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Still Lifes: Master the basic theories and techniques of painting still lifes in acrylic (Acrylic Made Easy) Paperback – June 13, 2014


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Still Lifes: Master the basic theories and techniques of painting still lifes in acrylic (Acrylic Made Easy) + Painting in Acrylic: An essential guide for mastering how to paint beautiful works of art in acrylic (Artist's Library) + Painting for the Absolute and Utter Beginner
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Still Lifes: Master the basic theories and techniques of painting still lifes in acrylic (Acrylic Made Easy)

Using Complementary Colors

Even the simplest of subjects can attract the eye when you use color to your advantage. Highlights and shadows come alive with natural variations in color. The use of complementary colors transforms that excitement into high drama. Here, the warm golden aspects of yellow highlights come to life when juxtaposed against a cool blue background, while blue shadows pop against a deep burnt sienna backdrop.


Palette
  • burnt sienna
  • cadmium yellow
  • medium
  • pine gray
  • titanium white
  • ultramarine blue
Step 1

I like to work on a clean canvas, without extra lines left over from working out my initial sketch. So I draw my subject on paper first, using a 12 inch x 16 inch sheet that matches my canvas so I can get a true feel for the proportions and composition. When I’m satisfied with my sketch, I trace the finished product on my canvas.

Step 2

After transferring my sketch, I establish the values of the composition and the colors of the subject and background. I apply loose, imprecise strokes of thinned ultramarine blue and burnt sienna, allowing the colors to overlap and blend. I favor the neutral brown, so as not to detract from the central focus of the painting. This underpainting can be imperfect. We’ll refine the details in subsequent layers.

About the Author

Varvara Harmon is an award-winning multimedia artist who works in oil, acrylic, watercolor, silk paintings, and ink and pencil drawing. Her work has been juried into national and international exhibitions, is in private collections around the world, and has been published in several magazines and books. Varvara is currently represented at several galleries across the Northeast, and she teaches workshops and classes in acrylic, watercolor, and oil. Visit www.varvaraharmon.com to learn more.


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