Monday, September 24, 2012
How to Paint Abstract Autumn Leaves
It is a great lesson to practice looking at and painting negative shapes.
In this painting the background gradually gets lighter enabling you to lift out some leaf shapes at the bottom.
This one is a bit easier, no variation in the background.
I'm going to give you the complete
"How To" , but first let me introduce this week's giveaway.
Understanding Art: Impressionism" is a DVD series from my friends at Acorn Media. It features my favorite art critic Waldemar Januszczak (click on his name for a preview of his style). Mr. Januszczak is not your "stuffy" art historian. He approaches his documentaries with enthusasim and humour. Transporting you back to the 19th century, showing you the exact locations of many Impressionist paintings, describing the conditions, personalities, and what the artists had to go through to create their art.
This gives you a deeper understanding of what Impressionism is all about, why it came about, and you will never look at a Monet, Renior, etc. the same again. Great if you are teaching this to your class. I often get asked " how do I explain Impressionism to kids".
This DVD series includes 4 one hour episodes and 2 bonus programs on Manet (90 minutes) and van Gogh (146 min).
There is some nudity so you need to preview before showing to a class, but overall I found this series very entertaining as well as very informative, not something you expect in an art history series. My kids enjoyed it as well. My 14 yr old was thrilled when she found out I was reviewing this series. We had caught a few episodes of Mr. Januszczak's Baroque series on the Knowledge Channel at the cabin and the kids were hooked. Unfortunately that one is not currently available for sale in North America, fingers crossed it will be soon.
If you are interested in winning your own copy of this series check out the full details at the end of this post.
Now back to our abstract exercise.
- watercolor paper or heavy sketch paper
- pencil and eraser
- disk tempera or watercolor paints in Fall colours
- plastic kitchen wrap, (Saran type wrap)
- art boards, painter's masking tape
- black acrylic or liquid tempera
Gather your materials.
You can place some plastic wrap on it before it dries, smooshing a bit, to get some nice texture. Leave plastic wrap on until it dries.
You can also shake a little salt on for the salt effect if you wish.
The next step is to make a good sketch on your now dry background paper. You want branches and leaves. Have some overlapping and crossing. You need more than you think you do because, once you start painting in the darks you realize "I really should have added more".
Click on this picture to see larger.
Apply this glaze to all the leaves and branches that are behind other leaves and branches. This recedes them, giving them a touch of shadow adding that depth to your picture.
Now for the easier version take some black acrylic or black liquid tempera paint and start painting in all the negative spaces, places where there are no leaves or branches.
You can lift out a few leaves in that faded background by painting them in with plain water and drying your brush on a paper towel after each pass. This lifts the colour.
Finally you can add a few splatters.
That's it. Let dry, take off the tape and sign and title.
"Understanding Art: Impressionism" with Waldemar Januszczak, a $59.99 value from Acorn Media, please enter in one of the following ways:
- leave me a comment on this post
- like or leave a comment for this post on my Facebook page
- send me an email at email@example.com
Canadian or US residents only please.
You have until 11:59pm on Thursday Sept 27th/12 and I will make the draw on Friday Sept 28th/12.
Good Luck everyone.
Disclaimer: Review and Giveaway copy were provided by Acorn Media. The views and opinions expressed are my own.