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How to paint a colourful ocean wave

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
  • Water
  • 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
  1. 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.

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How to paint water drops in acrylic

For beginners

I’ve decided to use a yellow background for this painting, because I mainly want to show you the concept of painting a water drop, so that you can translate the idea to any water drop you paint, and not just a water drop on a leaf.

Plus yellow is super fun! So why not?

Materials you’ll need:

  • Acrylic paint – I used yellow, orange, white, red and green.
  • paint brushes – A small and a medium brush will do
  • Palette
  • Water
  • Cloth to wipe your brush with
  • Canvas
  • Reference image
  1. Start off by painting the background. I used yellow and orange for this so that I could create some streaks to mimic the veins on a leaf.

2. While the paint is still wet, start by drawing a circle with orange. Also draw the shadows next to the water drop with orange. These will serve as the medium tones in your water drop. Have a look at your reference image to see what the shape of the shadow inside and around the water drop looks like.

I found it way easier to blend while the paint was still wet, however, its not a train smash if it dries. You can still blend it out and make it look pretty. But, if you want to ensure that the paint is still wet when you do this step, make sure you apply a liberal amount of paint to the background.

3. Next you can add some white to the opposite side of the water drop. Since the paint is still wet, it will turn into a very light yellow. So at this stage we are starting to add the lighter tones.

4. You can also add a light spot on the dark side of the water drop. Again, have a look at your reference to see what the shape of this light spot is. Also make sure that you blend the edges of the light spot so that it’s nice and soft and transitions smoothly into the dark area.

5. We still need to add some final touches to the water drop, but it has to be dry in order for us to do so. In the meantime, you can paint a couple more water drops if you’d like, while we wait for the paint to dry.

6. Once you’ve completed all the above steps with the other water drops, you can then go back to the very first drop you painted. We are now going to add more white paint in the light are. Make sure that the light spot starts on the very edge of the water drop and fades into the rest of the drop. You also want to make sure that you still keep some of that nice light yellow you painted earlier, so don’t cover the entire light area with white. Instead, blend it into the direction of the dark side of the drop. Blend all edges so that it forms a gradient into the light yellow.

You can also do the same with the small light spot on the opposite side of the drop. Add the stark white in the center of the light spot and blend it outward, while still keeping some of the light yellow/orange.

7. You can repeat the process with the other water drops as well.

8. As a final touch you can add the darkest area to add some contrast. The darkest areas will be on the shadow area closest to the water drop and on the edge of the darkest part of the water drop. I mixed some green and red to create brown (you can also just use burnt umber or sienna out of the tube if you’d like) and I added some yellow to it.

I would love to see how your water drops turnt out! Please remember to tag me on instagram so I can see them!

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How to paint a colorful sunrise and seascape

In Acrylic for beginners

I got so inspired by the beautiful colours Nathan Head uses in his photographs, I decided to make a painting tutorial out of one of his works for you guys. We will be using his Magic Moon 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: Teal, blues, purples, white and yellow and pink.
  • A Palette
  • Paint brushes: I always prefer flat brushes for applying the paint. And then a medium soft brush for blending.
  • A cloth: You need this to clean your blending brush in between while you are blending.
  • Water
  • Canvas – Any size you’d like. I used a 30×30 CM

I started off by painting my entire canvas a pastel pink. The reason why I did this was so that the general feel of the painting would be warm. In order to achieve this, you can use any warm color you prefer, just as long as it’s not too dark.

Another reason why this is helpful, especially for beginner painters, is that it takes away that fear of the blank canvas, and the fear of making a mistake.

If you’d also like to prime your canvas, make sure that you set it aside to dry before you start with the next step.

Start off by drawing your horizon line with yellow. When drawing your horizon line, make sure that you don’t put it right in the center of the canvas, because this makes the painting very static. You want to put it slightly off center. If you were to put the horizon line a little higher in this painting, there would be more sea visible and the focus would, therefore, be on the sea. And the reverse is also true with the sky. I decided to focus a bit more on the sky.

Start by adding your first two colours in the sky. Add quite a bit of paint for each colour, so that the paint doesn’t dry too fast. I decided to use two separate brushes to apply the paint for this step in order to have more time to blend the colours before the paint dries.

There are also plenty of mediums available that you can mix with acrylic paint to let them dry a little slower. You can make use of this if you’d like.

You can then use a third brush to blend the two colours together. I find that the fluffier the brush, the better. If you’d like to see the exact steps on making a smooth gradient, have a look at my you tube video: How to paint a Gradient.

I usually recommend that you use a dry brush for this, because as soon as you wet your brush and try to blend, it can become patchy very easily.

You can then repeat the process by adding the third and fourth colour. If you find that some of your paint is drying already, just add some more paint and continue blending.

Next we can get started with the sea. If at this point you are not completely happy with your sky and there are still places which you feel are a bit too blotchy, don’t worry about it too much. Instead of trying to fix it now, rather let it dry and add a second layer in the areas you want to change later.

Add the spots where the moon is reflecting on the sea.

Next you can add the base of the water. In order to do this, have a look at two or three medium tones you see in the water and add them. For this I used teal, blue and purple. You can also add some greens in there if you’d like.

I don’t know about you, but once this step is done, I’m usually pretty relieved because I feel like I took a big step forward in my painting. This step is very helpful, since you now have all the medium tones down, you can easily distinguish the darker and lightest tones. You’ll be able to tell when your dark tones are a bit too dark and when your light tones are a bit too light by using your medium tone as a reference.

Next you can get started with the darkest tones. For this step I used ultramarine blue and dark purple. Since this sea is painted in an impressionistic way, you don’t have to worry too much about blending the sea. I decided to paint this in a different technique since I felt that it contrasts nicely with the smoothly blended sky.

It also introduces you to two different painting styles at once.

Next you can go back and brighten up the medium tones. You can use the same medium tones you used earlier.

You can then go back with some light tones. These will be all the colours you used mixed with a lot of white. You can add this in the lightest areas you see. I added a very light yellow in the middle of the yellow spots in the water.

Also remember that in order to create the illusion of depth in your painting, you want to make sure that the farthest part of the sea is lighter and less bright than the front. This is called aerial perspective and it really helps to give that feeling of where you can actually walk into the painting.

While you add the light spots, you can also add your moon once you are sure that your sky is dry. Start off by using a light yellow to draw a circle.

You can then add the details on the moon with a darker colour yellow. If you deel like your sky needs a bit more colour, you can add it now.

In case you find that your first layer is coming off easily, which often happens with entry level quality paint, just leave it to dry for a full day and continue the next day. This will ensure that the paint thats already on the canvas has enough time to dry properly and bond to the canvas.

Thanks for following this tutorial! I hope you enjoyed it and I would love to see your work! Please feel free to tag me on instagram with the handle @jetheadedgypsy.

If you liked this tutorial and you would like to be the first to receive my next tutorial, sign up to my newsletter! Subscribing will also give you the opportunity to have free personalized one-on-one art mentoring.

I am looking forward to seeing your work!

Talk to you soon,

Jet Headed Gypsy

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How to paint baby Yoda

Since you’re here I assume that you have seen the mandalorian and are just as in love with baby Yoda as I am.  He’s so cute i just want to smoosh his face and give him some soup in his tiny cup! So today im going to show you how to paint this cute little thing and if you follow this tutorial, remember to tag me on instagram with your painting, because I want to see your paintings!  If you need a bit of extra help with this painting, you can also check out the painting timelapse which I have made on this painting. I also talk about the same steps there.  

To start off with, I made a quick sketch in pencil.  

I then mixed about three different shades of green to block out the dark, light and medium tones on his face.  For this I used sap green, white and burnt umber, but this turned out to be a little too green, so I added just a bit of coeruleam blue to the green paint, which made it a bit more accurate.  When I start out with a painting, my main goal is to just block out all the basic tones, because this makes it way easier for me later on when I go into more detail.

So from here I moved on to the ears and the eyes.  You’ll see here that the eyes don’t really have much life in them at this point.  This is because I have not painted all the reflections in his eyes yet. Because his eyes  are so big, so it is super important to really zoom in on your reference and include all the different shapes that the light is creating.  I find that in order to do this as accurately as possible, don’t see it as an eye, rather try to just focus on the shapes and the colour of the shapes when you’re painting, because very often we think we know what something looks like, but we actually don’t. So that’s why it’s important to just trust your reference! For the ears, i just started off with some yellow, burnt umber and sap green.   The ear on the right hand side is a bit darker, since the light is coming from the opposite side of the painting.

I then continued with his clothes and the background, using the same combination of colours.  Again I just focused on adding light, medium and dark tones. It’s totally up to you on how you want to start this process.  I personally prefer adding the darker tones first and from there on working with the lighter colours, but a lot of artists also like starting with the lighter tones and then gradually add the shadows.  So it is best to find what works for you. I also don’t always follow this, sometimes I also work with the dark and medium tones at the same time. It all just depends on what I feel like doing that day.  

You’ll notice that I am not really making his hands super detailed.  This is because the focus is on his face. And in blurring whatever is around his face, you make the focal point a bit more prominent.

Once I have covered the first layer, I went back to the face to add some details and to readjust the face a little bit.  The mouth was especially bothering me at this point. But ok, this was just the beginning phase and usually you get to a point where you hate the way your painting looks.  And that’s totally okay! I find that it’s a bit of a dance, you go back and forth, but as long as you enjoy the process and don’t give up on your artwork, and just sit and do the work, it will end up really good!  

So again I added some more green shades.  In some areas I added shades that were more blue than in other areas. 

With they eyes I started by painting all the lighter areas white, and then I painted a thin layer of lighter colours over them.  For this I used some yellow ocre, burnt umber, black for the pupils and green, because the eye reflects a little bit of the green surrounding it. I then went back with some stark white and added it in the lightest areas.  

And then of course you also want to make sure that you add those lighter shading around the eyes to make them stand out a bit more. From here on out I focused on getting the colour more accurate and on adding some more details, like the little wrinkles on the top of his head. 

For baby Yoda, the eyelids are super important, because that is one of the things that make him look so baby like.  It is important to make the eyelids arch quite high.  

Next i’m working on the light and dark tones of his robe.  For the top part, I’m using a stipple effect, instead of making brush strokes, I dot the paint on to create some texture on the fabric.  For this is use different shades of burnt umber mixed with white.

Once I’m done with the coat, I brightened the ears up a bit, especially the one on the left, where there is more light.  I also darkened the right ear for some more contract.

And then for the background, I decided to just leave it blurred.  I found that it’s better to make it rather dark, so that the figure stands out more. Also remember to add his little hairs on his head once you have completed the background.  It’s easier to do it this way, so you don’t have to paint in between the hair to cover the background. 

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Easy abstract landscape painting demo| For beginners | 2019

In this easy abstract landscape painting demo, I am showing you three different techniques which you can incorporate into your abstract paintings! This is an easy canvas painting that any beginner can use as painting inspiration to create their own abstract paintings!

As I explained in the video, I am planning on creating tutorials in this way for you guys from now on, seeing that I will be making a lot more of my own art! I would love to hear your feedback on this!

So lemme know what you think! This abstract painting to me resembles an arial landscape and it is one of the many more painting demos to come! I hope you like it ?


  • canvas acrylic
  • paint paint
  • brushes
  • old rag
  • spray paint
  • dish soap
  • surgical spirits
  • isopropyl alcohol

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How to make a textured abstract painting | For beginners

How to make a textured abstract painting | For beginners

I am so excited to share this technique with you! I was just playing around trying to come up with new things to incorporate into my abstract paintings and I thought you might enjoy this! ?

Tag me on instagram or facebook with your painting, because I would love to see how you incorporate this technique into your work/ your very own texture abstract painting! ???

I know you can also make use of gesso to create something like this and there are many other techniques you can use. If you have any alternative recommendations, please comment here so that the entire Gypsy community benefit from it ? We would very much appreciate it!

PS. In this textured abstract painting tutorial I show you what I did on an acrylic sheet with this technique as well. If you would like to create the same on an acrylic sheet, make sure you sand the sheet so its nice and rough, otherwise the materials will chip off. Although I would recommend that you rather just use a board for this instead of acrylic. I just had an acrylic sheet lying around and thats why I’ve decided to use it… But as I’m writing this is I am realizing I could’ve totally used that for something else, like using glass paint on it and then framing it to hang in front of a window! ? Comment below if you’d like to see a tutorial like that ?

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Materials used in How to make a textured abstract painting | For beginners

  • Plaster of paris (reccomended) but I used pollyfiller
  • Board or an ikea frame
  • Pallette knife
  • Spray paint
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How to paint a sugar skull | Acrylic painting tutorial | for Beginners

How to paint a sugar skull | Acrylic painting tutorial | for Beginners

Halloween special | How to paint a sugar skull | Acrylic painting tutorial | for Beginners

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Materials used in How to paint a sugar skull | Acrylic painting tutorial | for Beginners

  • Canvas 
  • Paint brushes
  • Acrylic paint set
  • Water 
  • Old cloth for wiping brushes
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How to paint an expressionistic still life| Inspired by David Schab| For beginners

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Paint like a pop artist | Roy Lichtenstein | Acrylic painting tutorial

For beginners

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Abstract Landscape Acrylic Painting Tutorial

For beginners| Easy

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