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Lemon Branch Impasto Painting Tutorial for Beginners in 4 parts

Lemon Branch Impasto Painting Tutorial for Beginners in 4 parts

Dive into the world of impasto painting with a simple yet satisfying project: a Lemon Branch composition. This tutorial is designed with beginners in mind, offering an accessible entry point to the sculptural and multidimensional aspects of impasto art. Utilizing a limited color palette ensures that even those new to mixing acrylic paints can achieve vibrant results without the worry of muddying colors. Through the combination of piping bags and palette knives, we'll explore techniques that bring texture and depth to your artwork, making it an enjoyable process for anyone looking to explore the tactile side of painting.

Materials Needed:

16 oz Primary Yellow Heavy Texture - $18
32 oz Titanium White Heavy Texture - $19
2 oz India Yellow Acrylic Colors - $7
2 oz Ultramarine Blue Acrylic Colors - $9
2 oz Alizarin Crimson Acrylic Colors - $11
16 oz White Base Coat - $17
2023 Spade Palette Knife - $7
Two 16-inch Paint Piping Bags - $9 (50 pack)
12x12x1.5 inch Wood Panel - $13
1-inch Panel Brush - $3
402 Ruffle Piping Tip (Note: Not available on our website)

Shop Heavy Texture

Shop Acrylic Colors

Shop Art Supplies

Getting Started:
Practice the following parts on your palette before applying them to the wood panel. This will help you get a feel for the impasto techniques and how the materials work together.

Part 1: Branch Basics

  1. Squeeze equal parts of India Yellow and Ultramarine Blue onto your palette, and mix thoroughly using a palette knife. Do not mix fully; aim for striations of color to create contrasts of light green chartreuse, warm yellows, and deep cool greens.
  2. Take the green mixture and coat the inside of the 16 inch piping bag using your palette knife. Use your hands to smear the paint around until the inside is throughly coated.
  3. Open the piping bag with the green mix and add a generous amount of Titanium White to the center until the piping bag is 3/4 of the way full.
  4. Snip the tip of the bag to about a quarter inch and pipe out the stem with even pressure to draw out your branches. Keep the bag twisted and tight to keep your branches uniform in shape 

Part 2: Leafy Accents

  1. Using the same bag, create a fat dollop for the leaf base.
  2. Coat the bottom of your palette knife with a mix of India Yellow and Ultramarine Blue, then swoop it upward through the dollop in one stroke to form the leaf shape. Clean your knife off each time before you swipe a new leaf.
  3. Add a vein detail by slicing through the leaf with just the tip of the knife, aiming for an abstract or impressionistic effect.

Part 3: Blossoming Flowers

  1. Fit a 402 ruffle paint piping tip into a new piping bag, trimming the bag so the tip fits snugly.
  2. Inside this bag, swirl a small amount of Alizarin Crimson, then add Titanium White Heavy Texture to the center.
  3. Practice piping flower petals onto your palette, forming four or five petals per blossom. Position a few clusters around the branches to keep the composition balanced, with lemons as the focal point.

Part 4: The Lemons

  1. Take your bag of Primary Yellow Heavy Texture, cutting a half-inch opening at the tip.
  2. Expel any air bubbles and begin piping out lemon shapes with firm, even pressure, aiming for the size of real lemons.
  3. Resist the urge to rework the lemons. It's best to leave them as be.

Additional Steps

Now that you have successfully practiced each part on your palette, you are now ready to commit to painting the real thing on your wood panel. 

  1. Coat your wood panel with a thick layer of White Base Coat using expressive brushstrokes.
  2. Directly on the panel, blend any variation of Acrylic Colors and Base Coat using your panel brush. Mix according to your preference for the background. In this example, Phthalo Blue, a hair of Carbon Black, and Yellow Iron Oxide were used.
  3. Use the video or above photos as a reference. It's easy to get carried working with texture so having a plan will help ground your piece.
  4. Allow the painting to air dry for about an hour,  plug in a fan to expedite the drying process for at least a couple hours, and ensure at least 24 hours of drying time before displaying.

Remember, the key to beautiful impasto work is consistency and flow. Keep your piping bags twisted and tight for precision. Practice makes perfect, so don't hesitate to use your palette for trial runs before committing to the actual painting. The simplicity of the process, paired with the sculptural depth achieved through our specialized techniques, offers a fulfilling artistic endeavor without the need for varnishes, sealants, or additional mixing mediums. Thanks for choosing gaffrey art material to elevate your daily painting experience.