Bring some luminosity to your work with acrylic glazing on black
There is something uniquely special about working on black. Granted, you can't use markers or watercolors, but, with colored pencils and acrylics, the black lends a natural luminosity to the colors that is hard to get on white. For this particular project, we're going to work with glazes of acrylics. A glaze is a technique where you used diluted acrylic, either with glazing medium or simply with water, and it is applied in layer after layer after layer.
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These are Niji Waterbrushes. If I could upload a soundtrack, you'd hear angels singing right now. These are my favorite thing EVER, and no other water brush compares. Believe me, I've tried them all. It takes some practice getting used to the constant flow of water, and it takes some time to learn to control it, but it's totally worth it. Glazing, at least for me, has always been difficult, but working with waterbrushes makes it all elementary.
First, start out with a simple sketch. I always use a white charcoal pencil for my sketch – it erases pretty cleanly and nearly completely when washed with a little bit of water.
(If you don't have black matboard/illustration board/canvas, you can start with a layer of black craft paint on your white base!)
Next, it is time to warm her up a little. The colors we've used so far are relatively cool with bluish undertones, so I used washes of burnt sienna in the shadows, yellow oxide in the midtones, and cadmium yellow light hue in the highlights to mellow the harsh purple tones. I also used the lighter yellow to brighten up the bug.
Finally, I added some extra texture and funky color with glazes of hot pink and turquoise, mostly because just about everything I paint needs a little hot pink and turquoise. Funk up the background with some swirls and speckles, and you're done!
The thing to remember when using this technique is that nothing is permanent. You may reach a point of panic, thinking you have screwed it up completely - I reached that point up there in the red layer. Take a deep breath and look at it – what's missing? What don't you like about it? What do you love about it? I almost always work too cool, so warming it up with yellow is usually a good fix. Above all, have fun with it and don't be afraid of turquoise and hot pink.