Next, I added a light, watered-down wash of the acrylic paint. I was trained as a watercolor artist, so I tend to go with washes at first. You don’t necessarily have to do it this way–just works for setting the stage and giving it some reference color.
Then, I get a bit more color on my brush and start laying up deeper, thicker dabs of paint and paint the ocean first, then work my way to the bird. It’s sort of a process, and sort of saving the best for last. I keep going, adding more detail as I go, and trying to be careful to “keep it loose” (keeping it loose is a term for trying to be painterly about the piece–and not trying to get every molecule exactly how it appears in the photo).
I like to work really fast, and this painting took about an hour. I like that aspect of acrylics–they dry fast. Some folks don’t–they like how oils allows them to mix and move it around a really long time. You can add additives and retardants to acrylics, too, which will give you longer working times.
The painting is finished, and I sit back and take a swig of my delicious, cold cocktail ( I believe it was a greyhound–to play upon the whole grapefruit theme at the beginning).
Want to see how to make some other stuff?