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Australian How To PaintAustralian How To Paint

Australian How To Paint

Issue 28

Australian How To Paint magazine chooses a topic or style of art each issue and gives you a comprehensive guide for you to develop your skills. Over the series we will cover all major painting techniques plus popular paint ideas.

Sunray Publications Pty Ltd
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4 Issues


access_time9 min.
subjects everywhere

Presently, I live in a small rock lobster village about 60 kilometres north of Perth in Western Australia, although I was born in Melbourne. My home is only a stone’s throw from a pristine beach with spectacular high dunes and a reef running parallel to the shore. The beach has been a major influence on my current work which boasts large acrylic canvasses depicting the dunes and the ocean at varying times of day.I’m especially interested in light and the patterns it makes in the early morning and at dusk – when everything takes on a pinkish tinge.I work at home in my studio upstairs, where I can see the views I love and where I have natural lighting for painting. In the summer it gets very hot however,…

access_time5 min.
coastal walk

I live within a stone’s throw of a pristine beach. Light, whether it be in the early morning or at dusk when everything is washed in a pinky glow, features in most of my current work in the seascape genre. I work ‘large’ to avoid unnecessary detail (an advantage when one’s eyesight is not as good as it used to be), on cotton duck canvas. STEP ONE STEP TWO STEP THREE STEP FOUR STEP ONE Take the deep edge canvas and gesso it three times. If it is commercially primed, check the weave to see if it needs another coat. Using the two inch hardware brush, wash a coating of Vermillion (Cadmium Red) over the entire canvas. Putting…

access_time1 min.

• Better quality Winsor & Newton deep edge canvas – 38 x 40 inches. Cheap canvas stretchers warp when doing a canvas of this size, so money spent initially will save heartbreak later.• Atelier and Matisse acrylic paints. Avoid cheap imitations. Matisse has a ‘buttery’ texture, while Atelier is easier to spread on the canvas. Use whichever you prefer. Cheaper paint can be used for underpainting during the initial stages.• Brushes: Use a variety of acrylic brushes. I use mostly rounds and brights for foliage. A two inch hardware bristle brush is a good tool for beginning washes of ground. A liner brush is used for final details.• Colours: Turquoise, White, Black (for toning only), Cadmium Yellow, Cerulean Blue, Purple, Alizarin Crimson, Naples Yellow, Burnt Umber, Burnt Sienna, Cadmium…

access_time1 min.
artist’s hints and tips

• Set up your work area in advance, with plenty of water and rags. Mix up several quantities of colour to avoid wasting time during the painting process.• I find working dark to light creates ‘mass’ first and allows for highlights later.• Working down the canvas (from top to bottom) prevents accidental drips falling on the finished sections, and gives the painter direction. Painting large canvasses can be daunting and they can get ‘spotty’ if there is no method to working. The undercolour ground will prevent the work from becoming unharmonious. It serves to unify the work instead. Stick to shades and tints of colour, rather than using every colour in your box (limit your palette).• Enjoy the freedom of the early stages. Too much detail can make the…

access_time6 min.
pelicans to portraits

Born in England, I migrated to Australia in 1968 at the age of ten. I work full-time as a clerk with the State Government and I live at Lake Macquarie in New South Wales.I completed an informal art course at Dobell House, Wangi, when my youngest child was 18 months old … because I needed some ‘me’ time. My daughter is now nearly 18 years old.I have an affinity with the ocean and I love painting the movement of waves; and trying to achieve the translucency of water.I have an older brother who has been an artist most of his life. As a child, I always compared my artwork with his. As a result, I didn’t consider myself very good at drawing or art – and left it up…

access_time3 min.
cowrie hole – newcastle

I work on a draughtsman’s board at a nearly vertical angle. I have made a tray out of thick paper and taped it to the bottom of the board to catch pastel dust. I periodically vacuum this out. My father-in-law made a small table on castors which I keep on my left. This holds the pastels I am currently working with; and my calculator, ruler and colour charts.The table on my right holds all of my pastels (which are kept in drawers in colour-coded order), and my pastel pencils. STEP ONE I firstly decided where the horizon line would be and then painted the sky using a light purple underbase with Ultramarine Light blended over the top, wearing the finger of a disposable latex glove on my…