Acrylic Dry Brush Landscape Painting

This lesson was to show young students how to layer color when painting with opaque paints, such as acrylic or tempera. Their tendency is to mix and mix and mix, which only creates a muddy palette. If you put some restrictions in place, the outcome is much cleaner and brighter.
1. I had the students paint the bottom third of a horizontal paper white. (This example was done with acrylic, but tempera would work fine too.) Then they chose a main cool color for the sky, as this was to be a winter scene. All the paint needs to be spread thin so that it starts to dry pretty quickly.
2. Next, an accent color was added to the sky as small dots of paint that were brushed with just a few quick strokes. Another accent color was chosen for the ground, and also smoothed with just a few strokes. (This student chose pink for the sky and green for the ground.)
3. After the sky and ground are dry, or even mostly dry, a black fence is painted in with thin horizontal and vertical lines.
4. Snow is added with white paint in the sky, on the fence and on the tree.

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