View Full Version : HI can you help me- with the way i paint with acrylics? many thanksXX

12-02-2010, 04:47 PM
i have posted this pic on miniature forum too as its an aceo- 9cm by 6cm
so when you look at it and think- oh my goodness thats bad- please bear in mind that its playing card size and incredibally small

but i posetd it on acrylic forum aswell because the quandry isnt solely about painting in small- but about how to use acrylics- to be honest- i am faling out of love with them today-

id like to use them so as they look like water colour- id love it if people said- oh thats a water colour- and i could say well no actually its acrylic- ive just used them which such skill

what? where am I? sorry was in a dream then- a dream where i painetd really well

so is this possible- or shall i just go out and get some water colour and have done with it?

12-02-2010, 05:25 PM
i have posted this pic on miniature forum too as its an aceo- 9cm by 6cm
so when you look at it and think- oh my goodness thats bad- please bear in mind that its playing card size and incredibally small
Actually it's nothing like as poor as you think it is! There are plenty of people who'd be very pleased indeed if they could paint like this.

id like to use them so as they look like water colour- id love it if people said- oh thats a water colour-
Well from the pic I think it could easily be mistaken for watercolour.

Watercolour painting doesn't have a single 'look' but the common idea of it is based on being able to clearly see that washes have been used and they're transparent/semitransparent on the paper. There's no real magic to achieving this with acrylic paint - just thin them with water and try to work quickly and confidently. And that's pretty much how your painting looks to me :cool:

But the fast drying time of acrylic paint does lead to a common problem, for dry edges where you don't want them. This is a persistent issue and acrylics are of course very water-resistant once dry so anything like this generally can't be fixed, as it can to some degree with watercolour. So I would recommend trying out some retarder or blending medium to use as well as (or instead of) water to see if it helps. In addition to products made specifically for use with acrylics, W&N's Watercolour Blending Medium is worth experimenting with as apparently it works very well with acrylic paint.

The other major option these days is to try one of the new slower-drying acrylics - Atelier Interactive, Golden Open - which have a much longer working time and can be rewetted a little as well.

BTW, just occurred to me as I was about to post, is there a reason you can't just use watercolour?


12-02-2010, 06:42 PM
I think you did well. I think posting an Aceo larger than its actual size just magnifies flaws. Let me see if this works....


Hmmm, still a little bit bigger. :(

12-02-2010, 07:37 PM
don't be down hearted, this is a neat lil painting, although I can't understand why you want to make acrylics masquerade as watercolours :confused:
Acrylics paint like acrylics, they are I think the most versatile painting medium, and that is their ace. Nothing paints like watercolours as well as watercolours, they have a charm all of their own too, and are probably my favourite.
My advise would be to explore and experiment with your acrylics and acrylic mediums, use watercolour techniques, but they will still paint like acrylics. If watercolours are really what you want, pop some on yer christmas wish list :D .
Whatever you paint with, the important thing is to paint often and enjoy the painting journey...:wave:

12-03-2010, 03:35 AM
many thanks for your replies

i will deffinately try the slowig down mediums- were you referrng to the patchy background? i didnt know there were such things as slowing down mediums- this is exactly why i came onto wet canvas- its so good to get encouragement from other people who are serious painters too and have the capabiltiy to appreciate a tudor painting- many aceo painters or collectors go in for clever doodles or innovative images and find my paitings dull and boring and this just makes me down hearted as if im not exciting enough

so its really good to come onto a forum that undertsands where i coming from!!! its so good to talk to people who respond to how you do it- not what subject matter youve depicted- as that way of looking and viewing other peoples work can be really disiriting for the artist

think ill come back onto wet canvas a bit more often and give my selling forum a bit of break for a while. but thats nothing personal to the selling forum!!!! hopefully some of them can come on here and read this as ive just posted about wetcanvas this morning and tried to get some people to come on here- but ultimately those that seriously want to develop will find wet canvas on their own volition.

12-03-2010, 11:23 AM
Kate, I think this is a fabulous little painting! Einion is right that lots of people wish they could paint that way! Great job!

12-04-2010, 03:59 AM
Hi Kate, one thing you might try is a spray bottle. Im in Australia, so acrylics tend to dry pretty fast. Im not a fast painter, and Im not a lover of Retarders.
When Im doing a water scene using a number of colours, I mist my canvas to keep my paint wet so I can blend and not get dry edges. I also only use the misting bottle to keep my palette paint wet and mixing. I have found that a Hair Leave-in Conditioner bottle is actually a better mister/spray bottle than the purchased variety.

12-04-2010, 08:45 AM
many thanks for replys and the boost- it really, really helps.
i have never thoguht of using a spray- im nt in australia- im in cold Dorset/England and let me assure you the paints dry up in the summer nearly as soon as you put them down- i expect in australian summer they will dry instantly if you have small lumps

i really would .like to look at many others paintings in acrylic so i can get the sense of what i can do with this medium- its not that i want it to masquerade as water colours- im just trying to find out what it can do- i suppose if i follow whats on your easel ill get to see them all

why are yu not a fan of slowing mediums? do they dull the chromas?

12-04-2010, 10:28 AM
Hi Kate, not using retarders is just my preference. I have tried a couple over here and I just didnt like them. I manage so far to do what I want without. I didnt see any difference in the paint that I can remember. Im only relatively new to painting, so not really up on what is good and not. I have recently bought a gel retarder but have yet to use it.

12-04-2010, 10:34 AM
Hi Kate, I think you did extremely well for such a small size canvas.
I paint very thinly too but not too thin that the color is transparent.
it might depend also on the type of paints you use. but try to use minimal water.
I make mine like inky consistancy.
Feel free to see any of my posts.
Sometimes you just have to add more and more layers of thin paint to make it darker to cover the background.
I'd suggest only to make the darks darker and highlights lighter.
Keep up the good work, practice with it is the best suggestion!!

12-04-2010, 11:15 AM
Kate, I think this is a wonderful painting. I wish I could paint that small, but I think I would need a magnifying glass.