Friday, 6 August 2010

My first Acrylic

Barry - my 1st acrylic. Painted on WHSmith textured canvas paper
Watercolour is dead, long live acrylic!

Well, I never thought I would say that. Of course this isn't really true, it's just that this first, well actually second attempt at acrylics has got me really excited. I bought a boxed set of acrylics a couple of years back, which contained everything one would need to do some painting, paints, brushes, spatula, palette and even an apron to keep yourself clean! My first attempt was a complete disaster, I swear a three year old could have done better, and I ended up chucking it in the bin and shelved the paintbox.

Today, I came across the paint box and thought "Alright, just one more go to see if I could do a half decent painting, or put the damn thing in the next car boot sale." The picture of Barry (artbbwf) is the result, and it may not be perfect, but I'm fairly pleased with it. Maybe I should stick at this a bit longer?

The source photo for this work is here if want to see it:

Below is my work area with the painting just finished. Oh, and no, I won't be putting the paint set in the car boot sale!
My workspace. Am I the only one who works in a mess?


  1. This is excellent for a first attempt ....I can see your style evolving - would love to see some more acrylic paintings with these free brushstrokes. Honestly, I've never found acrylic paints easy to work with. Getting the right shades has always been a problem for me as the paint dries darker.

  2. I think this is very good indeed Frank. I have only used acrylics a few times but can't help but go back to watercolour.

  3. This is fantastic - really! Acrylics are far more forgiving than watercolour because you can paint over it and adjust as you go. I'm struggling along with watercolour because I want to try to master them, but I know my acrylics will come out again at some point. I like to try as many mediums as possible and so far the only ones that went straight to the back of the drawer were the oil pastels - awful things!! Did you know that you can now get slow drying acrylics? They stay wet for around eight hours? I can't wait to try mine! Well, Frank you are obviously born to do portraits! Marvelous!

  4. @Alice - thank you very much,I didn't realize that acrylics dried darker. I think they are easier to work with than watercolours, though I struggled a bit with doing fine lines.

    @Ingrid - thanks very much, I'm looking forward to the next work with acrylic, but I'm sure I'll be using both mediums or a mixture of both from now on.

    @Sandra - steady girl, you'll make my head swell! I think I need to study a little more about this new medium to answer some of my questions. For instance, am I to give the canvas a loose wash of colour all over before I start, as white canvas showing through looks a bit harsh, unlike watercolour. Then how do I paint fine lines when even using a fine brush, sticky lumps seem to appear?
    I didn't know about slow drying acrylics, and not sure at this stage if that would be any help to me. Someone mentioned 'gesso' to me that you can paint over any surface so that it accepts acrylic - maybe I could do a whole wall LOL!

  5. Wow! Go, Frank! I did like you my first time out. That one went straight to the trashcan! Maybe I'll give it another shot some day. For now though, it's nothing but watercolor for me--at least until I feel a little comfortable with it!

  6. @raena - thanks for your lovely comment. I am watching your development with watercolour with great interest. You have much talent inside you just craving to get out.

  7. Love it Frank. As you know I've just tried acrylics and the jury is still out for me. I think I used too much water, but I'm suspecting from your problems with fine lines, maybe you could have used more. I struggled with the fast drying time so I will also be looking into Sandra's tip about slow drying ones. This is a fantastic first effort and I can't wait to see your next. Kudos.

  8. @John - thanks for commenting. I wasn't sure how to use this medium, so I laid it on straight from the tube mostly at first, then realised some thinning was necessary at first to cover the canvas more easily. So yes, I may need dilute the acrylic more for fine lines.