How to Paint a Mansion in Acrylics – Part 1

Following the initial interest in my report about a commission I was working on I have begun to compile a paper about work in progress.

Feeling honoured to have been commissioned to work for a noble family I have noted down the various steps it took to complete the painting which is going to be a Christmas present from a husband to his wife. The painting is of the wife´s father´s house which appears to be quite a mansion.

All the correspondence with my customer has been via my website and via e-mails going to and fro. We have agreed on a layout and as you can see in the picture the initial drawing has been approved. Of course it does not look very exiting without colour.

drawing by Pat Harrison

sketch of a mansion

It had to be composed based on several photos which were sent to me. As there was a deadline to be met we have decided on acrylics rather than oils considering the drying times.

I have used the following list of materials:

Hahnemuhle Fineart Bamboo 30×40 cm Mixed Media 265 g/m² suitable for watercolour, acrylic and pastel.

Daler Rowney System 3 Original Acrylics coeruleum blue, lemon yellow, Hooker’s green, yellow ochre, burnt sienna, raw umber, and Payne’s grey as well as DR acrylic white

Brushes: Daler Rowney worn out flat shader no.6, and round brush no.3 and no.0
Boldmere round no.3, Habico round no.2/0

As a first step I painted the sky using a no.3 round brush with a pale mix of coeruleum blue and white. The outline of the house and roof followed with a touch of burnt sienna and a hint of raw umber.

drawing by Pat Harrison

underpainting the sky and the building

Next came the wall in front of the building which I painted using the same no.3 round brush with a heavily diluted raw umber after first covering the area in question with clean water. It was basically applying acrylics as if they were watercolours. Details did not matter at this stage as I was still getting the tones right for the underpainting.

drawing by Pat Harrison

the wall has been added

The grass area was to follow laying down a diluted mix of lemon yellow with a touch of coeruleum blue and burnt sienna. Watered down burnt sienna was also used for the path at the bottom left, all still using the no.3 brush.

drawing by Pat Harrison

path and grass area

In order to complete the underpainting I added the rest of the grass area and started on the various tree shades. The greens were mixed from lemon yellow, coeruleum blue and burnt sienna with the latter serving to tone down the green and stopping it from turning out to look too bright.
The darker greens are a mix of the aforementioned colours with raw umber and Payne´s grey depending on how dark I wanted them to be. Payne´s grey and lemon yellow will give you a very dark green to which you can add some Hooker’s green if you want to brighten it up again.

To be continued


About Pat Harrison

Painting and drawing have been my passion from early childhood. I have attended numerous exhibitions in England and Germany. Presented with the Judges Award at a show I now have one of my paintings on permanent display at a museum in Greater London with growing sales and commissions.
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