View Full Version : Just starting with acrylics

03-15-2014, 01:40 PM

A few weeks ago I decided to start painting in Acrylics. Bought a very cheap set of 12 small tubes and started with an old Paint-a-Long I found here in WC (PAINT-A-LONG: Still life on a black background and OCTOBER CLASSROOM: Blending and Glazing)

I had a pastel studio I did not like in a mdf board, 20x30cms. I covered it up with four layers of acrylic gesso and started with the painting.
It took me a couple of days (4-5 hours in total). I liked it a lot, but definitively I have a long road to learn.
I did not have a glaze medium so I only used water

Please Comments and Critiques are welcome, I hope this is the beginning of many works in acrylics for me



03-15-2014, 01:53 PM
This is my second studio after reading an old P.A.L here in WC: PAINT-A-LONG: Still life on a black background

I use a gessoed mdf board (over a previous oil pastel studio). 20x30cms

I started with my very cheap acrylics tubes and at the end decided to use a rembrandt's tubes I bought (still digesting the differences between them)

My gessoed board surface had a few irregularities that complicated my brushstrokes and glazing but at the end it did not affect my work (next time I will sand it better or use a canvas)

I am not completely happy with this work and I do not want to "overwork" it. So maybe I will paint it again, so your comments and recomendations will be nice


03-15-2014, 02:47 PM
I think you are doing very well with the acrylics. The apple looks great and the colors in the second painting are beautiful. You may have to add more white to the tulips they register green on my monitor. It has taken me time to work with the acrylics too.

03-15-2014, 03:15 PM
You are doing very well. Just keep on painting. It takes time and lots of painting to get even a cursory understanding of what acrylics can do, so keep at it.

03-15-2014, 06:22 PM
Looks like a great start to me! The PAL's are fun!!

03-15-2014, 06:41 PM
ArtsyMom, thanks, I am going to add more white to the tulips, I wanted them a little greeny to create a bit of contrast. Working with titanium white is difficult because of its opacity - at least for me at this moment :thumbsup:

idylbrush, susme48, thanks for your comments. I will keep painting and learning for sure, and yes, the P.A.L threads are fun, I just started the "Edges, lost and found, hard and soft.." one.

03-15-2014, 08:31 PM
Wow these are great. Keep at it for sure. You obviously have drawing skill, and you seem to have picked up working with the paint quite well. Will be interesting to watch your skills develop over the coming months. I predict you will do very very well. :thumbsup:

(Given your obvious potential, I would recommend you use the best quality paints you can afford.)

03-15-2014, 11:14 PM
Thanks ColinS, appreciate your encouraging comments

I do love drawing, I think it is very important to become a good painter.

I already ordered from Amazon a few Liquitex Professional Soft Body Acrylic Paint and already have a few rembrandt tubes I found. Definitively the rembrandt's colors are a way different from the cheap ones I used with these two paints.

I want to try tubes and liquid paints, soft body, heavy body, and will post my studios to share and learn from such a wonderful people in WC!

Thanks again

03-16-2014, 12:58 PM
You're off to a very good start. I like thin paint and use Liquitex soft body paints. I also use their gesso instead of white, which is also pretty thin. But I find titanium white too chalky and zinc white too transparent.

03-16-2014, 01:27 PM
Try using zinc white or transparent white instead of titanium white .


I 98% of the time will tint the white I am using either titanium white or zinc white. A touch of a bright yellow seems to enforce the light effect a touch of blue cools it .

I am learning also the effects you can do are amazing . The opacity or the transparencies have a huge effect on a painting . Pick up some glazing medium. And experiment with glazing .

This guy is amazing I am trying to figure out how to incorporate some of his techniques to my own.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hs5qvvcfA5k Good explanation of opacity vs transparencies.

You are off to a good start .


03-18-2014, 11:33 AM
You certainly hit the ground running! Glad you are Getting better quality acrylics, as they will make your whole painting experience more enjoyable, without having to fight with your materials.

03-18-2014, 09:58 PM
Glad to hear you're giving acrylics a try. I love them! Your paintings show you are off to a good start.

03-21-2014, 10:33 AM
I'm quite impressed on what you have achieved with cheap paint!

03-21-2014, 12:02 PM
Michelle, Eric, thanks for your comment. I appreciate your tips.

I just viewed the youtube video Eric suggested, kind of cool, definitively I prefer transparency so my use of titanium white will be spared to specific uses and I going to get Transparent Mixing White so I can try the glazing technique when white is necessary

03-21-2014, 12:18 PM
jennifervs, thanks for your comments. Definitively getting the colors and effects I want with my cheap paints
are a struggle sometimes, but I think it is good to know the "good" and "bad" stuff in order to appreciate more the medium. I have a second set of this cheap paints so I will use them for quick studies on canvas paper or for background for my pastel works

jmclea, cinderblockstudios, thanks!
I am very excited about this medium, so far only three studios (I will post the last one in a few minutes) and each one one them gave a me a lot of satisfaction. I will keep working with acrylics for a long time!

03-21-2014, 12:56 PM
This is my third acrylic studio. I had to "fight" a bit with the yellow but the darker zones were a bit easier.
I would have liked the apples a bit smoother but I like the final result (Comments, tips and critiques are welcome, please)

Charlie's Mum
03-21-2014, 06:24 PM
Hi H, - for this last one I've done a detailed comment in the PAL thread.:)

You've followed the 'Apple' Classroom well to achieve this first apple. The more you build up the red glazes, using a range of reds as Maverick did, the richer the final work will be - it's amazing how the glazes have a deeper and richer effect than mixing the same colours on the palette.

I see you decided to follow the original tulip ref rather than using the black b/g! Try it with avery dark b/g - the drama it creates is quite exciting and you might just find the green in the tulips works well!

I hope you enjoy the better quality paints - pigment load is so much better and makes the job easier.
Well done with all of these.

03-21-2014, 08:49 PM
That apple is fantastic - nice fluid form. :thumbsup:

As a newbie acrylic painter myself, I am trying to "use up" my cheaper paint because I have noticed one difference of significance for me - the coverage. I can get a most delicious strokes of color and coverage with the artists quality paint.

I found too that different colors have different properties, like the student quality Burnt Umber takes many many coats to look "right" compared to say full strength Golden Heavy Body Titanium White.

For me, there's been lots of trying out various brands, pigment load and viscosity to find one that works with my own style of painting.

03-22-2014, 01:01 AM

I just checked your comment in the PAL, an update is coming, thanks again.

Actually I used a black background in the tulips (a combination of reds, blues and burnt umber) Maybe I lost the transparency with so many layers trying to get rid of the titanium white opacity.

My liquitex soft body paints have not arrived yet, so I am thinking about painting these tulips again using a glazing medium and my new rembrandt tubes (only a few greens, yellows and reds, so I would have to bought a better quality blues). I am so excited about this paints

Monarchd, thanks for your comments.
So far I only have tried with my cheap chinese set and a few of a new rembrandt tubes I found on sale. They are different indeed but I think the cheap ones have worked well. Do not like the way some colors change after drying (Not so much but is kind of annoying)
Definitively there is a long road I have to take in acrylics, but I am ready for the challenge, and with a lot of kind and helpful people here in WC I have no doubt it will be nice!


03-22-2014, 01:03 AM
Very nice paintings. I started out with cheap craft acrylics also, and I still have some of those old paintings around, and they seem to be holding up pretty well over the years. In the long run, you will be better off with professional quality paints and brushes. But everyone has to get their feet wet somehow.