Tuesday, March 15

Acrylic on Paper, Wonderful

The Glowing Tree
Acrylic on Paper
18 x 18 in/45.7 x 45.7 cm
Copyright Byrne Smith 2016
I really like painting with acrylic and keep returning to it as my primary medium time and time again.

Here are some things things I've learned about painting with acrylic on (watercolor) paper that I hope will be helpful to you.

Painting with acrylic on paper is an experience. You can paint like it's watercolor, or it's oil, or both, or somewhere in between. Wonderful.

You can gesso the paper beforehand and get a canvas-like surface over which you can drag your acrylic for all kinds of effects from impasto to sgraffito. Wonderful.

Or you can dampen the paper before applying acrylic for a watercolor effect. You can also add medium. Wonderful.

The brand of paper and its weight also makes a difference, and you can choose one based on how you (like to) paint. For example, Arches 300-lb/640 gsm paper has a finish that repels moisture somewhat, which gives you time to let the paint flow more easily; whereas Fabriano has a  "softer" finish, which gives a softer look, depending on how you apply the acrylic, of course. Wonderful.

Acrylic, as we all know, dries fast and too fast for many. Don't be afraid to keep your spritzer/atomizer in constant use all over the paper to keep the paint malleable. A 300-lb sheet of paper almost never buckles. Wonderful.

Water or medium on paper (or other supports as well) makes your finger a perfect "brush" for softening lines. Wonderful.

Acrylic is forgiving, so you really can't make a mistake. Just wait a little while till the paint dries and make any corrections you like by adding to or painting over your existing work, no muss no fuss.

If only life were like that. Wonderful.

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