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Acrylic Painting => Acrylic Painting Encourager Sessions => Topic started by: scouserl41 on September 24, 2017, 06:00:16 AM

Title: Aztec Dancer
Post by: scouserl41 on September 24, 2017, 06:00:16 AM
I still struggle with acrylics, they dry much too fast for me. I've tried every slow drying medium out there and still can't blend they way I like to in oils.
In my own stubborn way I keep trying, thinking that practice, practice, practice may help.
This painting of an Aztec dancer we saw at a Native American Pow-Wow in Florida last year has been stewing at the back of my mind ever since. I did an acrylic under painting thinking I'd finish it in oils but yesterday as I was working on backgrounds for several flower paintings (I generally do backgrounds in acrylics and the actual flowers in oils), I decided that as the colors were mainly primaries I'd try finishing the whole painting in acrylics.
I'm quite happy with the results.
Any tips for extending the wet life of acrylics on canvas? Or am I just using the wrong painting techniques for the medium??
Brian
Title: Re: Aztec Dancer
Post by: mea hamo pena on September 24, 2017, 07:19:05 AM
Brian,

This looks really good.   Colorful and tells a story.
 
I, too, have tried acrylics and find them difficult to work with.  Yet, I have friends who use them exclusively and do amazing work.

Are you back home yet?  Still planning the December trip to Hawaii?

aloha

mea
Title: Re: Aztec Dancer
Post by: Val on September 24, 2017, 08:17:24 AM
Nicely done Brian. I only had a very brief foray into acrylics a while back. One thing I found even using a wet palette, was to keep spritzing them with a bit of water. Also the painting, helped keep it malleable a bit longer. I probably would have kept going with acrylics but for one thing.... all I could get at the time were fluorescent colours!  8)     :2funny:

Should I decide to have another go at acrylics....  :whistle:   I'd like to try the Atelier.
Title: Re: Aztec Dancer
Post by: scouserl41 on September 24, 2017, 08:24:21 AM
I've tried the wet pallet and spritzing but it still doesn't let me work the paint the way I want to. I wonder if I'm missing some technique like dry brushing that expert acrylic painters use? Maybe I better take some lessons, although the online lessons don't really seem to reveal any insights.
We have confirmed our cruise to Hawaii MEA so we are looking forward to meeting you face to face.
Title: Re: Aztec Dancer
Post by: dennis on September 24, 2017, 09:57:18 AM
Brian, you get what is called an acrylic extender. It is a gel which you mix into the paint and that keeps it moist for a reasonable time. O0
Very lovely painting  :clap: :clap: :clap:
Title: Re: Aztec Dancer
Post by: scouserl41 on September 24, 2017, 04:58:49 PM
Thanks Dennis,
I've had extender and it didn't help much I thought. I tried higher quality paints and all kinds of things but I'm still not happy with it. Maybe next time I'm in the art store I'll try another brand of extender.
I appreciate your help.
Brian
Title: Re: Aztec Dancer
Post by: liz on September 24, 2017, 06:33:12 PM
Aloha from Blue Hawaii, Brian!


 I work with acrylics a lot and they won't ever blend like oils do.  You did good with your costume design which didn't need much blending anyway.  But if you want to blend try working with 3 brushes as I often do.  I paint with the right hand brush; in my left hand I hold a clean brush for softening edges right away and get ready to add second color with 3rd brush; and blend edges with other clean brush. This means switching brushes  to your dominant hand, back and forth.  Use clean brush dry for blending or clean and damp for lifting paint.  I also use half medium and half water to moisten the paint, plus misting the whole palette once in a while which is parchment paper over a damp sponge cloth in a Masterson stay wet palette.  (I remove the glass used for oil).  The only advantage I see in acrylic is that it dries fast; the biggest difference is working with the color adjustments since acrylic will tend to dry darker.  This means I paint lighter and in layers, adding more color, adjusting values as needed or use glazes.  That way my acrylic paintings don't turn out very vivid intense colors. If I don't have a deadline, I rather paint with WSO. Cheers, ~Liz
Title: Re: Aztec Dancer
Post by: scouserl41 on September 25, 2017, 05:39:06 AM
Thanks Liz!
I will take all the advice I can get and try again. I've seen some truly amazing work done in acrylics so obviously it's possible, I just get really frustrated and turn back to my lovely oils! I was the same with watercolors until we went to Europe and that's all I took with me due to space and weight restrictions.
Hope I get to meet up with you in December when we get to Hawaii!
Brian
Title: Re: Aztec Dancer
Post by: mea hamo pena on September 25, 2017, 08:19:47 AM
Yes, Brian.  Planning it.  Set our art group Christmas party a week earlier so I would have the weekend free when you folks are here. Hope we can get Liz and Denise to join us.

aloha

mea
Title: Re: Aztec Dancer
Post by: linley.plester on September 29, 2017, 01:39:51 PM
Brian, the only criticism I could offer is that perhaps the nose is a trifle too long? Brilliant subject and great colour! Nolan's first class on using acrylics is brilliant.I've never managed to do it (although I desperately need to!) But it was the quality of his instruction that first drew me to Paint Basket. He uses Atelier Interactive in that class, and constantly spritzes. Liz, I'm looking forward to trying your 3 brushes technique. I've been told that a big fluffy make-up mop is a good brush for blending acrylics. What brush do you use, Liz?
Title: Re: Aztec Dancer
Post by: linley.plester on September 29, 2017, 01:52:53 PM
Actually, Brian, I take back what I said about the nose being too long. There is a light dot behind the tip of it that makes it look longer in some lights. This might only show up in the photo.
Title: Re: Aztec Dancer
Post by: scouserl41 on September 29, 2017, 03:00:32 PM
Thanks Linley,
The painting is only 8 x 10 so the picture is very zoomed in. But then again I think the nose IS too long but I already moved on to another set of sketches!!
Regards
Brian
Title: Re: Aztec Dancer
Post by: linley.plester on September 29, 2017, 03:28:04 PM
Actually, I think the beaky nose emphasizes the character of the dancer, who looks a bit more mystical and witch-doctorish because of it.
Title: Re: Aztec Dancer
Post by: scouserl41 on September 30, 2017, 05:12:09 AM
It does add character doesn't it!
As my Dad used to say, "He's got a Roman nose. It's Roamin' all over his face"
Brian
Title: Re: Aztec Dancer
Post by: Happychappy on October 03, 2017, 04:54:03 PM
 :clap: :clap: :clap:  Lovely, lively painting Brian. Your Dad had a good sense of humour, it cracked me up.   :2funny:   Patricia
Title: Re: Aztec Dancer
Post by: Aniz Oniro on October 04, 2017, 01:22:33 AM
Very nice painting Brian
Title: Re: Aztec Dancer
Post by: KathyKuz on October 12, 2017, 05:01:06 PM
Brian:  I like your painting.  I have never got to enjoy acrylics.  My favorite is watercolor and oils.
Title: Re: Aztec Dancer
Post by: scouserl41 on October 13, 2017, 05:57:20 AM
Thanks Maria and Kathy,
I can't say I ENJOY acrylics. I enjoy drawing and painting and I'm stubborn enough to keep going back to acrylics!!
Brian
Title: Re: Aztec Dancer
Post by: linley.plester on October 13, 2017, 07:32:00 PM
Great answer Brian.... I always feel I should be able to achieve things in acrylics that I can't in watercolour, but so far it's been very difficult. I have a stubborn streak too.(or is it: rosepink glasses optimism?)
Title: Re: Aztec Dancer
Post by: scouserl41 on October 14, 2017, 04:12:54 AM
I teach a painting class at RV Rallies and due to time constrains I use acrylics for that. The students always ask if I paint in acrylic and I have to confess that I don't! That kind of makes me feel guilty!!
I have a new "Medium" to try and we're staying in the same place for the next week outside New Orleans LA so I plan on trying it out. It's highly unusual but I'm desperate!
I'll post the results.
Brian
Title: Re: Aztec Dancer
Post by: Val on October 14, 2017, 06:33:17 PM
 :heeha: This sounds exciting! Come on.... give us a hint, what is the medium?   :nosey:
Title: Re: Aztec Dancer
Post by: scouserl41 on October 15, 2017, 03:25:45 AM
Hair gel!
I found a YouTube vid about things you can add to acrylics and it demonstrated using hair gel as an extender and appeared to work very well.
I haven't tried it myself yet (maybe this week, there's an art event at the Abita Brewery on Thursday!)
The nice thing is you can get a travel size tube of clear gel for a couple off dollars. Compare that to the price of extender in the art stores.
Brian
Title: Re: Aztec Dancer
Post by: liz on October 15, 2017, 09:59:31 AM
 :painting: So glad to hear that you ENJOY drawing and painting, Brian!
 I just wrote about 'Why I Like to Paint' on my new blog
http://artwithaloha.wordpress.com (http://artwithaloha.wordpress.com)


Like you, I enjoy art! I like what you're doing- giving acrylics a try!  I don't use extenders and find that the biggest difference in painting with acrylics is that it forces you to paint faster and you can't 'play' with your paint like oils with blending colors into one another, taking your time, etc.


I mainly like to use acrylics for their faster drying time. But truth be told I paint using the same techniques as oil: prepare ground, underpainting, layering paint, work dark to light, etc. I go with acrylics when I have a deadline to finish a painting.  I often cannot tell what was done in acrylic and oil apart.


With acrylics though, I paint with 3 brushes: 1 to paint in dominant hand' and in other hand a dry brush for lifting off paint, and 2nd brush to dampen with a mixture of medium and water for blending in paint.  This allows me to work faster and 'think on my feet'.   Good success to you with your class! ~Liz
Title: Re: Aztec Dancer
Post by: Val on October 15, 2017, 01:39:16 PM
 :eek: Hair Gel!? Don't think I'd use that on anything I meant to keep or sell. Hair Gel usually contains a number of chemicals, proceed with caution. I do know of a professional artist in England that uses a personal lubricant jelly (K-Y gel in the US) as it is water based, contains no alcohol or perfumes... and apparently works a treat! Says he did get odd looks from the chemist the first time he bought four tubes and told him he used it to extend open times with his paints!  :2funny:
Title: Re: Aztec Dancer
Post by: scouserl41 on October 15, 2017, 03:25:29 PM
Hair gel apparently is vegetable gelatin with an aroma added. Extender is the same thing without the aroma. I'm crazy enough to give it a try and for a couple of dollars it won't break me.
If it doesn't work I can style my hair instead!
Brian
Title: Re: Aztec Dancer
Post by: linley.plester on October 15, 2017, 03:31:42 PM
i hope you will report the results of this experiment with the hair gel, Brian.