Acrylic Painting Lesson 3: Basic color mixing

The goal of the third lesson is to practice mixing and applying your own colors. The third painting in the book is a "Pasture Scene" which hardly looks like a pasture in my opinion.

Again, I have turned the lesson into something more and made it about color mixing and exploring different types of brushes.

You may wonder why I say I'm doing the 50 paintings with the book if I keep doing other things, but the book does get better. The first lessons are painfully simple to help people who are true beginners.

For my version of this lesson, I chose an old photo I'd taken of a field in Gettysburg in the spring.

Gettysburg springtime fieldMy photo of a Gettysburg field in springtime

I liked my sky too much to cover it all up, so the trees in the painting aren't as tall or are seen from a greater distance.

painting: spring forest and field3 of 50 - Gettysburg Springtime 3/21/2018

Status: Not for sale yet

Color Mixing

I began by making the main section division with some unbleached titanium.

The sky was overcast on the day I took the photo, but I thought a little blue would look better. I painted the sky with a mix of light blue permanent, mars black, titanium white, and matte acrylic medium.

It took me awhile to find right shade of green. I played around with unbleached titanium, cadmium yellow medium hue, ultramarine blue, light blue permanent, and a dot of cadmium red medium hue until I was satisfied. I added more blue and gray for some grass shadows in the foreground.

Experimenting with Paintbrushes

I filled in the green grass area solid and then used the drying round brush for some texture of brushstrokes in the tan area and the green. I used the flat comb brush for more variety of grasses in the foreground.

For the tree trunks, I mixed up a brown with hints of purple using yellow ochre, mars black, alizarin crimson, and light blue permanent.

I used a small flat brush to make happy little trees and their friends. (Yes, I grew up watching Bob Ross!)

I added more yellow to the same green I used for the grass and applied some spring leaves with a fan brush.

I mixed up the right color for the redbud blossoms using titanium white, cadmium red medium hue, light blue permanent, and gumbacher purple. I used a fan brush to add them to the painting.

Finally, I used point of the #5 and cadmium yellow medium hue to dot some dandelions and buttercups.

Challenges

Thankfully, my biggest challenge today was getting out too many paint tubes and having them fall on the floor a couple of times. I need a bigger container to carry them.

Today my young observer (age 5) respected the boundaries of my painting space. I was happy to have her watch from the right spot. I told her the color names as I added them to my palette. She was most eager to watch me stir them together.

She wanted to do a snowman painting since it's snowing here today, but we spent our time outside building several snowmen and sledding.

I feel like today was a success and I accomplished what I intended.

More to Explore

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