Peering through leaves

Visualize a shimmering landscape as background with bright, sharp and crisp objects, in the foreground. Visualize the colours, visualize the mood, then mix your colours accordingly. In this demonstration of a fun technique I am opting for white, yellow, a soft purple, a bit of pink, and some grey – all acrylic. In the foreground I am seeing leaves in bright winter plum – it is winter now, I am surrounded by these colours at the moment. So I am mixing a bit of pink, plum, grey and of course, a lot of white. I always need a lot of white.

This is how our background emerged


It somehow created itself!

Looks easy, does it not?

Start by mixing your paint 

Using acrylic and oil. Acrylic for the background, oil for the detail.

U can use oil on a thin layer of acryclic, yes. Keep the layer thin though, a thick layer may crack over time. Of course, you will have to wait for the acrylic to dry before slapping on any oil!

To create the background I will use a piece of carton to drag the paint over the canvas. Drag the carton at an angle of 45 degrees for a soft smudge. Dragging it upright will scrape your paint right off the canvas which is okay if that is what you want!

Scoop the desired colour onto the carton, then softly, smoohtly drag it over the canvas. You can, by holding the carton upright, create sharper lines. Experiment a little…

The result of this technique is often suprising!

To help you visualize the leaves, u can either use templates to trace or simply make a few drawings. In this demonstration I used templates made from paper cuttings. Once traced, remove the templates.

All hands on deck removing the templates!

Once dry, you can add your detailed foreground.

I love using a wider brush. I find it easier to tilt it this way or that. Which way depends entirely on the colour I added to whichever end of the brush.

Of course, practise makes perfect!

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