Acrylic Still Life Painting Step by Step

About the Artist

I’m Will Kemp, I’m an award-winning professional artist and teacher.

Prior to painting full time I’ve worked in Museums, taught in schools, set up and ran my own gallery for 5 years and have taught hundreds of people to paint and draw.

I’ve studied Classical atelier techniques in Italy alongside conceptual art at the Tate Gallery, London.

I’ve painted in watercolours, acrylics and oils and my styles have ranged from abstract; impressionistic to realistic portraiture in order to realise my own personal style.

I’ll teach you to become selective with composition, demystify colour mixing, achieve perfect perspective, and see the benefits of dramatic use of contra
st.

I’m looking forward to you joining me on your creative journey of discovery

I really hope you enjoy this free video from Will.  Will has more great lessons and resources on his website. I highly recommend that you visit today.

Here is the link:

www.willkempartschool.com

Be sure to check out his Art Courses as well.  These can be accessed from the navigation menu on top of his site.  From there, for a very reasonable fee, you can get instant access to some of his more in depth courses.  Money well spent!


Acrylic Still Life Painting Demo

Learn how to paint a still life using acrylic paints with this free step by step demonstration by Artist Will Kemp.  Will is using a limited palette of only 3 colors for this lesson.  Those colors are: Titanium White, Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine Blue.   Using these three paints, you will learn about warm and cool colors and how to balance those color temperatures within a painting.  This is a wonderful tutorial perfect for beginners who are just starting out in acrylic painting.

Materials you will need:

  • 30 cm x 24 cm pre-primed canvas but any canvas close to this will do the job.
  • Size 6 Isabey Isacryl acrylic brush – filbert
  • Size 10 Raphael synthetic (8204) – round – (any medium round will be fine)

Paints
All paints are Golden Heavy Body Acrylics

  • Artist quality titanium white. – Invest in this white even if you use student quality paint for the rest of the colours.
  • Burnt sienna
  • Ultramarine blue
  • Acrylic Glazing Liquid (Gloss) Golden Paints
  • 3B pencil
  • Kitchen roll (Paper Towels)
  • Jam jar for cleaning brushes
  • Small dipper for diluting paint

Follow this link to download the reference image for this painting.

Part 1

The first step is to tone the canvas.  Will uses a neutral color for this made up of Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Sienna and Titanium White.  You can also use Burnt Umber and White or Raw Umber and White.  Don’t apply this first layer too thickly.  You want just enough paint to cover the white of the canvas underneath.

Will has prepared a separate video on how he tones a canvas that you can watch here  if you need additional assistance.

Using a 3B pencil, Will composes a simple line drawing onto the canvas.

Will then lays out his paints.  Again he is using a limited palette of Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Sienna and White.  The Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine Blue work really well together as they are complimentary colors (The Burnt Sienna is actually  a dark orange).  Mixing these two colors together will give us some really nice grays and darks. These two colors will also give you experience working with warm and cool colors as the Burnt Sienna is warm and the Ultramarine Blue is cool.

Will then mixes up a nice dark from the Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine Blue.  This will be the darkest dark in the image.   Will then studies the photograph and applies this dark color where he sees it.

He then mixes up a very light color to contrast with the darks he just applied.  This is just some white with a touch of the dark color he mixed up in the previous step along with a touch of blue.  The touch of blue is added because the light hitting this area is cool.

Part 2

Now Will paints in the background.  He mixes up a blue for the background using Ultramarine Blue with a touch of Burnt Sienna to dull it down and a bit of whiten to lighten it.  He dips his brush into water every now and then to make the paint more fluid.

He adds some more of his darkest dark to emphasize some of the shadows on the jug.

Then, he mixes up another dark color that is a bit lighter than his first dark mixture. He uses this color to paint in the shadows on the table.

Now he will paint in the table top.  For this, he grabs a small amount of Burnt Sienna and lightens it up with a bit of white.  This color is far too warm, so he cools it down a bit with some of the Ultramarine Blue. He continues to adjust the mixture until he comes up with a nice neutral color that he is happy with.  As he paints in the table top, he is continuously adding different colors to this mixture to give the tabletop some variety and interest.

The video doesn’t show it, but Will is dipping his brush into water from time to time to keep his paint fluid.

Part 3

In part 3 of this acrylic still life painting lesson, Will focuses on the jug.  He begins by painting in the reflective light on the left side of the jug.

Now comes the exciting part where this painting really comes to life.  Will will now add warmth to the jug using pure Burnt Sienna with a bit of water.  Because the Burnt Sienna is translucent, you will notice some of the darks show through as he paints over them.  He also adds some of the lighter sections of the jug with some Burnt Sienna and White…

Watch the rest of the video to see how he finishes the painting.


I hope you enjoyed this free lesson from Will.  Will has more great lessons and resources on his website.. I highly recommend that you visit today.

Here is the link:

www.willkempartschool.com

Be sure to check out his Art Courses as well.  These can be accessed from the navigation menu on top of his site.  From there, for a very reasonable fee, you can get instant access to some of his more in depth courses.  Money well spent!

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