View Full Version : moves like glue and work area issues
05-06-2018, 07:53 AM
Have done w/c all my life and now I am moving to acrylics. No lessons as yet. I was inspired by and ended up with "how'd she do that?" questions when Zacher-Finet painted "Flusterzeit." When I tried the technique of brushing the acrylics across the canvas, it stuck like glue. I thinned my acrylics with a matte medium but when I spritzed the painting with water, I just got water running down the canvas, not colour. Also, I go through about twenty brushes as I cannot take the time to clean and dry my brush just to change colour each time. I quickly swish my brush in water to rid "most" colour, then plunk in a container with water to sit until my painting session is done before a proper cleaning. Sitting on their bristles is abusive or not the best way for a brush to sit right? Twenty brushes at 2" TO 3" wide is rather large for laying them down on something moist. Any tips? thanks.
05-06-2018, 08:10 AM
It takes time to get used to a new medium. The best way that I found was to lay the paint on a little thick, and then spritzed them, and kept going back and forth with the brush; "working' in the colors for blending. And as for "dirty" brushes, that's an area where you may have to just bite the bullet and thoroughly wash them, or have several "backup" brushes ready to take over when the first gets too messy.
I can sort of relate to the same issues in scale modelling: for most of my existence, I had been using enamels to paint models, then I tried the newer acrylic model paint (the older ones got acrylics a very bad reputation!), and the very first thing I learned was that acrylics simply don't behave like enamels, and it was like I had to re-learn painting all over again! But over time, I learned what worked (and just as important, what didn't!), and now I paint models in acrylics about 90% of the time.
Hope this helps.
05-06-2018, 08:34 AM
05-06-2018, 12:44 PM
When I tried the technique of brushing the acrylics across the canvas, it stuck like glue
The canvas should be relatively smooth. If you've bought pre-gessoed canvas you can add another coat of gesso with a roller or drywall knife and/or sand to get a smoother canvas. Spritz the canvas with water so it's damp before you apply paint. Dip your brush in water before you dip it in paint. THere are other things you can use like flo-releaser but shouldn't be necessary.
I thinned my acrylics with a matte medium but when I spritzed the painting with water, I just got water running down the canvas, not colour.
The paint had probably already started to dry. Apply thinned paint on damp canvas and spritz immediately if you want it to run. These are just general techniques - with acrylics so much depends on where you paint - how hot is it, what's the humidity, is there a breeze... etc. Where I'm at in the winter I can leave my paints on the palette overnight without them drying. In the summer I have to have a spritzer in one hand and paint brush in the other when I paint.
Also, I go through about twenty brushes as I cannot take the time to clean and dry my brush just to change colour each time. I quickly swish my brush in water to rid "most" colour, then plunk in a container with water to sit until my painting session is done before a proper cleaning. Sitting on their bristles is abusive or not the best way for a brush to sit right? Twenty brushes at 2" TO 3" wide is rather large for laying them down on something moist. Any tips? thanks.
This is what I do - and it's not the best - but I get away with it. I give a good hard wipe of the bristle with a rag or napkin, then lean the brush in a tall jar of water so the water comes up about 3/4 of the handle. That way the buoyancy of the handle keeps weight off the bristles. The brushes sit at most an hour in water before i take a short break and wash them. While this method is not good for the glue holding the bristles, or the wood handle - in ten plus years of painting I've had one feral come loose from the handle (that I glued back on) NO bristles come loose, - and a few splintered handles but the brush was still usable. This method while not ideal is one that i can follow and so far have never lost a brush because of it. And I only use synthetic hair brushes, do not do this with bristle hair brushes.
I've tried the clothes pins holding the brush, folded damp rags etc. but for the way I paint (in a mad panic) those proved too awkward.
05-06-2018, 12:59 PM
Also, I go through about twenty brushes as I cannot take the time to clean and dry my brush just to change colour each time.
I watched the first and last couple minutes of the video, with the orange and magenta paints. At the start, she's not doing much in the way of brush cleaning - just a quick dunk in the water and a wipe with a paper towel before loading up again.
At the end, when she comes back with the light yellow, she is using a clean brush.
05-06-2018, 01:17 PM
A lot of the previous comments hold true for me - using a spritzer, sometimes a flow aid. I started using a Sta-Wet palette recently and I've noticed much better flow, especially after a day or so of the paint being on the palette. Since I bought it, I've not used any flow aids, just a spritzer to blend on the canvas as necessary.
As far as brushes go, if it is similar colors a dip in water and quick swipe on a paper towel are all I do while painting. If going to a vastly different color utilizing the same brush, I'll do a more thorough cleaning before using it.
05-06-2018, 05:18 PM
absorbent cheap gesso makes things difficult. If you've bought cheap canvas you should at least put some non absorbent gesso on it.
As far as trying to keep the paint wet by misting water I have found nothing but hardship and heartache. Drips, color shift, soft paint that is like blending water. Instead I blend by working in smaller areas and blending with a stiff brush into dry paint.
If you want to work wet into wet. They still sell oil paint. You can get a non toxic starter that is all you need for 40 bucks or so. You should be fine as long as you aren't allergic to walnuts
05-06-2018, 06:24 PM
As far as trying to keep the paint wet by misting water I have found nothing but hardship and heartache.
I've found the mist has to be more like a fog - if droplets are forming then the mister is not fine enough, your too close, or using too much. Someone mentioned a name brand for a good mister, I hope they repost that. I'm using one that was meant to fog glasses. It works but holds so little volume it's a hassle.
05-06-2018, 07:12 PM
Ellis raises some excellent points. I have to agree with his comments.
05-06-2018, 09:32 PM
Let's stick to the point. Skitterbug wants to use the techniques shown in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GhmHO7nSMTI
I think we should help Skitterbug figure out how to do it rather than explaining why it won't work.
By the way, gesso isn't all that great for sealing. The calcium chloride particles in it induce small voids in the film. Golden Paints now recommend at least two layers of gloss medium for sealing surfaces. If that's too slick, follow with gesso or matte medium.
05-06-2018, 11:33 PM
I have a bucket of water that swish my brushes around in knocking them against the sides. I don't scrub them on the bottom. If theyre to dry to do that i usually pull the paint off with a paper towel and then swish them again. I do this about every 3 minutes or so sometimes quicker.
I load up about 3-5 brushes with paint and keep them in my left hand along with a stiff blending brush I contantly clean. The brushes with paint I try to apply the paint quick enough to the canvas so that it is still wet by the time I put the next color on. The key is to think about the color you are going to put on the canvas. It's all about the preperation. Not trying to fix things once they are on the canvas.
Also if you're going to mist water I advise you to get a airbrush. You can find little hobby kits for like 35 bucks that work fine to mist water. Spray bottles will send big droplets that will ruin your day. You can get away with it if your not doing fine work I guess.
05-07-2018, 07:40 AM
Thank you all for your enlightening knowledge. Helpful and much appreciated. Off to read about the gesso I bought. Didn't know there was such a thing a cheap gesso. Also absorbent and non absorbent, sealing the canvas to 'smooth' would help me. The floating brushes were cute. Excuse me, gotta go climb a learning curve here.
05-07-2018, 02:53 PM
there is a product called drying retarder, that may help
05-07-2018, 04:10 PM
Thank you Loobyteacher
05-15-2018, 05:01 AM
I like using a Drying Retarder for most of my acrylic work. It gives me more time to work the paint or clean my brushes. I use my own retarder to slow the drying. 1 part Propylene Glycol (Food grade), 6 parts water. It works just as well as the commercial retarders at a fraction of the cost.
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