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Acrylics Anonymous, Issue #128 -- Play and give light.
March 01, 2024

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.

For you guys!

Early access to our latest full length Youtube tutorial!

Impressionist Beachscape

Click here for the full length, step by step video tutorial!

Tight Canvas Hack!

With all that icky paint water you’ve got in your paint pots, paint it on the back of your canvas (before it gets stinky), to help tighten the canvas and reduce the impact of that paint going into the waterways.

Partnering with Sustainable Canvas

We are so pleased to be partnering with new Aussie company making artist quality canvas from 100% recycled ocean plastics. Hooray!
Use code: EXPLORE10 at their checkout for 10% off your order.

Click here for more info about the Sustainable Canvas Co.

Workshop News!

We are always planning upcoming workshops :) We have a new one coming up in Qld at the end of April, "Soaring" (possibly our last Qld workshop in 2024). We have also secured Fiji workshop dates for October 19-26th, 2024. There is a possibility of workshops in Canberra and WA as well this year!

Click here for more information on Mark's Fiji 2024 workshop!

Click here for all the other info on our upcoming workshops :)

Meet The Wallers News

Did you know you can organise to host a screening of Meet The Wallers for your community via Fan Force?

Click here to see how it all works!

Meet The Wallers is a unique documentary that follows artist Mark Waller and his family over 20 years. When Mark is diagnosed with a deadly Melanoma the fault lines in the Waller family erupt with surprising results.

New on our Youtube channel

Since our last AA we have released more short "Thoughts from the Easel" videos on Youtube. Here's the links in case you haven't seen them already!

Click here for the short "Not Pretty Pictures"

Click here for the short "What's the Point?"

**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 the Gold Coast, Australia with their painting "My Personal World of Inner Peace". Thanks so much for sharing this with us Jennifer - so much vibrancy and movement, love it and the journey you have shared too!

Click here for more on Jennifer's Painting "My Personal World of Inner Peace"

Otto Baum is an artist and muralist based in Berlin. You may have seen his signature "8 in 1" tool he uses with incredible physical effort, to create his eye catching abstracts direct to walls.

Check his work out here :)

And his Instagram here!

Tyler Schrader is an incredible, dynamic artist creating paintings, sculptures and marquetry out of myriad materials.  I’m a wood nerd myself, so was drawn to his incredibly detailed wooden sculptures.

Check out his amazing work 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 commander in chief, Mark Waller :)

From Mark:

"Hugo's Spot"

For a while I’ve been wanting to break up my brushstrokes, and work a little more texture into my pictures. I like the idea of layers of Heavy Gel Gloss, and through them, beneath all the other colours, a few unexpected colours. Possibly even complimentary opposites ;) A fan brush will be perfect for that, and I filed that away.

When I had an opportunity to play with the Sustainable Canvas Co’s product made from recycled ocean plastics, for some reason those previously stored thoughts popped out, and a beautiful dance was begun.

In fact though, I quite liked the idea of using the recycled plastic canvas to paint in a way that was looser and more spontaneous, and the fact that the product extends the drying time of the acrylics a little bit, made it seems that this would be a great opportunity for me to experiment with using a fan brush and allowing whatever happened underneath to happen.

It was a giant experiment, and I’m really happy with the outcome.

Even happier, given that this dance, and the recycled product, are now going towards a fundraiser for a little boy with brain cancer (a spot that’s close to my heart - and my head). You can read about Hugo's story here.

Because I wanted the colour to show through here and there, it seemed that a nice purple ground would be the perfect foundation to begin construction. I used a mix of Dioxazine Purple and White Free Flow to get the ground down. You can see the (highly edited) process of construction here on our Youtube channel.

Cadmium Orange seemed appropriately garish enough to draw in the bones of the painting. Once I got the drawing down I switched to Atelier Interactive. It’s a firmer paint, and it doesn’t cover as well, and I knew that the fan brush wasn’t firm enough to fill all the holes and that some of the orange and purple would show through in the finished painting. But first, I went to my paint recipe for foliage and used Forest Green, Dioxazine Purple and a touch of Cadmium Yellow Medium and blocked in some of the darker areas on the picture, including the headland, pandanus and foreground foliage.

I scrubbed in the sky using French Ultramarine Blue and White, I added a little bit of Dioxazine Purple to that to form the bodies of the clouds, and then brushed in the highlights on the clouds, letting the fan brush do its chaotic thing.

I mixed up the colour of the water close to the horizon using a mix of Pthalo Blue, Dioxazine Purple and White, and painted down the canvas adding more Pthalo Blue, Cadmium Yellow Light and White. Coming down further I repeated the process of adding White and Cadmium Yellow Light, but this time a touch of French Ultramarine Blue as well to represent the sky being reflected in the wet sand.

I then mixed the dry sand colour using White, Cadmium Yellow Medium and a touch of Dioxazine Purple, and started forming the beach and the dune area.

Drying time. The recycled plastic nature of the Sustainable Canvas seems to be slightly less porous than the cotton products, and therefore the drying time is longer. This is great for doing subtle gradations over large areas. Not so great if you’re trying to work quickly. For me, it required a slight change in process.

The whole aim of this picture was to stay true to the image (which is a headland down south that requires a 40 minute walk into - which also has great waves), while keeping the feel quite spontaneous and loose.

I re-established the colours in the clouds, taking a little more time to tidy them up a bit and create some cirrus clouds up high (the wispy ones), and a couple of fluffy ones down low close to the water. I re-established the water, tidying up the whitewash, the shadows in the whitewash, the faces of the waves and some of the more subtle colours in the face of the waves. I used the corner of the brush to get that detail. A tad tricky because the fan brush corners hold a lot more paint than you think.

Using a similar process, I tidied up the headland, and reflected it in the wet sand. Again using the corner of the brush I worked into the tree, shaping the leaves, and then added a few more tendrils through the sand dunes.

I mixed up a paler colour and began defining the flat grassy area on the headland, and put some of the detail in the tree. I added some White and Cadmium Yellow Light, and repeated that again in the dune grass and the tree leaves. There was some to-ing and fro-ing for a while with variations of those colours. Sometimes more Cadmium Yellow Medium, sometimes more Cadmium Yellow Light. Sometimes more White, etc etc.

I mixed up a luminous green, and with the corner of the brush put flecks of it through the shrubbery on the dunes and in the tree. I then mixed up some Dioxazine Purple, French Ultramarine Blue and a tiny bit of Cadmium Yellow Medium and established the shadows underneath the pandanus tree, and then a few flecks here and there amongst the ground cover.

Then I came through with a kind of dirty green colour, and suggested some scraggly spinifex grasses over the dunes. I regularly stand under that tree after my surf.

I was pretty happy with how it turned out considering it was painted entirely with one brush, and a fan brush at that. I’m also happy that I did the place justice. It’s spacious and empty and clean. And a bit wild. I have a tendency to tighten up sometimes, I feel like I avoided that with this piece. Happy days.

Thanks so much for sharing the lovely story of this painting with us Mark! This painting will be auctioned at a fundraiser for baby Hugo Long in the next few months.

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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