Focus on Education – Elaine Russell CDA #2

In November’s blog I talked about using oils to shade and highlight on acrylic medium values, and now we will expand on that technique. When using this method, the first thing you have to learn to see is what the medium value of each object is.

We will continue to use the pear from last month as an example.

Looking at the pear beyond the accent colors, I saw Yellow Ochre. I used the acrylic equivalent to base coat the pear as a solid object. I could have chosen a Raw Sienna for a darker pear, and possibly a Lemon Yellow for a light yellow pear, even red or green pears are around. Use a real pear, and compare it to bottles of acrylic turned upside down. It really helps to see the middle value.

Let it dry and sand lightly with a brown paper bag. This takes off any little fibers that are in the surface.

Start applying shading in oils with a sideloaded short bristled brush. The reason I sideload is to make the blending process easier. Why work harder than you have to? I generally place the shading first and then finish with the highlights and reflected lights. I then use a short round to buff the color out on each   object.

The ability to see the medium value or base color of objects is sometimes hard, so keep a color wheel   near while doing this, it helps a lot. I also recommend basing in smoothly and sanding lightly.

I recommend not spraying with a Matte spray, or your surface may become too slick. Wait at least 48 hours after painting with acrylics before applying oils. The acrylic may appear dry but be damp underneath if you used a few layers to make an object solid.


Elaine Russell, CDA

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