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One of my favorite things to create are small portraits! In this lesson, I will share one of my processes for creating a small acrylic portrait.
- Printable PDF Supply List
- One 5 x 7 inch Ampersand Gessobord (or any small painting surface, gessoed watercolor paper or any small stretched canvas or canvas panel)
- Clear Gesso (for preparing surface of gessobord)
- Acrylic paints I love to use (but please use what you have for this lesson)
- Liquitex Heavy Body Red Oxide
- Liquitex Soft Body Burnt Sienna
- Liquitex Soft Body Cadmium Yellow Medium Hue
- Liquitex Soft Body Yellow Ocher
- Liquitex Soft Body Cadmium Red Medium Hue or Napthol Crimson
- Liquitex Soft Body Prussian Blue
- Liquitex Soft Body Raw Umber
- Liquitex Soft Body Cerulean Blue Hue
- Liquitex Soft Body Emerald Green
- Liquitex Soft Body Burnt Umber
- Golden Payne’s Gray
- Golden Cobalt Turquoise (I am using a fluid acrylic in this video)
- I use my Liquitex Black Gesso as my darkest black paint
- Liquitex Soft Body Titanium White
- I LOVE the Princeton Catalyst line of brushes, I order them from Dick Blick or Jerry’s Artarama
- My favorites are the Bright brushes...they have a flat edge to them. I mostly use the short handle Bright Shaders 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and Bright brush 12. Use what you are comfortable with.
- Very rarely do I use a round tip brush for my acrylic portraits. But I do use small detail brushes for the eyes, Size 0. It also works well for my scribbly marks in the portrait.
- For preparing the gessobord or canvas before painting the portrait, I used a mixture of Raw or Burnt Umber and a touch of red acrylic paint. Mix these paints with Liquitex Clear Gesso, and spread it around the gessobord or canvas with a large brush. Let dry completely before starting to paint the portrait. It gives a nice “tooth” on which to paint on. Ampersand gessobords can be pretty slick, so a gesso ground is recommended.
- Make sure to sign your finished work!
- To varnish the portrait, I use a thin layer of Acrylic Matte Medium (I use Liquitex or Golden brand) over the whole painting. Let it dry 24 to 48 hours. Then add a thin coat of Dorland’s Wax Varnish with a clean rag, in a circular motion over the entire painting and sides of canvas. Let dry overnight, then buff with a clean microfiber or cotton cloth. This will protect your painting, as well as give the painting a lovely medium sheen to it.
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