Day 24 of my acrylic pouring color theory series is a jellyfish painting, which is perfect subject matter for an analogous color scheme of blue, blue-green, and blue violet. Combining various acrylic pouring techniques, this jellyfish takes advantage of all kinds of textures and is a super fun project.
If you’re curious about colors and color theory as it relates to acrylic pouring, head on over to my post about Choosing Colors for Acrylic Pouring and grab your FREE printable Color Wheel and Color Scheme Guides.
If you would like to follow along with my 30-day acrylic pouring color theory video series, grab your very own color wheel and color scheme guides and some paint, and head on over to the color theory section of Homebody Hall!
If you’re pouring for the first time and would like more explanation on materials, processes, and terms, you can head on over to my Beginner’s Guide to Acrylic Pouring. You can also head over to my Comprehensive Guide to Acrylic Pouring Techniques for more information on all of the different techniques and my How to Thin Acrylic Paint for Acrylic Pouring post to learn all about pouring mediums!
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Color of the Day (Day 24 – Jellyfish Painting):
- Analogous – Blue, Blue-green, Blue-violet
- String Pull
- Straw Blown
All of the colors I used were mixed from the paint colors below. (Blue and green (yellow and blue) for blue-green, blue and violet (blue and magenta) for blue-violet)
I used magenta for my violet hues because I think it makes a less muddy color because there isn’t a yellow undertone to it as there is with red. So if you ever want to make a very vivid violet color, go with magenta. I have found that I actually prefer the Liquitex Basics Quinacridone Magenta to the Artist’s Loft Brilliant Magenta.
- Artist’s Loft Brilliant Blue
- Artist’s Loft Brilliant Yellow
- Liquitex Basics Titanium White
- Artist’s Loft Brilliant Magenta
- Cotton string
- Popsicle stick/skewer
- Rustoleum American Accents Gloss Clear (1 thin coat)
Jellyfish Painting Step by Step
How do you paint a jellyfish body?
- The first thing you’ll want to do to start your jellyfish painting is lay down a nice even base coat of paint in your background color to work with.
- Next, you’ll place the paint for the body on the canvas. You’ll want to start with a small puddle so that when you blow the paint out over the canvas you get the translucent look of a jellyfish. I layered my three colors starting at what was to be the top of the painting with blue-green and moving down to blue-violet and then down to blue toward the bottom of the canvas.
- Using your straw, blow the paint from the top to the bottom to form the mushroom-like shape of the body of the jellyfish. Leave the paint thicker toward the top and let it thin out as you move downward to make it more transparent. I recommend working on your jellyfish painting upside down, at least when you’re painting the body, because that’s the direction that the paint will be moving, away from you.
How do you paint jellyfish tentacles?
So after doing some research on the anatomy of a jellyfish, I found that jellyfish have two different dangling appendages, tentacles and oral arms. Who knew? I thought they were all tentacles! Anyway, for this to be a more realistic rendition of a jellyfish, you’ll want to have both on your jellyfish painting.
I started with the oral arms (that sounds weird but it is what it is, I suppose), and the string pull technique is perfect for these; it mimics the shape quite well!
- You can either pour some paint down first and dip your string in it or pour the paint onto the string. It really doesn’t matter as long as paint makes its way onto your string. I just poured my three colors onto my string quite randomly.
- Next, lay your string onto your canvas in a wavy manner and from the end closest to you, pull straight toward the top of the jellyfish, making sure to lift the string when you get to the body of the jellyfish so that you don’t mess up the body that you just finished.
- Repeat Step 2 several times to fill out the center third of your jellyfish, alternating between pulling the string toward the top of the jellyfish and the bottom of the canvas. This way, the shapes are mirrored and you get a good balance in your oral arms and they’re not weighted too heavily toward the top of or the bottom of your painting.
- After that, you’ll want to work on the true tentacles of your jellyfish. First, I figured out where these would be by placing a dot of paint with a skewer at the base of the body to help me visualize where I wanted these to go.
- Then, I dragged this paint down toward the bottom of the canvas with my skewer, curving them slightly. I went back in and filled these out with paint on the tip of my skewer, and I touched up with white anywhere that I thought they got a little wonky.
Putting the Finishing Touches on Your Jellyfish Painting
- To finish off this jellyfish, I added some details in white. First, I added lines from the top of the jellyfish body to the bottom of the jellyfish body spacing similar to where the tentacles are.
- Then I accented the cap of the of the jellyfish with a white line as well.
- As a finishing touch, I softened these lines that I added by blowing them gently with my straw so that they blended in with the jellyfish more and didn’t stand out so starkly.
Go Forth and Pour!
And that’s how to paint a jellyfish with acrylic pouring! Acrylic pouring is a really easy way to get into painting if you’re just starting out and want to make some amazing DIY artwork! And if you want more ideas, check out this other project, an underwater scene with pink jellyfish!
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