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View Full Version : my acrylic paint set-up (if you use lots of paint)


samhill
12-18-2009, 08:27 PM
Hi all - I've only been painting in acrylics for 6 months or so, and my 'problem' was how to use acrylic somewhat like oil, as in using lots of paint to get a bit of texture and a loose brushwork look. I probably got part of this idea from WC perhaps, for sure in part from Robert Burridge...but regardless I'm happy with this set up in the pics below. I fill empty plastic cosmetic jars from the pharmacy with the colors and values I want, and put them in the homemade wooden tray. Then when done, instead of placing separate lids on each jar, I just put a piece of 2x4", with foam packing material stapled to the bottom, over the entire row of jars. When I want to paint it literally takes a second to uncover the paint. Periodically I spray the jars with water when painting. If I let the paint get too much below half empty the paint starts to dry faster, so I keep the jars pretty full as a rule. I mix very little on the glass palette, doing most mixing right on the canvas, I dont even wash my brush much, just wiping it with the damp rag shown and dipping in the next color (rinsing maybe every 5 minutes or so). I've found I waste a lot less paint this way and save time as well.
Just posting this in case there was some interest.
Thanks....


this is of the 2 trays covered
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Dec-2009/80289-IMG_8733bb.jpg


the trays uncovered
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Dec-2009/80289-IMG_8734bb.jpg

pic of end of 2x4 with packing material stapled to it. Creates enough 'give' to seal jars nicely.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Dec-2009/80289-IMG_8735bb.jpg

ArtistPete
12-18-2009, 08:33 PM
Like 'em Sam!:thumbsup: Here's some of mine......

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Dec-2009/127948-featherpaint_001.JPG
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Dec-2009/127948-turkfeatherpaint_001.JPG

ArtistPete
12-19-2009, 03:39 AM
I have a glass cup of water, an old sock, newspaper, nasty lookin' brushes, an old radio, couple cool lights, .....I mean, what else is there?:)

Or are there rules???????:confused:

sashntash
12-19-2009, 08:45 AM
samhill - thanks for the idea and the pictures. It's funny that you should bring that up now because I was just watching a painting DVD by Hugh Greer. He paints with Golden Fluid Acrylics and I noticed that he keeps them in jars similar to the ones you are using and I thought that was an interesting idea. He, however, uses the jar lids to close them up....

I was thinking that using small jars like that would work equally well with heavy bodied (tube) acrylics......

My only concern is "contaminating" the colors by dipping brushes in the jars all the time. No matter how hard I would try, I doubt I could remember to wipe the brush before dipping it in a new color..

Hugh Greer, however, doesn't always wipe the brush and his jars of paint don't seem to become overly contaminated. He seems to just dip the corner of the brush in the jar to scoop some paint out.....

Worth a try.....

Thanks for the pics..

samhill
12-19-2009, 12:59 PM
I have a glass cup of water, an old sock, newspaper, nasty lookin' brushes, an old radio, couple cool lights, .....I mean, what else is there?:)

Or are there rules???????:confused:

LOL - spot on, Pete....that's exactly what my grandpa used to say all the time....and he wasnt even a painter!

....dude, that's a LOT of paint.....I'm buying stock in that company! :lol:

samhill
12-19-2009, 01:05 PM
samhill - thanks for the idea and the pictures. It's funny that you should bring that up now because I was just watching a painting DVD by Hugh Greer. He paints with Golden Fluid Acrylics and I noticed that he keeps them in jars similar to the ones you are using and I thought that was an interesting idea. He, however, uses the jar lids to close them up....

I was thinking that using small jars like that would work equally well with heavy bodied (tube) acrylics......

My only concern is "contaminating" the colors by dipping brushes in the jars all the time. No matter how hard I would try, I doubt I could remember to wipe the brush before dipping it in a new color..

Hugh Greer, however, doesn't always wipe the brush and his jars of paint don't seem to become overly contaminated. He seems to just dip the corner of the brush in the jar to scoop some paint out.....

Worth a try.....

Thanks for the pics..

Hi Susan - yes, it's amazing but little contamination seems to happen, and if it does, the way I paint doesnt seem to really matter. :)
Acrylic is amazing stuff as you can put one coat of wet right on top of another coat of wet, as long as your touch is pretty light....and dipping into the jar just seems to coat over whatever was already on your brush....for the most part. I still do make it a habit, by and large, to constantly wipe the brush. I use a damp/wet rag (sock actually ala Pete) as I find it a lot easier and less messy than a dry rag. And I never throw the rag away as you just rinse it out again.....gosh, I love that old rag now.... :)

Bertoni
12-19-2009, 02:17 PM
Your set-up's looking real good!!!! Here's my setup...! I like the way the jars work well with the screw on covers...no contamination "yet"!http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Dec-2009/28168-Studio.jpg

aspenman
12-19-2009, 05:04 PM
I don't use a palette. I use Atelier Interactives in tubes - very thick creamy paint. Most of my work is palette knife, so this works well for me. I always blend my paint wet into wet on the canvas - I never mix or premix colors. I merely squeeze the tube, scoop the paint off and apply - squeeze-scoop-apply. Interactives stay wet longer than convential acrylics, so I just line my tubes up in a straight row and squeeze-scoop-apply. I paint quickly and alla prima mostly with a palette knife. Contamination has not ever been a problem as I work wet into wet. If a tube gets another color on its top, that's fine as I'm blending the colors anyways. Purity of color is not part of my typical painting style - so it works for me.

samhill
12-19-2009, 11:31 PM
Your set-up's looking real good!!!! Here's my setup...! I like the way the jars work well with the screw on covers...no contamination "yet"!http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Dec-2009/28168-Studio.jpg

thank you for the pic----I really like your piece on the far left with the orange mid-ground --NICE! :)

samhill
12-19-2009, 11:37 PM
I don't use a palette. I use Atelier Interactives in tubes - very thick creamy paint. Most of my work is palette knife, so this works well for me. I always blend my paint wet into wet on the canvas - I never mix or premix colors. I merely squeeze the tube, scoop the paint off and apply - squeeze-scoop-apply. Interactives stay wet longer than convential acrylics, so I just line my tubes up in a straight row and squeeze-scoop-apply. I paint quickly and alla prima mostly with a palette knife. Contamination has not ever been a problem as I work wet into wet. If a tube gets another color on its top, that's fine as I'm blending the colors anyways. Purity of color is not part of my typical painting style - so it works for me.

thanks for sharing this.....I used to paint similarly in oil as per using the knife, paint right from the tube, mixing it on the canvas with lots of mixing time....I had tremendous fun doing this, and my work sold well because of the texture and bold strokes mainly. But then I started being concerned about toxicity and switched to acrylics. I still use lots of paint and paint fast as I mix on the canvas. Obviously I have to work fast as it's regular acrylics. I will try the interactive soon. Thanks for the tip on that. I really like your work. I bet you have a lot of fans of your work.....

aspenman
12-20-2009, 09:46 PM
samhill - it's nice to find someone who paints from the tube as well. I did a plein air paint out with about 50 other artists here on Canyon Road in Santa Fe (the art district.) Other artists as well as on lookers commented as to how they have never seen someone paint in this way.

try the Chroma Atelier Interactives I think you will like them.

samhill
12-20-2009, 11:25 PM
samhill - it's nice to find someone who paints from the tube as well. I did a plein air paint out with about 50 other artists here on Canyon Road in Santa Fe (the art district.) Other artists as well as on lookers commented as to how they have never seen someone paint in this way.

try the Chroma Atelier Interactives I think you will like them.

aspenman - I have a few samples of goldens interactives or 'open' paints and am going to try them to experiment a bit. I used to paint right from the tube with oils but had to adjust when I switched to acrylics. I now use a lot of paint so the jars have worked well, and I basically use a big brush almost like a knife in that I strive to lose as much control as I can and still have it work. I basically put a lot of paint on the canvas and just start pushing it around till it looks about right - lol

here's kind of an example of part of a rooster I just finished. I only have a bit of an idea of what it will look like before I start. I just slop it on, move it around and try to stop at the right place. :) All this was quite wet at the same time. I try to get it all done fast so that I can take advantage of the short blending time. With interactives I wouldnt have to rush....but it makes me wonder if that's a good thing for me or not at this point as a 'too finished' look does not work well for my personal style.....so I cant have too much time to think about it....if that makes any sense?

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Dec-2009/80289-temp-1.jpg

loobyteacher
12-21-2009, 07:51 AM
Love the rooster! sounds like you have a system that works for you. I think we all arrive at a system that works for us (some more successful than others) Thanks for sharing

aspenman
12-21-2009, 09:58 AM
samhill - I paint very quickly, wet into wet and while interactives may allow me more time, I never use that time for any thought processes - I paint just as quickly as when I was using liquitex heavy body acrylics. I also use big brushes and basically use them in a "palete knife" fashion. All my work is alla prima even when I work on 30 x 48 gallery wrapped canvas, which is quite often. I love big canvas!!!
18 x 24 and smaller, I rarely spend more than 2 hours on a painting.

I also paint on occassion with a 6 inch squeegee for the sky and land mass, laying rows of color directly from the tube across the substraight and then dragging the squeegee across or up and down depending on the look I'm after for the sky and landmass. Once dry, I go in with a palette knife and generate the scene - LOT OF FUN!!!!!

Flopka
12-21-2009, 01:28 PM
I have an old end table, and a Bob Ross travel easel propped up on a six-inch-thick early 20th-century encyclopedia of quotations ("on diverse topics"). A natural-daylight lamp, and a black tin TV table holding a lot of paint tubes.

Briar Rose
12-21-2009, 04:21 PM
If I had all those paint bottles,
I would dab the color on the top of them
so I could see what colors I had.


Thank you for posting. I see to see other's art space.

samhill
12-22-2009, 12:36 AM
samhill - I paint very quickly, wet into wet and while interactives may allow me more time, I never use that time for any thought processes - I paint just as quickly as when I was using liquitex heavy body acrylics. I also use big brushes and basically use them in a "palete knife" fashion. All my work is alla prima even when I work on 30 x 48 gallery wrapped canvas, which is quite often. I love big canvas!!!
18 x 24 and smaller, I rarely spend more than 2 hours on a painting.

I also paint on occassion with a 6 inch squeegee for the sky and land mass, laying rows of color directly from the tube across the substraight and then dragging the squeegee across or up and down depending on the look I'm after for the sky and landmass. Once dry, I go in with a palette knife and generate the scene - LOT OF FUN!!!!!

when my wife and I get over to Sante Fe lets get together - sounds like we could have some fun. My wiife's been a pro for over 20 years and sells well, and I only started painting about 5 years ago, but I said to myself (after 3 years of endless drills and dry sessions and frustration) 'If I'm going to do this, I'm going to have fun or I'm not going to do it!". So thankfully I found that fun and generally cant wait to get to painting. I too paint fast. If I cant finish it in 1-2 hours I'm pretty bored. ANd when I'm done I'm done, I dont want to hardly see it again. 'What's next?!" LOL

samhill
12-22-2009, 01:08 AM
Love the rooster! sounds like you have a system that works for you. I think we all arrive at a system that works for us (some more successful than others) Thanks for sharing

you're right, we're all so different and that's part of what makes art so great, what I might dislike you might adore, or vice-versa. It's such a huge arena that's there's plenty of room for us all....thank you for the compliment too.....