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DMSS
02-24-2015, 06:46 PM
A thread in the Acrylics forum poses the question whether natural, not oversaturated, landscape colors are achievable with acrylics. I use acrylics, and seem to mix muted colors when I want to. I don't see any reason why one would have difficulty mixing natural landscape colors with acrylics. Am I missing something? What are your thoughts? Do you think acrylic painters oversaturate their colors compared to oil painters, and if so why do you suppose that happens -- I am personally unaware of the phenomenon.

opainter
02-24-2015, 10:50 PM
Because the pigments are (pretty much) the same for oils and acrylics, I don't see any reason why it should be more difficult to mix muted landscape colors with acrylics than with oils. Much depends on what colors of paint are used. The history of oil paints is much longer than the history of acrylics, and perhaps some acrylics painters have not learned to take advantage of the range of colors (really the range of chromaticities) that oil painters have. One thing that makes me think that this is the case is that it seems to be much easier to find colors that are lower in chromaticity, like Caput Mortuum, in some of the oil paint lines than in acrylic paint lines. Even when such colors can be found in acrylics, they are often given "newer" names, so "Caput Mortuum" would become "Violet Oxide," for example. The pigment formulation would remain the same. And some of these lower-chromaticity colors, like Terre Verte, are really hard to find in acrylics. If I don't see Terra Verte on the store shelf, I may just pull down a tube of Phthalo Green! (Well, not really, but I imagine that someone else might.)

Patrick1
02-25-2015, 12:14 PM
It depends on the individual, working methods, and materials. But for me, oversaturation often is (or can be) a problem in acrylics (more so than oils) - for landscapes or any other subject matter. Because ordinarily, acrylics have a short working time, so you don't naturally get the same inadvertent blending with colors below and adjacent like you do with oils.

For acrylics, I like Unbleached Titanium to often use in place of white - it helps to pull everything together. I also like Raw Umber as a general greying-down color...almost a 'warm' alternative to black.

sidbledsoe
03-02-2015, 06:59 PM
Patrick, yes raw umber seems to work great for any color but is also good for desaturating yellows, without going green.

DMSS
03-02-2015, 07:18 PM
Patrick, yes raw umber seems to work great for any color but is also good for desaturating yellows, without going green.
I just did this with Hands Yellow Light an hour ago and it worked very well.

JamieWG
03-07-2015, 06:35 PM
David, do you think it's possible that artists who prefer bright, saturated color tend to be more drawn to acrylics? I don't find color differences between my oils and my acrylics; in fact, it can be hard to tell them apart.

I suppose Raw Umber varies quite a bit from brand to brand or batch to batch. Some do go green when mixed with yellows.

DMSS
03-07-2015, 11:59 PM
David, do you think it's possible that artists who prefer bright, saturated color tend to be more drawn to acrylics?
I don't know, and I don't know why that would be the case. To my eye, the same pigments that are very bright and saturated in acrylics are very bright and saturated in oils, too.

I don't find color differences between my oils and my acrylics; in fact, it can be hard to tell them apart. That is what I think, too.

Patrick1
03-08-2015, 08:22 AM
David, do you think it's possible that artists who prefer bright, saturated color tend to be more drawn to acrylics? I don't find color differences between my oils and my acrylics; in fact, it can be hard to tell them apart.
I find I usually get better final results with oils - no matter how hard I try with acrylics! No difference in maximum chroma possible, but big difference in color cohesion, subtle nuances & blends, edge variation, etc. Just my experience... obviously it varies with the individual, style, working techniques. But in my humble opinion, nothing beats oils :angel:. Haven't yet tried Golden Opens to see how close they come.

Mythrill
03-08-2015, 08:45 AM
I find I usually get better final results with oils - no matter how hard I try with acrylics! No difference in maximum chroma possible, but big difference in color cohesion, subtle nuances & blends, edge variation, etc. Just my experience... obviously it varies with the individual, style, working techniques. But in my humble opinion, nothing beats oils :angel:. Haven't yet tried Golden Opens to see how close they come.

Patrick, an interesting technique to try with acrylics is to glaze a very thin layer of an unifying layer, e.g, Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide (PY 42) to bring colors together, and then retouching some setions again if they turn out to dark or too different from the final colors you want. It helps to make colors more cohesive.

Patrick1
03-08-2015, 09:10 AM
Mythrill - it's funny you mention that. I used to be opposed to unifying glazes for many years due to ideological reasons; I thought it is 'cheating'. But after seeing a very good professional artist do just that - to unify the underpainting - I figured if a pro can do it, there's no reason I can't either. So just 2 days ago I used a very watered-down mix of Yellow Ochre + Buff Titanium to give a unifying, warm, bright glow caused by street lights off in the distance, in a nighttime winter scene. And with a few retouches where needed, as you suggest.

I like to try to get the colors unified to begin with (using pre-mixes and/or a 'mother color' helps greatly) ...but from now on, I won't hesitate to use a unifying glaze in acrylics if needed.

Mythrill
03-08-2015, 09:55 AM
Mythrill - it's funny you mention that. I used to be opposed to unifying glazes for many years due to ideological reasons; I thought it is 'cheating'. But after seeing a very good professional artist do just that - to unify the underpainting - I figured if a pro can do it, there's no reason I can't either. So just 2 days ago I used a very watered-down mix of Yellow Ochre + Buff Titanium to give a unifying, warm, bright glow caused by street lights off in the distance, in a nighttime winter scene. And with a few retouches where needed, as you suggest.

I like to try to get the colors unified to begin with (using pre-mixes and/or a 'mother color' helps greatly) ...but from now on, I won't hesitate to use a unifying glaze in acrylics if needed.

Yeah, just as you said, it's not cheating at all. :) In fact, this was key to the techniques of the Old Masters.

You would never think the Old Masters used such simple techniques to achieve their results, but what separates us from them is not a special, "lost" technique it's the mastery of such a simple technique!

DMSS
03-08-2015, 10:18 AM
I find I usually get better final results with oils - no matter how hard I try with acrylics! No difference in maximum chroma possible, but big difference in color cohesion, subtle nuances & blends, edge variation, etc. Just my experience... obviously it varies with the individual, style, working techniques. But in my humble opinion, nothing beats oils :angel:. Haven't yet tried Golden Opens to see how close they come.
Patrick, if you haven't already, you might also try the Chroma Ateleir Interactive acrylics -- they are designed to stay open a long time by spraying water, and they have an unlocking formula to spray to reactivate them. Youtube has some short videos explaining how they work. I have not yet decided what I think about them.

I tried oils this past Fall for about 2 months so my experience is very limited. It is much easier to achieve subtle blends with oil, and to make soft edges. And I found that colors mixed on my palette more easily. Brush care is a snap, I could leave my paint out for a few days on my palette, and I liked the idea of maximizing the use of natural materials. In many ways I really liked it. But I stopped using oils because I was working solvent-free so the drying time was forever, I ran out of room to safely store my soaked rags (and my local hazardous waste drop off center had just closed for 6 months), I could not find another safe way to dispose of the rags, and I am confused about what is the best way to prime a surface (acrylic sizing or not), whether it is or is not archival to mix calcium carbonate into the paint to speed drying, whether it was worth all the effort to homemake my own Sun Oil (and how best to do it -- I cleansed raw, cold-pressed linseed oil with psyllium husk powder and liquor, and then used an air bubbler to thicken it.), whether or not to use acrylics or casein to underpaint, whether to make my own casein paint, whether to use a homemade egg glair emulsion to oil out and as a couch, etc. I found many conflicting opinions on the web and here on Wetcanvas about most of this, usually expressed with great passion. Thoroughly frustrated me. So, I decided for now to go back to acrylics. I like to use fluid acrylics (but not exclusively), and don't know of a way to achieve that low a viscosity in oil without a solvent.

The hazardous waste center reopens in about 6 weeks, and maybe I'll try oil again. For reference, I was trying to follow Louis Velasquez's methods for working solvent-free. You can learn more about his methods by Googling his name or Calcite Sun Oil. Tad Spurgeon also has blogged a great deal on this topic. If anyone here has suggestions on this I am all ears. Sorry to take us this far off topic.

JamieWG
03-08-2015, 12:42 PM
David, I have not found Interactive Acrylics + water to dry any slower than traditional acrylics, nor can I revive paint that dries immediately on my palette with just water. So, they are very, very different from Golden Open, which stay wet and workable on the palette.

Patrick, I do use Golden Open when needed, which certainly does a better job of yielding the blended edges of oils, especially in hot, dry conditions. Since I'm mainly an oil painter, I usually turn to acrylics when I want the faster-drying capabilities, and I enjoy traditional acrylics very much. (Even Golden Open dries faster than oils.)

Jamie

Patrick1
03-09-2015, 12:17 PM
David and Jamie,
I might try Atelier Interactive if I can find it here in Canada. But first I will definitely try Golden Open...first in Titanium White or Titanium Buff...to use as a unifying near-white. The only thing that concerns me about Opens is that they won't dry if applied too thick. I don't think this will be a problem in 'regular' work (where I paint moderately thick), but might be a problem for impasto or abstract work. I'm excited to try Open anyways...I'm hoping it will be the best of oils and acrylics.

JamieWG
03-09-2015, 01:02 PM
Patrick, like most acrylics (but even more so), Golden Open dries flat. It doesn't even seem to matter how much I put on; it still dries flat. When I use it in a painting, that's the only way I can tell if it's oil or acrylic, since down the road I often don't remember which I used. (I've even fooled folks from the Golden company, who tried to guess which were which in a show.) If you want impasto strokes, you'd have to use an Extra Heavy Gel or High Solid Gel.