The Guitar Man Acrylics and Impasto

d e m o n s t r a t i o n
d e m o n s t r a t i o n
Acrylics and Impasto
The Guitar Man
By Gillie and Marc
‘Who draws the crowd and plays so loud, Baby it’s the guitar man..’
Final Step
Artist’s Palette
• Canvas: We use 100% pure cotton
canvas triple primed with acrylic
gesso primer with premium pine
stretcher bars with gallery bracing.
We generally use a 10-12 oz
canvas which stays tight and can
handle the gesso modelling paste
we apply before we paint. We
also use good quality linen for
larger artworks as it is the most
durable fabric and has strength
and resistance to handle heavy
modelling paste on a larger surface
area. We stretch a range of different
sizes, so that we always have
plenty of blank canvases on hand.
• Brushes: We use a range of brushes
and palette knives. We apply the
gesso modelling paste using a
palette knife. Once this has dried, to
apply the paints we mainly use the
stiffer Filbert brushes and a range
of Flat brushes, which allows us
to apply large areas of colour. We
use a selection of sizes in these 2
brush types, # 6-10. For the very
detailed areas such as the black
outlines on the faces and body,
we use a ‘sable’ Round brush
(#0-4). The conical shape makes
a perfect point and so it is easy to
control the paint in delicate areas.
Afterwards for spattering paint, we
use the Round brushes #5 or #6.
• Paints: We like Atelier acrylic
paints. The colours are intense
and mix and apply well.
Colours we use a lot are:
– Cadmium Yellow Medium
– Cadmium Orange
– Crimson
– French Ultramarine Blue
– Cobalt Turquoise Light
– Permanent Green Light
– Indian Red Oxide
– Raw Umber
– Burnt Umber
– Carbon Black
– Silver
– Rich Gold
– Copper
• Mediums: White gesso modelling
paste before we apply the paint.
This gives our paintings a 3D effect.
Step one
nce we started painting
together, we discovered our
styles didn’t just complement
each other: they merged. We created
our own visual style and language, so
that eventually people couldn’t tell our
work apart. After 20 years of painting
together it still works because we’re
a great team. We’ve found a way to
turn our passion into something we
can share and do together, and we
just feel so lucky that it works.’
We spend a lot of time brain-storming
together to work out the idea we want
to paint and then we do rough sketches
on paper until we are happy with the
design. This is an extremely important
step in the process, as this forms the
base for the entire artwork. We like to
have a very clear idea of what we are
doing and even work out the colour
scheme before we begin painting. Then
we draw it up on the canvas. We do
this with a charcoal pencil and we are
precise so that we know exactly where
we will be applying the modelling
paste and after this has dried, the paint.
Next we apply the gesso modelling
paste with a palette knife. We lay
the paste down thickly to match the
contours of the body and any form
so that a 3D effect is created. We
like to leave the background flat, so
we do not apply any modelling paste
in this area. The intention is to give
the painting extra dimension and
texture and make it jump out at you.
We leave this to dry for 1-2 nights,
so that it is completely set before
we move onto the painting stage.
Artist’s Palette
d e m o n s t r a t i o n
d e m o n s t r a t i o n
As we have already discussed and
worked out the colours we will be
using in the design phase, we are well
prepared. We mix all the colours we
need and stand on opposite sides of
the canvas, Gillie on the left being
left handed and right handed Marc
on the right. As our styles are now
identical, we can paint any part of the
canvas and still the overall effect will
be perfectly consistent. We apply the
blocks of paint to the canvas using
the Filbert #6-8 sizes and #3 for
smaller areas. We blend the colours
to give the characters shape and form.
After we have filled in all the colour
we then leave it to dry overnight.
Step two
• If you want a very textured painting
without having to use a tonne of
paint (which can be very costly),
apply gesso modelling paste
before you start painting onto the
primed canvas. Build the canvas up
with thick strokes using a palette
knife and then allow this to dry.
Now when you apply the paint
the texture is there and a huge
amount of paint is not needed.
• Brushes will last longer if they are
looked after so don’t stand your
brushes head down in a container
whilst working as they will get bent
and damaged this way. Keep acrylic
brushes rinsed whilst working so
they don’t dry hard as once they
are hard they are no longer useable.
• For those with busy lives who
like to have the flexibility to
come and go, yet want to use
Artist’s Palette
the same paints without them
drying, cover the palette with cling
film to keep the paints moist.
• To extend the working time of
acrylic paints in hot climates,
have a pump spray bottle of water
handy and spray the area of the
painting that you’re working
on regularly so that it stays
damp and easy to work on.
• For spattering paint at the end of
the painting, to give the artwork a
looser feel, mix the acrylic paint
with a lot of water so that it is very
watery and drips easily off the
paint brush. Keep these watering
paints in air tight re-sealable
containers. This way, it will last
longer and you won’t have to throw
the paint away. The dripping effect
can also be achieved by taking
a pipette, sucking up the watery
paint and then slowly dripping on
the canvas at an 80 degree angle.
Lay the painting flat at the point
you want to stop the dripping
otherwise it will continue. A lot
of movement can be achieved
by splattering paint on the areas
you want to show gestures.
• Pick your colours carefully in a well
lit room so that they all complement
each other. A good way to see if
colours work together is to match
them on a separate piece of paper
first. Black is a very important
colour because it gives contrast
and dimension. White is great for
highlights, especially in the eyes.
• Plan your painting well before you
begin by working out the idea, and
then sketching it up on the canvas
so that you know exactly what you
are doing and what the design is.
Using a Round brush ranging in
sizes from #0-3 we now outline
everything with black paint to
give definition and contrast to the
painting. We also use a Filbert
#3-5 with black paint to do shading
for the darker areas. Adding the
black to the painting gives it depth
and punch. We use solid black
in the darkest areas of shadow
and with a dry brush a thinner
layer of paint in the mid-tones.
When the black outline is complete,
we begin spattering the painting
with very watered down acrylic
paints and a #6 Round brush to
give the painting movement and
looseness. This is done by holding
the brush over certain areas and
tapping lightly so the paint creates
delicate spatters in the desired areas.
Whilst holding the canvas at
an angle a dripping effect can be
created easily due to the watered
down paint. The canvas is then
laid flat when it is finished so that
it can dry. The painting is now
complete and all it requires is our
signature bottom left hand corner.
The last and probably most
important step is thinking of a title.
We always do this at the end, so
we can really look at the painting
and take in what we have created.
We like our titles to really reflect
the mood of the painting and to
tell a bit of a story. We decided to
call this after the song by Bread
‘Who draws the crowd and plays
so loud, Baby it’s the guitar man..’
We just love this song and the
lyrics are so meaningful. n
Step three
Step four
Artist’s Palette