I can’t believe it’s July 2, 2011 and we are half way through the year already. To me July means hot days and bright summer colors, so I decided to paint a 4 ft x 3 ft small mural using my favorite medium heavy bodied acrylics.
Acrylic Painting and the Muralist
As most of you know I use several different mediums and paint in many different styles to expand my knowledge. Going back several years when I first started acrylic painting on canvas did I know I would be using this medium in it’s entirety as a muralist.
But as life would have it, I can only assume that it was meant for me to paint this way. Some artists and muralists have trouble with acrylic painting because of how quickly they dry, especially the heavy bodied acrylics, but there are a couple of ways to prevent them from drying quickly using extenders and clear mediums, but believe it or not I have adapted to them and rarely do I use either. As a muralist I really have no problems controlling the drying because I paint somewhat loosely when acrylic painting and go for a more painterly look.
This mural I actually painted as a tribute to artist Jerry Yarnell,
Yes that’s right the PBS Paint Along with Jerry Yarnell guy
I have always loved his style of acrylic painting because of his use of intensity of color in his work. Most muralists will use grayed colors as opposed to using intensity which can get out of hand if not controlled correctly. Myself personally the more complicated a challenge is the more I love it.
As a muralist to me acrylic painting with heavy bodied paint and the fast drying properties enables me to work as translucently as I want by thinning the medium with water or as heavy and opaque as I need without having to do several layers due to the paint being to thin to begin with.
I also paint in oils and slow drying fluid acrylics but I think I am at my best with the heavy body acrylic painting medium.
As I am no different than any other artist when it comes to reference material on acrylic painting I do however love to paint from other artists instructional material for two reasons. One you discover more as a muralist about the acrylic painting medium you are using and two you discover many different approaches to a particular technique. For instance another artist I like, Hugh Greer works from a very limited palette of sometime only 4 colors that are high in chroma but yet can be mixed to every color needed to complete a landscape.
If you are just starting out as a muralist with acrylic painting and learning about color, I would recommend Mr Yarnell’s books. Starting with his book on the “Basics” he explains simple methods that are easy to understand about acrylic painting and is very thorough about, not only the “how to mix color” but “the why” also, which most other books will fail to tell you.
As a muralist I have learned many things from several artists about acrylic painting, and as I show the progress of the mural, these are the steps that he shows in his book on “Color” (book #8) for this particular acrylic painting.
The differences are I am acrylic painting with a heavier bodied medium (Golden) while he paints with a more fluid medium (Liquitex) plus I have made some minor changes to kind of make it my own but all in all it’s close to the same rendering.
Although I have never met Mr Yarnell or have rarely seen any of his PBS shows, I do however have most of his books on acrylic painting along with many other books. The point I am trying to make is reference is king when your an artist, muralist, faux finisher, painter, carpenter, gardener, what ever the case may be, and it is an important part of growing in ones chosen career, trade or even acrylic painting as a hobby.
Being a muralist I can render anything in any size and do to my experience with acrylic painting as well as other mediums and I still practice, research and learn new things every day.
I hope you enjoyed this rendering and tribute to artist Jerry Yarnell who also gives back with his weekly series of
Who knows, maybe one day he may teach a class here in Southwest Fl. ;0)
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Acrylic Painting and The Muralist.