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Artist Community

Written by Ginnie Chen

origami1   Materials:
Pencils for drawing roughs, acrylic paint, a few brushes of different sizes and a variety of origami paper with different patterns and colours. In this particular example I've used a cold press illustration board, but you can use any surface you wish, from canvas to illustration boards, to construction paper to wood panels - anything goes.
origami2   Step 1:
Create a rough sketch on the surface that you're working on, using either an HB, or a 2B pencil. It is best to not get into too much detail or shading at this stage. Just focus on the outlines of your subject for now.
origami3   Step 2:
Paint a base colour for the whole piece using two to three acrylic colours mixed together. This will create more texture, and it is much more interesting to look at than just painting one flat colour. In this example I've used, Hansa Yellow Light, Cobalt Teal and Yellow Cadmium. I recommend painting the colours either side by side or mixing them together to create different shades of colours. Use a dry brush technique to cover the whole surface or leave some spaces white if you want to create a highlight effect later. Don't wait for the base colours to dry as the wetness of the paint helps the origami paper to stick better.
origami4   Step 3:
Use the origami paper to cover your subject, in this case, the birds. I usually like to rip the origami paper instead of cutting it because I like the texture of the paper being ripped better. Simply apply a small amount of acrylic paint on the area that you want to apply origami paper and then place the paper on top. Using a dry brush, take a small amount of the same paint, and paint over the origami paper. This will blend the paper in to the background colour.
origami5   Step 4:
Create a light and dark effect by using a darker shade of the base colour that you've already used. In this example I've used Burnt Umber, and Yellow Ochre to create shadows. I've used Hansa Yellow and Titanium Buff to create the highlights. You can always paint over the origami papers as the whole point is to blend in the origami paper with the colours that you're using.
origami6   Step 5:
Pick a background colour that will bring out your subject even more. In this case I used Cadmium Red Light and Cadmium Yellow. I also used two pieces of origami paper that had the colour red with white floral patterns. I "painted" the origami paper in the background using the same dry brush technique that I've used on the birds. Again, try to blend in the origami paper as much as you can with the background colour.
origami7   Step 6:
Using a lighter shade of both orange and yellow, I paint over the background leaving it patchy. After brightening up the painting, I use the same Cadmium Red Light mixed with a small amount of Cadmium Yellow to paint around the birds. This creates more depth, and brings the birds forward even more. Don't be afraid to use your *fingers to blend they are the best tools for blending. I always go over my subject with a very faint line of Raw Umber or Black to bring the subject out even more, which is what I've done here with the birds and the pear. After that just a little bit of fine-tuning is needed, adding more details on the birds and the pear, and we're finished!

*Note: It is recommended that vinyl gloves be used when skin is in direct contact with Cadmium colours as they are highly toxic.