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View Full Version : Trying acrylics %#@!*?


artbabe21
05-30-2002, 07:11 PM
Oh, man-------this is torture! I forgot how quickly acrylics dry in our dry Montana climate. That must be why I have worked in oils. But I thought I would like to try to master acrylics for all the other reasons they are so favorable. It's a huge mind set change for me. If anyone can direct me to information that might help me
get acquainted with this medium please let me know. I used acrylic glaze medium yesterday and my paints never stayed wet the 45 minutes that Golden said they would. I was told to wet my canvas or paper first and that seems to help some. I think I need to work smaller and take it slower until I get a handle on it. Thanks in advance for any advice.
Cathleen~:o

BRIDGES
05-30-2002, 08:13 PM
Gotta paint fast with acrylics. Try the knife and brush and know here your'e going!.Bridges

artchic
05-30-2002, 09:43 PM
Hi Artbabe,
I use acrylic all the timeand it can be used like watercolors and in that case I use a "Stay wet" palette..in the case of using them like oils (not watered down) usually an exttender works well for me.....but I don't know how they react in plein air painting..the elements can make drying time all the more quicker.
From the Shore,
Carole:)

BillieD
05-31-2002, 12:33 AM
I live in TX, West TX, where the climate is very dry most of the time. I find what works best for me, is a little spray bottle, I bought it in the cosmetic dept. of Walmart, it sprays a very fine mist, (an emptied well cleaned hairspray pump bottle works the same, it makes a mist, no jets or streams of water).

Every half hour or so, give your paint a fine mist of water. Do not make puddles, just spray enough of a moisturizing mist, to prevent a surface film of dry paint forming on your paint.

If you step away from your pallette for a while, cover it, loosely, (I place the lid of the tin fruit cake canister I use to store my tubes of paint over the plate I use for a pallette.)

I have kept my paints fresh and film free for up to 3 hours, indoors, 2 hrs., outdoors. It may work longer than that, but, I actually ran out of paint...

I try not to put out more paint than I need (i.e. if I am painting the sky or a background, I squeeze out a generous amount...which I will be working quickly with...but, if it is going to be some little accents here and there, I just put a dab out.)

I like using a while Corelle plate, or platter, as a pallette, but, in a pinch I will use a styrofoam plate ( I think the styrofoam seems to dry out a bit more quickly, but, then again, I was at a painting playday, and may have been visiting and not keeping the mist going as often as I should.)

If I am going to put the pallette away for a while, I slip it into a 2 gallon size ziplock freezer bag, the paints were still good the next day.

orchidlover6
05-31-2002, 01:15 AM
Caron is an excellent acrylic painter. maybe she'll wander by and give you some advice. or you can pm her.

Kevin M
05-31-2002, 06:13 AM
The right pallete box solves the fast drying of paint on the pallette. A shallow box with a layer of water retaining foam in the bottom covered by a stay wet pallette will keep paint workable for several weeks . When not in use, a tight fitting lid is essential. Better than paper pallettes, is polyester cloth of a fine enough weave that it is 'almost' waterproof. This can be washed out and re-used for ever. In an exceptonally fast drying situation, an occasional mist of water does the trick.

I work pretty slowly but I have found the fast drying of acrylic to be more an advantage than a disadvantage. In the end, I think it depends on how you prefer to paint.


Kevin
http://homepage.eircom.net/~bot/paint/windjammer.htm

artbabe21
05-31-2002, 11:04 AM
Actually hearing from people who have paint that doesn't dry in minutes is SO encouraging! I may not be putting enough paint out, afraid if I do it will dry too fast. What about tubes that are older? Could they be the culprits?

BillieD, I can't believe 3 hours in TX!!!!!!! How much paint do you have out?? I had a small dab of a fresh color out yesterday & it
was dried up within 15 minutes! I just didn't happen to use all of it & had sprayed it.

I really want to give this a good shot as it would make painting certain places so much easier!! Travel painting is part of my aim. I will keep trying with this and I do so appreciate all of you who have stopped in to give me advice!
Cathleen~

TheLymner
05-31-2002, 12:16 PM
artbabe:

First, thank you for your kind remarks about the portrait of my mother.

Now about acrylics drying too fast. If we are talking about them drying on the palette, find some old Tupperware devil-ed egg trays. They are made to hold a dozen egg halves in indents molded in an egg shape. Of course, the tray is stored in an air tight container. I use two of these boxes, one for cool colors and one for warm colors. With a piece of damp craft foam fit into the box my unused paint will stay wet for months. Of course, you must use only distilled water with acrylics. Otherwise you get the prettiest green mold covering them.

When talking of painting with acrylics, I have learned to speed up there drying time with the use of a small fan or hair drier. When I began trying to paint with acrylics 40 years ago, I too, felt that they dried too fast and were too stiff, and so gave up on them for better than 20 years. When I started again, I decided that they were not oils "duh" and began to learn to use them more like a dry medium than a wet one. I began to experiment with manners of quicker drying time and settled on the fan or hair drier to excellerate their drying. With this method I must rely on the eye to blend edges and colors. That is where a thorough knowledge of color theory came in handy. Also, I learned to use the stiffest, scudgiest brushes I have. LOL

Keep at it and find your own way.


Danny E Haislet
TheLymner

artbabe21
05-31-2002, 10:57 PM
Originally posted by TheLymner
artbabe:
Now about acrylics drying too fast. I use two of these boxes, one for cool colors and one for warm colors. With a piece of damp craft foam fit into the box my unused paint will stay wet for months. Of course, you must use only distilled water with acrylics. Otherwise you get the prettiest green mold covering them.


Thanks for this information!!!!! For months????????? Sheesh!!
And distilled water, who woulda thought? Is this some special foam or will any do?
Thanks so much for your informative post!
Cathleen~

TheLymner
05-31-2002, 11:23 PM
I use the craft foam that comes in various colors and can be bought at most large craft centers. It holds water well and for long periods if tightly sealed.

Danny E. Haislet
TheLymner

BillieD
06-01-2002, 01:54 AM
Some of the paint dabs were large-ish, maybe the size of a walnut, others were just tiny dabs.

I don't think I told you I give the paint a fine misting before I begin using them, just a very fine misting.

I have tried the stay wet pallettes, and just don't care for them, maybe I haven't given them enough of a chance, but, as long as my misting keeps working, I doubt I will fuss with them. (I hated the lid on the one I bought too hard to seal.) I have been considering wetting paper towels, putting them in the bottom or a tupperware or rubbermaid pie keeper and putting my plate on that, but, I have been working on smaller pieces, 8x10, 11x14...and haven't really needed to go to the trouble.

Hope you find what works best for you, everyone has methods that fits their work habits the best, it just takes a few times to find what your needs are.

Good luck, once you find your solutions, you will probably love acrylics.

timelady
06-02-2002, 06:09 AM
I completely understand your frustration! I found it so difficult - and my worry was how quickly it dried on the painting. Basically I eventually had the same revelation that Danny had, not to try and work with it like oils but to experiment with them *because* they dried quicker. Now I do most of my work in acrylics. :) I have heard of mediums that keep the paint workable and wet, but haven't tried them myself. Maybe worth trying a bottle to see how it does in your climate. (Hey, I'm in London, nothing dries fast enough. :D)

Tina.

artchic
06-02-2002, 09:10 AM
Hi All,
Being a decorative painter, I usually want the paint to dry fast because I do alot of 'floating' of color and alot of layering . however, when i've tried to use acrylics like oils it just doesn't work..it was hard for me to change techniques but once i got the hang of it I enjoy it fully..I may go back to oils one day ..you never know
From the Shore,
Carole

BRIDGES
06-02-2002, 11:22 AM
when you say "use like oils." You mean technique? Spreading the paint? IN oils I find can change anything, shape, color wipe out etc. but with acrylics. Gosh they dry so hard to change a shadow lets say, unless comlpetely change color where oils you can add a darker shade and not lose the idea.And my acryliics fade as painting, oils stay bright. Not much mising is ther eto acrylics, for me hard to control values. Bridges

TheLymner
06-02-2002, 01:45 PM
BRIDGES, I tend to think of and use acrylics as more of a dry medium that happens to be wet :confused: That is, I allow the eye to mix the colors. It is surprising how brilliant a white is produced by a small dot of red, blue, and green placed in the correct proportions and next to each other in a triangle. I will premix several values of a color I am going to use and apply them as I would a stick of pastel. Acrylics are just too plastic (duh) to mix on the canvas. And remember to always use distilled water. No tap water, too many bad chemicals. Keep at it.

Danny E Haislet
TheLymner

artbabe21
06-02-2002, 03:06 PM
Wanting to use what I had on hand to paint again, yesterday I tried a simple yet extremely effective palette that Caron advised me she uses. A metal cookie sheet, with a layer of wet paper towels {imitating the stay wet palette] with a piece of wax paper on top of that! My paints stayed wet during the entire painting session and I was able to paint for 1 1/2 hours and not have to hurry though w/o taking time to think. It was merely blocking in local colors in all areas of a 7x9 support, of a house, trees, gardens. When I was done with that, although far from a finished work, it was a good start! I then left the paint on the palette, there wasn't much, and just folded the one side of the wax paper
w/paper towel over the top, sandwich style, sprayed it w/water and left it overnight. This morning w/o even placing it in the refrigerator { there wasn't room} the paint was STILL wet! I am amazed, such a total different outcome! Thanks Caron & everyone that has been so encouraging!

Lymner, I don't understand the term using acrylics as a 'dry medium'? Clearly they are not, so can you explain? I tend to use them as oils with lots of paint rather than glazes but will try that too.
Cathleen~

BRIDGES
06-02-2002, 03:47 PM
I also didn't understand the "dry medium ?? They are wet.the wetter the better except if gets too thin.but like thick do you mean out of tube directly? then too gaudy and bright? I do not mix on the canvas. Have to mix on the palette and they are not dry. 'xplain thanks Bridges

dragoni689
06-02-2002, 04:10 PM
heres a tip;

Use a spray bottle, but don't only use water.
Take distilled water, about a gallon, and add approximately 30 drops, or about half a teaspoon, of antifreeze. mix it well, pour some of the mixture into a spray bottle.

Mist both your canvas and pallette with this concoction and your paints could stay wet for hours, depending on your climate. I live in FL, and during the summer they dry so quickly.. it's humid, but so hot that evaporation comes quickly (thus the humidity ;) ). Let me know how the results come should you decide to try this.
i Hope it works for you; it has never appeared to change paint handling characteristics for me before aside from drying time.. this is what i use when i'm trying to paint on a large scale and leave it "open" longer.

BRIDGES
06-02-2002, 05:24 PM
Artbabe21 Are you going to try the antifreeze. i don't have any but wonder if
i can take the smell.Partly don't use oil because of that need -big fans. going.sound feasible but maybe I'll try the water first. To do big ones.thanks though for all help.Bridges

artbabe21
06-02-2002, 06:21 PM
Originally posted by BRIDGES
Artbabe21 Are you going to try the antifreeze. i don't have any but wonder if i can take the smell.

No, I would not add something that is a hazardous substance {contains methanol} to my acrylic paint. It totally would defeat my reason for painting in acrylics, even if I felt it was safe since strong odor is of concern to me.

dragoni689, please check this out with someone who knows chemicals, be careful.
Cathleen~

dragoni689
06-02-2002, 08:00 PM
we're not talking about pouring antifreeze into paint. we're talking about adding it to water, and in turn adding the SOLUTION to paint. I am not that studip ;)


i didn't experience a strong odor, and the methanol is such a small concentration in comparison to the solution into which it is placed that health circumstances are of no concern; we're talking about 8 or 9 sprays of over 600 to one (less if you like) dilution.
my chem prof even said it was safe....
but if you're really worried about it, you should look into it yourself; i understand your concerns, people are often scared when working with chemicals that are potentially hazardous. the caution warnings referring to pigments on some paints scare me- I dont want cancer, and my family has a history of it.
the choice you have here is wether the benefits will outweigh the losses, or to determine if there really are any losses.

artbabe21
06-02-2002, 08:11 PM
Originally posted by dragoni689
we're not talking about pouring antifreeze into paint. we're talking about adding it to water, and in turn adding the SOLUTION to paint. I am not that studip ;)


I didn't say you are being stupid, just that you have a different sense of what works for you & I hoped you were careful. I DO understand that you are adding antifreeze INDIRECTLY to the paint, but that still poses a problem for me. Since I was able to keep my paints open for such a long time I think I will stick to plain water spritzing.
Cathleen~

dragoni689
06-02-2002, 08:18 PM
sounds like you've found a solution; mine was merely a suggestion- to each his/her own, use that which you posess!

I wasn't saying you thought I was stupid, but i was suggesting that adding it purely would be.... and it would....

take care, keep painting..

TheLymner
06-03-2002, 12:34 PM
Wouldn't the anti-freeze, which is oil based, react with the acrylic resin to break it down? I am not sure about the chemistry of this mixture. Keep us informed about how any ill effects they have on the life of the work.

;) Now, folks, a bit of an explanation about a dry-wet medium:rolleyes: . As I stated earlier, the way I work acrylics is that I want them to dry as quickly as possible, therefor, using a small fan or hair drier to accelerate the drying time. Since acrylics have a tendency to "drag", I do not try to blend on the canvas. Instead I mix up several value and/or mixture gradations of the same color(s) [much like making ones own pastels]. Then I apply layers only after the last layer is dry, and I use only stiff, scudgy brushes for the intermediate layers, which I rub in with my finger or a large stumple or piece of chamois. This is what I mean by using them as a dry medium. All blending of edges is left to be accomplished by the eye rather than the brush. Again, this method takes a lot of knowledge of color theory. Remember, in the words of Michael Wilcox "Blue and Yellow Don't Make Green"

Danny E Haislet
TheLymner

artbabe21
06-03-2002, 01:05 PM
Ahhhhh, gotcha! Isn't it amazing we all find such different ways to
use the same medium? Thanks for explaining it.
Cathleen~

cuttlefish
06-03-2002, 03:15 PM
Originally posted by dragoni689
heres a tip;
Use a spray bottle, but don't only use water.
Take distilled water, about a gallon, and add approximately 30 drops, or about half a teaspoon, of antifreeze. mix it well, pour some of the mixture into a spray bottle.

If you can find it, use propylene glycol instead of regular antifreeze. The primary ingredient of antifreeze is ethylene glycol, which causes severe kidney damage if ingested (kills many pets and wildlife due to it's attractive odor). There are a number of other chemicals present in antifreeze as well, including anti-corrosion compuonds and that annoying green dye. Propylene glycol is relatively harmless but has similar drying properties.

artchic
06-05-2002, 09:35 AM
Bridges is correct..acrylics do not mix well on the canvas.....the technique I use is that of decorative painting......'floating' color which is alot like 'glazing'in oils except you blend your color on your palette and then thin it with water or floating medium and put in your darks...highlights ae placed with a 'dry brush effect'...pick up some color(premixed on your palette) use an old brush thats beat up , wipe off most of the color(like stenciling) and lightly put in your highlights.....therre are alot of good books out there,,give them a look......Good Luck
From the Shore,
Carole:cat: :cat:

terrygar
06-05-2002, 12:00 PM
I mist the pallet when I work in the desert of Nevada and I use individual little short plastic cups for each group of like colors(all with lids)then I place them in an air tight tupperware plate holder. I use gesso hardboard usually in the desert and it lets the water washes work.

keep trying!!

Linarty
06-05-2002, 05:52 PM
I just got some info from Liquitex, and read a review in American Artist magazine, they have a new medium that is a combination of blending medium and extender for drying time. Because it's a medium and not an additive you can use as much of it as you need. Mediums are basically paint without the pigment, which is a huge improvement over previous blenders and extenders. I can hardly wait to try it, but our local campus art supply store won't have it until August. I may try to order it on-line.

artbabe21
06-05-2002, 06:34 PM
Linarty,
This is good to know----what would be the name of it??????
Cathleen~;)

Linarty
06-05-2002, 07:25 PM
It's called 'Gloss Blending and Painting Medium'. I personally like the 'gloss' types of mediums because they most nearly approximate oil, which I am unfortunately allergic to.

Wayne Gaudon
06-12-2002, 09:16 AM
Propylene Glycol
.. this is not anti-freeze, but one of the ingredients found in anti-freeze. Not sure of it's chemical breakdown and whether it is dangerous or not. I don't think so as I have read that variations of it are used in food processing. However, check it out for yourself as I have no way of even knowing if what I read is true.

Propylene Glycol
.. this is a retarder and from what I could find, this sums it up.


Retarder adds nothing to the paint. It is just a product that has a slower evaporation than water. It is not an acrylic it is a glycol. It has no binder in it. Doesn't glue anything down. It just attaches itself to the binder and slows it's curing and polymerization. Water doesn't affect the drying time. It just thins out the paint so use of a retarder is the answer for slowing down the drying time.

baba
06-12-2002, 10:36 AM
Propylene Glycol is really used in foods and cosmetics - in my country it's freely available. You should add no more than about 5% to ensure proper adhesion of the paint film to the substrate.
I've heard of some people using glycerine instead. Now adding water to your paint will actually speed up the drying process, while water applied to the substrate before painting does help.
Two methods for blending with acrylics:
for narrow gradients, double-load your brush
for subtle shading, there's only layering one transparent coat over another and this time you'll be grateful for the quick drying...