PDA

View Full Version : New to Acrylics


art.lover
06-15-2011, 12:58 PM
I did read the first page of this thread = http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=227402 but as that thread is closed I want to ask what is the best way for practicing acrylics that is not too costly? I mean support, paper or canvas paper?

I have a watercolor block of 140lb, rough finish, it is acid-free buffered paper made from 100% cotton rag. Is this paper suitable for acrylics? Do I need to prepare it before using for acrylics? Also how should I frame it, if I happen to make a good painting on it? Will it be ok if I just put it behind a normal glass with spacers and not varnish it? I have asked some more questions on framing here = http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?p=13873868

I am just starting with acrylics and am a bit confused, need your guidance.

Forgot to ask about canvas, if I use ready made or pre-stretched canvas, is it okay to work on it directly or need at apply gesso on it?

old_hobbyist
06-15-2011, 01:12 PM
Welcome to acrylics! First off, acrylics can be used as opaque WCs. As a result, you can continue to use your WC paper. You do not need to treat the paper any differently than you do for WC. Treat your final pic as if it were a WC pic and frame it behind glass.

Canvas, canvas paper, hardboard, MDF, birch plywood, are common supports for acrylics. Rigid supports do not need to be framed behind glass. Canvas and canvas paper is usually treated with acrylic gesso when purchased. The other supports should be treated with acrylic gesso before using.

As you get into acrylics, you will learn how versatile acrylics are. Traditional acrylics, like WCs, dry very quickly. Keep reading the threads in the acrylic forum. And enjoy!

BeeCeeEss
06-15-2011, 02:40 PM
Your watercolor paper will be just fine for use with acrylics. Since the paper is very absorbent your acrylics will dry VERY quickly because the paper quickly draws the water out of them. You can slow that down by pre-wetting your paper before you apply the acrylics. There are also products to help extend the drying time of acrylic paints. You can work with your paints thinned down into transparent washes in a watercolor style of painting. You can also use thicker paints and anywhere in between. The main difference between acrylics and watercolors is that, once dry, the acrylics are permanent and can't be re-wetted.

Most pre-stretched canvas or canvas boards are sold with acrylic gesso already applied, but it's always a good idea to apply one or two coats of your own gesso. The commercially applied gesso can often have a residue left on it from packaging materials, etc. It often seems a little slick for my tastes and I don't like the way the paint feels as it is applied to such a surface. A good rinse with plain water followed by a coat or two of your own gesso will help assure you have a good surface to paint on.

There are so many surfaces that you can paint on with your acrylic paints as long as they have been prepared with gesso (where needed). One of the least expensive surfaces that I have found is illustration board. You can use it as a plain paper surface like watercolor paper (but it won't be quite as absorbent) or you can apply some gesso to seal the surface for a different type of painting experience. The nice thing about illustration board is that it is stiff enough to put into an open frame like an oil painting (I find a thin piece of foam board inserted behind it as a backing board keeps it snugly in place in the frame).

Another favorite painting surface of mine for acrylics is either Fredrix Watercolor Canvas or the Yes! brand of all-media canvas sold by ASW or by Jerry's Artarama here in the U.S.A. I don't know if they are available where you are. The watercolor canvas (and Yes! canvas) have a very fine weave and have an absorbent ground applied to them so they are absorbent like watercolor paper. You can also apply some acrylic gesso to these canvas to make them less absorbent for more conventional canvas painting.

I hope that info helps and gives you some ideas. Enjoy your painting.

Beverly

kate252
06-15-2011, 03:39 PM
water colour paper is fine for acrylics but i dont like it personally. i think it takes a watery kind of splashey kind of painter. i am on a budget and i hae taken to buying these primed boards. i have a reasonable sized on at the moment and it costs me 3.95 in english pounds- roughly $6 . the good thing about it is- if things dont work out i can prime it again and carry on painting. paper has its limits. if you get some gesso acrylic primer you can prime these boards again- (they often dont have evough on them) and you can also prime wood. this is by far the cheapest way of getting to paint. acrylics on water colour paper is nice but you have to know what you are doing- not putting you off- but error margin is less i think.

Einion
06-15-2011, 09:28 PM
...I want to ask what is the best way for practicing acrylics that is not too costly? I mean support, paper or canvas paper?
Well paper will probably work out as the cheapest support, although the additional cost in framing may absorb much of the difference at the end of the day.

I have a watercolor block of 140lb, rough finish, it is acid-free buffered paper made from 100% cotton rag. Is this paper suitable for acrylics?
Yes, very.

Do I need to prepare it before using for acrylics?
No.

You can do some prep work to deliberately alter the characteristics of surface but it's not necessary to achieve a stable painting if that's what you were wondering about.

Also how should I frame it, if I happen to make a good painting on it? Will it be ok if I just put it behind a normal glass with spacers and not varnish it?
Yes. Normally you'd frame acrylic works on paper just like you would a watercolour on paper.

Forgot to ask about canvas, if I use ready made or pre-stretched canvas, is it okay to work on it directly or need at apply gesso on it?
Most commercial stretched canvases are already primed with a form of acrylic primer and are intended to be ready to paint on, although quite a few artists do add a coat or two of their own primer to ensure a good surface.

Einion

OkeeKat
06-15-2011, 09:42 PM
when you use up your wc paper you can purchase pads of Canvas paper for acrylics, it too does not need to be treated with gesso.
the paper is best to matte and frame behind glass... matting keeps it off the glass enough.

I always treat the pre treated canvas panels and Stretched canvas anyway with 2-3 coats of gesso, with lightly sanding and wiping clean between dry coats of gesso, usualy going in differfent directions with each coat.its all a personal choice how many. this helps reduce the amount of visible weave of the canvas for more detailed work so its a more smoother surface.. all depends on what you are going to paing and how comfortable you are with the weave. its a trial and error.

good luck and WELCOME to our little corne of Wet Canvas.
Look forward to seeing your artwork!:wave:

ShannonTeague
06-16-2011, 01:04 AM
I have a watercolor block of 140lb, rough finish, it is acid-free buffered paper made from 100% cotton rag. Is this paper suitable for acrylics? Do I need to prepare it before using for acrylics?

As has been noted, that's no problem but keep in mind that watercolor paper will absorb the moisture in the paint and as a result your paint will dry much quicker than normal. If you want to try to limit the absorption, you can lay down a coat of acrylic medium thinned with water before you start painting and this will reduce the amount of absorption. This can be done with Golden mediums so I'm assuming it can probably be done with other brands as well. Of course if you are looking for more of a watercolor effect with acrylics you don't have to worry about that.

MarinaG
06-16-2011, 01:58 AM
Another option are wooden panels (such as those by Gotrick). They seem to be cheaper than canvas of a similar size. Just prime/sand first.

art.lover
06-17-2011, 01:00 AM
Thanks to all of you for the warm welcome and also for replying to my queries :)

I have not been able to find canvas paper pads so I think I will try paper. I wanted to try hardboard or plyboard for acrylics but I will need gesso for that and my art store don't have it. Hopefully I will have it after a month.

Will it be ok to try a pre-stretched canvas without gesso? (I don't mind the weave showing through)

Einion
06-17-2011, 04:40 AM
Yes, you can paint directly onto unprimed fabric with acrylics. It'll be very absorbent, much like paper in that regard.

Einion