How to paint light & shade in Acrylics (Part 3 of 3 – Videos)

by Will Kemp

in acrylic painting

painting an apple in acrylics

“Painting is drawing with the added complication of colour and tone”
Harold Speed – The Practice & Science of Drawing

In this light and shadow series we look at the theory, drawing and painting of a simple form focusing on shadow, light and edges.

Part 1 we looked at the theory of light and shadow.

Part 2 we put pencil to paper and looked at practical drawing techniques with a simple pencil drawing of an apple.

This week we’re going back to the studio to start creating the illusion of form with acrylic paint. I wanted to develop our sketch into a finished painting, using the same principles of light logic but having a more contemporary feel by the choice of colours, composition and context.

For Part 3 I’ve created a free video tutorial so you can watch every step and follow along at home…

Acrylic light & shade painting-  Free video Course |Part 1

This video below shows the first steps I take to start the step-by-step acrylic light & shade painting.

Reference Image

wk art school - apple study

The image above is the reference image I use for this demonstration.

It can be ‘right clicked’ and ‘Save image as’, so you can use it as a reference for your painting.

Drawing the shapes

Drawing still life’s can be simplified into 4 main forms: the sphere, cylinder, cone & cube.

For this painting we’ll be concentrating on a sphere.

If you think of the basic circle shape to start with, you can quickly set up the basic construct shape of the drawing.

I’m working on a coloured ground and am using a 3B pencil to draw out.

Materials

Brushes

filberts copy rosemary & co

Acrylic Paints

For the coloured ground:

  • Yellow ochre
  • Cadmium yellow light

For the main painting:

  • Raw Umber
  • Ultramarine Blue
  • Cadmium Yellow Light
  • Titanium White
  • Burnt Sienna
  • Cadmium Red (for Part 2)

(Brands used: For this particular painting I used a whole mix of brands including: Golden Heavy Body Paints, Winsor & Newton Artist Acrylics, Liquitex and Daler Rowney Artist Quality Acrylics.)

7 simple steps to begin:

Step 1. Apply a coloured ground

For this painting I wanted to have a bright glow underneath the form of the apple, so I applied a mix of Yellow ochre & Cadmium yellow light to a white pre-primed box canvas.

coloured ground apple demo

To see how I apply an acrylic ground See: How to apply a coloured ground

Step 2. Draw out the image

I draw around a circular object (about 7-8cm in diameter) to establish the basic circular shape of the apple and the ellipse shape of the cast shadow. This is a shallow ellipse.

How to paint a sphere in acrylics

I can then draw in the form shadow line, this gives me a guide to work to when blocking in the form shadow.

WKARTSCHOOL-apple-line-drawing-small

Next I square off the top of the apple and sketch in any angles on the outer edge shape.

Step 3. Tone down the background

Now I’m ready to start painting!

 

raw-umber-underpaintings

The first thing I do is tone down the background using a heavy body Raw umber acrylic paint.

raw-umber-acrylic-undertone

By varying the consistency on the paint with water I can scrub in the background tone to give me a sense of the dark and light values within the scene.

I then add some Titanium white and Ultramarine blue to paint a thicker application in the foreground.

background-still-life-acrylic-painting

I now work between the foreground and the background painting in thicker areas of paint to give a varied background, leaving some of the coloured ground peeking through.

Step 4. The Darkest darks

painting realism with acrylics

Swapping to a smaller round brush I can add some of the darkest tones into the stalk of the apple using the pure Raw umber paint.

cast-shadows-in-paintings

I then paint in the cast shadow.

Take note of how the line is darkest and sharpest under the apple and then becomes softer and lighter as it gets further away from the light source.

Step 5. Form shadow

painting a form shadow in acrylics

Painting in the form shadow using a mix of Raw umber & Cadmium yellow light.

I just use these two colours on the form shadow, lightening the tone slightly to indicate the reflected light.

Step 6. Softening the shadow line

Acrylic-painting-blending-techniques

I then introduce a Burnt sienna so we can add a slightly warmer tone to the transition line of the form of the apple.

three-dimenssional-form-painting

Step 7. Halftone & highlight

Then with the Cadmium yellow light and Titanium white, I paint the halftone and finally the highlight.

form-shadow-acrylic-painting

I can then re-enforce the form shadow core and have a nice balance between the darks and the lights.

Below is the image in black and white – so you can see the changing of tones more clearly.

form-shadow-acrylic-painting_edited-1

This gives a basic fall of light and three-dimensional form within the painting.

Bear in mind the 3 most common mistakes when painting three-dimensional forms:

1. Painting the cast shadow lighter than is appears.

2. Making the form shadow line too hard

3. Keeping the hardness/sharpness of all the edges the same.

Part 2

Acrylic light & shade painting-  Free video Course |Part 2

This video below shows the finishing touches where I introduce Cadmium red light and some glazes of Burnt sienna.

The final 5 steps:

Step 1. Intensify the highlight

painting a high light
Using the filbert brush, I mix a Titanium white and Cadmium yellow light and paint in a thicker highlight.

Step 2. Adding & blending a glaze

glazing with acrylics
On the apple there is a soft warm glow around the edges that are on the light side, so I use a watery mix of Burnt sienna just to glaze in some subtle warmth.

softening a glaze
I then soften this glaze using the filbert brush, following the form of the apple.

Step 3. Adding the red

adding cadmium red
With the round brush, I paint in some pure Cadmium red light.

adding orange
I mix together some Cadmium red light and Cadmium yellow light to get a lighter orange. This is painted in the area closest to the highlight and represents where the light is hitting the apple strongest.

Step 4. Modelling the form

turning the form
Then with the Burnt sienna mix, I darken down the bottom side of the Cadmium red light so now we have a dark area at the bottom and the lighter area at the top.

Step 5. The final details

adding detail
For the final detail, I add a few bright dots onto the stalk and break up the curve of the form.

will kemp art school appleThe final painting
If you’d like to learn more about glazing with acrylics you should have a look at the Acrylic Masterclass Still life Course

You might also like:

1.  A Beginners Guide to Light & Shadow : Part 1
2. 
How to shade a drawing Light & Shadow : Part 2
3. The 3 reasons why you can’t draw (and what to do about it)

 

{ 131 comments… read them below or add one }

Dinah Anaya April 16, 2014

Beautiful! I am thrilled to have this lesson. Thank you.

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Will Kemp April 16, 2014

Hi Dinah, really hope you enjoy it,

Cheers,
Will

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Vickie April 16, 2014

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I love the colors and the step by step instructions, as always, are excellent! Thank you for all your wonderful lessons. :)

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Will Kemp April 17, 2014

Thanks Vickie, really pleased you found it helpful.
Will

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kathryn April 16, 2014

It always feels like Christmas when one of your free video lessons appears in my email, and here is another gift! Who would have thought that painting a simple apple could be so much fun… and so beautiful! Thank you.

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Will Kemp April 17, 2014

Very kind of you to say so Kathryn, looking forward to hearing how your apple turns out.
Cheers,
Will

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Dianne Laroche April 16, 2014

As a beginner I appreciate all the tips you are sharing.

Thank you
Dianne

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Will Kemp April 17, 2014

Good one Dianne, hope the lessons are helping your paintings.
Cheers,
Will

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krittaya April 17, 2014

hello Will. thank you so much for your nice lesson i’m very happy
and enjoy with this lesson.
i wish you have a good health .take care
thanks. krittaya

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Will Kemp April 17, 2014

Thanks Krittaya, hope you’re keeping well,
Will

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Sarah Harvey April 17, 2014

Thank you Will –this is fantastic!

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Will Kemp April 17, 2014

Cheers Sarah, thanks for your patience!
Will

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Virginia Nickle April 17, 2014

I enjoyed this lesson as well as the other lessons, cannot wait to begin to paint this lesson.

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Will Kemp April 17, 2014

Good one Virginia, pleased you’re looking forward to it.
Will

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CHERYL April 17, 2014

LOVED THE DEMO, HELPED ME SO MUCH IN THE BLENDING TECHNIQUE. LIKED HOW YOU SHOWED DOING THE HIGHLIGHT ON THE APPLE.

IF I HAD ANY BISCUITS WHILE DOING THE DEMO, AFRAID I MIGHT DUNK THEM IN THE WATER CONTAINER INSTEAD OF THE TEA. HA! HA!

THANKS SO MUCH FOR THE WONDERFUL PRESENTATION.

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Will Kemp April 17, 2014

Thanks Cheryl,
Hope you’re well, so pleased it helped with your blending techniques. We’ve all been there with the biscuit/dirty water scenario!

Cheers,

Will

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Haylen Gago April 17, 2014

Thank you very much. All of your advice is excellent and encouraging.

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Will Kemp April 17, 2014

Great to hear it Haylen,
Cheers,
Will

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martha roberts April 17, 2014

Thanks Will, for continuing to inspire me to put brush to canvas. This is such a nice little painting.
Martha

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Will Kemp April 17, 2014

Thanks Martha, looking forward to hearing how your painting turns out.
Cheers,
Will

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samira April 17, 2014

hello Will,you teach your students in the most understandable and the easiest way that somebody can… thank you so much , I really enjoy following your lessons..
cheers

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Will Kemp April 17, 2014

Thanks Samira, so pleased you found the lesson is simple and easy to follow.
Cheers,
Will

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Nedim April 17, 2014

satisfaction is invested interesting to follow your links, greetings great artist from Sarajevo

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Will Kemp April 17, 2014

Thanks Nedim.
Will

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Yeside April 17, 2014

Thank you once again. Found this useful for fine tuning. Sometimes less is more. So relieved that you were able to sort out your website problems so quickly. My inbox would never be the same without these generous painterly tips.

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Will Kemp April 17, 2014

Thanks for your understanding Yeside, so pleased you’ve found the lesson helpful.
Will

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Fabio April 17, 2014

Hi Will!
Thank you so much for all the free content you post. I find it extremely valuable and I sincerely appreciate your work!
I’ve got a couple of questions:
1- I currently don’t have Cad Yellow light, only the ”normal” cad yellow. What is the main disadvantage of using that instead of the “light” version?
2- I’ve been told (several times by now) not to use cadmiums for their toxicity. Is it true they are SO toxic? Are Azo colours a valid alternative?

Thanks again!
Cheers from Italy (Sicily)!

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Will Kemp April 17, 2014

Hi Fabio,

Thanks your kind words about the articles, cadmium pigments are toxic, but I find they currently have the most opacity and cleanest colour mixing of any yellow.

Azo colours are pretty good, I find them slightly greener, and slightly less opaque in general, but paint manufactures have been making real jumps forwards in creating a high opacity – non toxic yellow.

This is from the Golden paint website:

“Instead, we found that a member of the arylide family of pigments seems to offer the best choice for the artist eschewing cadmium pigment.

This pigment, PY 74, is the colorant in GOLDEN Hansa Yellow Opaque.

It is of a hue between Cadmium Yellow Light and Cadmium Yellow Medium.

Its relatively high opacity and excellent interior lightfastness are characteristics not normally encountered in this class of pigment. Exteriorly, its lightfastness is far superior to cadmium yellow and should also exceed the performance of Hansa Yellow Medium (PY 73) and Hansa Yellow Light (PY 3), the other members of this pigment family offered by GOLDEN.

There are currently no environmental or toxicity issues associated with PY 74.

The tinting strength of Hansa Yellow Opaque is also significantly higher than what might be expected from an arylide and is closer to that characteristic of a cadmium pigment.

The arylide yellows are entirely organic in composition, containing no metals. While one pigment doesn’t provide a range of choice equal to that available in the current range of cadmium yellows, it is a starting point. Using it as the primary component of a mixing color will extend its attributes to other hue positions.”

So Hansa Yellow Opaque is a good alternative from the arylide family of pigments, but one note on the mixes:

Although the properties of these new organic pigments are in many ways similar to cadmium colors, they are not identical in every respect. The biggest variation is how the colors mix to create new colors. Organics typically produce cleaner, less muddy mixtures. Other colors, such as the iron oxides, can be added if muddier colors are needed.

Hope this helps, if you’re worried at all about the use of cadmiums these new pigments they can be a great choice.

Will

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Fabio April 17, 2014

Hi Will! Thanks for your reply!
Well then, I will definitely try out hansa yellow!

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Will Kemp April 17, 2014

You’re welcome Fabio,
Will

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Ruthie April 25, 2014

Will,
You are so nice and helpful. Thank you for your time and throughliness in encouraging your fellow beginning artists and restarters:) I have MCS and this info is very helpful to me also.
May you reap bountifully from what you sow. God bless. Ruthie

Natalia April 17, 2014

Dear Will,

thank you very much for your lessons. Since I work in oils, it will take a week for the ground to dry up. An alternative is to use a square canvas that already has yellow ground. One of your articles mentions that the canvas shape – rectangular versus square – does make a difference. Will the square canvas work for this painting?

Thank you,
Natalia

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Will Kemp April 17, 2014

Hi Natalia, you can always apply the ground with acrylics and then work ontop with oils to help speed up the process for you. A square canvas will work just as well.

Cheers,
Will

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Lex April 17, 2014

Fabulous lesson again! Much thanks Will. I should mention, that here I was painting almost the exact yellow colored ground onto a canvas board just a couple days ago, with absolutely no idea of what it was I should or would be painting on this canvas. It appears I’ve read your mind! Or perhaps you’ve read mine! Haha. Well an apple it is sir. Can’t wait to start. Thanks again Mr Kemp!
Cheers,
Lex =D

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Will Kemp April 17, 2014

Thanks Lex, great to hear you had a canvas prepped and ready to go! enjoy the painting.

Cheers,
Will

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Kathy April 17, 2014

Thanks again Mr. Kemp! Love your website and teaching methods…plus the background music is always great! I often use Yellow Ochre to tone a canvas but I really like your idea of adding Cad Yellow for an extra punch…will definitely try that.

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Will Kemp April 17, 2014

Good one Kathy, pleased you enjoyed the video, yes that subtle shift to a bit more punch can be perfect for certain paintings (can work really well for sunsets) Enjoy the lesson.
Cheers,
Will

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Ruthie April 25, 2014

Will I also love the music on your tutorials. Is it possible to tell me who it’s by? It’ s so uplifting and happy. Your presentation along with this makes your videos very relaxing and enjoyable.Thanks! Ruthie

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Will Kemp April 25, 2014

Thanks Ruthie, pleased you’ve been enjoying it, the music was commissioned from one of our friends Aimee who’s a dab hand with the Ukulele!

Cheers,
Will

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Adrienne Kemp April 17, 2014

Hi Will,
Thank You For This Very Helpful Video.
It all makes such sense when you explain it!! :)

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Will Kemp April 17, 2014

Great to hear it Adrienne!
Cheers,
Will

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Bob April 17, 2014

Really enjoyed this lesson. No matter how much I learn I keep coming back to your lessons for inspiration and clarity. Can’t wait to get a brush in my hand and start a new canvas.

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Will Kemp April 18, 2014

Really pleased to hear it Bob, hope you enjoy the painting.
Will

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gaye April 18, 2014

Another thanks, Will. Love the way you simplify your message. Desperately needed that light and dark info! Cheers, Gaye

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Will Kemp April 18, 2014

Great to hear it has helped with your painting Gaye.
Cheers,
Will

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Natalie April 19, 2014

Hi Will
Thanks so much for this video. You always make it look so easy. Can,t wait to get started on mine.

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Will Kemp April 19, 2014

Cheers Natalie, really hope you enjoy it.

Will

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Marijke April 19, 2014

Hallo Will,
Could the same technique be applied to the use of oilpaint?
Best Marijke.

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Will Kemp April 19, 2014

Hi Marijke, if you apply the yellow ground colour with acrylics you can then paint with oils ontop.

Cheers,
Will

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Lynettte April 20, 2014

Dear Will

Thank you so much for this excellent demonstration. Do you think we could have a similar demo for flesh tones please. Regards Lynette

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Will Kemp April 22, 2014

Hi Lynette, I’m working on a new ‘colour mixing for portraits’ course at the moment, which should be available in the next couple of months.
Cheers,
Will

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Shishu April 21, 2014

Hello Will!!

I am a self taught artist and come to your website to learn theories behind acrylic painting. Thank you so much for putting up such nice tutorials.
Just wanted to know can we use “yellow ochre” colored ground for any painting or is there any theory behind choosing a colored ground?
Also, for colored ground, is it okay to use student grade paint if i use professional grade otherwise?

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Will Kemp April 22, 2014

Hi Shishu, pleased you’ve been enjoying learning about acrylic painting. You can read more about choosing a coloured ground here. Yes, it’s absolutely fine to use a student grade for the coloured ground.

Cheers,
Will

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Chitra chahal April 21, 2014

Thanks Will for all the interesting and very informative and useful demonstrations that you give. I have learnt a lot about art and your simple yet effective approach to most projects is very encouraging. I love all the demonstrations have watched. Thank you…

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Will Kemp April 22, 2014

Great to hear it Chitra, thanks for your kind comments.
Cheers,
Will

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Madhur April 24, 2014

Hey Will,
Your videos are awesome. I always wanted to paint using acrylics and your videos are single big reason I have started to do that. Thanks.
I am eagerly waiting for the part 2 of this video to finish this painting.

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Will Kemp April 24, 2014

Thanks Madhur, should be live soon.

Cheers,
Will

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Sanaz April 25, 2014

It is amazing as always it is! Thanks for such a usefull videos:) xxx

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Will Kemp April 25, 2014

You’re welcome Sanaz,

Cheers,
Will

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Jane Hitchcock April 25, 2014

Thank you Will. I’ll try this myself soon. I’ve really been struggling with blending acrylics (I have not used them much before but have admired those who use them so well). Watching your video has been a great help.

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Will Kemp April 25, 2014

Pleased to hear it Jane, blending with acrylics can take a bit of practice, hope the tutorial helps.

Will

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Carol April 25, 2014

I am a true “beginner” and you make me feel like I can do this! So enjoy your calm, simple method of instruction and am always anxious to open each of your emails!

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Will Kemp April 25, 2014

Great to hear it Carol, you definitely can! pleased you’ve enjoyed the series.

Will

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Virginia Nickle April 25, 2014

Thank you Will , this really really helps, your lessons are great!!

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Will Kemp April 25, 2014

Kind of you to say so Virginia, hope you’re keeping well.
Will

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Jaqui April 25, 2014

Learning so much from your videos, thank you so much.

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Will Kemp April 27, 2014

Great to hear it Jaqui,
Cheers,
Will

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Janet Kay April 26, 2014

Hi Will,
Thanks for another great tutorial. I have to confess that because I’m undertaking a fine art university course (double major) I don’t have much time to do the lessons. However, I am learning heaps and I’m able to apply the techniques and principles to my course work. Can’t wait to have some spare time to be able to actually paint along with you.
Thanks again, they are brilliantly helpful!
From SA, Australia
Janet

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Will Kemp April 27, 2014

Thanks Janet, hope you can find time within your painting studies.

Cheers,
Will

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Swapniel April 26, 2014

I love the effect that the red creates. I will start practicing it tonight hopefully!
Just wondering one thing, I’ve run out of cad red – vermilion red can be used as alternative? They are pretty close…
And a huge thank for such a nice tutorial!

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Will Kemp April 27, 2014

Hi Swapniel, yes a Vermillion would work nicely.
Cheers,
Will

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Melva April 26, 2014

That was very interesting, I liked how you moved and blended the colors. That helped a lot. I’m still working on my oils, I had to put it to the side for a while, I’m fixing to get back on it. Thanks again.

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Will Kemp April 27, 2014

Pleased you enjoyed it Melva,
Cheers,
Will

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Amy April 27, 2014

Hi Will,

Thank you so much for the lesson! I found it so helpful and really enjoyed following along!
Thank you!

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Will Kemp April 27, 2014

Hi Amy, so pleased you enjoyed the lesson, hope you achieved some fab results.
Cheers,
Will

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David April 27, 2014

As a self taught (would be) artist, I was most impressed by the importance of the minute variations of one colour, which I usually overdo, which perfects the blending on the apple and would be useful on shading or the folds on garments etc. Thanks for your excellent tutorials. Keep ‘em coming. Regards David.

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Will Kemp April 27, 2014

Hi David, pleased you found the painting tutorial of interest, yes the smallest of changes in colour choice can make a big difference to the overall effect.

Cheers,
Will

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SANDY April 27, 2014

brilliant lesson, and so clearly explained and shown – well done and thanks very much!

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Will Kemp April 27, 2014

Thanks for your kind words Sandy, pleased you found the lesson easy to follow.
Will

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Shirley Griffin April 28, 2014

Hello Will,
Thanks for the very informative lesson. Always good to get your interesting lessons.
I have painted the apple, which I am reasonably happy with at this stage.
All the Best, Shirley.

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Will Kemp April 28, 2014

Good one Shirley, pleased you’re getting good results with the apple painting.
Cheers
Will

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Ariel April 28, 2014

Hi Will,

Thanks a lot for your generosity! I enjoy watching all your free demos and tips over and over, particularly about acrylic medium and portrait painting – they’re very informative and truly inspiring!

Best of luck and more power to you!

Cheers!
Ariel

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Will Kemp April 28, 2014

Thanks Ariel, so pleased you’ve been finding the tutorials inspiring and informative, kind of you to say so.
Cheers,
Will

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Joe April 28, 2014

Thanks Will,

I really enjoyed this lesson.

Joe

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Will Kemp April 28, 2014

Cheers Joe, pleased you liked it.
Will

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Tasnim April 28, 2014

Hi Will, I don’t have Burnt Sienna for the glaze, or Cad Red Light for the edge.. is there any way of mixing/creating these colours using something else?

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Will Kemp April 28, 2014

Hi Tasnim, any warm red will work for the side and a burnt umber with a touch of red and a touch of cadmium yellow mixed in for the burnt sienna.
Cheers,
Will

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Tasnim April 28, 2014

Sorry, I forgot to ask in my previous question..did you apply the yellow ochre background first and then a layer of the cad yellow light on top…or did you mix the two colours together on your palette and apply it as one coat?

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Will Kemp April 28, 2014

I had a yellow ochre first layer, then a layer of cadmium yellow mixed with yellow ochre.
Cheers,
Will

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Anthony April 29, 2014

Deae Will,
Sorry that this is the first time I have responded with many thanks for

Your wonderful tuition. It’s been very helpful as I have only just started to

Paint at 77 years of age. You appear so young to me, but with such great understanding

On how to impart your great artistic talent. That is is a talent in it self.

Thank you very much

Tony king

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Will Kemp April 29, 2014

Thanks Tony, nice to hear from you. 77 sounds like a perfect year to get started! hopefully you’re finding the tutorials shortening your learning curve.

Cheers,
Will

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Cynthia April 30, 2014

O this is just Fantastic. Thanks Will!

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Will Kemp April 30, 2014

Good one Cynthia, so pleased you enjoyed it.
Cheers,
Will

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Rosanna Mc Cafferty May 1, 2014

Hey Will, the video was very motivating and makes me see where I need focus and discipline. I have no training but plan to get where I want to be with painting. Your videos inspire me to keep going. Thank you :-) Rosanna.

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Will Kemp May 1, 2014

Great to hear the lessons are keeping you inspired Rosanna.
Cheers,
Will

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Johnny Standen May 2, 2014

Awesome..your video’s have shown me the way..thanks so much for sharing..

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Will Kemp May 4, 2014

Great to hear it Johnny, pleased they’ve been helping your painting progress.
Cheers,
Will

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Sarai May 9, 2014

I’d like to thank you for putting up this website and these vids, they’ve been helpful and inspiring. I’ve had sort of like a block or something lately and to see you working (and what’s more in acrylics with such classical techniques, which is precisely what I love) it’s been invigorating. Thanks again! :)

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Will Kemp May 9, 2014

Hi Sarai, thank you for your kind words on the website and the tutorial videos, so pleased you’ve been finding them inspiring and helping to break through those creative blocks! Really hope you enjoy the Apple study.

Cheers,
Will

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Audrey May 12, 2014

Dear Will,
So great to have this free class and video for instruction. I was very pleased with how the apple turned out for me. Inspiring again…..you have a gift for teaching art. Thanks, Audrey

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Will Kemp May 13, 2014

Thanks Audrey, so pleased your apple turned out really well!

Cheers,

Will

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Blake Thomas May 17, 2014

Hey Will,
Praise. like all that have said before me..great content. (but you know Vanessa has got to be helping you with some of the responses) . quick question, is there not a spot for us to submit our renderings? Not necessarily random paintings we’ve done but particularly lessons that we have followed and results there of. We could have like a close nit /friendly comp. between those who follow your teachings etc… etc. anyways might be fun! i recently finished the Apple light and shade study… might have give ya run for ya money..
Ima fan! cheers
blake

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Will Kemp May 24, 2014

Hi Blake,

Pleased you’ve been enjoying the lessons, you can see some previous student success’s with the Cherry painting here. Would love to see how your apple painting turned out.

Cheers,
Will

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Bernice Frederick May 21, 2014

Thank you for a very informative video of the apple. Acrylics have always frightened me because they dry so quickly. My question is, once the one color is dry and you want to blend in the color next to it to avoid a rigid line? Do you just use a damp brush! Pls help with this regard.
Thank you
Bernice Frederick

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Will Kemp May 21, 2014

Hi Bernice, with most standard acrylics, once the line is dry, its dry. You can’t blend the colour again.

There is a brand called Atelier Interactive, that are acrylics, but also have the ability to ‘re-open’ the paint for blending purposes.

Hope this helps,
Will

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Ed May 29, 2014

Thanks Will for the great tutorial! Love your teaching style & both the drawing and painting videos on light and shade have really helped me. Here’s how my attempt at the apple turned out. The colors aren’t as true as real life since this is an iPad picture with not so great lighting, but I’m pleased with it as it’s my first acrylic attempt. Cheers!

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Will Kemp May 29, 2014

Hi Ed,
Nice to hear from you, and so pleased you enjoyed the tutorial. The cast shadow is looking great and the colour mixes are also working well. The shadow side of the apple could go slightly darker (try to look for the form shadow core) which will help to ‘turn the form’ and give a more 3-D feel. Great work though, as your first acrylic painting its a real achievement.

Cheers,
Will

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Ed May 29, 2014

Thanks Will and I really appreciate the critical look. Question on that… can I use the glazing technique that you highlighted in the cherry painting tutorial to darken the shadow on this? Would that be the appropriate way to correct the shadow side of the apple? I did the painting last weekend so it’s completely dry. I assume that I can paint more acrylic over it and correct it but wanted to get your thought on that. I also noticed on your blog that you generally respond to all comments. That’s quite nice.
Cheers,
Ed

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Will Kemp May 30, 2014

Yes, that’s it Ed, just add a thin glaze over the top to darken down that side. You can paint over acrylics many, many times, infact that is really what happens in all paintings, you make your ‘best guess’ to start with and then redefine and refine as your eye becomes more in tune to the subject.
Cheers,
Will

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Jay S. May 29, 2014

Hi Will,

I’m building myself a small painting studio, not unlike yours, after years of practice as an architect in the US. My research into lighting led me to your site, and I’m curious about the dimensions of your new studio. How wide, tall, long, …sort of thing? It looks wonderful with those three large skylights and I’m sure you’re happy with it. Just out of curiosity, is there anything you might have done differently, or might alter? Storage and clean up facilities adequate? Hints?

Thank you for your advice/lesson on lighting. Very thorough and useful.

In a few weeks I’ll be taking lessons too.

-Jay S.

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Will Kemp June 1, 2014

Hi Jay,

Great to hear you’ve found the article helpful for your studio build (very exciting!)
The studio is 6m x 3.25m x 4.5m (height). In terms of things I would do differently, if there was more space on the plot I would have gone for a larger build as you always seem to need more storage than you think! The light has worked out really well, and the underfloor heating is fab!

Hope this helps give you an idea of the space.

Cheers,

Will

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Lynettte June 18, 2014

Hi Will
Thinking of switching from Oil to Acrylic and this very informative and helpful video encourages me.

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Will Kemp June 18, 2014

Great to hear it helped Lynette.
Cheers,
Will

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Pia Sondell June 27, 2014

Thank you!

You are also a very good teacher as well as a good painter!! I will come back and purchase some course from you!!

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Will Kemp June 30, 2014

Thanks Pia,

Cheers,
Will

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Kathleen Stoll June 30, 2014

Thank you so much for this course. Yes, finally I took a moment to review it and feeling inspired to start a painting. You are an excellent teacher and thank you for sharing your talents. Kathleen

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Will Kemp July 1, 2014

You’re welcome Kathleen, great to hear you’ve been inspired to start a painting.

Cheers,
Will

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Ella July 14, 2014

Hi will. Broadly speaking what changes would I need to make to the apple and cherry tutorials to try them in oils? Just longer drying times between layers ? And the whole fat over lean thing? Many thanks for yr generosity. Ella

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Will Kemp July 14, 2014

Hi Ella, I would apply the coloured ground with acrylics, then paint with oils ontop. You could work either alla prima and build up the tones in one session, or follow with the layers and wait for the layer underneath to dry.

Hope this helps,
Will

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Ed Hart July 14, 2014

I thought I read somewhere that you can’t paint oil over acrylic that over time the paint won’t stick. Is that true? Or maybe the other way around?

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Will Kemp July 16, 2014

Hi Ed, the other way round, oils over acrylics – yes, acrylics over oils – no.

You just have to make sure that the acrylic paint isn’t applied too thickly. If you have thick impasto acrylics then it is harder to get a good bond with the paint underneath, using acrylic as a ground colour for an oil painting can work very well.
Cheers,
Will

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Jen M July 20, 2014

Great series of videos! The only experience I’ve really had with acrylic painting before are those group classes where you drink wine and the instructor leads you through a painting step by step (those are very popular here in the US). They are much more simple and bold, less subtle and very little emphasis on mixing colors or adding shading.

So I figured I’d give your series a try, and it turned out much better than expected! I was missing a lot of colors you recommended (I didn’t have cadmium yellow, cadmium red, or ultramarine blue, and the only yellows/blues I had were fairly transparent), so I had trouble getting the colors just right.

Here’s my attempt: http://imgur.com/gca6VuN

Thanks!

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Will Kemp July 21, 2014

Hi Jen, pleased you enjoyed the series of videos on the apple painting. The handling of the cast shadow has worked well, and the positioning of the apple within the composition, you just need to watch for the differences in the tone between the lights and the darks. At the moment yours are quite close so the apple appears flatter rather than having that 3D feel. If you darkened down the shadow side slightly it would help with the illusion of form.

Cheers,
Will

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Dulce September 10, 2014

Hi Will. Great lesson on Light and Shadow. Could you explain where you let the acrylic paint dry and where you blended it still wet?

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Will Kemp September 18, 2014

Hi Dulce, it would be easiest to see in the video, but blending only ever happens when the paint is wet.
Cheers,
Will

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Pablo Morales September 13, 2014

Thank you for the tutorial. Here it is… my version and first acrylic painting

http://pamorale.deviantart.com/art/apple-study-482139232

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Will Kemp September 18, 2014

Great work Pablo, lovely colour mixing throughout the painting and you’ve really got that nice curve of the form by smoking in that glaze between the shadow and light. The cast shadow has been well judged, getting softer and lighter as it moves away from the light source and the whole piece has a nice balance to. As your first acrylic painting it is a real achievement, hope you’re proud of your work.

Cheers,
Will

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Antonia Hauck October 22, 2014

Hi Will,

Thanks so much for your feedback on my cherry painting yesterday. I’m trying to do a painting a day and was wondering if these photo references are your own or do you have a place/site that allow their pictures to be used? I don’t have a great camera to work with so was just wondering. Here is the apple I did last night.

http://instagram.com/p/ubtt9ARSIb/?modal=true

Thanks,

Toni

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Will Kemp October 23, 2014

Hi Toni, nice work on the apple, good paint handling and application of the tones, it really has a good sense of form and the way you’ve smoked out the cast shadow is spot-on. All of the still life reference images are from my own photographs. There are sites like http://www.photos4artists.co.uk that have royalty free images you can use for your paintings.
Hope this helps,

Cheers,
Will

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Aledra Hollenbach November 10, 2014

Will,
I did your painting of an apple and loved the instruction and result. I had to struggle with shading. I’m using Liquitex Professional heavy body paints.
When I had painted the dark part of the apple and applied a lighter shade for reflective light, the dark paint lifted off the canvas. I tried keeping the first layer more wet then tried letting it almost dry. Your demonstration allowed the dark paint and the subsequent blending work fine. Any thoughts?
I love your teaching. Thank you so much.

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Will Kemp November 12, 2014

Hi Aledra, so pleased you enjoyed the video, for the reflected light the paint underneath is dry and I’m just feathering the lighter colour ontop, just lightly blushing the paint over the surface.

Cheers,
Will

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