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Old 05-30-2002, 06:11 PM
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Unhappy Trying acrylics

Oh, man-------this is torture! I forgot how quickly acrylics dry in our dry Montana climate. That must be why I have worked in oils. But I thought I would like to try to master acrylics for all the other reasons they are so favorable. It's a huge mind set change for me. If anyone can direct me to information that might help me
get acquainted with this medium please let me know. I used acrylic glaze medium yesterday and my paints never stayed wet the 45 minutes that Golden said they would. I was told to wet my canvas or paper first and that seems to help some. I think I need to work smaller and take it slower until I get a handle on it. Thanks in advance for any advice.
Cathleen~
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Last edited by artbabe21 : 05-30-2002 at 06:42 PM.
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Old 05-30-2002, 07:13 PM
BRIDGES BRIDGES is offline
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Gotta paint fast with acrylics. Try the knife and brush and know here your'e going!.Bridges
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Old 05-30-2002, 08:43 PM
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Hi Artbabe,
I use acrylic all the timeand it can be used like watercolors and in that case I use a "Stay wet" palette..in the case of using them like oils (not watered down) usually an exttender works well for me.....but I don't know how they react in plein air painting..the elements can make drying time all the more quicker.
From the Shore,
Carole
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Old 05-30-2002, 11:33 PM
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BillieD BillieD is offline
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I live in TX, West TX, where the climate is very dry most of the time. I find what works best for me, is a little spray bottle, I bought it in the cosmetic dept. of Walmart, it sprays a very fine mist, (an emptied well cleaned hairspray pump bottle works the same, it makes a mist, no jets or streams of water).

Every half hour or so, give your paint a fine mist of water. Do not make puddles, just spray enough of a moisturizing mist, to prevent a surface film of dry paint forming on your paint.

If you step away from your pallette for a while, cover it, loosely, (I place the lid of the tin fruit cake canister I use to store my tubes of paint over the plate I use for a pallette.)

I have kept my paints fresh and film free for up to 3 hours, indoors, 2 hrs., outdoors. It may work longer than that, but, I actually ran out of paint...

I try not to put out more paint than I need (i.e. if I am painting the sky or a background, I squeeze out a generous amount...which I will be working quickly with...but, if it is going to be some little accents here and there, I just put a dab out.)

I like using a while Corelle plate, or platter, as a pallette, but, in a pinch I will use a styrofoam plate ( I think the styrofoam seems to dry out a bit more quickly, but, then again, I was at a painting playday, and may have been visiting and not keeping the mist going as often as I should.)

If I am going to put the pallette away for a while, I slip it into a 2 gallon size ziplock freezer bag, the paints were still good the next day.
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Old 05-31-2002, 12:15 AM
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Caron is an excellent acrylic painter. maybe she'll wander by and give you some advice. or you can pm her.
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Old 05-31-2002, 05:13 AM
Kevin M Kevin M is offline
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The right pallete box solves the fast drying of paint on the pallette. A shallow box with a layer of water retaining foam in the bottom covered by a stay wet pallette will keep paint workable for several weeks . When not in use, a tight fitting lid is essential. Better than paper pallettes, is polyester cloth of a fine enough weave that it is 'almost' waterproof. This can be washed out and re-used for ever. In an exceptonally fast drying situation, an occasional mist of water does the trick.

I work pretty slowly but I have found the fast drying of acrylic to be more an advantage than a disadvantage. In the end, I think it depends on how you prefer to paint.


Kevin
http://homepage.eircom.net/~bot/paint/windjammer.htm
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Old 05-31-2002, 10:04 AM
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thanks eveyone!

Actually hearing from people who have paint that doesn't dry in minutes is SO encouraging! I may not be putting enough paint out, afraid if I do it will dry too fast. What about tubes that are older? Could they be the culprits?

BillieD, I can't believe 3 hours in TX!!!!!!! How much paint do you have out?? I had a small dab of a fresh color out yesterday & it
was dried up within 15 minutes! I just didn't happen to use all of it & had sprayed it.

I really want to give this a good shot as it would make painting certain places so much easier!! Travel painting is part of my aim. I will keep trying with this and I do so appreciate all of you who have stopped in to give me advice!
Cathleen~
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Old 05-31-2002, 11:16 AM
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Lightbulb Not fast enough

artbabe:

First, thank you for your kind remarks about the portrait of my mother.

Now about acrylics drying too fast. If we are talking about them drying on the palette, find some old Tupperware devil-ed egg trays. They are made to hold a dozen egg halves in indents molded in an egg shape. Of course, the tray is stored in an air tight container. I use two of these boxes, one for cool colors and one for warm colors. With a piece of damp craft foam fit into the box my unused paint will stay wet for months. Of course, you must use only distilled water with acrylics. Otherwise you get the prettiest green mold covering them.

When talking of painting with acrylics, I have learned to speed up there drying time with the use of a small fan or hair drier. When I began trying to paint with acrylics 40 years ago, I too, felt that they dried too fast and were too stiff, and so gave up on them for better than 20 years. When I started again, I decided that they were not oils "duh" and began to learn to use them more like a dry medium than a wet one. I began to experiment with manners of quicker drying time and settled on the fan or hair drier to excellerate their drying. With this method I must rely on the eye to blend edges and colors. That is where a thorough knowledge of color theory came in handy. Also, I learned to use the stiffest, scudgiest brushes I have. LOL

Keep at it and find your own way.


Danny E Haislet
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Old 05-31-2002, 09:57 PM
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Re: Not fast enough

Quote:
Originally posted by TheLymner
artbabe:
Now about acrylics drying too fast. I use two of these boxes, one for cool colors and one for warm colors. With a piece of damp craft foam fit into the box my unused paint will stay wet for months. Of course, you must use only distilled water with acrylics. Otherwise you get the prettiest green mold covering them.

Thanks for this information!!!!! For months????????? Sheesh!!
And distilled water, who woulda thought? Is this some special foam or will any do?
Thanks so much for your informative post!
Cathleen~
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Old 05-31-2002, 10:23 PM
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Foam

I use the craft foam that comes in various colors and can be bought at most large craft centers. It holds water well and for long periods if tightly sealed.

Danny E. Haislet
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Old 06-01-2002, 12:54 AM
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Some of the paint dabs were large-ish, maybe the size of a walnut, others were just tiny dabs.

I don't think I told you I give the paint a fine misting before I begin using them, just a very fine misting.

I have tried the stay wet pallettes, and just don't care for them, maybe I haven't given them enough of a chance, but, as long as my misting keeps working, I doubt I will fuss with them. (I hated the lid on the one I bought too hard to seal.) I have been considering wetting paper towels, putting them in the bottom or a tupperware or rubbermaid pie keeper and putting my plate on that, but, I have been working on smaller pieces, 8x10, 11x14...and haven't really needed to go to the trouble.

Hope you find what works best for you, everyone has methods that fits their work habits the best, it just takes a few times to find what your needs are.

Good luck, once you find your solutions, you will probably love acrylics.
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Old 06-02-2002, 05:09 AM
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I completely understand your frustration! I found it so difficult - and my worry was how quickly it dried on the painting. Basically I eventually had the same revelation that Danny had, not to try and work with it like oils but to experiment with them *because* they dried quicker. Now I do most of my work in acrylics. I have heard of mediums that keep the paint workable and wet, but haven't tried them myself. Maybe worth trying a bottle to see how it does in your climate. (Hey, I'm in London, nothing dries fast enough. )

Tina.
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Old 06-02-2002, 08:10 AM
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Hi All,
Being a decorative painter, I usually want the paint to dry fast because I do alot of 'floating' of color and alot of layering . however, when i've tried to use acrylics like oils it just doesn't work..it was hard for me to change techniques but once i got the hang of it I enjoy it fully..I may go back to oils one day ..you never know
From the Shore,
Carole
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Old 06-02-2002, 10:22 AM
BRIDGES BRIDGES is offline
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when you say "use like oils." You mean technique? Spreading the paint? IN oils I find can change anything, shape, color wipe out etc. but with acrylics. Gosh they dry so hard to change a shadow lets say, unless comlpetely change color where oils you can add a darker shade and not lose the idea.And my acryliics fade as painting, oils stay bright. Not much mising is ther eto acrylics, for me hard to control values. Bridges
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Old 06-02-2002, 12:45 PM
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BRIDGES, I tend to think of and use acrylics as more of a dry medium that happens to be wet That is, I allow the eye to mix the colors. It is surprising how brilliant a white is produced by a small dot of red, blue, and green placed in the correct proportions and next to each other in a triangle. I will premix several values of a color I am going to use and apply them as I would a stick of pastel. Acrylics are just too plastic (duh) to mix on the canvas. And remember to always use distilled water. No tap water, too many bad chemicals. Keep at it.

Danny E Haislet
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