Peony exuberance Mixed media on canvas 36 x 36 inches
Acrylic paint and pastels are two media that are working very well together, learn how to paint a peony with a few simple steps.
Peony Exuberance : How to paint a peony with acrylic and pastels
This is the picture I used as a reference, I took it in my front yard. I liked the composition and the shape of the petals but the whole picture was too pink to my taste and a bit too much on the cold side in terms of colors.
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.
You can start by drawing the outlines of your flower quite loosely the red underpainting with a white china pencil.
Close up of the drawing.
I start applying layers of acrylic, with 3 colors that are corresponding more or less to my mid tones, highlights and dark.
Then I am adding dark purple in the shades.
I start to introduce some orange to balance the pink.
You can add more light with layers of semi transparent white ( white acrylic diluted with medium)
Keep on adding layers, trying to have some of the previous layers show at the edges.
Once the acrylic paint has dried, you can start adding pastels on top of the acrylic, this is a great method to try on some color compositions as you can just wash off the pastels if you don’t like the result. If you like what you did paint with the pastels, fix them with workable fixative so you can keep on adding layers of acrylic or pastel and they won’t smudge.
Keep on adding colors until you are satisfied with the result, alternating layers of acrylic and pastels. Here I added more yellow, orange and green acrylic layers.
Adjust colors until you are satisfied with the result.
You might also be interested in: Checklist for successful paintings, be your own critic
The finished painting: Peony Exuberance, mixed media on canvas, 36 x 36 inches