Hello from sunny Bradford UK!

hello to you all and hope you're well!

I've drawn on and off most of my life (I'm 28) and my love for art has come back this past year. I've gone through some turbulent times with Crohn's disease and mental health, so unfortunately, I lost my passion for most things.

However, I can't stop drawing and I've bought some acrylics. What I'm wondering is, when my drawing improves and done some practice with acrylics I want to get the Geneva paints and start the DMP method. Is this method only suitable if you can get a dark room with expensive lighting? Also, can it eventually be used for creating paintings from imagination, master copies, more impressionistic style and plein air, or is it mainly for realism still life and portraits? Which I also want to do by the way, I just want to try get some more information before spending quite a bit of money on equipment.

I've been researching painting methods and it confuses me and overwhelms me like dog in a ball pool. William Bouguereau is blowing my mind at the moment looking at his paintings online. Does anyone know if this is a similar method or capable of getting similar fleshntones? I know it's not feasible to say I can take a course and paint like WB ha, I'm just curious. Also, immensely fond of Sargent and Sorolla recently.

anyway, any help is appreciated. Apologies for the long introduction ha. I will upload my first two ever paintings with acrylics if anyone would like to see them, not great but I'm proud about making a start.


  • Welcome. This advice is free, hence worth every cent or farthing: The Carder "Method" is a learning process for novices and painters who want to improve in realism. It's just a way to learn to draw well and mix paints easily to match the color you see in life or a photo; and to paint what you see. The method includes just one style but it (ala prima or one layer) is a fundamental and once mastered opens the door to any other style. The method can be used in a lighted studio or outdoors. Indoors is recommended so that the light can be controlled throughout the day and night allowing for more time at the easel. the recommendations for lighting and a dark studio are for one purpose only... to control glare which interferes with color matching and a few other lesser reasons. You need good lighting but it can be done inexpensively. If you haven't already invested in acrylics I think you would get better results with oils they are much more forgiving especially for the novice. So....

    Take Mark's free online course and watch as many of the other videos you can. Follow the method religiously for at least 5 paintings before considering taking a different path.  BTW Sargent is one of Mark's favorite painters.
  • Thank you so much for your informative reply. I will definitely, give it a shot once I can afford the paints and equipment. I just watched a video of Mark actually mentioning Sargent, brilliant!
  • Hi and welcome @Vangonetotheshops, you're in a good place here as dmp forum members r eager to help whenever they can :)
  • edited October 2019
    Hi, @Vangonetotheshops. @BOB73 covered the ground pretty well above so I won't repeat - except to say that many of us here started at absolute zero and have found enormous help and encouragement in this place. I'm sure you will, too. Welcome. :)  
  • edited October 2019
    Hello and welcome @Vangonetotheshops, sounds like you have been through a lot.
    As you probably know there can be wonderful therapeutic benefits from doing art.

    I look forward to seeing your work when you post it.

    Happy painting


  • @Vangonetotheshops hi from Edinburgh :0
    Another Brit here (there are a few of us I think).. As others have suggested you are better looking towards oils as soon as you can but playing with acrylics to get into mixing colours, manipulating paint and exploring application of paint through your brushes all still go towards learning. If you haven't used oils before they can be a little daunting to tackle but most of that is in the mind for some because they see them as the special paint for masters and professionals, but like others have said they are actually a very forgiving medium once you get to grips with their properties.
    You may want to try and use an acrylic retarder to slow down the drying times of the acrylics to mimic oils, it may help moving into using oils.
    Anyway, welcome to the forums. I'm fairly new here too and have had lots of help and tips going forward.
  • Thank you all very much for your kind comments! I look forward to sharing this journey with you. I love art!!!! 
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