This series of exercises explored the use of transparent and opaque paint looking at different ways of applying the paint and the potential uses of each. The first part of the exercise was to create a tonally graded wash and then, working wet-on-wet, merge two colours.
Even using wet-on-wet I found that the colours weren’t always merging as smoothly as I’d like with the acrylic drying very fast and the acrylic paper almost creating a resistance to the brush. It was hard to get the colour even and I found myself using a lot of water which was giving me less control of the paint.
The next exercise was to blend the same colours but to wait until the first colour had dried. I did have more control of the paint but had to work quickly to make the colours blend. Both techniques, using transparent paint, ensure that a luminous quality is retained and worth using for pictures that require that quality of light.
Opaque colour mixing
For this part of the exercise the aim was to attempt to recreate a transparent graded wash using opaque colour mixes.
Using wet-on-wet transparent washes did mean I had less control with the way that the paint blended on the paper. Depending on the effect required this could be frustrating or could take the painting in a new direction – just a case of knowing when to stop and not overwork the piece.
To recreate the effect using opaque paint I had to work harder blending the acrylic and the result was more solid looking.
- I liked the luminous, more ethereal quality that I got from using transparent mixes. This could be used for conveying glowing light.
- Using opaque created a more solid look. Using transparent /opaque in one picture could be useful when trying to convey early morning or evening light or to contrast the light of the sky with the surrounding landscape.
- Using opaque paint or overlaying a dried wash offered more control but I liked the potential of chance results by using wet-on-wet which could take a painting in a different direction.