View Full Version : Selling Strokes - Red Tulip - Step 1

Andre Yusin
03-28-2015, 10:06 AM
While waiting for my art supplies - like paint, brushes, stretched canvas and even work-surface easel - to arrive, I'm contemplating on how to properly paint this little something that I came up with. Never painted anything in my life... Of course the design comes in many color variations and so I'll be experimenting a lot anyway.

I'll starting on a double-gessoed 8x8 cotton canvas with only basic colors at hand, I believe. One way I see it is to prime the canvas with a layer of black and put a layer of green then. That should give me just about the proper darker-green hue that I'm looking for. Red and orange on top of that. Quite simple. Right?

About the only other possible way that I can see would be to mix green with a bit of black and prime with that (twice?). Proceed with red and orange afterwards.

03-28-2015, 11:28 AM
If you are looking for a solid colour then you should mix the shade you want first. For darkening green I prefer to use burnt umber but you can experiment with a small sample to what you like. And it will probably take a couple of coats.

Reds and yellows are usually quite transparent and difficult to paint over a dark colour so you might want to leave those parts white.

03-28-2015, 01:43 PM
You can tint your gesso to any color. saves time and paint.

Charlie's Mum
03-28-2015, 04:34 PM
Are these your own paintings as far as you've got? .. or are they computer generated? ... because for someone who has never painted with acrylics before you have an amazing density and smoothness of colour which more experienced painters might envy!!!!

That green above doesn't, I believe, have black in it, so why paint black first?
You'll need to try different greens, plus probably titanium white, to get this green above!

Andre Yusin
03-28-2015, 09:23 PM
Thank you very much for your useful tips.

No, these are not my paintings yet, Maureen - my brushes are still in the mail. But they are my designs and prototypes. I wouldn't exactly call them computer-generated but yes they vector graphics that I made in a computer program.

I wanted to under-paint with black because I believed that green too had a bit of transparency that would let some of the black through. What we are looking at here are RGB colors of course, but the CMYK original values for that particular green go like this: C:40 M:0 Y:20 K:60. Where K stands for Black. I don't think that I have burnt umber coming in yet but maybe it is in one of the sets that I ordered, who knows. Still researching and most of the colors used will be quite basic anyway since this is a primitive piece and that's kind of idea. Just wanted to pay the homage to the conceived original.

So if I leave white for red and orange what happens where colors overlap? Am I better off going with red and orange first? If green is less transparent that it should make for a sharper edge, right?

I didn't gesso the canvas, Eric. Supposedly coming gessoed twice. Blick brand. Do I need to put another layer just in case, you think? What color would you tint gesso with in this particular case let's say?

Charlie's Mum
03-29-2015, 08:38 AM
A gessoed canvas should be OK - add more if you wish.

I suggest, emphasise even! - that when the paints come, use paper and experiment with all the colours ...... first to see what each colour looks like when wet,dry - it might well change!
Then check for transparency/opacity ...... generally this is done by making a stripe of black and then painting each (pure) colour over it.
Then paint strip of each colour, dry, paint the other colours over that and see how the changes look.
Until you know what paints you have and how they behave you can't really know how to make your colours!:)

Generally also, paint from back to front - so b/g over the design edges a bit, then other colours as needed for the design - may need quite a few layers!:)

03-29-2015, 12:02 PM
Are you planning to mix colors according to CMYK values? That really won't work because pigments don't act like pixels.

As pointed out, experimentation is the best source of understanding.

That said, the Golden web site has an app that can help you translate CMYK into pigment combinations. But that's only useful as a starting point.

03-29-2015, 12:11 PM
Also, if you really want this crisp, clean style, you'll probably want to use painter's tape to mask the lines. Apply a little clear medium along it first to seal the edge and keep the paint from seeping under.

Andre Yusin
03-30-2015, 10:48 PM
Well, thanks again everyone!

Yes, will experiment of course. Luckily for me my art is very simple and requires quite basic colors most of the time. Should probably make it easier for me to learn as I go along since I don't need to go crazy with colors right away.

Heavy body acrylics should fit me the best for what I understand. Do different brand of paints behave very differently from one another I wonder?

No, not planning to go by CMYK values if they are not much of a help of course. Something to start with, just like you said. But to my eye that green does seem to have a bit of black in it. So will try both mixing and going over black to see what happens. Thanks for the Golden site suggestion.

No, am not looking for surgical precision here. I think that would be kind of boring considering how simple that thing already is. And I could simply print the design for that precise look anyway. :) On the contrary kinda curious to see what it will come out like when painted by hand.