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Old 05-03-2009, 04:28 PM
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1st Acrylic. 2nd Color Piece. And a Question

Hello,

I am new to (and struggling with) color-- usually a charcoal person. I just recently tried a piece in pastels, which started okay, but really went south as I tried to mix and blend on the paper. Not giving up on pastels after one shot, but thought I'd give acrylics a go. Since I am a SLOW worker I went with Golden Open for most of this, although some of the final details are Liquitex. Anyway, here's it is.



8x10" on stretched canvas. Hardly brilliant but not a total disaster either I don't think. I enjoyed the fact that I could adjust it for hours but that the next day it was dry. I think traditional acrylics would be very difficult for me to adjust to...

My question is this. I'm a brush klutz! Have had some success using a toothpick or color blender to add fine details but neither holds much paint. Anthing else I'm missing to add things like hair, fur, whiskers, etc. in a pet portrait (which is what I'm working on now)? My brushwork at that small scale is very clumpy.

Thanks for looking!
-Louis

Last edited by VegArtist : 05-03-2009 at 04:31 PM.
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Old 05-03-2009, 05:34 PM
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Re: 1st Acrylic. 2nd Color Piece. And a Question

Louis ...that's an amazing 1st acrylic.

I've never used Golden opens and wonder what you mean by clumpy. Manufacturers make small to teeny brushes. If you are working small and using toothpics ( that's small) have you any small brushes? One thing you might try is to work with paint that is more fluid (add water or medium). Load the brush well, and before you put your brush to canvas first touch the tip of the brush to a piece of paper or your palette to take off that first bit of paint that collects at the tip. Then make your strokes to canvas. Do this each time you load your brush, once again touch the tip to paper or palette.

You are good with color ... keep painting! Looking forward to seeing more of your work.

PS - If it's not too clumpy, you can lightly sand your painting to smooth it some by crumpling a piece paper bag, fold it, and using that to sand with. A light touch though.
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Last edited by NRC : 05-03-2009 at 05:40 PM.
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Old 05-03-2009, 06:20 PM
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Re: 1st Acrylic. 2nd Color Piece. And a Question

I really like this!! Welcome to our little corner of WC, Louis!!
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Old 05-03-2009, 06:38 PM
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Re: 1st Acrylic. 2nd Color Piece. And a Question

Fabulous. You don't look like a klutz here at all. As for painting, I suggest different sized brushes for the finer work. Also blending the paint with water will help to remove the clumps. Some paint colours are clumpier than others for some reason.
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Old 05-03-2009, 09:21 PM
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Re: 1st Acrylic. 2nd Color Piece. And a Question

Hi Louis, welcome to Acrylics!

I have found when doing fine work is to wet my brush first with water and shape the bristles to a nice point. Then I add my paint. I have also found what helps me, is to build the line slowly using a diluted paint and building the colour gradually. I tend to avoid the blobs that way.

What also helps, me at least, is to use a brush that is nicely balanced in my hand - so try a few bands and sizes out and find one that suits your hand. I put feeling klutzy with brushes down to the brush not fitting your hand.

Just keep practising, you're off to a great start!
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Old 05-04-2009, 06:43 AM
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Re: 1st Acrylic. 2nd Color Piece. And a Question

Great job!
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Old 05-04-2009, 09:36 AM
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Re: 1st Acrylic. 2nd Color Piece. And a Question

I came from graphite to acrylics about 6 years ago. I had a lot of trouble giving up wanting to control the painting on a very detail level. Let the brush do some of that work. If you are painting fur, let the brush make the fur. Don't try to draw every hair. It's a big challenge to go from the total control of drawing to something like painting, but it's worth it! Experiment with different types of brushes and consistencies of paint. Search for some tutorials on the net. Good luck and I hope you stick with it.
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Old 05-04-2009, 10:20 AM
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Re: 1st Acrylic. 2nd Color Piece. And a Question

Hi and welcome to the forum. Good advice so far. Good colors and composition. Like the way you use the light.
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Old 05-04-2009, 10:46 AM
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Re: 1st Acrylic. 2nd Color Piece. And a Question

Oh I do like this one. Experience will be your best teacher - toothpicks are a staple in my studio though I use them less and less these days.
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Old 05-04-2009, 11:40 AM
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Re: 1st Acrylic. 2nd Color Piece. And a Question

You did a great job!

A script liner is good for fine details.
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Old 05-04-2009, 04:08 PM
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Re: 1st Acrylic. 2nd Color Piece. And a Question

Amazing first post with acrylics! Really nice work. A script liner is very useful - the trick in both acrylics and oils is to get the paint to an inky consistancy and then twirl the brush to a point as you load. Not that we can't find uses for toothpicks and whatever else does the job! I'll be looking forward to seeing more of your paintings.
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Old 05-04-2009, 04:48 PM
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Re: 1st Acrylic. 2nd Color Piece. And a Question

Love the egg shell...
[I suppose ye gonna call it - "Cracked", huh...
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Old 05-04-2009, 05:13 PM
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Re: 1st Acrylic. 2nd Color Piece. And a Question

Cracked is right!
Thanks to everyone- I really appreciate the comments and encouragement!
I have started a new acrylic animal portrait- quite a bit more going on than with the egg- and I feel like I'm painting with boxing gloves on a times! Small details and neat edges (not sharp just clean) are giving me fits. But am going to plug away at it. I am enjoying it all very much despite the frustrations!
-Louis
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Old 05-04-2009, 08:04 PM
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Re: 1st Acrylic. 2nd Color Piece. And a Question

This is really fabulous, first one bravo. In some areas of detail I'll use a small liner brush, gives you a nice flow, not choppy and the point remains the same it's the pressure you apply that will change the width, but only as far as the brush itself will spread. Tip makes for a very fine, fine line..course here too it's something to practice with...think the sharpness of your edges will depend on your surface, but so long as your brush is wet enough, not dripping I think you'll get there..have fun.

Elaine
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