View Full Version : Advice on painting flames?

09-17-2006, 05:59 PM
Hi all,

I'm halfway through a painting that has fire in it, and I realized that I know NOTHING about how to paint flames. It's not critical for this painting - I did some jagged-edge red-orange blobs overcoated with some yellow-orange, using thick swirly strokes to indicate the movement of the fire - but would love to hear any suggestions for next time.

In watercolor you can drop salt onto the wet painting and it creates "blooms" in the paint...depending on how wet it is, you can get them to look really big, like fireworks. Wondering if there's anything you can drop into an acrylic painting to create a bloom effect like that.



Lady Carol
09-17-2006, 09:18 PM
Alcohol will create a bloom effect. I do not know if you add it before the paint is dry or after. I have never used it with acrylic.

09-17-2006, 10:09 PM
Thanks, LadyCarol - rubbing or drinking type? :D

09-17-2006, 10:22 PM
rubbing alcohol will remove acrylic paint buildup on brushes etc but be careful with synthetic bristelsas it tends to eat then as well.

Flames work best when built up from multipul layers of transparent colors and lots of movement

09-18-2006, 03:59 AM
You use rubbing alcohol while the acrylic is wet. It's great fun to watch to see how it will react.

09-19-2006, 04:41 AM
The paint packages usually suggest using denatured alcohol (ethanol with acetone added to make it undrinkable), a.k.a. shellac thinner, for dissolving hardened acrylic paint. I've had no problem using rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol), which I find is more readily available around the house.