Last week I talked about using gesso to establish the dark structure of a painting. You can use the gesso full strength for solid black or dilute it for gray tones.
Once the gesso is dry, paint a warm color glaze made of fluid acrylic paint mixed with glazing or gloss medium in a middle value. The glaze establishes a warm underpainting and adds a hint of color on top of the black.
After the glaze is dry, add some opaque lights to create a full value range and some cool middle values for color contrast. Leave some of the transparent glaze showing to contract with the opaque paint.
When the painting is finished, there is very little evidence of the gesso.
The last painting of the low country salt marsh and palmettos was created using the same black gesso and warm glaze technique. This was a demo for the acrylic painting class I’ve been teaching in the last few weeks.
Click here for more information about the class.