PDA

View Full Version : Painting in acrylics


rebus
08-30-2003, 08:01 PM
I want to do some painting in acrylics.... I've used watercolours and oils and although acrylics are supposed to give you the best of both worlds, I just can't seem to use them to my satisfaction.... Anyone got any advice?

Lady Carol
08-31-2003, 09:49 PM
Can you define why you can't seem to use them for your satisfaction?

Is it the paint, the paper, the brushes.......etc?

Einion
08-31-2003, 11:47 PM
It would help people to offer appropriate advice if you can give us some idea of the problems you're having, "can't seem to use them to my satisfaction" could cover a lot of ground! :) Drying time getting you down, having difficulty blending? Is their consistency not what you're looking for? Is their coverage not good enough? All of these issues and more commonly come up from new users so it's best to be as specific as possible.

It's also best to do a search for previous threads that might touch on what you're looking for too, you'll often find the answer is already here somewhere.

Einion

rebus
09-01-2003, 04:37 AM
Hello, sorry to sound so vague. I was hoping there might be some people out there who had made the move from oils to acrylics and could offer some help.

Basically, I'm finding the paint is drying too quickly on my palette. I can't seem to get the rich spread that I get with oils either, so rather than enjoying painting, I'm worrying about my water to paint ratio constantly. When I am getting the paint on the surface it just doesn't seem to blend how I want it to: either it just covers over what I've done, or mixes uncontrollably. I just can't seem to obtain smooth blends. Mostly my painting ends up looking stale and streaky :(

Didn't think to search for earlier threads.... duh, of course there's bound to be some... I'll do that.

gnu
09-01-2003, 05:21 AM
only oils I painted much with were paint by numbers!! :D but, acrylics take some getting used to..
when you've had lots of playing with them, you may find the different mediums added give more satisfactory results than just water..
I mostly mix on the palette(may change in future), amd I paint very quickly anyway so the drying is not such an issue for me..in fact I'd hate having to wait for paint to dry!!
Let us know how you find the thread browsing and we'll all help out as best we can with issues after that..
GIll

rebus
09-01-2003, 11:03 AM
Thanks gnu (interesting name)... I'll keep trying and not give up straight away but I think I'm never going to replace the oils. I think the hardest thing to get used to is the consistency of the paint and the way in which it dries more than the speed of drying.

I've also found a few useful threads, which I'll list here in case anyone else is interested...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=118683
http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=636
http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=69926
http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=127249

I'm sure there's loads more.... I've lots of wading to do....

imlayte
09-01-2003, 12:51 PM
Hey there rebus. It takes a while to make the transition but stick with it as I am sure you will eventually be glad you did. I am assuming your local atmosphere is on the high humidity side. If not add a humidifier next to your work. I still use one on those very dry days we get sometimes here in So. Cal. Do some testing on some pieces of canvas to determine the best thickness (water to paint ratio) you need for your present brushes that will allow you to make nice easy strokes (hard to explain easier to demo). You don't want the brush sticking to the canvas on the one hand and the other extreme would be having it slide across without grabbing the tooth.

Make simple paintings at first where you have planned every move. Hell, In the past I have even written down the steps I was going to take so I didn't waste time thinking during the painting process. Mix the colors ahead of time so they are ready to go. Make a little test painting on a 4x6 paper card so you know were you're going. Paint every day.

I hope I have been of some help. Good Luck

Howard

GregWood
09-20-2003, 12:17 PM
Originally posted by rebus
Basically, I'm finding the paint is drying too quickly on my palette. I can't seem to get the rich spread that I get with oils either, so rather than enjoying painting, I'm worrying about my water to paint ratio constantly. When I am getting the paint on the surface it just doesn't seem to blend how I want it to: either it just covers over what I've done, or mixes uncontrollably. I just can't seem to obtain smooth blends. Mostly my painting ends up looking stale and streaky :(


Heres what I've learned.

Use Lots of clean surfaces for mixing. I use small bathroom tiles and just toss them in a bucket of water when I'm done with that one and grab another if paint starts to dry out and you can't wipe it off easily. (how's that for bad grammar?)

The Masterson wet palette is great. Works absolutely fantastic! I cut the paper into small pieces and use a couple "patches" at a time rather than one big piece. That way, when one gets filthy from having too much paint mixed on it, you throw that one out and the other one still has your raw pure color daubs on it.

I move the paint with a pallet knife and mix it with a toothpick or the back of the brush run through a pencil sharpener. The colors are so brilliant that mixing them with the bristles tends to give me grief with color variations and dead looking colors. Two molecules left over from the previous batch is enough to kill the purity of the colors.

Mixing with water doesn't work for me. Buy the three mediums (gloss, matte, and airbrush liquid) and use them for thinning. It is also imperitive to learn to work with the mediums as this is the only way to get the transparent colors. I keep a hair dryer handy for lightning drying and find it easier to lay down a few transparent layers of a pure color to match and tone in something than to try and get the paint perfect first time.

Clean the daylights out of your brushes every major color change. I have one of those three tank gadgets and keep weak ammonia in the first followed every time with two clean water rinses.

The painting after drying overnight can be sanded lightly with a fine 400 grit sandpaper to get rid of ridges and blops, give you a nice smooth as a baby's butt surface your new strokes.

Hope at least some of this is usable.

Gregory

Bubba's Mama
09-20-2003, 12:42 PM
Hey Greg - being new to acrylics, I found your tips very interesting, especially the tip about cutting the stay-wet pallette paper into more than one piece so that you can throw away the dirty bits, and keep the clean ones

Will save me a small fortune!! Thanks

Susan

Alan Cross
09-20-2003, 02:18 PM
I go back to acrylic's and when I do I water them down like watercolors and use them trasperant as much as I can ....at least for the first few layers...
Alan :)

TheLymner
09-20-2003, 03:17 PM
I have been painting with acrylics for close to 30 years. Among the tid-bits that I have learned is that I do not paint with acrylics, I draw with a wet medium. Therefore, I keep a small hair-dryer close at hand and use it often. Contrary to conventional wisdom acrylics dry way too slow, LOL. Also, I like small stiff brushes for the final layers (4 to 5). Work from local color up to highlights and down to darks. Use ONLY distilled water for all purposes, including cleaning your brushes. For a medium, mix a batch of 1 part flow control, 20 parts distilled water, 20 parts matt finish medium. And if you can find any, use Tupperware deviled egg trays for your pallette. The little egg tubs will hold your paint nice and usable for weeks, as long as you keep the lid on tight, and spray often with distilled water. DO NOT USE TAP WATER. This will cause mildew on your paint.

Have fun.

Danny E Haislet
TheLymner

angi612
09-20-2003, 03:53 PM
Rebus, it took me a frustrating 6 months to feel comfortable with acrylics. Now I wouldn`t use anything else!

My palette is a stay wet one. Any flat tray with a tight lid would do. A sheet of kitchen paper wetted forms the bottom layer, then a sheet of greaseproof paper, either in one piece or 2 or 3. Your mixing area is best if you can replace that bit of top paper when you need to. Keep the under paper wet but not so you can see water on it. And when you take a break make sure the lid is on tight.

The secret is practice, practice, practice.

Good luck.