Thursday, June 27

The Silver Lining of Acrylics

Stopping By
Acrylic on Canvas Panel
8 x 8 in/20.3 x 20.3 cm
Copyright 2013
I understand why some painters complain about acrylic paint.

Acrylic dries too fast. Acrylic mediums and gels can be tricky to use properly. Acrylic is hard to blend.

But, for every complaint there is a silver lining.

You can paint as quickly as you want and make corrections almost immediately. It dries fast because it's water-based, which means it's easy to clean brushes and hands, and there's no odor.

The use of mediums allow you to paint as if you're using oil, allowing additional time to move the paint around and to provide a gloss, satin, or matte finish. Try that with plain oil.

OK, they are more difficult to blend but only relative to blending oil really. This makes one spend time to learn the best paint consistency and how to better paint lost-and-found edges, which most painters should be doing anyway.

Today's image is a little acrylic I finished this week. Not bad, I think.

If you haven't tried acrylics in a while, you will be surprised at how much fun they are to paint with.  

Thursday, June 20

Experiment with Painting this Summer

By the Lake
Oil on Canvas Panel
5 x 7 in/12.7 x 17.8 cm
Copyright 2013
I am enjoying painting again in oil, although I'm sure I will alternate between painting in oil and painting in acrylic all summer long.

Summer is a good time for experimentation, and that's what I want to do--try new things, learn new things, discover new painters.

I hope you can take some time this summer to experiment with painting and  discover new things to inspire you. 

Today's image is one of the smallest paintings I have done, only 5 x 7 in (12.7 x 17.8 cm). I find that painting small is a good way (for me anyway) to get re-acquainted with oil painting. Plus, I'm painting alla prima, so small is good.

This is a scene of a small waterfall at a man-made lake within a condominium complex. It was enjoyable to paint the strong sunlight, the contrasting dark shadows, and the reflections of the rocks.

Painting should be enjoyable if not pure fun.

Friday, June 14

View from the Back Porch

View from the Back Porch
Oil on Canvas Panel
8 x 8 in/20.3 x 20.3 cm
Copyright 2013
Today's image is a small oil painting I completed last week. As I mentioned a few blogs back, I recently decided to return to oil paint after several years.

I'm still painting in acrylic as well, but have put my watercolors away for the time being.

Anyway, I painted this painting from a reference photo taken one summer day on a visit to the Potomac River in the state of Virginia, USA.

It was a beautiful, if somewhat warm, day, and I would have liked to have painted en plein air. However, I'm pretty sure the National Parks Service would not have allowed me or any other painter to set up an easel on the back porch of Mount Vernon.

So I had to make do with my reference photo. Not bad, I think.

Friday, June 7

Acrylic & Oil

Acrylic on Canvas Panel
8 x 8 in/20.3 x 20.3 cm
Copyright 2013
I am painting in both acrylic and oil--not in the same painting, of course. Do many painters do that? I don't know.

This week I painted two paintings, one in each.

This acrylic, Nectarines, is today's image.

I am comparing my experience in both to determine if one comes out ahead. I don't know yet.

Of course, the difficult part is not necessarily the medium but in actually rendering the painting.

I don't expect miracles, but I will continue to paint in both and see how I'm progressing.