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Video Duration: 18 mins
Estimated time to complete the lesson: 2-3 hours
(pause video as needed to complete steps, but please complete at your own pace)
This tutorial is recommended for adults and children 10+.
Use acrylics to create a vibrant and colourful background, layered with a white zebra design.
be guided step by step
learn valuable skills
design an attractive composition
pick up handy tips
watercolour paper or canvas
paints - primaries and white
brushes #6 and #0 round
fine mist sprayer
white chalk (or light colour) pencil
straw or empty pen
REMEMBER – there are no rules, don’t be afraid of experimenting!
These are my tips, to be used as as a guideline for creating this particular work, in conjunction with the video. Pause the video after each step and then complete that stage at your own pace. You can always go back to gain clarification on a particular aspect of the process:
PREPARE COLOURS - put out a small amount of your 3 primary colours and mix water into some
of each, leaving some paint undiluted
FIRST BACKGROUND LAYER - use your #6 brush and apply colour to the background. Remember
to be loose and playful - there are no rules. Keep varying both colour and application but don’t
overthink it! Be experimental, but also be patient. Make sure you leave white space between
colours, but not too much!
DETAIL LAYER IN BACKGROUND - use your smaller brush to add to the background, do all of the
above, just in a smaller and more detailed way. Allow this to dry completely at this stage
DRAW SUBJECT - you can either draw straight on to the background with a chalk pencil or use a
template that you make yourself using a piece of paper to transfer the outline. Large area subjects
work better than smaller or complicated subjects. Draw your subject on to a separate piece of
paper, cut out and trace around this onto your background
WHITEWASH THE BACKGROUND - dilute some white paint and paint this loosely over the whole
background, leaving the main subject colourful
WHITE DETAIL IN SUBJECT - use a more concentrated white mix to add details to the subject,
thinking about the contours and patterns. A simple line design will work better - no shading at this
DARK DETAILS - dilute blue to add details sparingly. Use an even more diluted blue to add washes
of shadow where appropriate. MAKE SURE ALL OF THE WHITE AREAS ARE DRY. Add any
finishing touches you see as necessary.
QUESTIONS: Please feel free to send me an email at