Follow a simple step-by-step demonstration to paint a flowered window in France, exploring the versatility of acrylics.
How to Paint a Window Box in Acrylics with Wendy Jelbert
Brushes – flat size 8, rigger (nylon) size 1
140lb watercolour paper
Ruling/drawing pen (for masking fluid or an old fine brush)
Let’s Start with Art 4
Draw the main features in pencil and apply masking fluid with a drawing pen to the highlighted areas, especially the tops of the foliage and flowers.
A: Using watered down yellow ochre, paint over the whole surface to create a warm glow.
B: Whilst still wet, apply the yellow and light green foliage (olive with yellow mixtures), and the flower heads of pink and crimson, so that they gently blend.
C: Block in the dark negative shapes in the windows using olive, crimson and burnt sienna.
D: Paint in the containers using burnt sienna and yellow ochre in different strengths, so that there is a variety of colours
A: Complete the painting of the pots.
B: Using neat cobalt blue, paint in the shaded window and, with a little white, mix a lighter version for the sunlit shade.
C: Varying the mix of raw umber, paint in the panelling using the darkest colour in the foreground, and adding more yellow ochre as the panels recede.
D: The foliage and flowers are placed in with more detail next using olive, yellow and cobalt blue, and a mixture of crimson and cobalt for the flowers on the left-hand side. I used crimson for the geraniums.
E: Using yellow ochre as an undercoat, block in the shapes of the shadows.
F: When all the paint has dried thoroughly, rub off the masking fluid.
A: Paint in the white areas revealed by the masking fluid with gentle washes of yellow ochre for the panelling and pots, permanent yellow for the foliage and watery fluorescent pinks for the flowers.
B: With the palette knife on its side, place in the weathered grooves in the woodwork with raw umber. Mixing up some lighter greens, dot in some details of foliage. The darker areas on the flowers can then be added with small dabs of thicker acrylics.
C: A gentle wash of violet made from cobalt blue and crimson is used for the shadows cast by the hanging flowers and window box, and over the yellow ochre design. This gives a ‘radiant’ and natural effect.
D: With the rigger brush, paint in the last details of the window basket, the foliage and deeper shadows.
E: Finally, use the end of your finger to splatter a watery, dark raw umber paint until it peppers over the now ageing and weathered surface of the wall.
Do not let acrylics dry on your brushes. Always keep them wet, and clean them well when you have finished painting.