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Caribbean adventure with British artist - Marylin Allis

Join PA Marilyn Allis as she uses Interactive Acrylics to interpret a wet day in a Dominican market

The Caribbean Island of Dominica was full of colour, even in the warm rain that poured down on us for half an hour. This market scene was so appealing to paint; I loved the colours and the body language of the two ladies at their stall. I decided to use acrylics to paint this scene which captured the vibrancy and colour of the morning

“Caribbean Cocktail” by Marylin Allis …


Paints out of Interactive Acrylic colours:
• Cobalt Blue
• Arylamide Yellow Light
• Titanium White
• Naples Yellow Reddish
• PermanentAlizarin
• Brilliant Violet
• Cobalt Turquoise
• Prussian Blue
• Atelier water spray,
• Atelier Unlocking Formula
• Atelier Satin Medium & Varnish
• Atelier Impasto Gel
Brushes: • SAA silver 1”flat, • Size 6 long flat
Surface: Canvas , variable size


1. I Covered the canvas with very watered down Arylamide Yellow Light, Brilliant Violet, Cobalt Turquoise, Cobalt Blue and Naples Yellow Reddish. Using the SAA 1” flat brush. I allowed the colours to mix and merge on the canvas

2. Once the washes had dried, I started to place the two main figures. In my photograph I
had cut off their feet (oops), but I felt that this wouldn’t really look good on the finished painting, so I have placed my ladies higher on the canvas and added legs and feet, using dabs of Alizarin Crimson and Prussian Blue.

3. Using thicker paint now I started to place the parasol using Naples Yellow Reddish, blending in some Titanium White on the canvas. I then used the Brilliant Violet, again blending in the white. This is where the Interactive Acrylic comes into its own; if you need to blend and your first layer of paint is starting to dry, you can just spray with water from the Fine Mist Water Sprayer and bring it back to a state you can work with.

If it has dried completely just use the Atelier Unlocking Formula and it will be workable once again. The left side of the photo was more in shadow and needed to be darkened so I added Alizarin Crimson and blended it in to darken the paint.

4. I added some Alizarin Crimson and Arylamide Yellow Light together for the first lady’s jumper and Prussian Blue with Alizarin Crimson for the other. Next using a flat brush I started to add objects that tell the story of my market scene, but not in any detail - just marks of colours. I will add the darker and lighter tones a bit later, when everything is in the correct place and I am happy with my composition.

5. I thought that the two women needed to be highlighted slightly so I blended in some yellow behind their heads. I loved the different textures of the canvas showing through in places, to the thicker, almost neat acrylic paint. Finally I added some thick Impasto Gel -not too much but enough to create interest. I added this to the Prussian Blue and Alizarin Crimson mix of the lady on the right hand side, some to the yellow of the sunshade and a little to the red jumper.

This hot scene was very invigorating to paint and I felt that by using the acrylic paint I had captured the vibrancy of this Caribbean market. I find I can enjoy much more freedom painting in this way, as there is no drawing beforehand, and because I can correct any mistakes I am far less inhibited!

There is a Chroma event Atelier Interactive Workshop with Marilyn coming up on 21st April, 2012. It is listed on the Chroma Events page. In addition, of this and other workshops with Marilyn and more of her paintings can be viewed at