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Still Life with Cherries

Traditions™ Artist Acrylic

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Still Life with Cherries

designed by Sue Pruett, MDA

See how Master Decorative Artist Sue Pruett makes these cherries come to life with Traditions™ Artist Acrylics.

See more projects using this product.
Learn more about Traditions™ Artist Acrylic.

SUPPLIES

Traditions™ Artist Acrylic

  • Brown Madder (DAT47)
  • Carbon Black (DAT42)
  • Hansa Yellow Medium (DAT52)
  • Medium White (DAT37)
  • Naphthol Red (DAT02)
  • Naphthol Red Light (DAT03)
  • Red Violet (DAT32)
  • Ultramarine Blue (DAT26)
  • Warm White (DAT36)
  • Yellow Oxide (DAT12)

Traditions™ Mediums

  • Extender & Blending Medium (DATM02)

Traditions™ Sealers and Varnishes

  • Satin Varnish (DATM04)

Other supplies

  • water container
  • paper towels
  • tracing paper
  • pencil
  • 1" flat brush
  • small container
  • #6 filbert brush
  • #3/0 liner brush
  • #10 filbert brush
  • #10 dome blender
  • canvas (primed: 8" x 10")
  • Sta-Wet Palette
  • transparent tape
  • white graphite paper
  • #0 mop brush
  • #12 filbert brush
  • 200-grit sandpaper
  • empty spray bottle
  • waxed palette
  • hairdryer
  • T-square

INSTRUCTIONS

NOTE: Extender & Blending Medium is used to extend the open time of the paint. It is applied to the dry surface using a large clean brush. Apply a thin application to an area or the entire surface; brush back and forth to activate. When using extender, dress the brush into extender instead of water.

  1. Squeeze paints out onto a wet paper towel or wet palette container with a moistened paper towel to keep paint moist as you paint. Occasionally mist the paints with water to keep them moist.
  2. Sand the canvas well and wipe clean.
  3. Mix equal parts of Brown Madder, Naphthol Red, Red Violet, and a touch of Carbon Black. (Save the extra mix in empty container, or on wet palette, for touch-ups.)
  4. Use a large brush to apply the background color to the canvas. Dry well with the hairdryer. Sand if necessary.
  5. Use a T-square to measure 3-1/4" from the top of the canvas, then place the ruler horizontally across the canvas. With a pencil, draw a faint straight line across. Place transparent tape underneath the line pressing down to prevent paint from bleeding.
  6. Mix Carbon Black and a touch of the background mix from step 3; use new mix to paint above the tape, avoiding a heavy ridge along the tape line.
  7. Trace the design onto tracing paper and transfer to the canvas using white graphite paper. (The bottom of the right cherry sits 1-1/2” from the bottom of the canvas.)
  8. Undercoat the cherries with Yellow Oxide and the stems with a brush-mix of Ultramarine Blue and Hansa Yellow Medium. Dry well with a hairdryer.
  9. With a large flat brush, apply a thin, even application of Extender & Blending Medium to the surface.
  10. With the #10 filbert brush, brush-mix equal parts of Yellow Oxide, Warm White, and Hansa Yellow Medium. Apply to the light area on the upper right quadrant of each cherry. Pinch out the excess paint from the brush and use the brush tip to blend the outer transition line, or soften with a mini mop brush.
  11. Apply and blend Naphthol Red Light along the inside edges of each cherry; pinch the brush; and blend inward. (A mini mop, or dome blender, brush can be used to refine the blending.)
  12. Dry well with a hairdryer.
  13. Apply a thin application of Extender & Blending Medium.
  14. With the #6 filbert brush, brush-mix Yellow Oxide, Warm White, and Hansa Yellow Medium. Pyramid this lighter value within a smaller area of the the previous light value, blending the outer edges.
  15. Apply Naphthol Red to the lower left dark area and blend.
  16. Dry well with a hairdryer.
  17. Apply a thin, even application of Extender & Blending Medium.
  18. With the #6 filbert brush, brush-mix Red Violet and a touch of the mix from Step 3. Apply to the lower left dark area, pyramiding in size of the previous application.
  19. Brush-mix the two background colors together. Apply the cast shadows starting directly underneath the cherries and then blending to the left.
  20. Brush-mix Warm White and Hansa Yellow Medium to add smaller areas of this lighter value within the previous light area. Dry well with the hairdryer.
  21. Transfer the stem areas that are on top of the center and right cherry.
  22. Apply a thin application of Extender & Blending Medium.
  23. Brush-mix the table color and a touch of Red Violet; apply to the lower left crescent dark area of all cherries, pyramiding in size of the previous application. (The center and right cherry will have the darkest shading.)
  24. Brush-mix the two background colors together for the cast shadows. Apply the cast shadows within a smaller area and closer to the object.
  25. Use Naphthol Red to paint the two reflections on the table. (These are not refined but more of a suggestion of the cherries reflecting onto the table. This table has a matte surface; if the table had a glossy finish, the reflections would be further developed.)
  26. Use the #6 filbert brush to brush-mix Warm White and Hansa Yellow Medium and apply the sparkle highlight to the cherries, softening the outer edges.
  27. The stems are a cylinder shape, one side will be light and the other side dark. The center will remain the undercoated value. Use the liner brush to re-basecoat the stems, then brush-mix Ultramarine Blue and Hansa Yellow Medium.
  28. Without rinsing the brush, add Hansa Yellow Medium and Warm White and apply to the right side of the stems. (The back stem will not have a highlight because it is in shadow.)
  29. Rinse out the light color and load the brush into the table color and Naphthol Red, darkening the left side of the stems.
  30. Rinse brush and add some Yellow Oxide to the light side,and at the top right side of the branch area.
  31. Add Medium White and then Yellow Oxide to the top right side of the stem, slightly blend with the mini mop brush.
  32. Apply a thin, even application of Extender & Blending Medium to the surface. With the #6 filbert brush, brush-mix Naphthol Red Light and Hansa Yellow Medium and blend onto the cherries between the light and medium value.
  33. Let dry well and let the painting rest for a few days before varnishing, just in case you want to add anything. Varnish with two application of Traditions Satin Varnish.

HELPFUL HINTS

Blending: Applying two or more values of color side-by-side, or one on top of another and blending them together, resulting in a smooth transition between values changes. The angle on the brush is important, holding back on the handle and having the brush at a 45-degree angle so you are blending.

Layering and Pyramiding: The process of creating form by applying diminishing layers of values on top of one another. Each time a new value is added, it is applied to a smaller area on top of the previous value, thus building the layers of values to a pyramid.

Side-Loading: Moisten a filbert or flat brush with water or extender medium, and then touching the brush to a paper towel to absorb any excess moisture. Dip one corner of the brush into the paint and blend it back and forth on a waxed palette paper, working the paint toward the center of the brush.