Acrylics Painting Course Week 1

Denise showed us the colour mixing wheel today, we worked through each tertiary primary colour and created a paint mixing reference sheet. I found this very interesting as she talked about the history of the colours too and as someone who uses watercolours almost exclusively what more could I learn?! Well, a lot as it happens...


Denise Harrison teaching painting with acrylics


The easels came out and we started painting straight onto the paper, covering the white mass with a wash; cadmium yellow. For inspiration I chose to bring some prints of the photos I took from my visit to Great Dixter (you can see the previous blogpost here.) And then we outlined what we wanted to paint with a more concentrated tone of the same colour. I found this liberating and wildly out of my comfort zone.



My usual illustration work for Blank Inside uses watercolours and lots of clean, white space. I spend hours deliberating over brush strokes and I feel my illustrations are very controlled and detailed. I have felt for many years I would like to be bolder with colour and more free so I was immediately excited at the start of this journey. So I get rid of the white, the cadmium yellow so bold I'm a tad confused, and I find it a challenge to paint the layers in a 'logical' order. My usual way won't wash, when I'm painting with watercolours I start light then work up gradually, this has completely turned it on it's head. I'm left with a painting that is slightly frenetic in it's application, starting with a colour then realising I need to paint behind what I've just done!



Ever the critic I look at it and immediately think it's a load of shite. But after a tiny minute realise I'm learning a new language of painting, I meet myself not with criticism but with an excitement and an eagerness to practice. I can feel myself loosening up and I can't wait to join Denise again next week...


My first attempt at painting with acrylics
I am learning how to paint in acrylics with artist Denise Harrison. You can read more about her here.

Leave a comment