acrylics

Free Painting Workshop #2

Adult East Bay residents who have never taken a class or workshop with me are invited! No previous painting knowledge is necessary. Bring your own media or try mine, and have fun learning how to paint a still life. Enjoy a relaxed, nurturing atmosphere and meet other art lovers. Registration is limited to 15 adults. One spot per household, please. Friends need to register too. My studio is wheelchair accessible and I am Spanish bilingual.

FAQs
Are there ID, age or other requirements to register for the event?
The workshop is for people 18 or older, although I am open to accepting a parent accompanied by a teen 16 or older. It is open to East Bay residents who have not taken a class with me before.

What are my transportation/parking options for getting to and from the event?
There is street parking on Arlington Blvd. The closest BART station is El Cerrito Del Norte, but it is not within walking distance of my studio.

What can I bring into the workshop?
You can bring an apron and your own brushes, pastels, watercolors, acrylics or oils if you have them. But you don’t need to have materials because I can supply what you need.

Acrylic Glazing Demo

This 20 min demo is part of my Choosing and Mixing Color class. An expanded version of it is part of my Painting in Acrylics class.

Uses
Acrylic glazing, done by mixing smaller amounts of paint with pouring (liquid) polymer medium, is a great way for painters to control the opacity of their paint mixes. For painters mindful of color, glazes have additional uses. Glazes can be used to add temperature, intensity and contrast to parts of our painting, without the bulk of repeated layers of pigment. They can give a watercolor feel or can be used to create very subtle gradations between values. For beginners, glazes can be a way to “test” a mix.

Photo of an acrylic painting of a male face.

This example was created in less than 20 minutes.

How Glazes Work
Glazes are semi-transparent and as such rely on light reflected by the layers of paint underneath. So, when painting a glaze over a pre-existing layer, the top layer should not be completely opaque or it will block the light reflected by the bottom layer. The bottom and transparent top layer will combine and will create a third, more luminous hue than if you had mixed them on the palette. In this example, the gray underneath combines with the transparent orange to form a subtle green.

Grisaille as Underpainting
This is a technique that dates back to the times of illuminated manuscripts. Much of the oil painting done before the 19th century was begun with a grisaille. Painters created a monochromatic underpainting in shades of gray as the way to establish volume, and laid glazes on top of it for the hues. A modern example is Tamara de Lempicka’s figurative work.

You put down one color and it calls for an answer. You have to look at it like a melody. Romare Bearden

In this example, the facial structures were laid first with a grisaille, then an orange glaze was applied and reinforced with later glazes of dark orange for the mouth, nose and ears and brown for the darker parts of the face. No glaze was used for the background or the pupils, so that the chromatic Black that I mixed could have maximum opacity.

Building Volume With Glazes
Another way to gradually saturate or desaturate color, or lighten or darken a value is to start with a base color over the whole face or object. In this case, the base color was a rather saturated orange for the skin, laid flat over the whole face. Then I used a glaze of a pastel orange and medium over this to lighten certain areas of her face. I used a dark orange to partially darken other parts. And I used a pastel orange with more white for the highlights. I did not use a glaze to paint the black hair, for maximum opacity. Unlike in the first example, here we are progressing from light to dark. A modern example is the landscape work of Peter Wileman.

Acrylic Bag of Tricks

A female student tilts an acrylic wash she has applied with a spray bottle.

A student tilts an acrylic wash she has applied with a spray bottle.

Increase your expressive power and expand your painting repertoire. Enhance the work you already do! Painting experience helps, but is not required to enjoy this class that runs from Jan to March. How can such a friendly and versatile medium be so misunderstood? Acrylic is easy to use, incredibly versatile, and devoid of noxious fumes. The class runs from Jan to March and will be taught at the Richmond Art Center. Exact dates coming soon!

Goals

  • Learn which additives to use for what effects
  • Choose the best acrylic materials for the task at hand
  • Understand the possibilities and limitations of the medium
  • Use acrylics to mimic oils

Format
Learn a new acrylic “trick” every week through short and playful experiences designed to expand your knowledge of acrylic additives. You will be able to receive instruction and create something during every class.  Instead of lectures, we engage in a series of short exercises coupled with explanations of the acrylic technique we’ll be learning for each session.

During the first hour, the focus will be on exploring various acrylic pigment and additive qualities though a series of fun exercises so you can be aware of the medium’s possibilities. We will go through the steps in the development of an acrylic piece and you will be able to receive as much or as little support as you specify. Click here for a list of materials for the class.

Unlike other classes I teach, this class will be taught at the Richmond Art Center, located at 2540 Barrett Ave, in Richmond. Register early! Classes fill up fast. This outline will give you a sense of what we’ll cover:

Session 1 Jan 11
Introductions, purpose and goals for the class, survey of acrylic additives. Good acrylic colors. How to prime cardboard.

No class on January 18

Session 2 Jan 25
Textures 101: “Fresco,” crackelure, impasto. The palette knife.

Session 3 Feb 1
Glazing to build gorgeous color

Session 4 Feb 8
Texture transfers with gel plates

Session 5 Feb 15
Acrylic-based “inks”

Session 6 Feb 22
Additives to use in clean and “dirty” pours

Session 7 Mar 1
Direct and indirect image transfers: Choosing the best images and additives for the job.

Session 8 Mar 8
Applying direct and indirect images to a background.

Session 9 Mar 15
Time to finish projects and celebration

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