Loosen Up With Acrylics and Bob Burridge

Follow along with professional artist Robert (Bob) Burridge as he shows us how to loosen up our paintings.  Bob paints 3 pears in 4 minutes using only 3 colors.  He is constantly moving, painting, talking and you can't help but have fun watching and learning from all the great things that he has to say!  Burridge is featured in the bestselling book Finding Your Visual Voice: A Painter's Guide
 to Developing an Artistic Style.  A great book and one I have in my own library!

The following videos are excerpts from Robert Burridge's DVD, "Loosen Up With Acrylics".  First he demonstrates painting loose by painting 3 pears, next he paints a vase of flowers in his easy manner.   The second video demonstrates pears again using "reductive painting".

Here's a transcript from video to save in your studio notes!

As I promised, let's do 3 pears using 3 colors. Here on my palette I've got plenty of white dollops out, a big glob of yellow, red, and blue.

Let's draw that pear and make it really simple. Use circles for the base, and triangles for the top. Fill in for the highlights like so on the left and we'll put some of this white in the background.

Notice how I'm letting the orange peek through.

Now let's go for the darker sections using the red. Starts out just like the monochromatic doesn't it? A lot of artists do this - I know I do - that way you get your lights and darks established from the very beginning.

Again, we'll go to the backside of every pear with the red. See how I'm always redrawing this with my color. I can correct all the time.

Let's start adding some yellow - that will really brighten it. Again I'm using the yellow as my mid-tone using short choppy strokes to avoid blending.

While I have the yellow on my brush, I'm going to pick up the white and make the table top a bright yellow. I forgot the shadow for the pears so I'm going to leave a negative shape here to remind myself to add a shadow.

The painting is almost done. You'll notice that I clean my brushes out on my paintings - too many of us are creating dirty water by taking a brushload of beautiful color and putting it in the water.

One thing to consider when you have extra paint on your brush is to put it somewhere else on the painting - that's what helps to hold the whole painting together.

Now we'll start using the blue - our surprise color. I'm going to come back on the dark side of the painting and add our cool colors on the shadow side of the pears. We're still working with triatics - red, yellow, blue - and with my brush I can come back in and do short choppy blending.

I'll add the stems with the blue and add the shadows, too. While I have this blue on the brush I'm going to pick up some of the red for a violet color. This will give it more contrast.

How do you make your lights lighter? You make your darks darker. Your don't necessarily have to keep adding more white to it. Short choppy strokes - let the other colors come through.

The thing I want to point out to you though is that you should be painting with a discarded mat. This will help you see it more clearly.

Let's use the same principles in doing flowers. basically you have a rectangle for the vase, the line for the table, and I'm going to make the flowers on this side to be dark, and add the shadows.

Now I'm going to do what I call negative shape painting. I'll take advantage of the orange and spotted yellow irregularities. This is an oversimplification but it's a great way of painting. 

Reductive painting the Burridge way!  (Also called "negative painting") 


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