Acrylic flower painting techniques : Hens and Chicks

How to paint a flower in acrylic, layer by layer : Hens and Chicks

by Sandrine Pelissier on January 17, 2012

in Step by step demonstrations

painting a flower in acrylic with layers

Hens and Chicks

Acrylic on canvas

24 x 24 inches

 

 

 

 

Acrylic paint dries fast and is semi translucent, that makes it the perfect medium for layering techniques. See how you can use this technique on your own acrylic paintings.

Painting flowers with Acrylic using a layering technique

Here are some of the steps you can take to make this painting:

Acrylic flower painting techniques : Hens and Chicks

Starting with a flat colored underpainting has many advantages:

  • It will unify the colors of the painting by adding a bit of the same underpainting color everywhere
  • You don’t start with a scary blank canvas
  • Some of that underpainting color will show in places throughput the painting.

Red, orange and blue are commonly chosen colors for underpaintings.

Let this first layer dry completely.

Drawing an outline with a pencil crayon.

Then draw an outline of the flower you want to paint with a pencil, on top of the dried red acrylic.

free acrylic painting lesson : drawing on canvas, Then I redraw my outlines with a thin brush and white acrylic paint.

Then, once you are satisfied with your drawing, you can go over these outlines with a thin brush and white acrylic, so your drawing is more visible for the next steps.

free acrylic painting lesson : drawing on canvas, I start to paint with contrasting colors, here white on the darkest areas.

One of my favorite techniques to layer acrylic is to start painting opposite colors, for example the areas painted here in white are going to be the darkest areas in the final painting

Blue on orange areas, this will show later mostly on the edges.

Here I did paint blue where I was seeing orange on my reference picture.

learn to paint flowers with acrylic, Still painting with contrasting colors.

Keep adding contrasting colors until you painted over most of the canvas.

learn to paint flowers with acrylic, Here I add some reds where I see them on my reference picture.

When all the contrasting colors layers are dry, I start painting with the local colors as I see them on my reference picture. Here I did pant red where I was seeing red on my picture.

free acrylic painting lessons: painting flowers on canvas Then yellow and oranges. I took that picture last summer in my backyard.

In the same manner, I am painting yellow and orange where I see them.

free acrylic painting lessons: painting flowers on canvas Still adding layers.

Keep adding layers of the local color. Now the painting is too dark, time to add a bit of light.

glazing white acrylic and medium. Here I add some white, diluted in medium to bring back some light.

Apply a white glaze ( white acrylic mixed with medium) where you want the colors to be lighter.

glazing white acrylic and medium. adding more layers.

Keep adding layers until you are satisfied with the colors and the contrast in your painting.

The finished painting: Hens and Chicks, Acrylic on canvas

 

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

The Hook February 5, 2012 at 7:10 am

You have been truly blessed, my friend. To be able to create such beauty from the void within our souls is a true blessing.

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mississhippi February 1, 2012 at 10:42 pm

Thanks for sharing such a detailed demonstration of your work. I haven’t done a lot of acrylics so it is really helpful to see how others work.

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Dawna January 17, 2012 at 10:50 pm

That is super beautiful. So much detail and layering. Not many people realize what goes into making something so beautiful.

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Sandrine Pelissier January 18, 2012 at 11:44 am

Thanks Dawna !, see you at the studios :-)

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Anne Gudrun January 17, 2012 at 4:50 pm

Beautiful! Amazing transitions!

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Sandrine Pelissier January 18, 2012 at 11:44 am

Thanks Anne :-)

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Yevgenia Watts January 17, 2012 at 10:08 am

Beautiful! Love seeing your process.

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Sandrine Pelissier January 18, 2012 at 11:44 am

Thanks Yevgenia :-)

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Holly Herick January 17, 2012 at 9:11 am

You always amaze me!

Reply

Sandrine Pelissier January 18, 2012 at 11:43 am

Thanks Holly! You made my day :-)

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