I have kept journals for 9 years and so its surprising that I should only discover blogging as a new format of journal writing. It's about time I embrace it and see if its as fun.

Sunday, 31 March 2013

How to Make a Grumpy Turtle

So far turtles for me have been quite interesting to paint because they have an interesting pattern on their fins and shell. They're well suited to acrylic paint since they're underwater and the blue ocean is always so rich in colour. They take longer than my watercolours but they come out really well and it's worth it. This is the process of a custom ATC:
So first I have an outline and I paint each of the first important elements, lime yellow, lemon yellow and cerulean blue. I don't spend too much time being neat just so long as I don't go too far over the lines!
Grumpy Turtle - work in progress
Next up is the background elements because they have less detail and I can sort that out quite quickly. The sea is usually simple, pick the appropriate corner and then use a washed down ultra marine blue over the top and make sure it fades in nicely with the other blue. With the sea bed I use a cadmium green mixed with black to show all the crevasses of the coral and greenery. I never go all out on accuracy, it's more of a representation and to create depth.
Grumpy Turtle - work in progress
Third step is my favourite, painting the turtle. This works in 2 stages. Firstly I use a cadmium orange to establish all the shading, I usually don't worry if not much yellow can be seen at the end because it's more of an under colour. Then I get a crimson red and water it down heavily - do NOT want big chunks of red in there that could be very difficult to remove. Dilute it right down and then paint on the spots, dimples and the lines often found on the under belly. This is very much when it starts to take shape. Often there is a third step of re-shading, since sometimes the red overpowers the orange.
Grumpy Turtle - work in progress
Nearly there, this part is crucial of course, when it all comes together. The black outline! I use a uniball eye fine black pen that has waterproof and fadeproof ink. They have long been my favourite and would recommend them to anyone! I enjoy putting the lines in!
Grumpy Turtle ATC - Acrylic and Pen
And voila, one custom ATC completed!
What are your techniques with acrylic? This has worked via trial and error, everytime I paint I notice a new technique emerge: happy accidents!

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