In Acrylic for beginners
I got so inspired by the beautiful colours Nathan Head uses in his photographs lately, I decided to make a another painting tutorial out of one of his works for you guys. Well, it’s inspired by his photo. I decided to add my own touch to it as well. We will be using his post captioned as PALETTE as a painting reference.
I have added the link to his Instagram page here. Feel free to go check it out, because I’m sure you’ll love it!
For this tutorial you will need:
- Paint: You can have a look here to see the paints I used
- A cloth
- A spray bottle: this is optional, but you can use this to spray your palette every now and then so the paint doesn’t dry on the palette
- A Palette
- A variety of brushes
- A canvas, you can use anyone you’d like, it doesn’t have to be a round one
- Start off with drawing your basic outline with yellow paint. I chose yellow paint to do this because there are a lot of yellow spots in the painting, and I knew that I would struggle to cover pencil marks with the yellow paint after doing my drawing. This is why it’s better to just go in with some yellow paint instead. You can then also add all your yellow and orange sections that you see in the reference.
I would suggest that you take some time to study the reference and really see where all the colours are before each step. I say this because while there are obvious yellow and orange spots, there are also some areas where it looks like there could be some orange underneath a colour. Have a look at the left hand side of the foreground in the reference image for instance. You can still see some orange, but it looks pink at the same time. So for areas like these, we need to paint them orange or yellow first and then once that’s dry, we can add a thin layer of pink on top so we see the two colours at the same time.
2. Next you can start adding the pink areas. Again, we are imagining what the colour underneath all the other colours would be.
Also remember that while we are painting the wave, we want to make sure that the brush strokes always goes in the same direction of the shape. This helps to describe the shape of the wave more and helps to make it dent in where its supposed to dent in and bulge out where its supposed to bulge out.
3. Now that we are pretty much done with the underpainting of the wave, we can add the background. I decided to do a night sky with stars and planets, but you can do anything you’d like. I’ll be showing you how I painted the night sky in this tutorial as well, in case you want to do the same.
I used a mixture of blue, black and white to paint the sky. I did this because using only black would make the sky appear too flat and harsh.
4. Once you’re done painting the sky, the underpainting should be dry. You can now add the teal colour. I used it straight out of the bottle, but if you’d like to mix it, make use of some blue, lime green and white.
You can have a look at your reference while you’re doing this, or just follow what im doing here if you’d like. The main goal is to just focus on what the shapes of the teal colours are on the reference. All you do then is to just copy it onto your painting. If you want to make this a bit easier, you can print the reference image out and outline them with a pen first. I usually do this when I get stuck with a painting.
5. Next you can add some purple. This will mainly be on the inside of the wave around the blue areas.
6. Next you can add some green tones as well. And remember, we are not really concerned with blending the paint at all. We are mainly only trying to copy the shapes of the colours we see. If you don’t do it exactly the same, it will still look nice. But try as much as you can to copy the shapes exactly
7. Now you can start adding the foam. For this I used a brush with very hard bristles. I did this so that I can create some texture. Dont go in with stark white just yet, you first need to paint the darker foam. This will basically serve as the shadows of the foam. We will add the white foam later, once this has dried.
8. Next you can add the stars, To do this, make thee dots at a time. No more, because otherwise it will dry before you can blend it out. Then blend out the edges all around to make it look like the stars are glowing. You can do different sizes to make it look a bit more interesting.
Some stars here and there you can start off by making a coloured dot and blending it out. Then you can add a white dot on top and draw a cross from the dot. These stars will look like they’re closer to the viewer so it will help to create depth in the painting. Even though we’re not going for a super realistic painting here, some degree of depth is still nice.
9. Next you can start adding your foam on the wave. The important factor here again is the shapes of the foam. This is so important because your wave wont make sense if you don’t paint the foam in the same direction as the wave. So when you paint it, imagine how the wave is bending inward on the right hand side and outward on the left hand side.
10. Now once you have the basic shapes of all the foam on the wave, you can go back in with some stark white and add that on some areas on the foam. You can use another brush with hard bristles if you want to add some texture. Another way you can add texture on the foam is to just use a dry brush. This just means that you only add a little bit of paint on your brush and you don’t add any more water, so your brush stroke will basically look like you’ve run out of paint.
11. Next in order to make sure that the wave actually looks like it dents in and makes a curve, add some dark blue areas at the bottom of the wave.
12. Now you can go back and add some planets! First make basic circles to decide where you’d like to pace them.
13. Then you can add the light and shadow areas. Remember that all planets need to have shadow areas on the same sides and the same goes for the light areas. I decided to have my shadows on the left hand side and my light spots on the right hand side.
And that’s pretty much it for this painting! I hope you enjoyed following this tutorial as much as I did creating it! Please remember to subscribe to my You Tube channel so you don’t miss the next video. You can also follow me on instagram with the handle @jetheadedgypsy for updates on painting tutorials and my own paintings.