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Getting Started with Acrylic Paints

Lesson 12 of 13

Demo: Create Opacity in Acrylic

Mary Jane Begin

Getting Started with Acrylic Paints

Mary Jane Begin

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Lesson Info

12. Demo: Create Opacity in Acrylic


  Class Trailer
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1 Class Introduction Duration:05:14
2 Materials for Acrylic Paints Duration:08:30
4 Demo: Explore Glaze Mediums Duration:19:56
6 Demo: Brushes for Acrylics Duration:15:05
7 Surfaces for Acrylic Paints Duration:19:15
8 Demo: Gesso a Surface Duration:09:13

Lesson Info

Demo: Create Opacity in Acrylic

I'm gonna add, I think we need to get a little more white on here, I'm gonna add some opacity to this side, and create some dimensionality if I can find my titanium white. We already have some orange over here. And I wanna show some glazing before we wrap. So I'm gonna use a little bit more of my matte medium, I'm gonna try to do my next sort of layer of color, and as you can see, I'm tryna use also the point of this brush to move that color across the surface of my orange ball. So I'm layering it, I'm pushing a little more heavily on the really heavy light side, and then as I drag it across this ball, I'm actually just reducing my pressure with my hand to try to make that a slightly lighter tonality, and that's, I'm just tryna do a gradient on the ball. And this color is moving across the surface, it's not drying fully yet, but it's starting to dry, so I can only go so far before this'll stop allowing me to push it around, and it's already happening. So I'm not even trying to push it,...

I'm just grazing the surface, and this is really how I paint, is little thin streaks of color across the surface. That's sort of my comfort zone, it's where I like to be. And so with this, what's kind of neat is I'm able to, now I can go back over this, it's already dry, I can build up that area of light a little bit further, I can drag this color across the surface, and what you might be seeing is that we have sort of light and shadow. This functions as light and shadow because the blue is reacting to the orange, blue-green color's reacting to the orange, they're neutralizing each other, and then a more pure orange form, it's popping off that surface. So it makes a really nice sort of reaction for light and shadow, and I'm creating a gradient by using strings or threads of color with a brush that has a really nice tip to it. Now I'm gonna let that dry a little bit, and now what I can do, to me, I want that ball to be more orange, so I'm gonna do that by glazing, and I'll show you how to do that. You can change the color of anything with a glaze. Let's just put a little more, like I can go more thickly here, and I can cover it, 'cause it's drying really quickly, here I just wanna show that light shadow. Okay, starting to see that. So let's go back to our green cube. We've got that thick color on one side. You don't want, when you're painting with impasto painting, you still want variation of thick, to thinner, to thin, and I'm gonna do something here where I think I will use this tool, which is a round tip, or maybe no, that's too square, I'm not gonna use a round tip, I'm gonna use the other square palette knife, here it is, and see if I can just get in here and make some marks. That paint is still wet, so I'm gonna be really careful not to touch it. So what I want is another, if this is a cube, and that's sort of shadow, what's the color up here? It would be maybe somewhere between these two. Would it be lighter than that, or darker than that? What do you think Kenna? What would you choose? I would think that it would be darker. Yeah, and I think you're right. So I'm gonna try mixing a little raw umber into this and make a darker green that still relates, but is a little bit thicker and a little bit darker. So if you see, I don't want it to be as thick as this other color, but I don't want it to be thin either, just turn this here. I'm trying to avoid hitting that right there. Now for me, this palette knife is great for bigger paintings, but for this little, tiny area, I think this tool is just a little too big, so I'm gonna actually use a stiff bristle brush, a square tip to get in there, and I'm gonna try to use the right, okay, this size feels, like this just feels more like the right tool to land in that spot. But I'm still gonna paint it really thickly in impasto fashion, just not as thick as this. And this might even feel like it's a hole in the box, like the interior shadow color, if that makes sense. The more brown I add, the more it'll feel like that. So I'm just gonna do this. See now, again, you grab a tool and you say, oh is this working? If it isn't working, if it doesn't feel right, grab another tool. There's no, it's not that it's a wrong answer, it's just what's making it easier for you to paint. And I just wanna show you, look, that color is still malleable, it's still moveable, which is kinda nice. But that wasn't what I wanted to do, so I'm just gonna cover right up. I just wanted to show you. I'm dragging some of that color into this side. So we have thick, semi thick, a little bit of that pink's coming through, and then a lot of it's coming through here. Okay, and all's I'm trying to do is show sort of dimensionality with these different ways of using the paint and different surfaces. Again, we're on a gessoed surface versus non-gessoed, and I'm just trying to get to the edges of this thing, and then the one last thing I wanna do is glaze that ball. Okay. There we go. So that's, I mean, my edges could be a little bit cleaner. I'll try and do this quickly. But does that feel somewhat dimensional kinda, what do you think? And then I'll just show you, that's basically that's a thick patch of that color, and then I'm gonna thin it out a little bit more with a little bit of medium, and that allows a little bit more of the color of what's underneath to come through, which is kinda neat. So I might even consider putting a little bit more of that color on this side so it feels a little more cohesive. And then the last thing is the glaze. So that's kind of a tepid looking orange ball, it looks a little boring. How would you make it more awake Kenna? What would you think we would do to make it more vibrant?

Class Description

Are you interested in working with acrylic paints but not sure how to get started? In this course artist and illustrator, Mary Jane Begin will introduce you to the world of acrylic paints. This class is perfect for beginners looking to learn the basics of the medium in order to begin a painting practice. By the end of this course you will be equipped with the know-how to pick up a brush and start experimenting with acrylics!

In this class you’ll learn:

  • All about acrylic paints and how they work
  • Which brushes and papers to use with those paints
  • How to begin making simple marks and shapes to familiarize yourself with the medium 

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anshu priya

Very thorough . perfect for someone who wants to start painting with Acrylics.


Nota review but a suggestion. Use a table knife to remove paper from bloc. No curling of edges.