The website of the National Acrylic Painters’ Association. A non-profit making group organised by artists for artists
National Acrylic Painters’ Association
Truro, Cornwall, United Kingdom
For the past three or four years I have been
capturing the movement of Koi Carp in my
My first step is to draw the composition
directly onto the canvas using paint straight
from the tube. Then I wash a thin but bright
layer of magenta pink, sometimes cadmium
orange, across the whole surface leaving
highlights within the area of 'fish'. As a
colourist my choice of pink or orange as a
ground is based on my belief that the
underlining colour can eventually be 'felt'
through subsequent layers.
Next comes the addition of texture. I
experiment directly onto the canvas with
various commercial texture mediums. Acrylics
are superb for this. This part can be fun….. no,
actually I find it all fun. Then comes the only
period of prolonged (!) drying time, usually
I never mix colour on a palette, as I prefer to
layer very watery washes loosely across the
paintings, allowing the paint to mix and drip.
During this process the paintings (I work on a
least two at a time) are turned from side to side
and upside down etc. At least five layers are
applied like this, usually a lot more. One of the
washes will contain a metallic element, which
allows the finished painting to sparkle under
spotlights. When I am happy with the final
colour I allow the paintings to dry (harden) for
at least 24 hours before sandpapering the
textured surfaces, this allows a glimpse of the
layers, and highlights. The surface is then
hosed down to remove all traces of dust.
Finally I return to using undiluted paint and
adding the final flourishes with a palette knife.