Sample Two

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STEP #10 – Finishing Touches

The Grand Finale! These final little touches make a huge difference in the richness and quality of the finished work. They can be tricky, so follow the instructions carefully. Pay close attention to the values of your mixtures. Almost there!


These final touches are subtle, but they soften the color and make the painting sing. Notice the blue-greys in the bricks? Paint them with your small brush and be careful to match the value. Have the strokes go the same direction as the bricks. (B1 / U1 / W2 – V4)

VALUE MEASUREMENT (V) Use this scale from 1-7 to mark the tones of your mixtures.

Use this scale from 1-7 to mark the tones of your mixtures.


Again, here you can see those blue-greys on the ground. Keep in them in the shadows and be sure they match the value. Now if you look real close in the shadow behind the umbrella, there is some rich blues. They are a mixture of straight blue. (B1 – V6) Skip to the bottom of the page to see the larger picture, these blue strokes will be easier to see!)

OK, stop right here! As you compare your painting to the “finished demonstration” at the bottom of the page, is there anything that you missed? If you can’t see anything then …

Sign your name – YOU DID IT!

When there is nothing left that bugs you it’s time to sign and varnish. I usually sign at the bottom in black with my small brush. If you plan to sell your painting, click here for the rules.


Varnish your painting! Take the cap off the varnish and pour the varnish in the cap. Use your larger brush, be sure it has NO WATER in it. The varnish is oil based. Paint one even coat over your whole painting with horizontal strokes. Be sure there are no dull spots that you missed. Lay it flat as it dries so there are no runs. Pour the remaining varnish back into the bottle. Completely clean your brush with soap and water or keep submerged in water. If you allow the varnish to dry on your brush it will ruin your brush. You also have the option of using a spray gloss varnish, but you will need to spray outside because of the fumes.


Notice how the varnish brings out the luster and richness of the color! When acrylic dries it has a matt finish, so the varnish is an important step in the quality of the finished work.

Now that you’ve finished your painting, think about where you are in the process of your development. How many paintings have you done? How difficult was this painting? What could you do different?

As you watch your paintings accumulate you should be able to see where you are beginning to improve in many facets of this process. What will determine your success, besides adhering to the instructions, is your SENSITIVITY to what you see with your eyes and feel with your heart. This comes with time, but is the hallmark of a true artist.

Great job my friend! Be happy with what you did, whether you are satisfied with what you did or not, hold on to this painting and compare to future paintings. You will continue to grow your skills, as you master the art of creating beautiful paintings.

CAFE FINAL small_Fotor

This was the finished demo for the FREE PAINTING we did today. The original painting is the next one below. Can you tell a difference? To me, it looks looser with the brushstrokes. I kind of like it better looser! Each of you will need to decide how far you choose to take the realism in your paintings. I like to take it just far enough that it looks right – and I stop. Painting is so much fun when you just relax and let go!

DSC_0089 copy 2_Fotor

This is the original painting – French Cafe – 11X14 inches – acrylic

Each new class painting will use the same method, but with a unique and different landscape painting.  As you become familiar with the program, your paintings will become more amazing with each attempt. I hope this was a fun and challenging painting for you. Until next time – treat each painting as if it were your masterpiece!

Let’s paint something beautiful!

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