View Full Version : Question for Help on acrylic technique

10-23-2010, 08:32 AM
Wonder if anyone can point me to a couple of articles or (advanced) books on the subject of applying acrylic paint with very small brushes in a sort of tempera technique. I mean stroking on the paint in short thin lines of paint and so gradually building up the surface (probably wood or masonite i.e. smooth compared to canvas?).

I do paint with acrylic but usually with bigger brushes and typically applying opaque paint, scumbles and dry-brush and so on but have never used acrylic in the "tempera" way of working and want to try it out.

Regards, Walter

10-23-2010, 09:45 AM
If you have used egg tempura before, the technique is basically the same. I would use a water/medium mix to use with the basic paint in an effort to be sure the binder is not compromised.

Acrylics are certainly versatile enough to be used in as many ways as your imagination allows.

Using colors in the same manner as egg tempura will be the challenge. In egg tempura, the pigments are ground using water and then egg yolk is added as a binder. The same can be done with acrylics. Application by dry brush, cross hatching and layering in thin layers can have a visual result that closely emulates egg tempura. It may not be exact but, after all, they are two different mediums.

10-23-2010, 05:50 PM
I use alot of thin watery paint on smoother masonite/hardboard
I sand the rough side to reduce alot of the texture and leave the smoothe side for the back, on occasion use the smoothe side but labeling the rough back is difficult.. I then gesso the rough sanded side 3-4 times with lightly sanding inbetween, its realy smoothe.
I paint thinly, using liquitex heavy body paints only thinned with water.. I use mostly small synthetic brushes.. mostly by Softgrip(Acrylic handles) but have some wood handle ones. and just go to town, doing layers and layers.
After my sketches, I use krylon workable fixative and sometimes lightely sand after that dries and begin painting. works great!!
takes some practice to get layers and coverage, so depends on the amt of paint you use, a personal choice, what your comfortable with to get the effect you like, its practice.
sometimes I use inky consistancy and sometimes thicker, straight from tube mixing few colors without thinning.
All trial and error and practice....
feel free to check out some of my WIPs, most paintings I post, include the steps I took to get the final result.
Hope it helps.
Good luck.

10-24-2010, 05:31 AM
Idylbrush, Kathie, thank you so much for the replies. Do you also know of some articles or books on the subject, and to narrow it down I am only interested in the hatching and cross hatching using a very small brush.

Long time back I did a copy of a Andrew Wyeth painting using opaque watercolor (gouache), see a small cropped section attached. Want to see if I can use the same kind of technique in acrylics but than less sloppy. Have never read in articles/books how this is best approached or done i.e things like medium to use, surface to use, paint consistency to use, how to build up etc.

Regards, Walter

10-24-2010, 10:13 AM
You may not find much on this since it can be highly specialized. I might consider reading "The New Acrylics", "Acrylic Revolution", anything by Rheni Tauchid, or Nancy Reyner (Acrylic Innovation) just to start.

I do think it may just be a matter of experimentation and trial and error. I really don't think that cross hatching is all that difficult or requires extensive research or training. Give yourself permission to grab a brush and see where it leads.

Acrylic/Egg Tempera Technique (http://books.google.com/books?id=9U-A6Kq_NfsC&pg=PA136&lpg=PA136&dq=using+acrylics+as+egg+tempera&source=bl&ots=t_YKBTf864&sig=OWeD4Eu7v0p76Denr_E5_P6H8TQ&hl=en&ei=zzHETMLSEYX7lwfpw_S1Cg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CCcQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=using%20acrylics%20as%20egg%20tempera&f=false)

01-16-2011, 02:42 AM
Idylbrush... Would you please explain in more detail the process for using egg tempra or Acrylics in the egg tempra way. I am not sure I understand what you mean about cross hatching (I know what cross hatching is) and layering...

Charlie's Mum
01-16-2011, 12:56 PM
Walter - have you thought about using fluid acrylics or Acrylic inks with the small brushes? Seems to me they'd be more 'agreeable' than the regular acrylics thinned with medium.
Just a thought!:)

01-17-2011, 04:30 PM
Wonder if anyone can point me to a couple of articles or (advanced) books on the subject of applying acrylic paint with very small brushes in a sort of tempera technique.
Honestly Walter, not necessary! You're already know the medium, you're more than familiar the technique so it's just a matter of putting the two together.

The one tip I can provide, given the small brushes you'll be using, is getting into the habit of rinsing your brushes often, then reloading and continuing. It's very tempting to paint for a good long while if the brush still has paint in it and this can be a problem with acrylics because the paint is insoluble when dry. So: rinse thoroughly and often :cool: