top of page
  • Writer's pictureJessica

painting in layers

Summer Breeze - acrylic painting

Here's a peek at my painting process. I begin by painting in layers. If I get stuck, feel nervous, or don't want to mess anything up, I remind myself that every layer is an underpainting. This helps me stay as relaxed and loose as I do when I painting my underpaintings. And then as it gets more finished I get tighter and tighter. Sometimes too tight! I'm always at war with myself trying to walk the line between loose and tight.

This first layer is the underpainting. I use primary yellow and quinacridone magenta to block in the most important elements - the overall layout of where things will go, the lightest parts, the darkest parts, and a sense of movement.

The next layer is when I start to add in the local colors. I'm still thinking about the overall painting, where are the darkest greens, where are the lightest greens, where are the flowers? For this painting I mixed all my colors from quinacridone magenta, primary yellow, prussian blue, and white.

At this stage I've blocked in the sky and filled in some more greens. The flowers are so loose that I'm nervous to fuss with them. I love how loose and suggestive they are and I get nervous to keep painting!

This is the finished piece. I toned down the bright magenta color - by adding a tiny bit of green. I added a few yellow flower centers and tried to finish enough of the flowers that it looks more realistic but still loose and suggestive. It's a tricky balance but it's so much fun to pursue!

Tell me what you think about this painting. Did I succeed in striking a balance between loose and suggestive and realistic and tight?

bottom of page