Morning class! This week we’re going to learn how to capture the brilliant features of reflect in copper, utilizing acrylic paint.

You are watching: How to make copper color paint

I certain love how colorful this copper pan is surrounding by the dark range. Notification how, also though the elevator is a dark subject, over there is still a lighter tone on either side of the pan to bring it forward.

Copper provides a an excellent subject, enabling us to occupational with a complementary colour palette of orange and also inky blue, deep blacks and also vibrant color glazes.

So let’s obtain started…

Downloading the reference photograph

There’s a downloadable recommendation image and drawing guide that you deserve to work along from at home.

The photo listed below can be ‘right clicked’ and also ‘Save photo as’, therefore you have the right to print the out and use it together a reference photo alongside the video.


You can also download a High Resolution 20 x 25cm Reference photo here (opens in new tab)

Downloading the illustration Guidelines Reference


You can additionally download a High-Resolution pointer for Printing below (opens in brand-new tab)

Materials you will certainly need:


Filbert – Isabey Isacryl Acrylic Brush, Filbert shape, size 6 – series 6572

Palette Knife

RGM standard Line, medium size 45, Diamond-shaped, cranked (angled) handle. I use an RGM 45 for mix the paint.


I demonstrate on a 10 oz cotton duck canvas, 19mm Profile, 20 x 25 centimeter (about 8 x 10 inch) that’s had 2 coats that white acrylic gesso used by the manufacturer.

Other Materials

Kitchen roll/paper towelClean waterTear-off color pension or stay-wet color pension (In this indict I demonstrate on one A3 dimension white tear-off palette)

Paints – The colour Palette

I usage a mix that Golden hefty Body colours & Winsor & Newton professional Acrylic (also called Artists’ Acrylic). I use student grade repaint for the coloured ground.

Coloured Ground

Pale Umber (Winsor & Newton – Galeria)

Main Painting

Titanium White (Golden)Carbon black color (Golden)Burnt Umber (Golden)Cadmium Yellow irradiate (Golden)Cadmium Orange (Golden)Burnt Sienna (Winsor & Newton)Phthalo Blue (Red Shade)


Permanent Alizarin Crimson (Winsor & Newton)



Acrylic Glazing fluid (Gloss) Golden Paints. This will expand the working time the the paint and permit thin applications the the paint with smooth smokey blending. What ns like about Glazing fluid Gloss together a medium, is you have the right to use the in any kind of ratio through your paint and it still brushes well and also remains a nice repaint film integrity.

Step 1. – Choosing a Coloured Ground


Using a warmth neutral floor colour gives a good base because that the oranges the the copper pan and also acts together a highlight colour for the reflected irradiate on the front of the range.

I’m using a pre-mixed college student grade acrylic native Winsor & Newton Galeria range, referred to as Pale Umber.


It doesn’t need lot water to dilute it as the repaint comes in a softer body directly from the tube.

If girlfriend haven’t got a Pale Umber, you deserve to mix a comparable colour utilizing the same pigments uncovered in the Galeria pre-mixed tube:

Titanium White – PW6Yellow iron Oxide – PY42Red iron Oxide – PR101Mars black – PBk11


Decanting the Galeria paint due to the paint having actually a softer, much more liquid consistency than the hefty body.

I then transport the paint to the canvas using a dimension 45 angled color board knife native RGM. Using a color pension knife deserve to be a great way to originally move the paint roughly the canvas before swapping come a brush because that smoothing out.

Pro tip: I would certainly usually repaint coloured grounds on a flat table surface, yet to illustrate the technique during the tutorial, I demonstrate working on a vertical.

Step 2. Paint the Coloured Ground


Smoothing out the paint texture utilizing a 1.5 customs Purdy monarch XL elite brush.

I’ve dipped the brush into a touch that water and also work over the canvas in both directions. Ns take off most of the repaint using the sheet of the palette knife so that only just covers the surface. I’m taking treatment not to develop up this layer as well thickly together I desire the following layer to ‘grab on’.

Step 3. Illustration out Guidelines


Having a guide for your drawings can really help to create room around the key subject and keep her composition in check.

One that the most usual mistakes when illustration out a quiet life topic is to make the key subject as well big. The guidelines offer you an outside edge to occupational to. (See: Are girlfriend Making any kind of of this 7 Compositional Mistakes with Your tho life Paintings?)

Measuring the ratios around the metal pan offers us breathing room for the object to sit into.

Step 4. Illustration Freehand



When you’re illustration out the copper pan it will certainly feel tiny – as well small, even when you’ve measured it the end from the guidelines, but stick through it. Once the pan has obtained colour and kind everything will feel in scale.

When you’ve got the accuse down, friend can complete the rest of the illustration freehand. I’m utilizing a 3B Mars Lumograph pencil and also sketching in the shadow shapes, denote the slim curve in ~ the leaf of the pan.

Step 5. Paint the Negative


I begin the paint using Carbon Black hefty body paint, diluted through water. Cream color Black or Mars black color would also work fine. I usage the paint straight from the tube in the very darkest areas of the painting and then background the push off the brush and also dilute with water to provide a charcoal-like-grey for the mid-tones.


I’m thinking in black and white in ~ this stage, looking for the shape of the pan to show up by paint the negative space approximately it. You deserve to see a comparable drawing technique used in this urban lay out tutorial the a bike, whereby the background go in an initial to create the illustration position the the main object.

Scrubbing in the tones in the background, thinking just how the tones would occupational in a charcoal illustration first.

Step 6. Adding Dark Accents


I climate swap come a little round brush to paint in a fine line at the base of the pan and refine the corners.


Tonal block-in that the background making use of Carbon black color on a Pale Umber ground

Step 7. Prevent in the Copper Pan


I desire to develop the contrast between the warmth colours in the pan and the cool colours in the background so ns swap to a scorched Umber and block-in a slim layer to give a warm base because that the succeeding layers.

Step 8. Including Blue


I now introduce a Phthalo Blue (Red Shade) and also mix a little with the Carbon black to develop a blue-black. By mix in Titanium White I develop a 4 action tonal colour string to use in the blue areas of the background.


I work-related down the color string, going increasingly lighter towards the base of the copper pan.

Step 9. Presenting an Orange Glaze


Using a glazing medium allows you come work longer with the paints in diluent layers, especially when working upright at the easel. I’m making use of Acrylic Glazing liquid (Gloss) from gold paints.

I include a flat orange glaze making use of a burnt Sienna native Winsor & Newton, this has a lovely colorful undertone to build a warmth base because that the copper pan. I’m now using a man-made long level brush, a dimension 4 Evergreen from Rosemary & Co.


The an initial glaze is thin and also even, using Acrylic Glazing Liquid


Step 10. Adding our Lightest Light


Adding white come the charred Sienna colours mix gives united state a an ext opaque application that colour.

I can then repaint some pure Titanium White at the optimal of the reflection to press the tonal range in the painting and give us the brightest tones to referee our following mixes against.

Step 11. In search of a Dark Pattern


I mix a muted brown using the charred Umber and Burnt Sienna to repaint in the darker shapes of the reflective surface. Emphasising the dark lines within the reflection renders the lighter areas appear to shine brighter.

Step 12. Introducing Brighter Pigments


For the final stages, i really desire to press the chroma (saturation) of the colours, therefore lay the end Cadmium Yellow Light and Cadmium Orange onto the palette.


A touch of Cadmium Orange to carry a vibrancy come the reflections

Step 13. A Warming Glaze


Working with some permanent Alizarin Crimson I deserve to reinforce the warmth red color on the shadow side of the copper pan

Step 14. Final Blue Glaze


To finish the elevator I add a thin blue glaze to carry up the soot of the colour next to the copper.


The perfect painting.

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I yes, really hope you enjoy the tutorial and also have a look at part previous student success stories v this lesson.