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Acrylics Anonymous, Issue #127 -- Treasure along with path.
December 01, 2023

Passionate about painting with acrylics? Need a monthly fix chock full of inspiration? Need some help to take the pain out of your painting process? It's all here for you. Acrylics Anonymous. Zero elitism. Dive in.

If you enjoy Acrylics Anonymous, and you know someone who might also enjoy it, you can share by forwarding it to your friends!

If you are receiving this because a friend has forwarded this to you, and you would like to subscribe, click here!

Every month, we will produce a Subscribers Only "sealed section" - just keep scrolling to see it. It could be a painting technique, a short video tip, or anything we can think of that we reckon you might enjoy.

Please let us know what you think, we love your feedback! To leave comments, contact us here.

Especially for you! Our Christmas sale is now on!

30% off all tutorial products, gift cards for both our websites,
originals and prints!

Code is: thebest

Click here for Mark's originals, prints, his memoir and gift cards

Click here for Mark's tutorials, books, e-books and gift coupons

Are you stuck for inspo?

Why not try throwing a scrap piece of canvas on the floor, spill some paint on it and watch a painting emerge!

This one started with a variety of splats and has come out as a lovely forest walk!


Congratulations to all the wonderful artists who entered our recent competition to win this original!

We are very pleased to announce the winner is Tanya Winterburn of @tanyawinterburn_art on instagram, who did an incredible job with her rendition of our Pebbly Beachscape Tutorial!

Tanya, we will get your painting to you shortly 😄

Workshop News!

Fiji was a runaway success and Mark is planning to come back next year! If you're interested in going to Fiji for a week of painting and immersing yourself in a tropical wonderland, make sure you contact Delia at Paradise Courses to let her know you're interested!

More Workshop News :)

We have a new workshop coming to Esk, QLD in February 2024 - "Dune Slice". Hint hint to relatives who need some inspiration for gifting :D there are still a few spots left! Join us! Click here for all the info about "Dune Slice" workshop.

Exhibitions Upcoming

Mark's group exhibition, "Art After Brain Injury" opens soon. If you're in the Taree, NSW area, make sure you check it out!

We also have our annual "$300 and under" exhibition at the Lennox Arts Collective gallery, we would love to see you if you're in the Lennox Head, NSW area too.

New on our Youtube channel

Since our last AA we have released more short "Thoughts from the Easel" videos on Youtube, as well as a full length tute which you may have already seen :) Here's the links in case you haven't!

Click here for the short "Consciously Alive"

Click here for the short "Aspiration"

Click here for the short "Superficial"

Click here for the short "Memories"

Click here for the short "Another Day Wrung Dry"

And click here for the full length tutorial - Paint a Pebbly Beachscape

No AA Until March 2024 :(

Sincerest apologies - our next AA won't be coming until March 1, 2024. Mark is going away for a whole month in January, but don't worry, he's building another school in a remote part of the Solomon's, so you don't have to feel too sad!

Frankie on the other hand, will be away in the later part of January, gallavanting off on a Northern Hemisphere snow jaunt, so you can definitely feel resentful about that 😄

We'll be back with a bumper edition coming your way on the 1st March, and hope you all have a wonderfully creative festive season and New Year in the meantime!

**Meet The Wallers**

Now streaming for only AUD$7.00!
And with your exclusive discount, you will only pay $5.25 to see this epic film of Mark's life.
Filmed over 20 years, this is a film like no other.
You don't want to miss this!

Every month, we choose an Artist from our forum to showcase.

You can even nominate someone if you like. (Or yourself!). To do this, check out the forum and then send us an email! It’s that easy.

This month we're featuring artist Jennifer, from Salisbury Maryland, USA, with their painting "Need a Title". Thanks so much for sharing this with us Jennifer, great job, and hope you found a name in the end!

Click here for more info on Jennifer's painting "Need a Title"

CJ Hendry is an Aussie realism artist who will BLOW YOU AWAY. She first came through my insta feed with her coloured pencil work of paint smears. Incredible. Check her work out here on her Instagram

Gil Bruvel is an artist, sculptor and painter.  Born in Australia, he was raised in the South of France. He currently resides in Wimberley, Texas.

Gil is a visionary artist, capable of translating complex ideas and fleeting impressions into stunning works of art.

Check out his incredible works here.

If you have a link you like, please share it with us! You can contact us to let us know. Thank you!

This is the section where you can "get your name in lights!" (well at least out there in the internet world!).

If you have works in progress you would love to show off, or finished pieces you are particularly proud of, we would love to see them!

We especially like to hear about the story behind the creation.

This month's submission comes once again, from our own flightless bird, Mark Waller :)

From Mark:

"Dune Slice"

Sometimes the simplest thing grabs your attention. It was late in the afternoon. The sun was just at the right angle to cast a shadow on the dunes, and the hill behind. The highlight across the top of the dune was like a knife through the chatter in my head. There were these lovely wisps of grass sitting over the top of this beautiful creamy sunlit sand dune. Just an edge. Everything else in this picture is just context for that.

While it’s a simple exercise, the image is no less compelling and intriguing. Great fodder for a workshop.

I started this painting by sketching in 3-4 bands. The top of the dune (which ultimately is what the entire picture is all about), the shadow line and the hill behind. The hill behind is also impressive when you consider that it is also a sand dune. The foliage does well to hang on in those conditions.

I blocked in the foliage first using a paint recipe of Forest Green, Dioxazine Purple and a tiny bit of white. I then mixed Dioxazine Purple, French Ultramarine Blue and the tiniest hint of Cadmium Yellow Medium (and white) and roughed in the shaded areas in the foreground dunes.

With a little bit of Burnt Umber, and a tiny bit of French Ultramarine Blue, I scratched in a couple of clumps of dead spinifex on the fronts of the dunes.

I tidied up the sky area in the background, and then began working down into the trees. Because they were in shadow, I only had to suggest their shapes and a few highlights. Every now and then on some of the bigger trees, I put a couple of golden highlights on the tops of the bigger trees to suggest that they were peeking out from the shade. Sometimes working in these darker areas is super fun, because you can get a lot of interest in there without too much effort.

Using combinations of French Ultramarine Blue, Dioxazine Purple and Cadmium Yellow Medium, I created the illusion of striations in the face of the sand dunes. I find it really intriguing that the wind will push sand on top of foliage repeatedly, and then eventually the ocean uncovers all of those layers. There is so much nuance in the face of those dunes.

I worked through this area being mindful of the sky being reflected on certain parts of the dune, and the light reflected off highlit sand on other parts.

I then went back with a fan brush and Burnt Umber with a little bit of French Ultramarine Blue, and painted in all of the dead spinifex roots and leaves.

I then mixed up a combination of White, Cadmium Yellow Medium and a microscopic hint of Dioxazine Purple. I blocked in the sand in the foreground, and defined the edges of the highlights on the sand dune. Using the fan brush, I worked some browns and some dead leaves into that area, and then mixed White, Cadmium Yellow Light and the barest hint of Forest Green, and brushed in the spinifex grasses on the tops of the dunes.

I went back to my original “dune shadow colour” and suggested the shadows of the spinifex being cast onto the sand in the foreground. From that point on it was a matter of using a dry brush and Burnt Umber to suggest vegetation, moving into and out of the shadows in both the foreground and the highlit dunes.

I’ve painted variations of this image at least 10 times, and even writing this make me want to paint another one!

Thanks so much for sharing this simple but compelling painting and story with us Mark!

You can find all of Mark's good stuff through the bio link below:

Mark's links all in one place!

We hope you enjoyed this issue of Acrylics Anonymous!

If you have any suggestions, comments or feedback for the ezine or our site, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Until next time, make sure you stay safe and well, and don't forget to chuck some paint around!

Cheers from Frankie & Mark :)

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