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This is the first part of the step by step lesson taught on Jan. 10th, 2018 and posted here for my students who missed that class. If you would like to join us for the last half of the class, just register online at http://www.nikkisportraits.com/Shop-Now.html and click “Art Instruction” to select this option or call 1-877-335-8655 toll free. Complete these steps and then join us in person Wed., Jan. 10th, 2018 from 4-6 pm at the Argyle Park Rec. Centre next to Dr. L.M. Hanna School in Regina.

“Sunflowers” by Nikki Jacquin after Van Gogh

What you will need:

1- 12″ x 16″ canvas or canvas board


1- #6 or #4 flat brush ( rectangular synthetic brush about 1/2 ” wide.)

1- #4 bright brush ( a 1/4″ wide square synthetic brush.)

1- #8 Filbert synthetic brush ( approximately 1 -1 1/2″ wide and curved at the end.)

1- #2 round brush ( a synthetic brush 1/4″at it’s widest and comes to a point.)

1- palette knife that comes to a point for mixing

Acrylic paints : Titanium White, Cadmium Yellow Medium, Cadmium Red Light, Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue, Paynes Gray, Burnt Sienna, Yellow Ochre and Raw Umber

1- rag

1- paper towel

1- large yogurt container with water

Optional: Heavy Gel Medium or Heavy Modeling Paste. These allow you to thicken your paint for very thick ( impasto) paint applications. If you do use these I suggest using a canvas board for a more rigid substrate.

Let’s start painting: Remember to clean your brush with water between each step.

Step 1:

– Wash Burnt Sienna all over the canvas surface using big loose washy strokes with more water. I used the Filbert brush for this step. A cross hatching stroke works the paint into the canvas best.

Step 2:

– Mix 2:1 : few dots the following paint colours; Titanium White (2 parts); Ultramarine Blue (1 part); plus a few dots of Cadmium Yellow Medium.

– Using your #4 brush paint little squares in alternating directional brush strokes to make a patterned background as above.

– Do this to 2/3 of the way down the painting.

Step 3:

– Now we will paint the bottom 1/3.

– Mix 1 part Burnt Sienna : 1 part CAD. Yellow Medium: 1 part Titanium White: a few dots of Cadmium. Red Light.

– With the #4 bright brush use a cross hatching stroke and pick up more white or yellow in the brush now and then to modulate the colour a little.

Step 4:

– Now we will start to rough in our vase.

– Use your #2 round brush and Raw Umber with more water mixed to a soupy consistency to draw a plumb line positioned as above. I started this line by marking the top and bottom position of this line. You may find it easier to draw a line between these points if you turn your canvas horizontally and draw on smooth line from the dot on the left to the dot on the right ( if you are right handed) or reverse if you are left handed.

Step 5:

– With the same colour and brush I mark the widest dimension of the vase and create the curved bottom for the illusion of perspective. Because we are viewing the vase from above this bottom will curve downward in the middle.

Step 6:

– With the same color and brush mark the centre line of the vase.

Step 7:

– With the same colour and brush again mark the back table line and connect the lines to create the sides of the vase. ( Again you might find these vertical lines easier to paint if you turn your canvas horizontally and use a more watery paint mixture.

Step 8:

– Now we are going to fill in the vase.

– Mix 1 part Raw Umber with 1 part Titanium White to make a light gray brown as shown.

– With your #6 flat or #4 bright brush fill in the bottom of the jar. With your brush still dirty with this colour pick up more white now and then or CAD. Red Light to indicate highlights and Reflected colour.

– Note all our brush strokes are curved like the vase to assist in giving the feeling of roundness.

– Clean your brush with water.

Step 9:

– Mix 1 part Yellow Ochre : 2 parts CAD. Yellow Medium: a bit of Titanium White for the top of the vase.

– Again use your # 6 flat brush or your #4 bright to paint in curved strokes the top of the vase.

– With your brush still dirty with this colour pick up a bit more White or Burnt Sienna to add highlights and shadows.

– Use a bit of CAD Red Light for reflected light from the flowers and Paynes Gray for the leaves or shadows cast by the leaves onto the vase.

We will pick up from here on Wed., Jan. 24th from 4-6 pm. See you then.