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Experimenting with Pebeo Iridescent Acrylics with Marilyn Allis (Acrylic)

30th November 2020 Estimated reading time: 3 mins

I so loved my time in Uruguay before Christmas last year. Brazil and Uruguay are such colourful inspiring places. I particularly loved the carnival atmosphere of the theatre in Uruguay and this particular dancing lady is a dream to paint. I love to experiment and felt that the iridescent paints would really work well with this subject. So only one way to find out.

Preparing your support

I painted the canvas board in a pale grey using a mix of White & Payne’s Grey. I felt this was quite a neutral base and hopefully would enhance the bright colours and metallic qualities of the paint.
I decided to draw my lady onto the board as this would free me up applying the paint and Impasto gel enabling me to paint quickly.

Start with the flesh tones

I started with the flesh tones of my dancer, looking for the light and dark shapes of her skin. I mixed a Prussian Blue, Raw Sienna, white & Permanent Rose Madder together for the tones. Adding a little Burnt Umber for the darker tones.

Use impasto gel to create the dress

I loaded a palette knife with a very generous amount of Impasto gel, smoothing it over the dress in the direction that the folds were moving. With a smaller palette knife I dipped into the Violet Blue Pebeo Iridescent paint, the white and a very small amount of magenta. I moved the small palette knife in the direction of the swirls, but first rotating a little to mix into the gel, but not a big mix as I want clear gel and canvas to show up when it dries. I left this for an hour to see if it dried in the way I was planning.

Complete the dress

Good news, I was very pleased with the result. So now was time to continue over the rest of her swirling dress. I applied more Impasto gel in the same way, this time following my reference photograph roughly added Iridescent Green Blue to some of the areas as well. The very dark shadows on the dress I used Blue Black iridescent paint on neat. Now I just had to wait for 24 hours to see if my plan was going to work.

Put in a few details, but don’t overwork it

I was so excited about the results. I hope I wasn’t going to spoil it by overworking. I had created the movement a & energy exactly as I had imagined. I needed to add a few details and using a small brush I used some Iridescent Blue Black and some Phthalo Blue for her fan, a few marks of Burnt Umber for the shadows on her skin. Opting to extend the shadow on her face and do away with features. I wanted to keep the feel of movement. Bangles and earing painted. I put the brush down quickly so not to be tempted to do anymore.

I so enjoyed painting with the Iridescent acrylics, I painted a lizard and a butterfly. Using a mix of normal acrylics and Iridescent ones. I loved the results. I am really pleased with how these worked and now have lots of ideas.

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