Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Testing out Acrylics

I decided to test out some acrylic paints. It's been forever since I used them (not since high school, actually). I picked up a few tubes from Utrecht:

Titanium white, hansa yellow light, yellow ochre, quinacridone red, burnt sienna, burnt umber, ultramarine blue and chromium oxide.

I knew acrylics dried fast, but I was really surprised at just how fast that was. I guess it's from 6 years of using oils and being spoiled with such a long working-time.

The positives:
The quick drying time allows me to knock out paintings in one evening (This one was painted in an hour). I think this could be a good medium for doing color studies, working out compositions, etc. Potentially even as an underpainting for an oil painting. The speed of drying made me realize the importance of making every brushstroke count. I think acrylics will continue to be a good exercise in that sense. Making the most out of every brushstroke means a "fresher" looking painting, less "muddy" colors, and ultimately a quicker painting.

The negatives:
Acrylics dry darker than they are when wet. I totally forgot about this. My painting turned out much darker than I anticipated. I'm going to have to mix colors lighter than they need to be. It's going to take practice before I can figure that out exactly. The quick drying trait means that I can't mix lots of custom colors and let them sit on the palette for future use... I'm going to experiment with drying retarder next, but the window is still very narrow with how long I can work with the paint. Colors will still have to be constantly re-mixed. This adds time to the painting process.