A Conversation for Painting with Acrylics

Fast Drying a Mixed Blessing

Post 1

Steve K.

"Quick drying: acrylic paint dries very quickly, usually within about 15 minutes. This is both an advantage and a disadvantage."

My wife was a university art major long ago, and was required to use acrylics in her painting classes. She would have preferred oils which she had used in high school, but had no choice. The acrylics dried so fast you cannot mix the colors on the canvas, plus the color darkened as it dried. smiley - ill

My answer is Photoshop (or Painter) with a Wacom tablet. smiley - rainbow


Fast Drying a Mixed Blessing

Post 2

Sea Change

I started out with acrylics and was accustomed to moving quickly, so when I took a stab at oils I learned the true meaning of 'as boring as watching paint dry'.smiley - biggrin


Fast Drying a Mixed Blessing

Post 3

Steve K.

My oil based paint experience is limited to exterior primer on the house, that stuff is a mess to clean up. My non-computer art training is pretty much limited to pencil drawing, dries pretty fast. (Color confuses me smiley - erm )


Fast Drying a Mixed Blessing

Post 4

Sea Change

They now make watercolor pencils. You can either use them on a wet surface, or use several techniques for wetting them after you have made your drawing, or wet the pencils themselves as you draw.

They may even be made in black/white/shades of grey.smiley - smiley I find them very interesting and own a set, but you may like to buy one or two just to play with. The best part (for me), is since they are a relatively new product, no one can tell you you're doing it wrong, and you yourself may discover something new.


Fast Drying a Mixed Blessing

Post 5

Steve K.

Sounds interesting. After a long period of 3D computer type art, I'm trying my hand at movie making with the video features of the little digital cameras. So I have needs for backdrops, etc. I was particularly impressed by "Triplets of Belleville" (aka "Belleville Rendevous" I think), some great art work in that animated feature movie. smiley - artist My efforts are much more amateurish, but its fun. smiley - weird


Fast Drying a Mixed Blessing

Post 6

TellingBone

Acrylic also dries quickly on your expensive brushes, ruining them.
A much more pleasant alternative is to soak the oil out of oil paint by using blotting paper and then thin the paint with white spirit (use the low odour variety to avoid rotting your brain, you can use turps but it tends to yellow over time).
This technique of removing the oil from oil paint was first used by the Impressionists, in response to the poor quality of paint being produced by machine grinding of pigments. A side effect of the Industrial Revolution is that nobody today can paint like caravaggio because nobody knows how to mix those coarse-ground, oil-rich browns. After some disasterous experiments with bitumin, artists developed a new technique, using opaque darks.
Combined with that other product of the industrial revolution, photography, with it's compressed tonal range, artists had a new way of looking at the world and a new way of depicting it. They ceased trying to create the illusion of a window on the world and confronted the viewer with paint on a surface, leading on to abstract painting.
If you try this technique, remember the addage - fat over lean, fat meaning more oil. Add a little linseed oil back to your mix as you build up your layers.


Fast Drying a Mixed Blessing

Post 7

TellingBone

Didn't mention, it also dries quicker - again used by the Impressionists, to get out of the studio, they could start and finish a painting on the spot.
I'd add that what happened to oil paints is now happening to watercolours. Traditional pigments are being replaced by chemical alternatives, pretty soon we'll just be offered homogenous coloured pastes with no individual characteristics. All in the interests of greater permanency of course.


Fast Drying a Mixed Blessing

Post 8

TellingBone

*Caravaggio


Fast Drying a Mixed Blessing

Post 9

TellingBone

Just to complete the picture, let's not forget the influence of Japanese woodblock prints, which started to arrive in Europe as Impressionism was developing.


Fast Drying a Mixed Blessing

Post 10

Steve K.

"They ceased trying to create the illusion of a window on the world and confronted the viewer with paint on a surface, leading on to abstract painting."

Yes, and I sort of OD'd on abstract images for a while - Monet, Robert Indiana, ... Now its kind of refreshing to see realistic images done with cleverness. Such as Trompe-l'œil:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trompe_l'oeil

My most recent purchase was this pencil drawing at an art show here in Houston:

http://jdhillberry.com/string_of_memories.htm

To me, a very clever image - even the tape is part of the drawing. The artist says he is continually wiping off the fingerprints from the glass where people have to "touch" the tape to check ... smiley - cdouble


Fast Drying a Mixed Blessing

Post 11

TellingBone

Ah, I like to see the brush marks... Lucian Freud does it for me.

I'm also a fan of watercolour pencils, I use them with watercolour paint, instead of blending with clear water, mix a coloured wash and use that. I had to start using heavyweight paper, I used to wear my way right through to the drawing board by working into wet paint with the pencils. They're also nicer to use dry than wax pencils. I don't like wax pencils but I've seen highly detailed, photo realistic work done by using wax pencil on top of watercolour. The grittier watercolour pigments seem to be a good base for the horrible wax pencil. Maybe try it now before gritty watercolour pigments are replaced with cheaper alternatives. (The gritty pigments are mainly the granulating ones I think, or the mixes like payne's grey, which contain ultramarine, at least it used to, probably made with pthalocyanine blue now!)


Fast Drying a Mixed Blessing

Post 12

TellingBone

On watercolours; there doesn't appear to be much difference between the cheaper range and the artists grade when it comes to pthalo colours, you might as well save a bit of money and buy the cheap stuff. One thing that really bugs me is buying raw sienna and finding you've got a dark yellow ochre, it's not the same. Nothing floods into a damp wash like raw sienna, it can flash across your painting like a ray of sunshine, it drys a bit dull, but it's a magic moment when it happens and you aren't expecting it. Keep an eye on your pb numbers.


Fast Drying a Mixed Blessing

Post 13

Steve K.

I hope I haven't misled you about my art interests - strictly a fan for traditional art, my wife is the art major, currently into polymer clay based items. Her flip-flop earrings are in big demand. My interest is digital art, primarily animated videos. In fact, I am working on one now that is part of the 48 Hour Film Contest/Houston. We started Friday at about 7PM, and its due Sunday the same time. 4 to 7 minutes. I haven't slept much ... zzzzzzz


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Fast Drying a Mixed Blessing

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