View Full Version : Beginner question on layers.

02-03-2012, 10:06 AM
Question probably asked 20 times... but i looked and cant find the answer....
Maybe i dont know how to look, english is not my language...

I'm using acrylic...
I painted on a canva, a background with black and dark colors
Then, I tried to paint over that some yellow and orange (trying to paint a landscape...)
But I have hard time...
The bright colors (yellow, orange, mixed...) are not opaque, even when i use them directly out of the tube...... they look "wet/liquid", they are kind of slipping when painted over my dark background, so i can not make a nice vibrant color...they dont seem to adhere/stick over the previous layer.
The same colors when painted on the white canva look good...

I'm using Student grade Pebeo, which are not the "artist", but it's not that bad I think....
Any though?

02-03-2012, 10:32 AM

let me try to answer your question with another question, although I am not a master:

Why do you paint light colours like yellow or orange over a dark area in your underpainting? The underpainting should give you hints on the darks and lights in your painting.
Dark lunderpaintings will shine through transparent layers. What you might do:
apply one or several white washes on the areas that are to become light. Then, after drying, you could add your orange or yellow.

With opaque colours it will be easier to cover the dark areas, but then again: what are they for?

Have fun and success! :thumbsup:

02-03-2012, 10:44 AM
In fact, in was trying to paint lights and windows on 2 buildings in the landscape, which was set in a evening. Thus, some black and purple in the background... that was my plan at first ;-)
maybe I should have "blocked" little white squares in these building to add the colors later?

After reading your comment "apply one or several white washes on the areas that are to become light. Then, after drying, you could add your orange or yellow" I guess it's therefore normal that my bright colors dont apply that well.


Charlie's Mum
02-03-2012, 01:00 PM
Most acrylics are transparent or semi-transparent - seldom as opaque as some would claim!

To cover a dark b/g therefore requires either lots and lots of layers or, as suggested above, layers of titanium white or good gesso for the areas needing light.

Another of your problems could be the paint quality - that again, will require more layers.
Use the best you can afford - or the best you're happy with:D

Remember, we all learn from our mistakes - it's the best way to learn:D

saaz hop
02-03-2012, 05:36 PM
Welcome to the world of using pigments, not just colors. For your specific challenge I'd mix an opaque white (titanium) with your orange or yellow, that way you get the coverage of the opaque paint with the tint of your choice. Since it won't be 100% opaque you may need to go over it a second time, and since most acrylics dry a bit darker you'll learn to make slight adjustments to your tints. Or you could paint the windows with titanium to cover the dark background then glaze over with the yellow or whatever color you're trying achieve, but that's additional steps.

It may seem complicated as you start out but start paying attention to which paints are transparent, semi transparent... opaque. Many artist quality paints indicate it on the tube or post on the manufacturer web site. You are going to find those situations where you're glad it's a transparent pigment that you can glaze with or, as you've already learned, gee I need an opaque to cover this.

02-05-2012, 04:40 PM
Thanks Guys,

I tried this week-end, and indeed, to paint white before using my yellow worked fine... i will also try mixing white and some bright colors
thanks again for your inputs.!