Acrylics – Day 02

Amazing how a new day can revive your faith. Despite yesterday’s let down, I woke up determined to try some more. Afterall, it was foolish of me to imagine that as soon as I’d put my brush on the paper I’ll get a beautiful masterpiece.

Main goal: Keep my palette from drying

I just loooove Youtube.
First of all, I went in search of solutions for the dried up paint. And I found them.
On YouTube look for videos on creating what is called a stay-wet palette.

You can buy a ready one, or make your own. I made my own, using various tips from videos.

Homemade Stay-wet palette

  • A box with an airtight lid
  • Preferably big so you have room for all your chosen colors
  • Not too high so you can comfortably go in with the palette knife to mix the colors
  • Line the bottom with kitchen paper towels (I used ones which feel more like fabric, in a double layer)
  • Spritz them wet – thoroughly wet but not drenched – drip out any excess water.
  • Cover with a double layer of cooking paper – the cooking paper absorbs some of the moistness, yet provides a surface which will not absorb the paint itself. my double layer got really wet and I managed to create a hole in it with the palette knife, so I guess it will need constant changing. I have tried using draft paper for it, which may be tougher and not tear as easily, but it crinkled up too much.
  • Spritz the cooking paper as well.
  • Dab your paints on
  • Keep spritzing them once in a while as well.
  • Whenever I pause for a few minutes, I put the lid back on.

I’ve kept a box of Ferrero Roches chocolates (Yum! All long gone) which fit the bill.

Painting experiments

Once I got the palette issue sorted, I turned to painting. Since I was so let down the day before, I came up with the idea of combining watercolours with the acrylics, maybe it would make them behave in a more familiar way. I made 2 variations – one mostly watercolour with some acrylic (bluish), and another mostly acrylic with some watercolour (greenish). (In the photo marked WC for watercolour, AC for acrylic).

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Experimenting with combinations of Acrylics and watercolours

The mostly WC smeared when I wet it. And I still got the brush strokes showing. Trying to paint fine lines on (the yellow text) was still hard.

I have some Acrylic gesso I once bought at home (Yes, my local shop only holds 1 type of gesso, and I didn’t realize watercolours require their own type of gesso, but now it came in handy). I roughly gessoed some paper sheets – using a piece of cardboard – I like the rough effect, and you can just throw it away afterwards. The gesso can be mixed with color. Also, I made some rough background shapes with the palette knife. Mine came out ugly, but the potential is there. It’s really fun painting with the knife.
Since the gesso and the acrylics are opaque, I covered up used bits of paper, with watercolors on it. One cracked, I’m still not sure why.

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Experimenting with gesso and palette-knife background layers

… And I gave smooth gradients another shot. Turns out you need to dilute the paint with some water and then you can manipulate it much more easily. Also, I had better success when painting several layers one on top of the other (they dry in no time), rather than trying to get a wet-in-wet gradation like in WC.

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Trying to achieve a smooth gradation through layering

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