Fantasy Art Workshop: Acrylic Painting Techniques
POSITIVELY ANGELIC Illustrator Jeff Miracola brings a woodland character to life, as he explains how to master an underrated medium
Illustrator Jeff Miracola’s extensive four-disc DVD set reveals how he brings a woodland character to life.
Painting with acrylics may not have the history and even glamour of using oil paint, but they’re an affordable medium that’s easy for newcomers to painting to get to grips with.
Jeff Miracola’s epic-length video provides as comprehensive an overview of acrylics as you could wish for. It’s ideal if you fancy dabbling with physical artwork after working digitally for a while, or are new to making art,
Half the six-hours-plus running time is devoted to a single painting. Clearly structured chapters show you early stages, including thumbnails, taking photos of a model and preparing your painting surface, before guiding you through the entire painting process.
You’ll see Jeff use techniques including washes, glazes and scumbling, as well as using masking fluid to temporarily block out areas he doesn’t want to paint over. As he works, there’s in-depth discussion of techniques including creating different types of edge and the Frazetta-inspired injection of colour into shadows. This is interspersed with snippets offering more general tips, starting with beginner-friendly topics like the basic equipment you need to start painting with acrylics.
The other half of the video is taken up with shorter sequences, covering everything from a tour of Jeff’s studio to a useful colour mixing exercise for beginners. The most successful of these films is an engrossing look at a second acrylic piece featuring a dragon, where Jeff shares his technique for underpainting a monochrome layer to establish values before working in colour on top.
You can choose between a four-disc DVD set, a hefty download or a £49 bundle comprising the DVD sets and the downloads. But whatever package you go for, you can be assured that Jeff’s advice and insights will stand you in good stead, whatever medium you use to create your art.
If Jeff’s fantasy woodland character looks familiar, it’s because she appeared in a workshop, in issue 138 of ImagineFX. Making the video as beginner-friendly as possible, Jeff introduces you to all the equipment you’ll need for your own work. In this painting of a dragon, Jeff explains his technique for underpainting values before adding colour on top of the beast.