How To Paint Expressive Still Life Art With Acrylics

Tips on how to paint expressive still life with acrylics

Enjoy tips on how to paint expressive still life art with acrylics. As you will see in the video tutorial there's a lot of skill involved in painting loose. So never underestimate how challenging expressive painting can be. Because it's not!

So many naive artists, and so called art critics, believe painting loose is sloppy and any three year old can do it. But that's rubbish and could't be any further from the truth.

Respect the style and know that you will need to invest a lot of time into learning the basic fundamentals, years of practice and a lot of guidance, or teaching, along the way. There are no shortcuts even for the naturally gifted :)

Here is a list of important steps and techniques used in this painting.

  • The abstract beginning is created with leftover paint that was smeared on an 11x14" piece of Bristol paper.
  • A fan brush is used to apply the first layer of paint.
  • Because I have invested time in the design process I can work quickly and fluidly without including a layout drawing.
  • Refining colors at this stage is pointless. I tend to avoid choosing colors that I want in the finish stage.
  • By opting for imperfect colors it will allow me to add additional layers which has a more dynamic look.
  • Because the background hue will eventually be a dark blue I've chosen a warm ochre as a base. This will help pop the blue once it's added later on.
  • Be sure to allow the first layer to completely dry before moving into the second layer. This will help you avoid muddy colors plus it's advantageous for creating depth in the art.
  • Manage your palette along the way! If it gets too crowded, or you run out of mixing room simply wipe it off, or better yet, smear it on a blank canvas/paper. That's exactly how I achieved the beginning of this painting.
  • If you do this often you have an open and clean palette with fresh colors.
  • Brush management will help you avoid muddy art as well. Clean regularly and especially when you switch hues.
  • If an area of color becomes flat try adding subtle hue shifts. You can consider making it lighter, darker, more saturated etc.
  • Avoid pure and intense colors at this stage. Save them for the finishing touches.
  • Remember the deign! Are you including a good variety of shapes and you go?
  • As the painting progresses you can begin to define hard edges and add more saturated hues.
  • Be sure to leave some of the first layer visible as you go. Avoid covering the entire previous layer. Leave bits and pieces so that the painting has a layered look.
  • Balance hard and soft/lost edges as you go. Avoid defining every single edge. But remember you need some definition, too. The key is to make objects believable and more visually appealing so the viewer sees the literal object but leaves some room for the imagination as well.
  • The final stage is typically used to adjust colors and shapes. It's easy to overpaint so try to be stingy with your strokes and only address what's absolutely needed!

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How To Paint Expressive Still Life Art With Acrylics