Acylic on Canvas
This painting was done pre-discovery of the multitude of colours available now. Black, White, Sienna, Ultramarine Blue, yellow and red, were my only colours.
Acrylics are a versatile, forgiving medium. I have worked in them for decades, but when I started there was less availability of products. I basically had white, black, red, yellow, and blue. And Hookers green. A big fat vat of Hookers green. Ah, and my beautiful burnt sienna. I could mix any colour at all with no difficulty at all with just the red, blue and yellow, and so never bothered looking for solutions to problems- and it is the need for solutions which ultimately sends you back to the art store. So I never was attuned to the vast changes that were afoot in the world of acrylics!
Then I decided I wanted to paint in Oils- this was about 2006. Oils were a mystery, and it seemed as though no one was interested in Acrylics and anyone who was anybody was an oil painter. So, it was time. Well, what an adventure- and I'll outline that more on my Oils area. But it sent me back to the art store time and time again, and it had me rediscover Acrylics as well.
And I am extremely fortunate in my friends, one of whom buys me Art books that catch her fancy, and hopes perhaps they'll inspire me. And, of course they have, but often the inspiration isn't just a style, but use of product, including grounds, surfaces, and colours I'd not been exposed to before, and thus an entire world has reopened to me.
Acrylics are now all the rage, and new, wonderful products keep hitting the art store shelves, and I have the curiosity, and desire to experiment with some of them to create new works.
And back to those friends I am so fortunate to have, they gift me products, and books, and gift certificates, and mostly inspiration, faith in me, and unfailing good reviews. Even when i don't deserve them. They request works, which push me in new directions, and often free up my creativity.
One of Acrylics best features, can also be a drawback- its fast drying time. I use water to adjust drying time, and there are retarders, which I haven't tried yet. The biggest failing of acrylic has recently been conquered. Acrylic paint, due to its pigment carrier, darken when it dries. so what you see on your brush and palette is NOT what you get in your painting. New paint brands however, have a new Clear medium that promises no colour shift when dry. Most acrylic artists just get used to it and plan for the inevitability, but, in this Oils have acrylics beat.
BJR- Barry J Raybould- owner of the Virtual Art Academy, was my introduction to Oils. He has some wonderful courses and has grown in size and methodology since I first joined up and downloaded my lessons.
As a self taught artist, it suited me to use these lessons and experiment. There were some tough parts. Just seeing the variety- more than my basics of red, blue, and yellow, sienna, green and black and white- wrapping my head around the colours available was a task. and then the "properties" of the colours. Transparency, opacity, drying time, and mixing with thinner or oil. It was mind boggling for someone who never used or needed these before. But I stuck to the practicing and learning and very soon had grasped the basics and had seen the miracles that await those up to the challenge.
Paintings had more life and expressiveness. Basically I had previously had a couple tools, now I had thousands, and it was up to me to use them creatively.
I'm still learning and I think for an artist, that painting is simply put a lifelong journey of pleasant surprises.
Oils in their basic form dry slowly. the slow drying allows for something harder to do in acrylics, and that is edge control.
And happily, if you want to speed up the process, you can. Many additives allow faster drying time. And Alkyd type oil paints are a fast drying alternative.
The issue is, when painting for a contest- you have to ensure it will be dry in time, and if you want to varnish it, you have to wait a further 6 months or so, to be certain your painting won't crack. So its not the fastest means to an end.
In this Acrylics rule.
Conte is a fantastic tool. i can't even recall where and when I got my first ones, but they are like a hard pastel, if you know anything about pastel. I confess I knew almost nothing about pastels until about 6 or 8 months ago. So my work was done in Conte.
Conte "crayons" are a drawing medium. They have been used since Leonardo da Vinci's time and used by the master himself. They can be used to draw and shade, and you can apply water on a brush to the drawing to paint.
I have used them in a traditional pastel style as they are wonderful for animals. the fuzziness they impart, and the deepness, suggests fur nicely.
keep tuned here ... I will add more on my adventures into pastel soon.
More coming soon....
More coming soon
more coming soon