Tuesday, December 27, 2011

How to Create a Painting in 3 Simple Steps

Autumn Day by the Bridge
This painting will be available at the Fletcher Place Show opening April 6th
I am often asked how I create a painting on canvas.  Here is a breakdown of my process in three steps...
Step 1
Paint on a light wash of acrylic paint.  This sets the tone of the work.

Step 2
Paint a layer of acrylic.
 This is another thin layer that blocks out the shapes into the darkest and lightest forms.
Step 3
Paint a THICK layer with oils.
I used water soluable oil paints to create the final coat which almost completely covers the previous layers.  The biggest tip I can give is to make the paint as thick as you can at this stage. 
I sometimes even paint with a palette knife to get a maximum thickness. 
Most often however I use a traditional brush.
I have found that creating multiple layers makes a work more rich. I always put at least three layers on my paintings.   
One important thing to note is that you can paint oils on top of acrylic paints, but not the other way around.  Once you start using the oils there is no going back.

I would love to hear others folk's methods....


  1. In your demonstration, I would have just quit at step two. I like it like that!!!...LEE

  2. Thanks Lee.
    Yeah- it is good to know when to stop. I have ruined a few paintings by adding too much. But still- the texture at layer two was watery. I love the yumminess of the oil paints.


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