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Old 07-14-2019, 12:25 PM
RexRoamer RexRoamer is offline
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Thoughts on Painting with Craft Acrylics

Before I begin investing in professional quality acrylic paint, I'd like to use the dozens of bottles of craft acrylics in my collection of supplies. Is there any special way I should treat these when using them on canvas or watercolor paper? (I know they can be thinned with water.) I realize they have a higher PVA content, but other than that, they apparently dry exactly the same as artists acrylics. Nonetheless, if any of you have used these craft paints and have tips to share, I'd love to hear them. Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-14-2019, 01:14 PM
painterdude painterdude is offline
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Re: Thoughts on Painting with Craft Acrylics

I'd be a bit concerned with the craft paints permanence....I doubt that was as big a consideration with them as it would be with artists paints.
I suspect they would work better on canvas or Masonite than on watercolor paper as they seem to have more"filler" to them, and I don't know how well the craft paint would thin. This would only matter if you wanted to do wet on wet with them, wet on dry would probably be fine.
I have almost no experience with craft paints, so this is just me passing on what I was told by a friend who used them before moving on to artist paint.
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Old 07-15-2019, 12:36 PM
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LavenderFrost LavenderFrost is offline
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Re: Thoughts on Painting with Craft Acrylics

I started with craft paint, used all kinds of surfaces including watercolour paper, posterboard, canvas, and masonite. I think they are a good economical way to try out painting, especially since you already have them.
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Old 07-16-2019, 10:17 AM
RexRoamer RexRoamer is offline
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Re: Thoughts on Painting with Craft Acrylics

PainterDude - Thanks for your response. I've already spoken with a successful artist I know on the West Coast. He fairly adamantly dismissed the concerns about permanence and lightfastness regarding craft paints, so that's not my concern. I'm just hoping to learn some techniques folks use to make the best of craft paints on canvas and watercolor paper. I've done the "thinning" trick to make them look like watercolor and it does work nicely - I just haven't quite mastered the control of it, LOL. Hoping others have and can offer tips.

Last edited by RexRoamer : 07-16-2019 at 10:19 AM.
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Old 07-16-2019, 10:19 AM
RexRoamer RexRoamer is offline
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Re: Thoughts on Painting with Craft Acrylics

LavenderFrost - do you do anything special with the craft paint, or just use them out of the bottle? I'm going to be trying a bunch of techniques (adding particulates, thickening with water putty, etc.) but hoping to learn some great tricks others have tried as well. Thanks for your response, BTW!
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Old 07-16-2019, 04:47 PM
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Re: Thoughts on Painting with Craft Acrylics

Just out of the bottle and a little water for thinning. I didn't know much about painting at the time, just dove into it.
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Old 07-20-2019, 12:45 PM
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Re: Thoughts on Painting with Craft Acrylics

If you are just beginning to paint I wouldn't worry about the permanence so much as before long your skills will develop to the point that your earlier work with the craft paints aren't likely to be the works that you want to keep permanently anyway, other than the odd example of a painting you achieved that, at the time, gave you real personal satisfaction. Also, consider using the craft paints for studies, practicing, learning exercises, brushwork, trying out palette knives etc.

Even after you get into the professional quality paints, you might still want to use the craft paints for value studies or preliminary paint sketches, if that's how you like to work.

Finally, if you still have craft paints left over once you have truly made the switch, then you could find a young person who might be interested in taking up art and pass along a "set" to help get them started.
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Old 07-20-2019, 02:39 PM
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Re: Thoughts on Painting with Craft Acrylics

I just bought a few more bottles or craft paint yesterday. I still use them for "crafty" applications and, often, when I can't find the tube of acrylic paint I want. I find craft paints are a bit more matte than the usual acrylic paints but one I add a bit of medium to it or a varnish after, it's all the same!

Of course the paintings I do that are on auction at Sothebys are all only from the finest pigments I find mixed with the best........ I'm definitely joking although I am proud I discovered the paint recipe for baby poop!
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Old 07-20-2019, 06:41 PM
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Re: Thoughts on Painting with Craft Acrylics

Craft or not craft, is what you do with it....
Yet I have to admit the texture and vibrancy is much different when it comes to colors as red or yellow....the rest no one will be able to notice a difference...
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Old 07-22-2019, 09:04 AM
RexRoamer RexRoamer is offline
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Re: Thoughts on Painting with Craft Acrylics

Thanks, ColinS. As I mentioned, I'm not worried about the "permanence" aspect, as I've been assure by a fairly well-known artist I admire and trust that this is not an issue. I've been painting for a couple of years now and (both because I like to learn AND bore easily!) have tried nearly everything at this point, LOL. I actually enjoy the consistency of the craft paints a great deal so I don't think I'll be giving them away any time soon - but you're absolutely right in your suggestion. When I find I have duplicates or surplus art and craft supplies, I donate them to a program for special needs adults. They do wonderful things with them!
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Old 07-22-2019, 09:08 AM
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Re: Thoughts on Painting with Craft Acrylics

RoadLessTaken - I chuckled out loud at your post! (And you MUST share that baby poop recipe with me.) About the "more matte" finish, yes, you're absolutely right. I actually very much like that quality, but I know there are as many artistic approaches as there are artists, so everyone likes something a bit unique. I suppose that's what makes it "art," right? Have a great day!
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Old 07-22-2019, 09:12 AM
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Re: Thoughts on Painting with Craft Acrylics

Thanks for your input, Fedetony! Yes, I agree that craft paint has a thinner texture when compared with other paints - but I actually prefer that. I tried water-based oils for a while, but honestly, while I like the final product, I felt like I was constantly "fighting" to thin them out. I've seen beautiful paintings with those thick, sculptural effects, certainly. I just don't personally like to do that on a regular basis. Now... I have added powdered water putty to acrylics to do a few, unique sculptural things. But I wouldn't want that in every painting. Just my opinion, though! Others have undoubtedly mastered that technique, and it's lovely!
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Old 07-25-2019, 08:57 PM
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Re: Thoughts on Painting with Craft Acrylics

That’s how I started. I used craft paints and Masonite. My dad said there ought to be art outside on our lake porch/cabin. I did them in 96. He used to take them in during the winter. But he’s gone now and they’ve stayed out. I’ve cleaned them and resprayed a few years ago. They still look good. Even the one that is out in the elements. Happy Painting.
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Old 07-26-2019, 01:21 AM
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Re: Thoughts on Painting with Craft Acrylics

Acrylics are known for their longevity outside. The only major issue is fading due to UV damage. A colleague and I painted a scene on a cement block building in Wisconsin nearly 50 years ago. We used house paint and painted directly on the cement blocks. Just before the bldg. was torn down last year his son took a photo of the painting. It still looked vibrant after all those years in pretty harsh climate.
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