French Café Scene with Acrylics Tutorial – Free video Course Part 1 & 2 of 5

Acrylic street scene demo

Bonjour Classe!

This week we’re off to France!

This tutorial takes us through a simple cafe scene, where we follow through the underlying structure of a painting.

We look at an easy way to check your perspective, the importance of ‘negative spaces’ when composing your image and how to mix the perfect consistency of paint…

Continue Reading French Café Scene with Acrylics Tutorial – Free video Course Part 1 & 2 of 5

Art Studio Lighting Design (how to avoid being kept in the dark)

cezanne artist studio

Natural light in Cezanne’s artist studio

Have you ever been half-way through a painting and suddenly the art studio light changes?

You carry on painting, hoping for a break in the weather, trying to remember the colour you’ve just mixed, and then the lighting changes.. again.

You think it won’t matter, it’s not that important, but the way you light your art studio can be one of the most cost effective ways of improving your painting and your colour mixing without buying another tube of paint.

One of the easiest methods of designing better lighting, is to simply change your light bulb.

But not all studio lamps are created equal.

From a £5 hardware store fluorescent tube to a £1,500 bespoke solution, the choices you make affect your ability to match colours accurately, judge skin tones effectively, and even feel a little happier by the quality of light you paint within.

With different options available you can have studio lighting the Old Masters would have been proud of…. without turning to shots of Absinthe.

Emergency chocolate biscuits needed

Trying to understand all the considerations when choosing my own studio lighting nearly led me to a lighting melt down! But bear in mind, I’m trying to design a bespoke studio where I’ll be painting 12 hours a day some days, through gloomy British weather and many a midnight painting session. So I need a space that has both natural light and the best quality artificial light.

There are so many variables and it’s such a specialist request that many Electrician’s will roll their eyes at you. With this tricky subject in mind, I have tried to created a summary of what you really need to know, and it can get a bit technical in places.

Do I really need to know this? I hear you cry!

Maybe, maybe not.

It depends on how much painting you do and your current lighting situation…

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Acrylic Palette Knife Painting Techniques – Free Video Course Part 4 of 4

personal style in painting

Bringing Personality to your Painting

In the final stages of any painting, it’s a case of viewing your piece as a whole and adjusting details or adding more saturated colour to create a harmony and balance.

You’ll be painting more instinctively, rather than methodically and putting a stamp of your own personal style within it.

Students often ask, ‘How do I develop my own style?’

And the answer is quite simple.

You already have it – even though you might not think it…

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Acrylic Palette Knife Painting Techniques – Free Video Course Part 3 of 4

paletteknifepaintingpart3

A step-by-step Palette Knife Acrylic Painting – Video Course Part 3

In this painterly, impressionistic palette knife study, I am posting a weekly video on my YouTube channel so that you can follow along at home.

It’s free to subscribe to the blog to receive updates so you can keep up with the painting progress.

Developing a Painterly Approach

When painting with a palette knife, one of the most valuable techniques you can apply is to loosen up and try and see shapes, rather than details.

If you’re coming to painting from drawing, comparing the control you can achieve with a sharp pencil with the ‘clumsiness’ of a palette knife, can be become your Achilles heel…

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Acrylic Palette Knife Painting Techniques – Free Video Course Part 2 of 4

impastopaletteknifeacrylicpainting

A step-by-step Palette Knife Acrylic Painting – Video Course Part 2

In this painterly, impressionistic palette knife study, I am posting a weekly video on my YouTube channel so that you can follow along at home.

It’s free to subscribe to the blog to receive updates so you can keep up with the painting progress.

The reference photograph and full material list can be found on Part 1 here.

The photo can be ‘right clicked’ and ‘Save image as’, so you can use it as a reference, print it out and follow along with the video below…

Continue Reading Acrylic Palette Knife Painting Techniques – Free Video Course Part 2 of 4

Acrylic Palette Knife Painting Techniques – Free Video Course Part 1 of 4

acrylic palette knife techniques

Palette knives are seen as a sign of confidence in a painter, you can wield them with gusto, paint impasto, and when no-ones looking you feel like Van Gogh or maybe Bob Ross!

They can have a reputation of being good for certain ‘effects’ or ‘tricks’, for example, painting a snow-capped mountain (and it’s true – they are!).

But often they are left in your paint box and you’re not sure where else they fit into your paint practice.

The humble palette knife is used to mix nearly all the paint for my paintings, from getting paints out of tubs, mixing tints and shades on the palette, to scraping off any mistakes.

I often favour a medium size, diamond shaped blade with a cranked handle – RGM 45 is my favourite tipple (sometimes referred to as a painting knife due to the angle of the cranked handle – see picture below)

It’s a good size for most mixes and I also paint with it, helping to keep my tools down to a minimum.

I’m overly attached to mine but what can a good painting knife do for you?…

Continue Reading Acrylic Palette Knife Painting Techniques – Free Video Course Part 1 of 4

New! Acrylic ‘Simple Colour Mixing’ Course

How to transform your colour mixing in a weekend

With so many different colours available, when starting colour mixing, where do you begin?

You find yourself standing in an art store with rows and rows of paints in front of you, scanning up and down the aisles trying to take it all it.

Exotic names and vivid colours vie for your attention, from a Potters pink to a Green gold, and other names you just can’t seem to even pronounce!

How do you even say Anthraquinone blue? (answers on a postcard please!)

Most modern manufacturers have over 100 different colours to choose from, from mineral inorganic colours to man-made organic colours – the choice is immense…

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Glossary for Oil Painting Terms – The Essential Guide for Beginners

Sarumstudiosightsize

I was standing at the front of a queue in a packed art shop in London.

There were 15+ people crammed in behind me and I felt more embarrassed than I could remember.

I had been a researching new art materials and product releases, I’d spotted something new out and I was convinced the store stocked it.

After waiting for what seemed like days, I was at the end of the queue and overconfidently asked: “Umm…do you stock alkalid paint?”

It seemed like the shop suddenly fell silent…

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A Thanksgiving Thanks!

wooden oil palette

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’ve been reflecting on all the positivity and creativity that has come through the Art School blog.

So I’d like to thank you all for your support & encouragement this year. The most rewarding thing for me is seeing students progress in their drawing and painting where they’d previously been struggling.

I’ve also broken through the 500,000 views on YouTube, Woohoo! so thanks for watching and more videos will be coming soon.

I’ve been working hard on the ‘Simple Guide to Colour Mixing Course‘ which should be launched in the next couple of weeks.

In pumpkin pie envy, me and Vanessa are off to the Pudding Club Extravaganza in our local Town Hall – think 50 puddings and 2 fast spoons!

Have a great weekend,

Will

 

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How do you Approach Lighting a Portrait Painting?

artist&illustratorsportrait

This week I’ve been featured in the U.K’s best selling artist magazine, ‘Artist & Illustrators‘.

The article was on understanding ‘How light sources can add impact to your portraits’.

It looked at three professional portrait painters and how they approach portrait lighting set ups of their subjects.

Below is the conversation I had with Martha Alexander from the magazine…

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Glossary of Acrylic Painting Terms – The Ultimate Guide for Beginners.

acrylic painting terms glossary

Ever come across a painting tutorial and been stumped by new terms and phrases?

What is an Interference colour? Or a Tar Gel?

Inspired by one of the art school’s readers (cheers Carl!) I’ve compiled a guide to the most commonly used terms in acrylic painting.

Glossaries for oil painting, colour mixing, styles and movements are coming soon (sign up for free email updates so you don’t miss out)

Lets get going!..

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Golden Heavy Body vs Open Acrylics Paints Review, Which is Best?

openacrylicreview

Imagine the scene.

You’re halfway through your painting, it’s going really well.

This could be your breakthrough piece, a personal Mona Lisa.

A quick look on your palette and you spot the perfect mix to finish the piece, you dip the brush in with vigour, and guess what?

Its dried on the palette.

You then try to mix more of that exact colour,

2 minutes goes by, then 5 minutes, when we hit 10 minutes and review our mixes, the initial colour has become a distant memory.

Emergency tea break with chocolate is needed.

So what’s a painter to do?..

Continue Reading Golden Heavy Body vs Open Acrylics Paints Review, Which is Best?

How to Paint like Monet: Acrylic Landscape Painting Lesson – Part 4 of 4 (Video)

finishing touches

A step-by-step Impressionist Acrylic Painting – The Final Part 4

In this Impressionistic landscape series, I am posting a weekly video on my YouTube channel that you can follow along at home.

It’s free to subscribe to the blog to receive updates so you can keep up with the acrylic painting progress…

Continue Reading How to Paint like Monet: Acrylic Landscape Painting Lesson – Part 4 of 4 (Video)

How to Paint like Monet: Acrylic Landscape Painting Lesson – Part 3 of 4 (Video)

monet acrylic tutorial

A step-by-step Impressionist Acrylic Painting – Part 3

In this Impressionistic landscape series, I am posting a weekly video on my YouTube channel that you can follow along at home.

It’s free to subscribe to the blog to receive updates so you can keep up with the acrylic painting progress…

Continue Reading How to Paint like Monet: Acrylic Landscape Painting Lesson – Part 3 of 4 (Video)