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

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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.

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