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Project: Storm Coming




Storm Coming: acrylic

Artist: Christina Sherrod

buffalo acrylic painting lesson I love to watch buffalo as they peacefully graze. They never seem to have any worries or cares. I also love Arizona cloud formation, especially as storms approach. I combined the two in this painting. I have taken many photos of each over the years, and used many of them as inspiration for this painting. The buffalo who posed for me was at Bearizona, in northern Arizona. The clouds were inspired from a recent trip I took to northern Arizona.

I always start with a few pencil lines, so I know just where to lay down my various layers of paint.


buffalo acrylic painting lesson I now have a few more layers down for the sky. I used several colors, such as cerulean blue, ultramarine blue, titanium white. and cadmium yellow light. This will help give more depth and variation to the sky.


buffalo acrylic painting lesson After laying down a few more layers of sky, I switch to the ground. Notice that the yellow in the sky is no longer obvious.

Ground, including grasses, small plants, and dirt is made up of many shades and textures. I use a variety of colors when laying down my first layer. I like to use various shades of brown, maybe some black mixed with brown, and some greens. One of my favorite colors to use in a ground foundation is yellow ochre.


buffalo acrylic painting lesson I laid down many layers for the ground. I used varying textures, colors and brushes to create the final layers of the ground. This added depth and "realness" to the ground. I also added small spots here and there that the eye will see as "flowers". I wanted them to be very subtle - barely visible in the grasses.

After the ground was finished, I started the trees. I used a frayed 3/0 brush to create evergreen trees. For color, I used a mix of greens, browns, a bit of yellow ochre, and black.


buffalo acrylic painting lesson I finished the tree line, then went back and added spots of paint here and there at the base of the trees. I also touched up the trees here and there, making sure that no blank areas remained.


buffalo acrylic painting lesson I decided to paint the buffalo next, then finish the sky. I started with a foundation of paint, using a mix of yellow ochre (where the golden fur would be), warm gray (looks like a warm beige), burnt umber, titanium white, and black


buffalo acrylic painting lesson I added a few more coats to the buffalo, blended here and there, added fur, and added detail around his hooves. I also painted the buffalo in the background.

When I had finished everything, I stood back and looked at it to decide where to place the clouds. I wanted clouds to be forming for a thunderstorm, and I wanted them to be coming toward the buffalo. I used titanium white, burnt umber, ultramarine blue, and black to give depth to the clouds.

The color differences between photos on this page are due to the fact that only the final image was was made from an actual scan of the painting. The colors in the scan are much more accurate. The other images were created from photos taken with my cell phone.


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