Sunday, April 19, 2009
How to Paint Realistic Bricks
My painting above titled "Yellow Lilies and Country Bricks" is an excellent subject for learning how to paint realistic bricks.
The brick background is painted first. It will be easier to work on the bricks if the flowers and leaves are masked before painting to prevent any "brick" paint from accidentally getting on the flowers.
Use a small sponge to tap on the basic shape of your bricks and to add variations in color. A rectangular "kitchen" sponge is excellent for painting bricks. I usually cut one of the sponges into 4 pieces to make it easier to handle. The 90 degree angles at the corners make it an excellent sponge for painting the brick corners and the straight edges of the sponge are excellent for painting the straight sides of the bricks. I also use a small sea sponge as well to add some variety in the texture.
Bricks are found in many different colors and any combination of colors can be used for both the bricks and the lilies. However, in the above painting, I used the following paints for my bricks.
First, apply diluted Burnt Sienna to the sponge and tap it up and down on the paper. Return to the palette and pick up more concentrated pigment, transferring darker values to your bricks where you think it looks best. For variation in color, try tapping in hints of Sepia, Raw Umber, and Paynes' Gray.
It is tempting to cover all the paper on the first step, but you don't want to over the brick area. The brick will look more realistic if you apply several layers of varying colors, allowing one layer to dry before adding another layer of color.
You can create the look of cast shadows on the brick edge by underscoring with a fine irregular line of diluted Burnt Umber and Sepia or Indigo. Paint your shadows sparingly though, using a light touch and make your lines uneven. A brick's edges tend to be slightly uneven so the shadows should be also.
The grout comes next. Pre-wet the area of grout you wish to paint. On the point of your grout, pick up a tiny bit of diluted Sepia and Burnt Umber. Apply the pigment carefully just under the bricks. The color should diffuse downward. Add some imperfections in the bricks as well. When this area dries, spatter the surface lightly with Burnt Umber and Sepia.
Get your sketch complete and brick some walls!