If you could say it in words, there would be no reason to paint.Edward Hopper
A picture may speak a thousand words, but there are more than a thousand ways to recreate a picture. To follow up on art jamming themes for beginners, this week’s article places emphasis on acrylic painting scenery.
Painting scenery is usually a therapeutic process. As evident from youtube videos, the artists usually choose sky colour combinations and arrange them from light to dark before blending them to create a smooth gradient.We usually explore a kaleidoscope of colours depending on how you portray the sky. For a clear blue sky, the colours used ranges from white all the way to dark blue. For a sunset, colours range from pink to yellow and even orange, purple and even black in some cases.
The following are some examples of acrylic painting scenery recreated by Artist Celine Chia and her students during their art jamming sessions:
Horizon Sunset: A clash of warm and cool colours is used to recreate this effect. Warm colours used are orange and yellow hues, while cool colours used are blue and bluish green. In this painting, the blending is more patchy and the contrast is more distinct, and places emphasis on the texture to highlight and differentiate the skyline.
Dreamy Sunset: There is a very gradual gradient in this painting. The blending for the entire canvas is done first, before adding in the silhouette for the land and the pine trees. Fast strokes are required during the blending process so that a smooth gradient can be achieved. The colours used for blending are dark blue to light blue, followed by white and lastly pink.
Masking: Day vs Night: To achieve this effect, we first use a masking tape to tape half of the canvas (Right side) This is to achieve the clearly defined divider line.
For the ‘day’ side, the colours used for the background ranges from dark orange to bright yellow. After painting the background, this is followed by adding in the details, such as the tree and the sun using black and white paint respectively.
After the paint has dried, we remove the existing masking tape and apply a new masking tape over the left side of the canvas.
For the ‘night’ side, the colours used range from dark blue to light blue. Repeat the same process for painting the trees and the moon. Peel off the masking tape after you are done painting.
Northern Lights: We first start off with drawing the outline of the landscape.
After drawing the outline, this is followed by painting the dark blue sky while taking into account the space required for the northern lights. (Leave this patch empty)
Add white, neon green, pastel green, light blue and bright yellow to achieve the effects for the northern lights. Blend the sides of the northern lights with blue and pink to integrate the layer with the background.
Next, we paint the gradient of purple. To achieve this gradient,the colours used are purple, pink, white and black.
Last but not least, we use black paint to paint the trees and hills.
Don’t forget the final details of the snow on the tree and the fire burning in the background. (colours used are white, bright yellow and orange)
Waves: Start with a base layer of white. Trace out the pattern of the waves using white paint. Colour the white parts of the wave to achieve a more opaque white layer. Add the lighter shade of blue for the water. Next, add in the shadows of the water using a darker blue.
Once the opaque white layer has dried, add light blue to create the shades/shadows. Subsequently, trace the waves with black paint and using a fine brush, add in the droplets of white by dotting them around the top of the waves. The process of creating the waves can be found in the video below.
Waves/Mountains: Start off by outlining the shape of the background and the landscape. Starting off with the skyline, we use a range of colours from sky blue to light blue to white. Next, using the stroking method, we paint the tip of the mountain using white and light blue, followed by blending with the darker blue at the base of the mountain.
Afterwards, we work on the greenery. The colours used are dark green and white, as well as a blend of green and blue to achieve the turquoise colour.
To emphasise on the layers of greenery, use a darker shade of blue to outline the greenery.
The last step is to use a fine tip permanent marker to highlight and trace the outline of the cranes.
We first start off by outlining the landscape of the mountains. The ratio of the reflection to the surface and skyline is about 1:4. Next, we colour the background by blending the colours blue, white to beige. Subsequently, we work on the reflection of the mountain with the same colours in reverse order.
Colour the mountains with grey and white. Use the stroking method and add a layer of white to emphasise the tip of the mountain. Repeat for the reflection of the mountain.
Use black paint to colour the silhouette which divides the reflection and the skyline.
Start off with drawing the window frame. Use masking tape to tape the edges of the window to achieve the clean straight lines. Next, colour the wall background with dark green and black as the shadow. After the paint has dried, peel off the masking tape.
Apply a fresh layer of masking tape around the outer edge of the windows. Paint the windows white, and use grey to differentiate the layers and shadows. After the paint has dried, remove the masking tape and apply a fresh layer on the inner layer of the window. Check out the time lapse of the video below for a clearer depiction of where to position the masking tapes.
Next, moving on to the clouds. Apply a layer of blue for the background. Pastel colours are used during the process. These colours include pastel yellow, purple, pink, blue, beige and white.
Use a dabbing method to dab the layers of the cloud. More details on the dabbing method can be found in the video.
Mix the colours of the rainbow with a little water before painting onto the background. Take care to use lighter colours instead of darker tones, so as to get a more realistic effect. To achieve the fading effect of the rainbow, gently use your fingers to blend the rainbow and the less dense parts of the clouds.
In general, when doing acrylic painting scenery during art jamming sessions, we usually start with the background blending for the scenery. This is because the background is usually the main focus of the painting. Hence, it is of utmost importance to paint the background first before proceeding with the other layers. Although the techniques may appear easy to some, acrylic painting for scenery differs from people to people, and experience definitely plays a part. Overall, this theme is definitely beginner friendly and worth a try when you start jamming your very own masterpiece.
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