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Old 08-26-2003, 02:05 PM
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A Perfect Circle - How To ???

Hiya folks!

I'm needing to draw/paint a perfectly round circle ... or as close as I can get. I'm not naturally talented enough to do this free-hand, and would like suggestions as to how to do this?

Have any of you used circles in your design .... or paintings? How did you acheive the perfectly symetrical look?

Please share! Thanks!

Hugs,
Dee
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Old 08-26-2003, 02:24 PM
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You can use a protracter - I think that is what they are called? The v-shaped thingy with a sharp point which sticks in the centre of the circle, and you put a pencil in the other part, open the "legs" as wide as you want, and then draw the circle.

Otherwise, draw round a plate, or a saucer, if you can find one the right size!
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Old 08-26-2003, 03:10 PM
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Hi Jackie,

A protractor is a good idea! Will have to buy one.

My other problem is staying inside the circle with the paint!

Guess that just takes practice ... or a teeny tiny brush!

By the way ... I'm doing circles from 1" - 2" round.

Hugs,
Dee
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Old 08-26-2003, 05:30 PM
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Most art supply stores sell stencils with circles this size cut out of them. Interior designers use them when making floorplans. You can also (but it might be difficult with a circle this small) tie a string into a loop that's the radius of the circle you want. On on end of the loop put a pencil, then station the other side to the middle of your circle with your small finger or a needle or something. Then just move the pencil around the center point keeping the string taught and you've got a circle.
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Old 08-27-2003, 03:06 AM
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If you need to paint an absolutely perfect circle, with very sharp edges, and you have wobbly hands, then perhaps it might be a good idea to mask around the circle before you paint. You can use masking fluid for this, if you plan to work with watermedia.

If you are using a stiffer paint, like oils, or acrylics used from the tube, you could try a different idea - cut out a stencil of your circle, and tape it down, and paint inside the circle.

Why are you painting perfect circles?
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Old 08-27-2003, 06:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by jackiesimmonds
You can use a protracter - I think that is what they are called? The v-shaped thingy with a sharp point which sticks in the centre of the circle, and you put a pencil in the other part, open the "legs" as wide as you want, and then draw the circle.

That's a pair of compasses. I think a protractor is that semi-circular thing that sat in my pencil case through 12 years of maths lessons without my ever figuring out what it was for!
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Old 08-27-2003, 08:40 AM
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Bloodjelly,

I've tried stencils .... various types ... but no matter how firm I have it held/taped down, the 'acrylic' paint leaks through.

Uhmmmmm .... it must be my cognitive thinking gone crazy, but I'm not following you on the other idea .... sounds too complicated to me ... since I need to do several of these. :-)

Hugs,
Dee
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Old 08-27-2003, 08:45 AM
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Hi again jackie,

Yes ... I do need to paint a perfect circle ... with sharp edges, and I DO have wobbly hands. I've tried various types of tape ... even 2 that cost allot more than masking tape ... at the art store, and they 'still' don't work well for other shapes ... the 'acrylic' paint I use leaks under the tape, and if the tape is stuck to another color of paint next to where I'm working ... it pulls the paint off when I take the tape up.

Masking fluid won't work if it's only for watercolor .. gosh .. they should make one for acylics.

Also tried stencils ... paint leaked underneath no matter how firm it was taped down.

I'm working on a series of small abstract geometric paintings on wood blocks. I suppose I could make the circle as 'near' perfect as I can get ... and let it go at that .. but I'm really trying to go for clean lines here ....

Thanks for all the suggestions! :-)
Hugs,
Dee
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Old 08-27-2003, 09:04 AM
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OH YEAH! You're right! It WAS a compass we used to make circles in school! LOL!!!

While yours sat in your pencil case ... I used mine to poke the legs of the 'cute' boy who sat in front of me. Seeeeee, I was a flirt and tease ... even back then!

By the way ... you made me think ... I'm gonna look up on Dick Blick and a few other sites ... to see if they have 'anything' that I can use for this.

Hugs,
Dee
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Old 08-27-2003, 09:06 AM
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To all,

See, if I didn't mind using 'stencil' paints .. I'd be all set, cause I could use any ole stencil ... but I want to use acylics .... and because they 'leak' under most stencils and tape .... I'm having a problem.

Like I mentioned ... I could make the circle as close to perfection as I can get ... but it won't be perfectly symetrical like the other shapes will ... and that's what I'm trying to acheive.

Edited to show you what I 'could' use, if the paints didn't leak underneat the stencil .... I've tried just outlining the circle in pen and painting around inside .. but my hands are not steady enough to make it perfect.

http://www.dickblick.com/zz554/75b/p...m=0&ig_id=5567

I think I'll try another one ... and put up a picture of it to show you what I mean.

UGH ... this shouldn't be so hard!

Dee

Just got off the phone with Dick Blick .... none of their stencils are able to be used for what I need ... since they won't sit tight enough against the surface to stop the paint from leaking underneath.

Last edited by dd50 : 08-27-2003 at 09:19 AM.
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Old 08-27-2003, 01:51 PM
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Dee, Since you are using acrylics, I suggest the following:
  • Use the stencil to draw the circle.

    Paint the outside of the circle first - it doesn't matter if it's a bit wobbly as long as you keep track of your pencil line and it is covered with paint.

    Wait for the paint to be COMPLETELY dry - overnight even.

    Put the stencil back in place and paint the inner part of the circle - you will want to do this quickly, so first of all just do the edge. Lift off the stencil and quickly wipe off the bled-through paint with a damp paper towel. This will hopefull give you the clean edge you are looking for. when you have cleaned up the edge of the circle you can go back and fill in the center without worrying about the stencil.

I have not tried this myself, but that is what I would do. Good luck
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Old 08-27-2003, 03:09 PM
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why won't masking fluid work under acrylics? It is water-based, after all. I would think it would. Particularly if the acrylics aren't too thick. Why not try some on a piece of scrap paper first?


And yes, compass is what I was talking about. Funnily enough, I was about to put that down....and it didn't "feel" right, and I thought what a clot, of course it is a protractor, not a compass, a compass is what you use to find n,s,e & w.

I now feel even more of a clot.
J
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Old 08-28-2003, 12:15 AM
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lol jackie...we all have those moments...(i have way too many)

there is no reason you can't use a stencil with acrylics. the difference is you don't use a regular brush...you use a stiff bristled stencil brush and you have the brush almost dry and then either dab or do small circles over the stencil..

I used to use stencils and acrylic paint all the time and that's how i did it.
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Old 08-28-2003, 12:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by arlene
lol jackie...we all have those moments...(i have way too many)

there is no reason you can't use a stencil with acrylics. the difference is you don't use a regular brush...you use a stiff bristled stencil brush and you have the brush almost dry (when you think it's dry enough you wipe it on a paper towel) and then either dab or do small circles over the stencil..

I used to use stencils and acrylic paint all the time and that's how i did it.
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Old 08-28-2003, 09:41 PM
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Another suggestion for the template

Dee:

Here is an old trick from the old days:

They make circle templates cut out of nice green plastic. The come in all sizes and are fairly stiff. Get one that has the diameter of circle you want.

Here is the trick: Tape small squares of foam board or some other spacer under the plastic template. This will lift the template off of the canvas. Then with a small brush filled with paint, push the ferrel against the circle template following it around gently. That will give you the outline and then you just fill it in without the template.

We used to tape pennies under our templates and ink circles that way. It keeps the ink (paint) from leeching under the plastic template.

You only need to tape "spacers" under the template on the perpendicular diameters. At 12 o'clock, 3 o'clock, 6 o'clock, and 9 o'clock. You don't have to do more than the 4 places. This technique will work for plastic french curves and straight edges also.

Hope this helps a little.

Bruce

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