Previous Demonstrations

Click here to return to programme page


Epic Landscape in Acrylics with Marcus Finch

Our first demonstration of 2021 was via Zoom online. Marcus has demonstrated for the Society before, but this was the first time online. He decided to tackle a panoramic view of the Grand Canyon. Here is the reference photograph:

Marcus started by discussing the issue of copyright. This photograph had already been altered from the original – Marcus had digitally painted an overcast sky to replace the clear summer sky of the original. In addition he intended to adapt the image as he worked on the painting.

He had prepared a large piece of hardboard by priming it and rubbing down to provide a key for the paint to adhere to. Marcus used Seawhite paints, primary red, primary blue, yellow, white, burnt umber, a plastic lid as a palette and inexpensive brushes. He also had a colour shaper – like a paint brush but with a flexible plastic point.

He started by marking the halfway point on each of the sides of both the reference photograph and the support. The sky came down to almost the half way point and he painted this in various tones of blue/grey working from light to dark. He indicated the position of the sun outside the painted area and ensured that all suggested rays of light spread out from that same point. When painting the clouds, he ensured that base of each cloud was linear. When he stopped working with his “sky” brush, he wrapped it in cling film to prevent it drying out.

The distant rocks were laid in with the same palette of colours using a flat brush. The colour shaper was used to remove paint and produce highlights; this only works if the paint is still wet. Working forward through the landscape he gradually warmed the colour palette, still laying in the darker colours.

He then started to illuminate the painting using highlights, starting in the distance and working forward. Again warming the highlight colour as he approached the foreground. In a flurry of activity in the final minutes Marcus painted in the sandstone rocks in the left foreground and depicted scrubby vegetation as well.

The final image is shown below. Quite a remarkable achievement in 2 hours.

Back to top

2020 archive

2019 archive

2018 archive

2017 archive