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Paying tribute to the works of Ukrainian Artist Maria Prymachenko (1909-1997), learn the steps in creating a beautiful painting using our Jo Sonja Matte Flow Acrylics. Inspired by the work “May I Give This Ukrainian Bread to All People in This Big Wide World” (1982) and “A Dove Has Spread Her Wings and Asks for Peace” (1982), you will explore the techniques and style of this incredible artist.

Supplies Needed

Materials needed Maria Prymachenko
  • Rectangular Canvas (any size of your choosing)
  • Jo Sonja Acrylic Paints: Ultramarine Blue, Brilliant Green, Napthol Red Light, Yellow Light, Titanium White
  • Large Flat Brush
  • Small Round Brush
  • Palette or Paper Plate
  • Jar of Water
  • Rag
  • Pencil: HB or harder

Step 1

Let’s take the time to feel truly inspired by the naive folk art of the talented Maria Prymachenko. Look at examples of her work and take note of the symmetrical composition, shapes and colours that she used. You may wish to study the forms in her designs by sketching them roughly on some practice paper.

In this artwork we focused on the dove from her artwork “A Dove Has Spread Her Wings and Asks for Peace” (1982) and her beautiful sunflower motifs from the artwork “May I Give This Ukrainian Bread to All People in This Big Wide World” (1982). These two gorgeous designs are great symbols of peace and the happiness which it brings.

Step 2

After studying Maria’s works, let’s draw up our own inspired designs on a scrap piece of paper, keeping in mind key compositional elements such a balance and symmetry. Consider what colours you may use for different sections and make notes on the design. Make any edits you like to this rough draft until you are happy with it.

Using a pencil, lightly sketch the design onto the canvas.

Sketch on canvas

Step 3

Starting with the background colour, paint on the entire background area. It’s best to start by cutting in around the shapes then filling in the big areas.  If you are using an opaque or semi-transparent background colour, you can through caution to the wind and paint the entire canvas covering the pencil sketch. You can check the transparency of the colour by looking at the label.

Step 4

Next we can start to colour in all shapes of the design. True to the folk art style of Maria Prymachenko, use bright colours in solid blocks with no blending. In this layer, focus on simplifying each element, having even coverage and crisp edges. We used Yellow Light for the sunflowers, and mixed an orange using Napthol Red Light + Yellow Light + Titanium White. The leaves are Brilliant Green. Let dry.

Step 5

With the basic shapes painted in, it’s now time to layer details on top. This style uses a lot of patterns and repetitive simple marks. We mixed a light green using Brilliant Green + Titanium White to create a simple leaf design on top of the basic filled in shape of the leaf and for little light green dots on the sunflowers stem.

On the dove, we mixed Ultramarine Blue + Titanium White for a light blue colour to create the intricate patterns within the shape. Each element needs a top layer of detail.

Once the painting is finished, set aside to dry and enjoy!

Final Maria Prymachenko inspired painting

Jo Sonja’s Artists’ Colours Tutorials

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