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henrik
01-25-2000, 02:30 PM
I started out in acrylics and used pretty much the same techniques I now use in oil. The main difficulty in having an oil technique with acrylics is that it dries too quickly, so instaed of quickening the drying as in oil, you need to have mediums that slow down the drying in acrylics.

Drew Davis
01-25-2000, 07:17 PM
Acrylics are free from the "fat over lean" or "thick over thin" technical problems of oils. They stick to just about anything that's not oily, and are flexible and strong. You can mix all sorts of stuff (sand, glass beads, mica flakes) into the paint for effects without destroying the paint film. They're very versatile, useful in a thin watercolor style as well as thick and upright. With matte and gloss mediums, you have a great deal of control over the appearance of the paint.

On the down side, they dry very quickly. Layers can get sticky on the support in just a few minutes, causing problems with blending. To do thick acrylics, I think, is a good bit harder than oils; you have to know exactly what you want to do and how to do it when you start. Oils are more forgiving when it comes to pushing them around later or scraping them off. There's more "busy work" misting the palette and so on. You can't lift them once they're dry, which limits somewhat some of the water-media techniques you can use with watercolor. On the other hand, you're not going to accidentally disturb that underlying wash and muddy your layer.

Acrylics also exhibit a slight value shift, getting darker as they dry. Pure acrylic medium is sort of milky, becoming tranparent as it dries, so it's sort of like mixing in a bit of white paint that disappears on you later. You can get used to it, but it's a difference with oils.

Water-soluble oils are like oils, not acrylics. They are oils, in fact, but with just some of the more hydrophilic fractions of the oil, and an emulsifier to help water and oil mix. So, they dry by oxidation, slowly, just as oils do, and have pretty much the same look and feel. Water-soluble oils are chemically compatible with regular oils, and you can intermix them, or use the same regular mediums (though doing so tends to defeat the purpose, since you'll have to revert back to solvents in the mediums, or to clean). Acrylics don't mix with oils at all well.

cvl
01-26-2000, 12:07 AM
hello!
i am pretty close to buying some acrylics and 'diving in' and was wondering if anybody had some tips. what are some of the main differences between oils and acrylics? (besides the quick drying aspect). has anyone tried the water-based oils? are they similar to acrylics? i find oils beautiful and buttery, but i have to be honest;the long drying times drive me mad. anyway, any help would be greatly appreciated...thanks!

cvl
01-26-2000, 08:46 AM
wow...thanks so much for the advice. it really helps. i love this website...

henrik
01-26-2000, 10:04 AM
As Drew points out the problem with drying quickly is that the paint all of a sudden goes sticky on you. If this happens stop at once; if you try continue painting you will end up with a terrible mess of small grains of semi-dried paint and smudged areas. The more you try to correct the worse it will get. If you make an error; wipe it off immediately, and then paint over any remains when dry.

Electra
01-26-2000, 02:34 PM
I agree with everything that's been said so far. Having said that, I love acrylics for the fast-drying time. It makes creating a finished piece a 1 or 2 day thing, instead of a week or two, maybe more, with oils.

One problem I've had with acrylics is that you don't have as much leeway for correcting errors. If you don't get it off the canvas within a second or two, unless it's very diluted, you can forget it. On the upside, you can always paint over the spot with the new color - provided it's an opaque and not a wash.

The versatility of acrylics makes it easy to get both the effects of oils and watercolors in an easy-to-clean-up, relatively odorless medium. There's no need for anything but a mild soap and warm water to clean the brushes, and you don't have to worry about buying a specific brand of turp or thinner. Water is water, and it's plentiful, and free.

If you have a problem with the acrylics drying too fast, purchase some retarding medium, which will slow the drying process some and give you more time to work with the paint. Water is also good for this but tends to make the color thinner and runny. Sometimes this is the desired effect, sometimes it's not!

Acrylics do give off a bit of formaldehyde fumes, but it's not offensive and very "do-able."

I have also seen some people say you shouldn't mix acrylic brands, but I haven't had any problem mixing Liquitex and Winsor.

Also - there are two major types of paint. When I first bought my paint, I purchased several bottles of liquid acrylic and a few tubes of thicker medium acrylic. There IS a difference between the two. I bought them because they were cheaper in the colors I needed to purchase, but don't let that be the reason you purchase them. Buy them for their unique qualities.

Liquid acrylic paints are slightly more concentrated pigments of the tube varieties, but to build up the thickness of the liquid paint, you must add a lot of medium, which ultimately thins the color quite a bit. I do recommend buying colors like black and pthalo blue in liquid form -- you use so little of them for darkening that you will ultimately use less of the liquid form. If you will be using a lot of them, buy them in the tubes too -- the liquids don't go very far in actually painting, just mixing color -- because you'll be happier with them.

Oh yeah. Buy white in the tub. You'll use a lot of it.

One more thing -- I don't know if you're new to PAINTING or not, but it would probably be a good thing to buy a good variety of colors, to start with, until you get the hang of mixing them.

Here's the palette I keep:

Titanium White
Mars Black
Pthalo Blue (Red shade)
Cadmium Red
Cadmium Yellow (light shade) (this one is opaque)
Hansa Yellow (this one is translucent and better for washes)
Pthalo Green (although it is a bit cool for my taste)
Burnt Sienna (a MUST)
Raw Umber (another MUST)
Violet

Janet
-------------------------
Life is less about who you are, and more about who you choose to be.


[This message has been edited by Electra (edited January 26, 2000).]

henrik
01-26-2000, 06:14 PM
One more acrylic technique that helps If you have a painterly technique (where brushstrokes show) and you make errors and the paint dries before you have time to correct it....
Sometimes I have detected brushstrokes I did not like only after the paint has dried (perhaps made visible by the slight darkening of color as it dries).

What to do? I found that painting on masonite is great in this case - just sand the offensive brushstrokes to get a flat surface. Doesn't work well on canvas though since you may well end up with a hole http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif

Oh - and make sure the paint is absolutely dry before sanding http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/eek.gif

Drew Davis
01-26-2000, 09:41 PM
The liquid acrylics are intended for use with watercolor technique. They're not pre-thinned with water, but rather have a slightly different acrylic formula that's not as stiff as the tube paints. That way, you don't have to thin them as much to make washes. Acrylics, like oils, can be over-thinned, to the point where they can't form a good paint film and have poor adhesion to the surface. So, rather than start with tube paints and lots of water, you can start with fluid acrylics and use less water, to avoid risking adhesion problems.

Saftig
02-09-2000, 03:57 PM
Originally posted by cvl:
wow...thanks so much for the advice. it really helps. i love this website...

I too love this website! I find it very inspirational.

henrik
02-09-2000, 04:08 PM
Drew, I have not tried the liquid acrylics; to me that seems like a scam; just more medium and less pigment. Mixing tube color with liquid medium (not water) gives you the same feeling I think.

Drew Davis
02-09-2000, 08:29 PM
There's no doubt an unscrupulous
manufacturer somewhere, or a economy-grade
liquid acrylic, but that's the theory.
I found thick paint to work, but if you know you're going to be using watermedia technique, I don't see why it's not a reasonable option. Using thick paint will limit your pigment density once it's thinned; starting with more fluid paint lets you get more pigment in there, if that's what you need.

I suppose you could always just buy some Golden fluid medium and mix in your own pigment if you wanted to be sure.

CarlyHardy
02-16-2000, 05:37 PM
Consider checking at your local library for art instruction books on acrylics. If you want to purchase any, check out www.Borders.com (http://www.Borders.com) or www.amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com) and use acrylic in the search, or art+acrylic.
chclements

UpStateMike
02-21-2000, 10:53 AM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Drew Davis:
[B] There's no doubt an unscrupulous
manufacturer somewhere, or a economy-grade
liquid acrylic, but that's the theory.

A reputable acrylic paint manufacturer that makes Fluid Acrylics should be making them in similar strength to the tube acrylics. Unlike a quality oil paint, where thickness and body come from the amount of pigment added, acrylics actually start out very thin.

Paint viscosity in acrylic paints isn't indicitave of the the amount of pigment, just how much thickener has been added. Student grade paints are made by adding inert fillers, sometimes cheaper pigments and using thickeners to give the paint a feel of a loaded paint. Since you can thicken water to a paste, it isn't the best way to quantify how much pigment is in the paint, or how much binder is in it.

Try a product called Acrylic Glazing Liquid. I don't know if it's o.k. to name companies here at the WetCanvas BB, but this product is a blend of acrylic medium, retarder and water, and offers much more open time to the acrylic artist. I use it several ways:

1) Blend it with the paints

2) Apply a layer of it down before applying paints.

3) When a certain section of the painting starts to tack up before you want it to, dip your brush in the Glazing Liquid and go over the area. This will add the water/retarder back into that section and allow you to keep blending.

CarlyHardy
02-21-2000, 01:43 PM
UpStateMike, please do give the brand names!
No rules against that! Would like to try this product!

Also would like to invite you to the Cafe Guerbois...any evening around 10 pm est for our online chat group..just artists hanging out and talking art, asking questions and getting answers...much like the forums but in a personal setting.
chclements

Drew Davis
02-21-2000, 05:08 PM
We agree that there's nothing wrong with fluid acrylics, Mike, though that's perhaps not obvious from my most recent post.

I'd guess he's talking about Golden's Acrylic Glazing Liquid. See

http://www.goldenpaints.com/products.htm

for all sorts of interesting acrylic things to play with.

animal
04-13-2000, 03:07 PM
Also being new to the acrylic medium, i would suggest buying student quality acrylics just to get to know them and when you get better, buy the regular acrylics for artists, also if you guys didn`t know there are special pallettes you can buy where your paints can stay dry for a few days

bobsart
04-13-2000, 03:44 PM
WOW!!!! What a trip that was. I can throw away at least half of my art "how to books". Thanx guys....bob

mudmunk
05-26-2000, 01:53 PM
On the original question of oil vs. acrylic properties many folks have posted some good replies. My only 2 cents worth would be to ask if you have considered trying Alkyd paints? They work (and can be mixed) with regular oils but they dry within 6 to 10 hours depending on how thick the paint layer that you use is(often it is less if you don't paint with a heavy impasto style). So they don't dry as fast as acrylics but they definitely dry faster than oils.

Alkyds also don't yellow as much with age and have a more durable film than oils. Personally between alkyds and oils I prefer the alkyds and have been puzzled why more painters don't use them when you consider that they have virtually all of the advantages of oils without having to wait days at a time for the paint to dry.

PJJorgensen
07-18-2000, 10:38 AM
Originally posted by mudmunk:
On the original question of oil vs. acrylic properties many folks have posted some good replies. My only 2 cents worth would be to ask if you have considered trying Alkyd paints? They work (and can be mixed) with regular oils but they dry within 6 to 10 hours depending on how thick the paint layer that you use is(often it is less if you don't paint with a heavy impasto style). So they don't dry as fast as acrylics but they definitely dry faster than oils.

Alkyds also don't yellow as much with age and have a more durable film than oils. Personally between alkyds and oils I prefer the alkyds and have been puzzled why more painters don't use them when you consider that they have virtually all of the advantages of oils without having to wait days at a time for the paint to dry.

Mudmunk: I'd like to try out alkyds. I have a couple of questions maybe you can help me with. Does it come in the full spectrum of colors? Can I use my acrylic mediums and gels? Is the cost similar to acrylics? Can you recommend any particular brands?

LarrySeiler
07-18-2000, 01:43 PM
I've painted with acrylics since 1980 professionally. I know of no other medium that is so versatile.

It literally has become no longer a challenge for me to use them, and perhaps that is why for the last couple years oils has appealed to me, for those seem to invite new risks that are fun for me.

I was surpised when Electra said- One problem I've had with acrylics is that you don't have as much leeway for correcting errors. If you don't get it off the canvas within a second or two, unless it's very diluted, you can forget it. On the upside, you can always paint over the spot with the new color - provided it's an opaque and not a wash.

I mean with the 200-300 hours I put into competition pieces I couldn't afford mistakes with deadlines looming. This is why I found acrylics so advantageous. There is no such thing as a mistake as far as I'm concerned, because everything can be fixed.

I don't remember the last painting I had to walk away from or give up on. You simply paint your mistake out and do it over if need be.

I also found a trick, (this alone is worth the price of admission here today folks!), that you can spray your entire painting with an acrylic varnish. Then..you can do that object you feared might not in the end work out by laying down some opaque acrylic color with medium so that it stays and is not resisted. Then finish painting that object, and if it turns out you don't like it...because of that sprayed varnish layer you put down...you can literally take a cloth and water, and with some elbow grease rub the dickens out of it, and that image will rub off! 8^)

On the other hand...if you are happy with the new addition, simply by respraying with the varnish again...the new image becomes permanently fixed and part of the overall painting.

Now..is that not a precious thing to know for you folks, and are you glad that it was my head banging against walls for years to figure out this one, and it didn't have to be your head!!!!!

have fun...

Larry


------------------
"Art attacks can skill!"

irishxn
08-14-2000, 06:15 PM
Keep acrylics on your pallette wet longer - get a 3-4 inch deep container (like rubbermaid or tupperware), line the bottom with wet sponges - lay the pallete on top (paper pallette fits easiest) and seal with the cover - this keeps your paints wet for almost a week. Check every few days to make sure the sponges stay wet.