint on wood. This is really thin and light balsa wood. You can even paint on darker papers, because acrylic paints are so opaque, it'll cover up this background a little bit, so you can paint on black, dark brown, or craft like this. If you don't have every single one of these fancy surfaces, no problem. You can do this entire class just with white paper. Some other supplies you'll need will be a mixing palettes. It's nothing fancy, it's plastic, and it's super cheap. I think this cost me 50 cents. Also a palette knife, this will be for mixing our paints on our palette, as well as painting directly with a palette knife on paper. It's also great to have a pencil and eraser handy as we're sketching, we'll also be using masking tape for some of our lessons. Last but not least, a water dish. I usually put a piece of tape over the top of my water dish so I don't accidentally drink it. Now that we have our supplies down, let's go ahead and get started mixing colors. 4. Mixing Colors: This lesson is going to be all about my best tips and tricks for mixing acrylic paint perfectly. We're doing this for a few reasons. One, acrylic paint straight out of the tube, is very limiting. That means that the only colors you paint with are the tubes that you actually purchase. If you learn some basic color techniques, you can just use three colors, the primary colors red, blue, and yellow, plus white and black to mix pretty much any color of the entire rainbow. Once you learn some basic techniques for mixing paints, you will have so many more opportunities available for you, very wide-ranging palettes. The other reason is that paint right out of the tube. It's not so interesting. It's flat. It's expected. But if you can add a little bit more tonality to the paint that comes out of the tube, it can be really fun, unexpected, and interesting, and very vibrance. This lesson is not a deep dive. Consider it a condensed version of everything that I've learned about mixing acrylic paints over the years. I will polish off the full lesson on color by going over a few cool mixing tips that are really specific to acrylic paints. It's basically a short and sweet life hacks-list for acrylic painters. Let's get started. To get started, I'm sure you have all heard of the primary colors, red, blue, and yellow. With these three colors, you can make any color in the color palette wheel. Right out of the tube, it's the most vibrant and saturated colors. But look what happens when you mix a little bit of red with a little bit of blue, it makes purple. Now a little bit of red and a little bit of yellow, together, these two are making orange. Now last but not least, the blue and the yellow together. These two make it green. Again, you have your three primary colors that can make all of your secondary colors. You can further modify this by adding a little bit of white. This is increasing the value, the brightness of your colors. If I wanted that purple to be more of a lavender shade, I can just add it in here and have a really nice lavender tone. You have a lot of control. You can scoop in more of that deep pigment, the purple, you can add in more white, and you can balance it out to something that's working well. Now I'll show you what happens if I add some of that red into the white. Awesome, a nice light pink shade. Last but not least, I'll pull in a little bit of that green to make mint. With the white, you have a lot more pastel shades over here versus the color that's straight out of the tube. But even with the ones that are right out of the tube, you can see the colors are much more interesting when you've mixed two of them together. This reddish-orange is way more vibrant and interesting than that red or the yellow straight out of the tube. Now that we know how to make secondary colors out of primary colors, let's dive onto some more advanced techniques, starting with mixing black. First things first, with black, I don't like to use black straight out of the tube, and the reason for that is because I can make it on my own even better. The way I do that is by mixing two complementary colors together. Remember, on the color wheel, complementary colors are the ones that are opposite each other. Red and green, complementary, blue and orange, and purple and yellow. If you mix any of those colors together with their complementary counterpart, it will make black. The tonalities are a little bit different, depending on which colors you decide to mix together. You have a lot of options available there. My favorite combination of complementary colors to make black, though, is red and green. I'm going to show you what that looks like. It's definitely making black, but it's a very complicated black. This blend of cool and warm tones together. If I wanted my black to have a cooler tonality, then I would add a little bit more green. If I want it to be a little bit warmer, more red. Let's go ahead and see what it looks like on paper. That is a very nice black. It's got some nice green undertones to it because that green was more dominant in the way that I mixed it, even though I used more red. If you add water to your brush, you can see what those undertones are looking like as well. You can use black straight out of the tube if you want to, but this option is a little bit more painterly. If you've also taken my Skillshare watercolor class, you've seen the same technique used there. I do the same thing with any medium of paint I'm using. Two complementary colors to make black. Black straight out of the tube is dull. It's uninteresting, whereas when you mix these two colors together, you have more flexibility, and it just looks more interesting. Let's learn another technique. My next tip is how to boost the opacity in the paint you're using. For example, red is notorious for feeling very transparent when you put it on the page, especially if it's right out of the tube, but a really easy workaround for this is to add a tiny little touch of white paint. You usually can't tell that much with the hue of the color, but it makes a really big difference in terms of transparency, opacity. Something that's very transparent will have the paper showing through. Thinner paints are more transparent. Thicker globier paints are more opaque. Real quick, I'm going to show you what I mean. When I'm using the red straight out of the tube and paint on the page. It looks like this. It's a nice saturated red, but you can really see that paper coming through. It's very transparent shade. If I add just a touch of white paint to this, it makes a really big difference in terms of transparency. The tone of that red. It got a little bit lighter, but you really can't tell too much. Plus, acrylic paint always dries darker than it looks on page so, that's not a bad thing. I've mixed in a tiny little sliver of that whites, and now let's try painting on the page. I used the same amount of paints for the second swatch, but it's much more opaque on the page. You're really not seeing that paper come through at all. The paint feels thicker and heavier and more high-quality because it's not as transparent. Yeah. You can add this little bit of white to really any color you're working with, it's not going to change the shade of the color too much, but it's going to make a big difference in terms of the transparency on the page. I use this most frequently when I'm working with the shade that feels a little bit more transparent than it should or when I'm working on a darker surface. If I'm working on a darker paper, maybe it's a charcoal piece of paper or a craft, then I'll use this trick so that you don't see the paper coming through as much if I don't want it to. Let's move on to another tip. My next tip is in regards to the value of the color. Remember, value is the lightness or darkness of the pigments. If you're working with yellow and it's straight out of the tube. It's very bright. It's very almost neon in shade, if you want it to get a little bit darker, your natural inclination is probably to add black to it. But there's actually a better solution here. Instead of adding black to that yellow, try adding something like a really dark navy blue. I'll show you what that looks like. If I can get this paint open. I'm going to put my navy far away from that yellow, and for this, I'm going to show you what two different darker colors look like mixing against that yellow. Let me separate out my yellow. That really didn't take too much navy. I just added a tiny little bit, and it's making that yellow a little bit darker. It definitely has a more greenish quality because when you're mixing those two primary colors together, it makes a secondary color. But it feels like a little bit darker, a little bit muddier of yellow. My other favorite color to add to yellow to make it darker is burnt sienna. It's like a very saturated brown. Again, you can see I'm barely using any paint at all for this. To move my yellow over and pick a little sliver of that burnt sienna and mix it in. Now we have a much more desaturated, darker yellow tone that feels a little bit richer. You can see the difference in tonalities here, adding a little bit of navy versus a little bit of burnt sienna. I'll add the original yellow so you can see what it looks like. If we would have just added black straight out of the tube, all it would have done was make that yellow muddy and less interesting. But by adding a darker color that may be a little bit contrasting, it becomes a really dynamic shade of darker yellow. You can do this for any color that you want to make darker. With red, you can add a little bit of navy, even a little bit of burnt sienna to that as well. Maybe a little touch of really dark forest green. Any color that you want to make darker. Take a darker color that might be complementary to that shade and add that in instead of black. Let's dive in and learn another one. Another tip for you guys. This one comes with a caveat because I know I love to harp on paint right out of the tube, but there are some situations where tube paint is great. For me, I get that most with really bright neon pink. Pink is a hard one for me to mix to get exactly the shade I'm looking for. Pink is made with red, and then you add white to it to lighten that red into a pink, but I really like using hot pinks from time to time, and that's definitely one that I do buy a tube of and I use it all the time. Another hard one for me to mix are neon really bright pop tone shades. I also buy neon paints, and I use those right out of the tube. These are Sakura paints. They're pretty cheap. I bought them here in Bali. This is called greenish-yellow, but this is a hard one for me to mix every time I try and make a neon yellow which just doesn't turn out as vibrant as I am looking for, so I go to tube for this one as well. I also like to buy two paints for hues that I use really frequently. I use a lot of navy in my paintings, and I'm wearing navy right now. I use a lot of Prussian blue, so instead of having to mix that uniquely every single time I'm painting, I just bought a giant tube of it, and I'll go through this probably in a couple of months. If there is a shade that you're using more frequently than the rest, feel free to buy a really nice tube of that as well. I love Winsor &Newton for these. Speaking of paint right out of the tube, I love working with metallic tones. This one is pale gold. I also like using bronze and copper and silvers and really sparkly jet blacks. I buy metallic tones in tubes as well, and I use these all the time. My last color mixing tip for you today is a pretty general one, It's don't mix the color all the way together. I'm going to show you what I mean. In some situations, I like having visible brushstrokes where you see the different shades of color coming through in that stroke. I even incorporate that into my own logo. The way I get that look is by mixing the color a little bit, but not entirely together. For this one, I'll show you an example with navy blue and turquoise. What I'm going to do is loosely mix these in my palette, so they're not blended entirely together, but they're pretty roughly blended. I'll start by pulling over the navy, pulling over the turquoise, mixing it together a little bit, but not entirely. I can have these really nice brushstrokes, and they feel really interesting having those unblended strokes come through where you really see the variation in each stroke of the tonality of those pallets. Sometimes I layer it on my brush itself so that the tip of my brush is that turquoise and then the base is navy so that when I pull it along the paper, those tones will blend together through the bristles on the paper. This is great too. If you're painting something that feels a little bit more abstract and fluid. Like water or foliage. Something where you really want to have that bristly texture coming through in the tones. This is still very much a cool palette, but you're really having those tonalities mixed together and blend in certain areas, stay apart in others, and it just feels really interesting and unexpected. Let's move on to our next lesson, which is going to be really fun and more hands-on. 5. Brush Control: [MUSIC]This lesson is going to be all about brush control techniques, so it's going to be pretty short and sweet and by the end of it, you'll have a really good idea of how to use different types and sizes of brushes. We'll do some techniques with these angular brushes. We'll try some of the really thick brushes, and we'll also try some round detail brushes. There's no right or wrong way to be making the marks on the page. It's just about feeling comfortable using that brush and getting those strokes down. This paint is really hard to open. To get started, I'm going to go ahead and use my Navy paint for this. Just pick your favorite color. It doesn't really matter which one you choose. This is just about getting a feel for the brushes. So I'm going to squeeze some of the paint onto my palette and with my water dish handy, I'm going to start by using a medium-size angled brush. This one has a nice diagonal angle to it, which is going to be really great because we can get that finer points to make strokes on the page and we can also use the thick end to make these big thicker strokes. What I'm going to do is dip in a little bit of water and just get a nice fine consistency of that paint on my brush. Get it really nice and coated and I'm moving the surrounds that I am avoiding getting these big globs of paints. I want it to be a nice, even coating onto the bristles of my brush. Maybe add a little more water. I'm just going to practice making these brush strokes. Since I have that paint evenly coating on the bristles, I can just take my brush, holding it nice and loose like a pencil, and I can drag my brush across the page. Cool. I did a great job evenly coating the bristles because that paint is a pretty even smear across the page. Just as a quick tip, anytime you feel like you might be losing control or the brush strokes just aren't looking that good, always add a little bit of water. Water really helps the paint spread evenly on the page and you'll have more control, so when in doubt, more water, at least when you're getting started and getting used to acrylics, is generally a good thing. I'm going to try another brush stroke and maybe going back and forth on this one and going for a nice even coating of that navy blue. I'm going to add some more water. Now, I want to try using the fine tip of my brush, so I'm going to pull out across the page and practice some really fine lines using that tip of the angle. Remember, if your strokes aren't looking perfect, that's no problem. This is about getting used to using our brushes. What we're putting on the paper right now is not perfect by any means. It's just us loosening up and getting a feel for the bristles. So now I'm going to try a wavy line using both the thin and thicker angles of my brush. This is another technique that we can do really well with the angled brush that you can't do as well with a round brush. Because you have those extreme thicks and thins within your brush, you can transfer those same thick and thins onto the page. I'm going to try another one. Cool. I'm going to switch to another brush. For now, I'm just going to toss this in the water. Remember, acrylic paint dries really quickly, sometimes with even five or ten minutes so you don't want it to dry on your bristles. When I'm not using brushes and if I'm too lazy to get up and wash my paint out right away, I'll stick it in my water dish until I get up and rinse all of my brushes at once. Now, I'm going to switch over to my round brush. This is a detail brush. I use it when I'm painting any sort of things that I wanted to be a perfect swatch or perfect stroke. Adding a little bit of water, getting a nice, even coating onto the bristles and trying some more lines. I'm going to try a wavy line with this one. With this, if you hold your brush really lightly on the paper as you draw a stroke, it'll be a thin line. If you press harder onto the page, it can be thicker. So one thing I do that I've learned from calligraphy is to do these really light up strokes like this and then heavy down strokes. This is a technique I do in calligraphy all the time and sometimes it's fun to transfer that over into acrylics. You can do the same thing with waves, light, heavy, light, heavy, light, heavy. I'm just playing around with fun techniques. You'll notice that I'm adding a lot of water onto the brush. The reason I'm doing this again is because I have more control over the line weights and the strokes that I'm making. I'll show you real quick. Let me get the water off this brush. If I just use the paint straight out of that glob right here, it's a lot harder to control. It kind of globs around when I'm making these strokes. Depending on what I'm going for, that can be good or bad, but if I want more control, more water is the key to doing that. We'll add another little stroke. Cool. Alright. I'm going to take a break from this one and move on to my larger brush. I'm going to dab into the palette and try making some different types of textures. That's pretty fun. I really like seeing the close up of that texture coming through. You can also paint dry like this. Right now there's no water on my brush, it's just these dry brush strokes. There's some really cool effects and textures happening there. This would be a cool thing to layer different colors on top of to make a texture. Maybe I'll try that out in a future painting. If I add some water to this brush, let me see how that looks. This is one of my favorite things with acrylics. It's that you get to see the bristles of that brush come through on the texture of the paints. Because I predominantly paint with watercolors, it's something I can't get there but with acrylics, I really go crazy with it because it's a fun technique to use. Alright, I'm going to toss this one in the water. My cup is getting pretty full. Alright, so one more. I'm going to load my palette knife with some of that blue paints and then smear it on the paper. Painting with your palette knife is a really fun technique that again, you can't do with watercolors, but you can do really successfully with acrylic. We're going to do a deeper dive into this in a later lesson when we're using our backgrounds, but for now I'm just going to try it a few different strokes. You can load up your palette knife. I loaded on the back-end of the knife right here and what you can do is just take it and drag it across your page. Awesome. You see a really nice change in tonality there, which is a cool technique you can get with your palette knife. Compare this to what I did over here with the actual back-and-forth brushstrokes with a dry brush. The palette knife, when you smear that on, it becomes really smooth. It's metal, it's not bristles. You're getting a completely different texture. It almost feels like glass. When you're using your palette knife, you can almost think of it like putting icing on a cake. Hopefully everyone's done that before. If not, you're missing out. But yeah, you load a little bit of icing onto the knife and you can move it back and forth and get a really nice smooth coating and even stroke. Yeah. We're using that palette knife back and forth and it's this entirely different texture. If we look at our page altogether all in one, we're getting a lot of different tones, textures. Can you guys hear that dog barking outside? There's puppies in this house next door to me and they're adorable and cute and really yappy, but I still love them. Alright. Back to our page. We have these different tonalities, different textures. There's a lot of variation we can do with acrylics, and that's one of my favorite things about acrylics. We can do something that feels really smooth and layered on top of each other. We can get these fine, delicate lines with an even weight and even stroke coming through. I'm sorry, it's the puppies. Okay. Yeah. Yeah. We can do different things with the bristles. If we're working with really thick textured bristles, that will definitely show through. If you apply more paint to your brush, you'll have those heavier brushstrokes coming through, which means that paint will be a little bit more layered, which can be a really fun effect. You can do different types of strokes. You can be dabbing like I did earlier where you're just doing this and hitting the brush on top of the paper. That's how we got this really fun texture up here. You can do really smoother textures as well if you add a little bit more water and you're going back and forth with those tons. There's a lot of variety here. Yeah. Feel free to practice some more strokes. There's no wrong way to do this. Your paper is going to look like a crazy mess by the end of this. But yeah. Just get a feel for the brushes, your palette knife, if you're choosing to use one. Fill up your paper, fill up five sheets of paper, and when you're ready, let's move on to the next lesson, which is where we're actually getting started with our paintings. 6. Backgrounds: Smooth Blend: Now that we've gotten comfortable mixing color palettes using the brush and making basic brushstrokes, we're going to learn how to make full flooded backgrounds, and I'm going to be focusing on three distinct types. First, we're going to learn how to make, there you can see it in the sunlight, these really nice smooth blended washes. We can try some different palates and this is about getting comfortable with the brush, getting these nice floods of color in, and seeing what we can hit with different types of color palettes and exploration. Next, we're going to be focusing on some amber gradients. This is where you go from one tone to another tone, you can see it in the light, and have it feel nice and fluid and smooth in that transition. We'll try two different color palettes in this as well, and last but not least, we'll learn how to make these very abstract background washes. It's very tonal, very thick in those shapes, a lot of thickness and a lot of paint on the paper. We'll try that in a really heavy handed tone and then something that feels a little bit more lights. Let's go ahead and jump in. First things first, I'm going to show you some techniques to make abstract paintings. Some of these will be greatest stand-alone pieces and others we can use later on as backgrounds when we make geometric patterns or if we want to paint something on top of it. Let's go ahead and just dive right in. First things first, this is going to be our first painting, so I'm just going to be using a simple piece of paper. I'll get out my masking tape or painter's tape if you have that instead, and I want to tape my paper down to the woods surface of the table. The reason I'm doing this is so that when I peel this tape back, when we're finished with our painting, I'll have a really nice white clean border, so let's do it. As you can see with this tape, I'm getting most of the tape on the page and then just a little bit on the table and this just gives me a better border to work with, that'll be a little bit larger on the paper. Now that we've got the tape down, it provides a nice border on the page, we can get started mixing our paints. Now for our first gradients, what we're going to be doing is not even using the palette at all, so I'm just going to move that aside. What we're going to be doing is squeezing the paint directly onto our paper or canvas or wood, whatever it is you're using, and we're going to blend it in with a brush on paper. It's a cool technique and we're going to get some really cool looks out of it. For our first abstract painting, I'm going to be using some really cool colors. For this, I'm choosing my Winsor and Newton periwinkle, and I'll use a really dark navy blue, this is actually Prussian blue, and I want to add in little bit of cobalts, so I'll be using these three colors. You'll notice that the colors I used for those are all in a similar palette, which is great because if these blends together, they're going to look really nice. But for example, if I were going to use this blue with a red and yellow to make orange, that would make a complimentary color, and then these together would look really muddy and not blend well. It depends on the intentions you are going for. If you want it to be a little muddy and darker, then by all means, mix complimentary colors, but if not and you want it to stay really nice and saturated, then pick colors that are going to look really great together. To make it simple, cool tones look good with cool tones and warm tones will look good with warm tones when you do this blending. For whatever colors you're using, it's nice to have at least one darker tone and then one lighter tone, you can also use white if you'd like to as well. But yeah, for this, just keeping it simple with these three colors. What I'm going to be doing is squeezing little P-sized dots, even smaller than P-sized dots, intermittently on the page with my different paints. It's good to keep them a few inches away from each other. Now for the blue. Can you hear that rooster in the background? That is what I wake up to every morning. All right, cool. For this one, I'm going to be using this brush. Again, it's just a really cheap brush that I bought here in Bali, I think it was less than a dollar. But what matters here is that the bristles are nice and hard, it's a fairly large brush and I'll be able to move it around on that page and blend everything together into a really nice smooth blends. This is the fun parts, so I'm using a completely dry brush here, I may mix in some water later, I'm going to see how it goes, but for now, very dry brush. We're just going to dive right in. You can see that I'm moving in these circular movements. I can already tell right off the bat here that I might want to be adding some more water later, but for now I'm just going to see how it goes. What I'm doing is I'm picking up out of these blobs and moving my brush and circular movements to get this paint evenly spread on the page. I really like how that Prussian blue is looking. I'm not going to overdo it too much because I like seeing how these brushstrokes are occurring on the page, I think they look really nice and painterly. Pulling in a few more tones, a dark blue was really nice. There's not really a wrong way to be doing this, you can just stop hike and swirl as much as you want to. You can even go in different patterns, you can do back and forth like this or the circular motion swirling. For this, I'll be doing all circular motions so that it stays consistent, but it's really up to you. You can also see how I'm getting the paint over on the edges of the tape. That's what it's here for and when I remove the tape later, it will be a nice clean line which I love. I didn't even really need water for this, I thought I might right off the bat, but you can see that the paint has done a really good job of covering that page in its entirety. I'm weary of over blending because right now you can see the colors, they haven't all become one color, they still have their own segmented areas out. If I continue blending for this entire page, it'll all become one tone as those colors mix together. I don't want to over blend too much, but I do want to add just a few more swirls to make it a bit more integrated. Awesome. What I'm going to do now is add a tiny bit of white just to break it up a little bit and add a tiny bit more contrast. Again, you can add it straight to the page, I'm just going to do three small dabs of it and add it in. Nice. That is looking really lovely. I love how you can see the variation in tones here, you've got that periwinkle really popping through here in this area that I didn't do a lot of blending, the more heavily blended areas you can see around here are a mixture of all of these tones together. But what I'm really liking is this variation, so it's a smooth blend, but those areas where the dots originally started still hold their pigment really well. I'm not going to overdo it, I'm going to call it done right now and go ahead and let it dry. It probably won't take that long. I would say for this one, it will probably take max 10 minutes to dry if you're in a well ventilated room. The brush on the other hands, remember when we're working with acrylics because they do dry so quickly, it's important not to let the paint dry on the brush, so as long as you're using it, you're fine, but when you're finished painting, wash your brush out immediately. This is going to dry on here in five minutes, so I'm going to go ahead and rinse it out now. All right, the masterpiece. Yeah, I really only gave it, I think about 10 minutes before I started peeling that paint off and now we have this perfect abstraction with perfect crisp edges on those corners. I did tear the paper a little bit up there, but it's not the end of the world. Yeah, so let's go ahead and do another one just to practice a little bit more, I'm going to use a slightly different palette this time around. I want to be using a warmer palette, I'm going to use red, maybe a little bit of pink, and gold and see how it looks. Again, I'm just going to be doing these smallish dabs around the page. This pink that I'm using is a really cheap acrylic pink that I picked up here in Bali. I think it was a buck or two, wasn't very expensive. Whereas my Winsor and Newton red is a little bit more expensive, so it'll be a nice mixture of a cheaper paint and then something more heavy-bodied and expensive. Remember, you don't need a ton of paint on the page. In fact, less is usually more. If you need to add more paint in later on, you definitely can. It's going to be interesting to see how this metallic interacts with these opaque paints. It might do the metallics, maybe it'll bring it out a little bit more in the pinks and reds, we'll find out. That's the cool thing here, it's all about experimenting and seeing what works, so here we go. I really like seeing that gold come through in that pink. I'm going to try not to overdo it too much on the goal to just because they don't want to lose those metallic tones. Again, I'm doing these circular motions because I really like the way the brushstrokes are appearing on the page, it looks really soothing and I really like those textures. You're going to hear me say texture a million times in this class, but it's one of my favorite things about acrylics and it's something I can't get with watercolors, at least not that paint texture coming through in the same way. I'm feeling like Bob Ross right now. Cool. I could do some more heavy-handed blending, but it's so tempting, but I really liked the way it looks at these brushstrokes. Even in some areas you can see the paper coming through, so if you want to cover it a little bit more, you can. Awesome. I really like how this is turning out and I think I might use this one later for our patterns video to show you how to make patterns over this texture that we have right here. It's going to be really cool. It'll be a later lesson. Your paper probably looks completely different than mine right now and that is totally fine. That's one of the really cool things about working with acrylics, they're very unique and every time I make a wash or a gradient or a background like this, it looks completely different, not even just with a color palettes, but with a brush size I use, with a type of brushing using, with how much paint I'm putting on the page. There's a lot of variables here and that's one of the really cool parts about it. It's pretty dry, I only gave it five minutes, but it's close enough. Remember, it's always better to peel it really slowly and that way it won't tear the paper. Sometimes I get impatient, but I'm going to be good today. There we have the perfect little pink wash with some metallic axons coming through, you can really see it in the light there. I've got my blue wash and then my pink one as well. Now let's learn how to do a different type of wash with this smoother gradients. 7. Backgrounds: Ombré Gradient: Okay, now let's learn how to do a different type of background blend. This is going to be in ombre gradient that's going to go from turquoise to green, and I'm also going to be using white in this one so that we can really maximize the dark to the light, and also for this, I'm using a different brush. This is also an acrylic brush. It's really thick bristles except it's flat, it'll be great for those long linear brushstrokes. Again, let's go ahead and dive in. First things first, I'm going to use the same technique I did last time. I've just dabbing. That was a big one. Don't do that. Dabbing a few drops of paint on the paper. I'm going to be keeping my greens up there, three and two, and then I'll put my turquoise in the middle, and then last but not least, my whites at the bottom of the painting. I'm going to add a little bit of water to my brush, and that's just because it's pretty stiff and I want a smoother gradient blend. Without further ado, let's dive in. Before I was using those circular brushstrokes, but for this, I'm going to be using these longer brushstrokes. Very linear. Not a lot going on right now, it's just been one color. Here we go. Things are happening. I'm doing a lot of back and forth and that's helping that blend come through. Add a tiny bit more water, and we're hitting the whites. Touch more water. As you can see, it's pretty simple. I am just working my way up and down the page. I'm not jumping from one place to the other, instead, I'm moving upwards as I go or downwards, and that makes the color have a smoother transition, and the reason I'm working my way up and down the page, so that I get even a touch of that white up at the tip top. White adds a little bit more opacity. Even if it's just a touch of white, it'll make that paint a little bit more opaque. This is going to be my last trip back down. I'm pretty happy with how this one turned out, if you can't tell by the smile on my face. What I'm going to do is same old story, give this about five or 10 minutes to dry and peel the paint off. Real quick while I'm waiting for it to dry, one thing I really like using these ombre gradients for is having a really no-nonsense, non-distracting background. It's fun to paint on top of these. With some of my other ones here. There's a lot going on in this background. It's metallic. Some of the pieces aren't perfectly blended. It's a beautiful stand-alone piece. But what I really like about these ombre gradients is they're a lot simpler. If I want to paint something on top of it, that background isn't going to detract from my painting. I'm going to wash my brush out. Remember acrylic, wash them frequently. I'm going to wash my brush out and then I'm going to do another ambre blends, and in the meantime, I'm going to let this guy dry. Five minutes, wash my brush, peel off the tape and get a new piece of paper setup. For the next one, I wanted to feel a little bit like sunset. I'm going to be using red and yellow, it'll be blending to an orange at some point in the middle. Just two colors for this one. First things first, dabbing that paint directly on my page, and because I want the blend to happen in the middle, I'm doing three dots of red at the top, two at the base, two at the middle, and I'll repeat that here, and the reason I'm doing that is because I want more yellow on the bottom of the page and more red on the top. Three dots, two dots, that'll get me a nice blend. Using my same brush as I did before. It's that really flat, stiff brush with bristles coming out because it's super cheap. Even good artists use cheap brushes, it's true. Adding a tiny bit of water on there, and let's get going. Same technique as before. The top is pretty much just pure red, and as I do this back and forth, you can see some areas are a little globbier with paint than others, and if you just keep going back and forth, you'll be able to smooth that out. It's happening. I'm getting closer. Sorry. Now, we're at the point where the red is meeting the yellow, and it's going to turn out blending into this really nice orange. I'm spending a lot of time going back and forth here because I really want that blend to be smooth. Nice. Tiny bit more water. You can see when I'm dipping it in the water, I'm putting just a tiny bit on. The reason is I get more brush control. It's a little smoother when I add water, but if you glop it on there, it's going to really sink into the page and that paint won't mix as well with the paper. The moment of no return, we've reached the yellow. Cool. You can really see that transition coming into play here. I'm working my way back up the page. Going back down. I didn't need to go to the tip top because that red is already pretty thick up there, and again, you're getting the feel for it. Nice. You've got to be careful and clean the table afterwards. This is an Airbnb, it's not my table. Cool. Yeah, I really like that transition. That gradient is really nice and smooth from red to orange to yellow. It's not totally even, but that's okay. You see the yellow is only really, I would say about a sixth of the page for as the red is taking up quite a bit more space. No problem, that's totally fine, and it does feel like a sunset. I got what I was going for. Again, I'm going to give it a few minutes to dry and then peel off that tape. In the meantime, I'm going to rinse my brush out because the next color I use is not going to be the same as this. Feel free to practice a few more if you want, and let's practice one more background technique, and this is going to be the fun and crazy one. It's where we use big thick globs of paint, and make this really abstract textured surface. Let's dive in. 8. Backgrounds: Textured Abstract: For our next gradient background blend, we're going to do one with really chunky, thick brush strokes. This is actually my favorite one, because I love seeing that brush texture come through, and seeing those really big visible brushstrokes on the page. For this one, our technique is going to be using a combination of short and longer brushstrokes with a flat thick brush like this guy. Less is more so I want to blend the colors a little bit so they feel integrated, but not too much. I still want to definitely be able to see that Prussian blue in some areas, and a little bit of gold in others. For this one, I'm going to be using four colors total. These two, as well as my dark green and my turquoise. Four colors total and chunky, thick brush strokes. Our goal is to keep this looking really rough and expressive. It can live as a standalone painting, because it's going to be so in your face. Let's get started. I should clear up my page. Do a few pieces of that blue. You'll notice I'm using a little bit more paint this time around. Before I was using small pea-sized drops, but because I want this to be so thick, I'm using a little bit more paint. Especially the gold. Last but not least, I'm going to add in a little bit of that dark green. I'm not going to use any water for this one, because I don't want to dilute the paint, I want it to stay really thick. Let's just dive in. There's not really a wrong way to do this. My goal is to make sure there's no white leftover on the page. But in general, we're just going for it. That green is awesome. I love when it hits that gold. I'm going to leave some areas super thick, and then others I'm going to work in and blend a little bit more. I really like seeing those brushstrokes come through. This one's definitely going to take more than five minutes to dry like the others, but that's okay. I'm overworking it; I'm going to stop. That only took like 30 seconds though we have this really cool results. The key here is, again with the colors I used, they were all in the same color category; they were all cool colors. There is a nice blend, with dark tones and lighter tones. Then I also added a little bit of metallic, which turned out to be the lightest part of this painting. In addition to being the lightest value, it's also going to add a really cool metallic tone, when you see it in the sunlight. I'm going to wash out my brush, wait for this to dry, and set up another one so we can do one more. We have this guy super shiny, because the paint is very wet. Let's do one more of this really textured abstract acrylic painting. This time, I'm going to use a much softer, lighter palette. I'll be using my cobalt blue, really nice lavender, and a little bit of white. Just three colors in this one. I've got a lot of this lavender. It's a huge tube and there's no way I'm going to go through it all before it starts drying out, so I'm going to use some really big chunks of that. As a real quick rule of thumb, if you're using a lot of heavy paints like we are for these textured metallics, thicker paper is always better, or just going straight to canvas. But for this, I want all of my textures to be on a similar substrate, so I'm just using paper. A little bit of white. I get paint all over myself. As long as it doesn't get in your clothes, it's fine. Once acrylic gets in cotton, it is impossible to get out. If anyone knows how to get that out, leave a comment down below because they could revive a lot of items of clothing. For this, I'm going to use my palette knife, just to try something different. If you don't have a pallet knife, no problem. You can still use your brush for this one as well. But I have this, I want to try using it so we're going to see how it goes. It'll be interesting, because with a brush, we have a very bristly texture, but with a palette knife we get a much smoother texture. Let's go ahead and jump in. Again, it doesn't have to look exactly like mine. These are abstract paintings, so everyone's is going to look a little bit different. I'm holding my knife sideways, this gives me a little bit more control. What I'm going to do is just drag it across the page here. I'm really liking the way this texture is coming together. If you hold it lighter, it'll be smoother like this, and if you hold it heavier against the page, you'll hear the metal on those paper fibers like this. But I like the smoother variation. Again, it's best not to overdo it. The more you blend, and the more you use your palette knife, the less you'll see this variation between the paint colors. Less is always more. I'm really liking this texture. Really careful not to get it on the wood. Otherwise, I'm going to get a super bad Airbnb review. There's something super therapeutic about this. Awesome. Again, I don't want to overdo it, don't overdo it. But I'm just going to smooth out a few other areas of my page. Maybe have some strokes that are going in some different ways. Most of them are angular down the diagonal of my page, but I want to vary it up a little bit. This is all about experimenting and seeing what works. Awesome. Now that is a glorious texture. Now that you've got the hang of a few different types of blending and background techniques, We're going to do one more. The reason I saved this one for last is because we are going to be using the gradient that we make now, for a future project down the road a little bit. For this, I'm using a pre-gessoed canvas. If you only have paper, no problem. You can do the exact same thing with paper. But because this one is going to be a project, I want to to use Canvas for it. A sneak peek of what our final painting will look like, is something like this, where it's going to look like a galaxy, the night sky, and we'll add a few stars, maybe a tree line if you want to. But for now, we're working on a blank piece of paper or a canvas. You know how I've been taping the edges of the paper in our previous backgrounds, this time I'm going to be using the exact same tape, but I'm going to be making a shape out of it. I'm going to use my tape and make a triangle. Now I have my triangle on canvas. Again, I didn't measure it, I just eyeballed it. That's probably fine. Now it's a much smaller space, so it'll be a little easier to work with. Same technique as before. I'm going to be adding drops of blue to the base, and a little bit of turquoise at the top. I am using my flat brush here. We've had a bunch of practice tries so one more time. The smooth brushstrokes. Again, I want it to be really even on my page as I work upwards to the turquoise area. Now, I'm going to bring it all the way back down. Nice. One more time back up, just to get it as smooth and transitioned as possible. Awesome. Again, that was really simple, pretty quick. We have that nice transition, from that dark midnight blue, up to a turquoise. All right, that is the lesson for abstract backgrounds and gradients. We started out with some really nice smooth, circular transitions, then we learned how to do some really cool stuff with these ombre gradients that go from tone to tone. Last but not least, we did some really fun abstract, this paper weighs like 10 lbs, because there's so much paint on it. With the palette knife and the brush, we got to play with those abstract tones as well. Each of these has a different usage. For something like this, it's almost as good as a standalone painting or we could do something like, add fish on top. This looks like the surface of a nice koi pond. I can see myself painting some abstract koi. This guy over here, would make a really nice sunset. Anyway, these are your base background shapes, and you can build from here. Again, keep it as a standalone, there it is in the light, or paint on top of it. I'll show you how to do both in the upcoming lessons. 9. Donut Painting: I think that's been enough prep work, it is time to paint an actual motif. Our first project is going to be really simple and various hasty. We're going to paint a doughnut. We're starting with a doughnut because it's going to teach us a few basic things right off the bat. First, we're going to learn how to lay down some even strokes of paint with our brush. We're also going to learn how to do some layering, and we'll end it with some detail work. It won't be too overwhelming. It'll be very simple, but we're going to be learning a lot just by painting this one thing. First things first, we're going to be painting on paper. I'm also going to be using a clean palette, and I've got a few different colors of paints. I've got the three primary colors, red, yellow, and blue. I'm also going to be using white, and, I've got my pink here as well. If you don't have a tube of pink paint, no problem. You can make it with the red and the white together. I'm going to be using a pencil to sketch out the circle because I don't trust myself to paint a simple circle. I've got an eraser as well. I'm using a medium-size angled brush, and this is going to be great for laying out the base shape of the doughnut and filling in those larger areas, and then I'm going to be using a medium to small sized detail brush. This is a round brush that I'll be using to fill in those tighter areas like the sprinkles, or if I want to have those really crisp edges with the paints. Last but not least, this is optional, but I'm using a palette knife in case I want to be mixing some of that paint on my palette and not use the brush for it. If you don't have a pallet knife, you can mix paint with your brush. It's not best practice, but I do that like 75 percent of the time because I can't find this, because I lose this thing all the time. If you don't have a pallet knife, use a brush to mix paint, and if you do have one, pull it out, it'll be good practice. To get started, I'm going to sketch the doughnut. This is very complicated. It is a circle. You can use anything. I'm using masking tape. Just to cheat it a little bit, I'm going to draw circle. Real quick note on the pencil, I am using a light led, it's a 3H, which means the led is very hard, so you have to really press down on the page to get anything to show up. Soft led means you barely have to draw before that led will show up on the paper. I like using really hard lead when I'm painting because that means that the pencil marks are going to be really light. I don't like having pencil marks show through on my paintings, so I use hard led pencils and then I draw really, really, really light on the paper. But for this one, I'm actually going to draw hard because I want you guys to be able to see with the camera. If you're following along, draw really light. But for this one, it's going to be digging into the paper for pencil marks. Cool. I've got my doughnut basic shape, I'm going to draw a hole in the middle. That'll give me something to eyeball as I'm doing the painting. For this, I want my doughnut to have some bite marks taken out of it. I'm going to go ahead and rough that in. Cool. Now using my eraser, I'm just going to erase the area that the bite mark has taken out of the doughnut. Remember, draw really light on your page. Don't do what I'm doing. This is just so that you can see it on the camera. We have our shape drawn, and now it's time to mix our paints. Getting started, the first thing I'm going to do is mix the color palette together to make the base of the doughnut, the bright red area. For that, I'm going to be using my red, yellow and actually everything. Probably a little bit of white and maybe a little bit of blue to even it out. I'll go ahead and get that going. I've got some red, I'm going to add some yellow, and I'll mix these together and see what it looks like. Right now it's a little to read, so I'm going to throw some more yellow in, and I'm also going to add some white to bring up that value a little bit so it's a tad bit brighter. When I use the white, I usually bring it off to the side of the palettes, and that way, I can test the waters a little bit. I can just pull in a little bit of white at a time, mix it together and see what it looks like. If I want to add it more, I can bring in more. But it just gives me a little bit more control and flexibility. Let's bring all that yellow in. Cool. This is feeling a lot closer. Now I'm going to be adding a touch of blue so that I can desaturate that a little bit and have it turn into more of a brown tone. Again, I'm keeping them blue away from the colors so that I can bring it a little bit at a time, test the waters and see what the palate is looking like. I'm going to start with just a little bit. I want it to be brown, but I don't want it to be too muddy. I'm going to add in a little more yellow. Remember, this is acrylic painting, it's modern, so the colors don't have to match exactly. We just want to get a ballpark. Everyone's is going to look a little bit different. I'm mixing in that yellow. Cool. This is a tone I'm really happy with. It's a good tone that I want to be using for the bread of the donuts, so without further ado, let's dive in. I'm going to set my palette off to the side, and I'm going to be using my angled medium-sized brush for this one. What I'll do is I've got my water over here. I'm not going to start with it because I don't think I need it yet. This paint is pretty fluid, it's not too thick, and I'm just going to trace around the outside of my line, and start filling it in. As I'm filling in this circle, a few notes, I don't want to use too much paint at once. I'd like it gloppy over on those edges. I think it makes it look more interesting, but you can always layer it later on. My main thing here is that I want to have a really crisp, smooth, hard line on the outside of this doughnut. It can feel thicker. It's totally fine to incorporate some more of that texture. That's the fun thing about acrylics. But I'm just being really conscious of my brushstrokes especially as I get to the outer edge of that pencil. It's okay to go over a little bit, no problem. After all, this was just a general base idea. Another note, even though we're going to have icing over the top of our doughnut, it's a good idea to fill in the entire area with our base layer of this brownish orange because when we layer that paint on top, a little bit of that orange will still be showing through. If we left that blank and white in the middle, when we did our second coat, which is the icing, you would be able to see that and it would look inconsistent. I'm still going to have the orange covering the whole base of the doughnut even though the icing will go on top. I'm going to bring in a little bit more. The areas where I'm being the most careful are the edges. I don't want to get too wobbly, and I also want to make sure that I'm not having to drive a brush when I get to the edges. You can see that I'm glopping in the middle, and using that as a pallet to pull forward, that's totally fine. That's an okay thing to do. Just make sure that when you run over those edges, you don't have a dry brush. The last thing you want is for the brush to crack and dry on those edges. I want them to be perfect. I'm pulling this in a little bit, evening it out. I don't want to have too much texture on this base coat because I'll be putting the icing as the second layer, and the second layer is when I'm really going to go crazy with that texture. But for this base coat, I want to keep it fairly smooth. I'm going to switch over to my round detail brush to make the bite mark area. Again, I'm just making these really careful brushstrokes, making sure my brush isn't too dry, and if it does feel too dry, just add a tiny bit of water, and let's pull it through to make that nice area where the teeth bit right into it. You can see that I'm loading up my brush with quite a bit of paint, so I can twirl my brush on the paper here to even out that paint a little bit and get a fine tip at the top so that I can use that top area of my brush for those exact details like on this bite mark area. Again, I'm just painting with these careful strokes. You can even out the paint a little bit. Now, I have filled in the entire area of the doughnut with a base layer of paint. I'm going to switch back to my angled brush and pull it through one more time. It's a little bit transparent. I want to make sure that the area is all evenly coated with this tone. One keystone of modern acrylics is really utilizing those graphic shapes where it's these flat tones that you layer with other flat tones of paint. That's something that I'm wanting to do here with these doughnuts. It's graphic shapes that you could also be illustrating on the computer. The way that I like to set this aside from a digital illustration is by showing the true qualities of the acrylic coming through. Even though the shapes are basic and very simple and something that could be illustrated digitally, the fact that I am really utilizing the brush strokes is how to really showcase the medium. The end painting will be a really simple shape with these flat tonalities, but the interest is going to come through with the texture of the brushstrokes. I want to make sure again that I'm not having the dry brush look on those edges. I want it to feel very solid. Adding in these big loppy areas of paints and smoothing out those areas where the brush was a little too dry. Cool. I've got a good amount of paint leftover, so I'm just going to really take advantage and glop it down there to get the maximum amount of texture. I don't know if glop on is the term for acrylics, but you guys get what I mean. I'm going to pull in a little bit more, and even though that texture, is a very heavy, messy texture, what's containing it altogether is the fact that it's one even tone, and you're not seeing a lot of variety of texture with a dry brush. The texture is coming through with those globs of paints. Again, I'm going to use my technique where I swirl my brush to get a fine tip on the ends, and then I can pull from that to do one more layer on these bite marked areas. You can see in the middle area that it's a little bit transparent. The paint isn't as thickly applied, so I'm going to add one more layer, and just even out those tonalities a little bit so that everything feels like it's the same palette and the same tone. I really like those textures coming through. I think it's super nice. I'm going to give this guy like five minutes to dry. It doesn't have to dry completely, but I want it to be a little bit more dry before I put on the second layer, which is going to be the icing. It's not totally dry, but it's good enough. The next step is going to be adding in our next layer of paint, which will be the icing. I'm going to put my icing area over here. I have some of this yellow leftover. I'm going to go ahead and mix that in as well. Big old glob. I'm going to do the same thing. I'm going to pull a little bit of yellow over from this area that I didn't use and mix it all together. All right, I'm really liking this tone. It feels like a nice cherry pink icing for that donuts. I really like also that, that tone is a lot lighter in tonality. One thing with acrylic is it dries a shade too darker. When you're looking at the wet globs of acrylic paints, they're looking pretty light, but when this dries, it'll actually be a tad bit darker. It's just something to keep in mind. In most cases it doesn't really matter. But if you're playing with tone on tone with something, it's a good thing to be conscious of. In this case, I want to make sure that my icing feels a little bit lighter in value. Remember that just means lighter in color than that darker round red. That way it'll just add more contrast. It'll be a little bit more vibrant and it'll pop better. I want to get a nice even coating on my brush. Let's just start bringing it right onto the page. One of the looks I'm wanting to go for is for that I icing to have this kind of like wobbles look on the edge like cartoon donuts. So I want to really glob on that icing on those outer edges and then bring it smoother into the center. That sounds weird. I'm just going to show you what I mean. I'm going to use my brush strokes and do this wavy stroke all along the outside. Because that paint isn't totally dry on the brown part of the doughnut. You'll see a little bit of that coming through. I like that luck. It's something I'm going to fully embrace. Let me finish this out here. I want that brown inner circle to still be showing through with a dough. I'm going to be really careful here. I'm going to again get a nice even coating of paint on my brush and then pull it around the circle. You can still see the brown inner part of the circle. But just a tiny little sliver of it. Cool. Another thing to be conscious of as I've mentioned a million times, I really like acrylic paint texture. I'm going to go ahead and smooth it out so it has more than icing flow to it. I'm going to use my brush and just pull it along really smooth and do these wobble shapes that are analytive of actualizing. Some more paint on my brush and pulling that through. You can see some areas like over here that brown is coming through, that icing is very transparent because it's just a thin layer of the icing shade on top of it. I'm going to do another coat. It's not completely dry, but that's no problem because I'm doing these really gloppy brushstrokes. I'm going to pull it in. Cool. I'm going to do another layer of this icing on these outer edges. You can run over those same brushstrokes a few times until you get the texture and consistency that you're looking for. One thing that I want to mention is I'm not using any water with this because if I dilute about pink too much, it will be too transparent and it's a pretty thick consistency, which is a good thing for this because I'm doing the second layer. Especially since I'm doing a lighter layer on top of a darker layer, it's really important to have a thicker consistency. All right, let's do one more layer of that pink coming through. I'm really liking these chunky brushstrokes that really feel like frosting on top of this doughnut. Then I'm going to go over and the bite marks a little bit. Just fill this out so it's a little bit less transparent. You can really play with your brushstrokes here to get that texture that you're looking for with the icing. I'm copying it on and using that as an excuse to pull some great texture through. It's looking great. It's making me really hungry. I think the last step is going to be adding sprinkles. I'm going to definitely let this dry a little bit longer, maybe five or ten minutes, and then come back to it. I want the sprinkles on my doughnut to be white and maybe some yellow. This is about these really fine controls, thick brush strokes because I just want to have these simple sprinkles on there. As I'm painting these sprinkles I'm making sure that they're all kind of varying and direction, you know, some are going up and down, some are going diagonal. It feels like an authentic sprinkle that was shaken out onto this icing. I'm really liking the way this is looking. I think the last thing I'm going to do is add some yellow sprinkles alongside the whites. My yellow tube, squeeze it in on my palette. Again, this is something that I'm not diluting with water first, I'm just putting it straight on the page. The reason I'm doing that is because if I were to dilute it with water they would be transparent and you would see that pink layer coming through. But I want it to be it's own unique swatch, so I'm not diluting it. I'll just add a few more. All right, we have our first official motif painting, which is a doughnut. I want to touch real quick about what makes this painting modern. So when I say modern acrylics, that refers to a few different techniques. The first thing is modern acrylics usually incorporate these very graphic solid shapes. Then when you mix those shapes and incorporate them with a system of layering where it feels like one is just straight on top of the other without a lot of transparency coming through. There's not a lot of washes and blending, but they feel very heavy and solid. One key element with these solid graphic shapes is that the color is a very flat even tone of color. When I was working on these doughnuts, each area is a solid, heavy fill, flat color. You're not seeing a lot of different colors coming through. Some other modern attributes that will be weaving into our paintings later on, we'll be working with metallics, especially gold, rose gold, those types of tones, as well as working with geometric patterns. Those are both things that were going to be getting into later on in this class. 10. Tropical Leaf Painting: Now it's time for our next painting, which is going to be a very modern looking color blocking tropical leaf. I paint a lot of tropicals. They're all over my portfolio. For the last few summers they've been massively on trend and they sell really well for me, both as stand alone paintings like art prints, as well as on products like: apparel, phone cases, beach towels, tech accessories, furniture, and a lot more. I spend most of my year in Southeast Asia, so I'm living in the tropics and I'm around these gorgeous plants all the time. I usually take photos of the things I see and then I come back into my studio and paint them later, but today I'm going to do one better. I found this leaf in my backyard and I am going to be painting from life. What I really love about this leaf is the simple shape and then this segmented veining. So I think that's something I can incorporate into my sketch and then fill it in later with acrylics and color blocking style. I want to keep the painting feeling really modern, so I'm going to utilize a few techniques for this. I'll go over them more in detail as we're painting, but it'll give you a quick overview now. The first thing will be color blocking, we'll have these segmented areas that are filled in with specific shades of color that are all in the same general color pallet of this greenish bluish hue. We'll also be simplifying the composition with a few basic shapes. We're not going to be painting every single vein that comes into this leaf. It's not going to feel a realistic, it'll feel more like an illustration. Another aspect of modern painting is combining bright and neon tones with an earth year more natural pallets. You really saw this trend emerging a couple of years ago with: wood, cork, concrete, brick, stone work combined with really bright neon color blocking. I really love this look. It's the idea of combining these natural tones and shades and textures with something that feels vibrant and neon. Plus it's applicable to more than just home decor items we can use it for paintings as well. To get that juxtaposition between neon and natural, I'm going to be painting on craft cardboard. If you don't have craft paper or wood or any surface like that to paint on, you can paint on white paper or canvas as well. The background is just a minor element of what we're going to be doing. What we're really focusing on in this lesson is brush control. The supplies you'll need for this lesson are: a surface to paint on, a pencil, an eraser, a few different types of brushes, I'm using two detail brushes. One really tiny detail and the other medium detail. I'll also be using my paint palette and a variety of paints. I'm choosing a few green paints, a white, and then a red that I can mix them later to desaturate some of those greens. I also have my water dish and my leaf as reference. You don't need your own leaf you can just look at mine on the screen. Let's get started. The first step is going to be the sketch. I'm using a really soft lead pencil. I want you to be able to see what I'm doing on camera, so I'm going to use a really heavy lead. Remember if you're doing this at home, sketch really softly, but I'm going to be sketching pretty hard so that you can actually see what I'm doing. One of my favorite aspects of this leaf is the very simple shape. You have this curved oval with the segments right down the middle and then the veining that comes out at a diagonal. I don't want it to be perfectly symmetrical because that's boring. Cool. We have the basic shape of the leaf drawn in. Again, it doesn't have to be perfect it can be a little loose but that line work. Now I want to draw in some of the veining to see the areas that'll be color blocking later. I want to add one more element into the overall shape of the sketch, and that's to add some debits coming into the leaf. This one's pretty perfect, but I won't mind to have a little bit more character. Again, I'm keeping this asymmetrical, so I have two debits on the right and only one on the left. Now I will erase the white space area. Last but not least, I'm going to add in that veining, so I can see the areas that I want to have color blocked. Awesome. It's a very simple sketch. You'll notice it's not that realistic based off the actual leaf, but it's an interpretation of this leaf. I'm keeping it much more simple because we're really focusing on color blocking in this lesson. Lets get painting. I'm going to start by filling in the top left corner of this painting. The reason I'm doing that is because I'm right handed, so I work from left to right across my papers, so I don't smear my paints. Without further ado, let's dive in. I'm starting with my medium round detail brush. I want to get a nice even coating on this brush, and then I can start filling in. I'm not adding any water to this yet because I want it to feel very opaque on that paper. The areas where I'm being the most careful are on these outer edges, this is where I want it to feel very, very smooth and precise. I have a little bit more leeway in the middle. If you mess up and drop your brush on your paper like this, no problem I'll show you how to fix it when we get down to our next section. I'm being really, really, really careful on these outer edges and I want that line to feel very, very sharp. I don't want to see a lot of texture in that brushstroke. I want these edges to feel very clean. You may want to switch to a finer detail brush when you get to those tight corners, it'll just help you have a little bit more brush control. That first swatch was pretty easy to fill in, and now I'm just going to smooth out that paint a little bit so it feels like a nice flat swatch of color. Remember in our donuts we really layered on that paint, but for this, I wanted it to feel flat. Cool. We have our first segment filled in, time to the next one. I'll use my turquoise for the next one, but I want these colors to feel like they're all in that same family, so I'm going to add a little bit of that dark green to my turquoise swatch like this. Now I'm going to show you how to fix that mistake that I made on my paper. I'm just simply going to paint over it. It's pretty simple. With acrylics, they lay on the paper in a pretty opaque fashion, which means it's easy to cover up previous mistakes. The trick to filling in these mistakes is just to make sure you're using a very opaque paint as your second layer. Same thing here I want my outer edges to feel really, really clean and precise and smooth and crisp. You'll notice that I'm not going all the way to the edge of the swatch and the reason I'm not doing that is because I like having that white space come through on these edges. I incorporate white space into a lot of my portfolio, especially with watercolor, it's one of the trademarks of my painting style. Now just getting into those fine corners and like I mentioned, I want to keep the texture of this paint relatively smooth, but you're still going to be seeing some brushstrokes come through, and that's great. That's what makes acrylic interesting. But what I want to make sure I'm doing is following that same directional pole with my diagonal strokes as the veining. What I mean by that is you see how these veins are coming out at a diagonal angle. I want to make sure my brushstrokes are also coming in at a diagonal angle to match that same direction. For the next swatch, I'm going to be using this really bright neon yellowy green. One thing to note on the bottle is that it says transparent. That means that this paint is relatively thin. When I paint on a paper like dark craft right here, you'll see more of that background coming through. Let me show you what that looks like. Right now you can see as I'm painting that a lot of that brown craft is coming through on the page, but there's a trick to make your paint a little bit more opaque. That is to grab a little bit of white, barely any at all, and mix it in with your paint. It very slightly changed the value, but not too much to notice. Plus acrylic dries a little bit darker, so it's not a big deal. But what this really is doing is adding a layer of opacity to that paint. Now when I paint with it, it's a much more opaque shade and you're really not seeing a lot of that craft come through. That's my little trick when I'm painting on darker paper or using a thin paint, a smidge of white will really boost that opacity, so it's less transparent. Same thing here, I'm going to be filling in. I can start with my larger brush on the main area, and I'll switch over to my tinier detail brush for those edges. I'm being the most careful on these edges because these are the places I want to feel really crisp. Now, it's just a matter of smoothing out my strokes, so it's less thick and a little bit more even. Cool. I'm going to move on to the next segment, but I can already tell, I'll want a second layer of this once it dries a little bit. Now, you can see on my palette that I have these three hues. What I want to do is start combining them together so that the color family feels united even though we're using separate shades in each section. That sounds a little confusing, I'm just going to show you what I mean. First, I'm going to be using more of that green transparent. For my next area, I'm combining two colors that we've already used, that darker first hue and then our light green. It makes an entirely different color, but it's sourced from these two, so they still feel united and in the same family. I love how bright and saturated that is. Same thing as before. I'm using my larger brush to fill in the main section and then switching over to my detailed brush to get those fine edges. I'm not really painting this fast, I'm just speeding it up or you guys, you don't have to watch every single stroke. I'm also taking into consideration that white space so I'm not going to touch that lime green swatch. We going to give it a nice gap. Same thing. I'm [inaudible] swatch a little bit so that it's less dimensional. There's less texture coming through, but the texture you are seeing is following the same direction of that vein, that diagonal poll. For my last color blocking area on the left side of my leaf, I want it to feel a little bit more desaturated, less vibrant. For that, I'm going back to my complimentary color. Remember, red is across from green on the color wheel, if you add a little bit of red paint to a green shade, it will desaturate it a little bit. This is what it looks like. I'm going to just get a tiny bit of red on my brush, this much, and I'm going to mix it into that palette that I just used. You can already tell that, that green has lost a little bit of saturation. It's getting a little closer to gray, and I'm going to pull in a little bit of white and mix it in. One thing that I'm doing intentionally, is making sure that my colors are mixed really well on my palette before I bring it over to my paper. The reason I'm doing that is because I'm really utilizing this color blocking effect, where you have these segmented areas of flat color. It helps it feel a little bit more modern. I'm filling in the larger section first with my fat brush, and now I'm switching over to my detailed brush for those edges. I added a lot of white to this color, so it's really opaque on that paper, I love it. Remember, you can do that same roll effect on paper to get a finer tip on the edge of that brush. I'm going to roll my brush on the page. Now my tip is lot finer, so I can get to those detail areas much better. Now, I've walked you through the entire left side of the leaf, I'm going to start filling in the right side, but I'm going to speed it up a little bit. I'm going to pull in from the original palette and bring in a little more yellow. You know what? I think anything turquoise on this one. Now that this bright neon area has dried a little bit, I'm going to add the second layer. Most of the other swatches are pretty opaque so they don't need that additional layer, but this guy does. Cool. Now, the opacity of this swatch is matching the opacity of the rest. You'll notice that I've been borrowing a lot from these existing swatches. I only really used three or four base colors to make this wide variety of pallets, but the nice thing is, those three or four colors are contributing to all these variations so it feels interesting, but also really united in tonality. It's also been great to break up some of these more bright and neon areas with tones that feel more desaturated. It's a really nice color contrast. Cool. We have our entire leaf color blocked in. Now it's just time for the stem. For the stem, I'm just going to do it in one stroke using the thick and thins of my brush. I want to get a nice even coating of paint using that twirl method so that the tip is nice and fine and I'm going to start very light and then end it with a heavy brushstroke. Cool. I'm going to round out that edge. Awesome. We have our full leaf plus stem color blocked in. I'm going to let that dry for just a minute or two and then I'll add in some details with white paint. The last thing I'm going to add is white paint. I'm going to add some detail work, some lines and dots just to make it a little bit more interesting. I'm not mixing this white with anything else, I'll be using it straight out of the tube. This is where everyone's is going to feel a little bit difference. I'm painting with a more intuitive approach so I'm just adding a few lines and details in places that it feels right. Yours might look completely different than mine. This is more of a stylistic approach to add a little bit more interest. Now, we have our final painting and the inspiration behind it. In this lesson, we learned quite a few things about brush control because we were using this color blocking technique, we really learned how to use precise brushstrokes on those edges and then larger strokes filling in those inner areas. By the time you finished painting this leaf, I bet you have a much better idea of the capacity for those fine strokes on those outer edges and then filling in those larger inner swatches. Again, there are a few elements that make our leaf painting modern. One is the stylized composition. We weren't painting a very realistic leaf, instead we were really utilizing some stylization. You can definitely still tell that this is a leaf, but it's not picture perfect. Another element of a more modern style is that we used a really similar color palette. Everything is in the same category of greens, but there's a lot of variation within those tones. A very simple color palette, stylized composition, and then that juxtaposition between bright and neon tons on a more natural craft paper. Last but not least, there's not a lot of variation within each swatch instead, it's a flat color. Before I [inaudible] about this one leaf, let's move on and learn how to do some geometric patterns. 11. Geometric: Herringbone: [MUSIC] In this lesson, we're going to be making three separate geometric patterns using masking tape. Essentially, we're using the masking tape to create negative space, to make these abstract shapes and geometric patterns. For the sake of simplicity, I'll be breaking this up into the next three videos, which will all focus on a different and unique type of pattern. The first will be a basic herringbone pattern over a white sheet of paper. Second, it's going to get a little bit more complex, we're going to be using a geometric pattern over one of our washes that we created earlier. Last but not least, we'll practice color blocking solid abstract shapes over gold line work. We're packing a lot in this lesson, but I promise it's going to be pretty fun. The materials you'll need for this one are: masking tape; three surfaces to paint on - I'm using two blank sheets of paper, and then I'm using one of those backgrounds that we created earlier as my third surface; you'll also need your mixing pallets; a wide angled brush; and a variety of acrylic paints. You can use whichever colors you like for this lesson, so don't feel like you need to follow my exact palette, and I'll also be using my metallic gold acrylic. You can still learn this technique without metallic, but it just makes it more fun. Let's get started. Before we dive in with our first geometric pattern, which is going to be herringbone over-white. Let's go ahead and prep our surface for the last pattern we're going to create in this lesson. That way, it'll be pretty dry by the time we wrap up our first two. For this, you'll need a blank white piece of paper, a brush, some gold paints and masking tape. Let's get started. [NOISE] The next step is pretty simple, I'm going to do a flat layer of smooth gold paints over this paper, one thing to note is to make sure that all of your strokes are going in the same direction. For me, they are all going to be going up and down. Great. That looks pretty even, we can set it aside, let it dry, and we'll come back to it at the end of this lesson. For the first geometric pattern, we're going to be making a basic herringbone pattern out of masking tape on a blank white piece of paper. The other materials you'll need for this part will be a paintbrush, I'm using an angled medium-size brush and this is going to be great for laying on these flat swatches of color. I'll also be using three different colors of paints; navy blue, lavender, and my favorite, metallic gold. I won't be mixing any of these together, they'll come straight out of the tube, so I won't be using a palette for this. The first step is really easy. Set your paper down and [NOISE] masking tape the edges. [NOISE] Once you have your paper taped down, it's time for the fun part, making our pattern out of tape. I'm not going to be measuring this precisely, instead I'll just be eyeballing it. So feel free to follow along. [NOISE] I'm starting in the middle, because it's easier to plan it symmetrically if you start right in the center. [NOISE] Now that we have our herringbone pattern laid out with tape, it's time to get our paints out and start filling in the page. I'm going to start with gold. [NOISE] So as I paint in this gold over the white areas, I want to make sure that I'm following that same directional pole as that herringbone. So upper diagonals here, lower diagonals, upper, lower, you get the drift. I'm really caking that gold on, because I want to see that gold texture come through in the gold swatch areas. I might be a little thinner with the purple or the blue, but I'll play by, here. Because we masked out the negative space with that tape, we can be a little bit sloppy. You don't have to be as precise, because we'll be peeling that tape away so that you won't see the messiness and the corners, we'll wind up with these really crisp edges. Cool. It's a little bit asymmetrical and that's the way I like it. So time to start filling in with the purple. Again, you can see how I'm keeping those brush strokes aligned with the pull of the herringbone pattern. All of the brushstrokes on the far left are going up at that diagonal angle, and then downwards, upwards and downwards. It just keeps the composition a little bit more dynamic. Last but not least, my blue. I'm keeping my blue a little bit flatter, I'm not going to be laying it on as thick as that gold. Instead, I'm just going to be keeping it as a flat, less textured swatch. We have our finished piece, just kidding. We still have to peel that tape off. So I'm going to give it probably about a couple of minutes to dry, before I start peeling. I realistically only gave this like two minutes to drive, but I'm impatient, so let's start peeling. [NOISE] Masking tape is usually pretty forgiving, so as long as you peel slowly, you shouldn't take any of that paper with you. Now we have our final painting. I'm really liking this simplified pattern here, it's just a simple herringbone shape, but it feels really dynamic and complex, because we were able to get these absolute perfectly crisp edges, which really help it feel modern and on trend. I'm also really liking the juxtaposition between this metallic gold and then these flat tones of this lavender and navy blue. Let's learn how to do another one. 12. Geometric: Gold Veining: I want the next geometric pattern to feel a little bit more complex so I'm using one of the washes that we created in an earlier lesson as the backdrop for this pattern. Previously we just used white paper, but this time I want to add a little bit more spiciness to it. The materials you'll need for this are one of your previous washes, masking tape, a paintbrush. I'm using this same angled brush that I just used on the previous pattern, and gold paint, you can pick whatever color you want. But for this, I want to use gold so that it's really accentuating these gold areas that are coming out of that texture. There's no right or wrong way to be making these patterns. I'm just going to be free handedness and playing it by ear based off of what I think looks good as I'm going. Remember that the areas that you're covering up with tape will be the areas where that background is showing through. Anything left uncovered is going to be covered with gold by the end of this so tape wisely. One thing to make sure is that your tape is going all the way to the edge of the paper. The reason we're doing this is because those gold lines or whatever color you're using are going to be a full flood. They are going to extend past this border and go all the way flush to the edge of the paper, so just keep that in mind. Remember, I'm just eyeballing this so feel free to choose your own pattern if you're following along. I'm leaving some triangle areas uncovered because I think it's going to be pretty neat to have these triangles of gold on some of these outer edges. Time for the fun part, gold paints, wide brush. I'm being really careful as I paint along this edge, I'm not using tape because I want it to feel a little bit more organic and uneven. Instead I'm just really globbing that paint on so that I have a nice smooth, crisp border, even though it's a little bit wobbly. Because the texture itself is fairly flat, I like the idea of really globbing on this gold paint in some areas just to add even more contrast between smooth and textured. Same thing here, I'm not going all the way to the edge of the paper. Instead I'm leaving this really goopy but crisp edge. I'm really not shying away from this gold texture here, I'm laying it on super thick. Awesome. This one's going to take a little bit longer to dry just because that paint texture is so heavy. Be a little patient and then let's check back in. I've given it a few minutes to dry and now it's time to start peeling, remember to peel really slowly. I'm going to speed this up for you guys, so it's not too boring, but I'm going really, really slow in reality. We have our completed painting. I'm loving this unexpected combination of textures. We have this really thick, goopy gold line work that's contained in these crisp edges, and underneath that, we have that really smooth circular blending. It's a great combination and it's feeling really modern. Let's move on to our final geometric pattern. 13. Geometric: Color Blocking: Time for the last geometric pattern of today's lesson. For this, you're going to need that gold piece of paper that we prepped earlier at the beginning of this lesson. You will also need a brush mixing knife and pallets. I'm using four different tubes of paint for this, including white, blue, green, and red. Last but not least, your masking tape. All right, let's get started. For this pattern, I'm going to be color blocking some solid abstract shapes over this gold texture backgrounds so that the end results are these blocky shapes with gold veining in between. I've got my paper taped down to the table and it's time to start making some abstract shapes with our tape. Feel free to interpret this your own way. This is abstract so there's no right answer here. The areas where we set this tape now, we'll preserve that gold. By the time we peel it away, it'll be a gold line that's left. Cool. I love the color blocking here.I think we've got a nice variety of small sizes and larger swatches. I think it's time to start filling in with floods of color. The first color I want to use will be a really desaturated green. For this I'm using my green and then a little bit of red to desaturate it and a touch of whites. I love the shade. It feels like emerald, so it's time to start filling it in. I want these brushstrokes to feel really smooth and that color to be very well blended so it feels even more graphic. Two feels pretty good and I want to keep this somewhere in the same palette so I'm going to use even more of this white and mix it together. I really like this cool, minty green. For my next color, I want to incorporate a little bit more blue. To keep the color story very similar, I'm going to grab some of that green from previously and mix it in alongside that blue with a little bit more white. I'm really loving how opaque that paint is going down. That means I don't have to do a second layer. All right, and for my last hue, I want it to feel a lot lighter than the rest so it's going to be a lot of white and a little bit of blue. Again, I'm keeping my brush strokes pretty flat and minimal so there's not a lot of texture happening. Cool. I only did one coat of paint, so it won't take that long to dry, maybe just a couple minutes and then we can peel off the tape. Time for my favorite part. Now we have our final painting. I'm really loving this modern aesthetic. We've got some nice color blocking here. The tonality is all in the same family of this bluish greenish with this gold veining coming through. I think it's a really great example of geometric color blocking and modern all in one. We have our three finished paintings from this lesson that are all including different techniques of geometric patterns. For a quick recap, I want to talk about what makes these modern. One is the unexpected combination of textures. In some areas we're using very thick gold line work over smooth, circular blended backgrounds. There's also a juxtaposition of texture, even within the gold line work itself, we have some goofy acrylic textures and then very sharp defined edges in some areas. We are also combining a metallic shine with these flat mat surfaces and last but not least, the geometric patterns themselves are feeling very modern and on trends. All right, let's move on to our next painting. 14. Galaxy Painting: For our final painting of this class today, we're going to revisit one of our abstract gradients and turn it into a galaxy painting. Hopefully, it's dry by now. Go ahead and bring out that painting we did with the gradient that is contained in that triangle with masking tape. If you've already removed the masking tape, no problem. Just go ahead and put it back on and let's go ahead and get started. The materials you'll need for this are a couple of rounds, detail brushes, your palette and palette knife, and a few different colors of paints. I'll primarily be using white for the stars, gold for some accents, and then a little bit of red and green. Let's get started. We'll be creating this painting in three separate layers. The first layer is already finished. It's that gradient that we put down earlier. The second layer will be the stars and the moon that we're adding. Then the third will be the evergreens that we added the very bottom. First things, first, white paints to add the stars. I'm using my finest detail brush for this. I'm keeping most of the stars towards the top of the gradient where it's darkest. Just for fun, I'm going to throw in some gold stars as well. Cool. I'm going to give that about a minute to dry and then it's time to add the evergreens. I want the evergreens to be black. I'm going to mix red and green together. My favorite combination. Using that same fine detail brush, it's time to pain in the trees. I'm going to start with right in the middle, by drawing a line that goes straight up from the bottom. It feels perfectly symmetrical. Don't be afraid to go on top of the tape here. That's what it's for. Cool. I kept it super simple and minimal. Now, is my favorite part yet again, time to peel off that masking tape. Awesome. Now, we have our final illustration. This perfectly masked out triangle that has this starry night scene of a galaxy stars space, and then some trees on the bottom. There's also a nice gradient that goes from really dark to lighter and twilight at the bottom. Having this night scape, masked out into this really graphic triangle, adds a nice modern aesthetic. Plus, I love having all that white space on the edges. That is our final painting of today. Before you head out, I've got some bonus tips in the next video. 15. Bonus Tips: Welcome to my final tips. I'm glad you guys have made it this far and I promise I'll keep this part short and sweet. Without further ado, here are my five bonus tips for acrylics. One, if you are working with canvas, don't forget to paint the edges of that canvas. That way, it can be hung as is and doesn't need to be framed. Unless you're intentionally leaving white space behind, like on my galaxy painting, an edge-to-edge canvas looks much more professional. Two, this is a tip for keeping the paint on your palettes wet. If you're a slow painter and the paints on your palette are drying up faster than you want them to, keep a small, Mr. Handy. That way, you can spritz your palette to keep the paint fresh and wet as you go. Similarly, if you wanted to take a break from painting, but you don't want your palette to dry out, go ahead and spritz your paint on your palette, and then put a layer of serene wrap over the palette to keep it airtight. It'll stay even longer if you put it in the fridge. Three, and this one is for the really fast painters out there. If you want to work really quickly between layers, set your painting in the sun for a few minutes so that the paint dries even faster. You can also use a hairdryer or a fan. The acrylic will dry incredibly quickly and you won't lose time literally waiting for paint to dry. Four, you can wash your brushes out with simple soap and water. Nothing fancy. Once they're totally clean, I lay them flat on paper towels to dry. Five, if you want to learn how to scan in your paintings and edit them in Photoshop, check out my Skillshare class. Digitize your art to sell online. Prep your paintings for print on demand. In that class, I'll cover all the steps for taking your final painting into the computer so that you can change colors, remove backgrounds, create patterns, resize, and more. Guys, thank you so much for enrolling in my class today. I hope you learned a lot and are inspired to start your own journey into acrylic painting. Feel free to comment below in the class discussion if you have any questions or comments about what I covered today. Last but not least, you can follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter at catcoq. Don't forget to follow me on Skillshare by clicking the Follow button up top. I'll see you guys next time.