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Paint Your Favourite
Follow our step by step guide
In this project you’ll learn some clever ways to bring your paintings to life. To get you started we’ve collaborated with the artists from Cork and Chroma Cork and Chroma to provide some hints and tips on painting landscapes with acrylic paints
Download ResourcesProject Tips
Step 1: Find a Reference
Look through some of your favourite photos from holiday. Choose an image that speaks to you visually, or that holds a great memory for you. Keep this image accessible on your device while you paint or print the image and have it next to you as easy inspiration.
Step 2: Make a loose sketch
Using pencil, draw a loose sketch of your scene. First divide your sketch into any main sections (sky, horizon line, etc.). Then, using simple shapes (rectangles, circles, triangles, squares, etc.), loosely sketch in the scene or objects from your image. Sometimes it can be helpful to create a simple grid on the photo and use the same grid on your canvas to help decide where things will sit in relation to each other.
Step 3: Blocks of base colour
Use your big flat brush, paint blocks of a base colour in each section of your painting. For example, if you’re painting a seascape, you might block in some cool blue in the water, and some light brownish yellow in the sand. If you’re painting a city skyline, you might block in some light and dark grey rectangles as buildings. These blocks of colour, once dry, make a great base to add layers of further colour and detail to your piece.
Step 4: Add texture
Wait for the base coats to dry. Then, use your slightly smaller brushes to start adding layers of detail to your piece, with new colours on your brush. This might mean simple swipes of colour to add texture or just layering colour on top of the base for depth. For this step, some feature colours can be a nice way to add an unexpected pop! Remember that since it’s a painting, it doesn’t have to be only realistic colour. Heighten the sky by adding a brighter pink to the sunset and intensify the mountains by adding a turquoise texture.
Step 5: Refine and look for detail
Once that last step has dried, use your smaller brushes to add further refinement and detail to your piece. This might be when you can paint little shadowy windows in your buildings or add a slight shimmer of glistening white highlight to your ocean. These are small details that you won’t see immediately upon viewing the painting, but they start to add depth and interest to the piece.