In May I switched from painting in watercolor to painting acrylic seascapes. I painted ten 12” x 12” canvases – intent on getting comfortable with the different medium. It was so frustrating in the beginning, but with each painting I learned something. I’ve pulled out the acrylics again – this time with bigger canvases, and I’m reminded of what I learned so far.
What I’ve learned about acrylics:
- A coat of gesso makes the paint go on easier
- When your brush starts to split – you need more water
- When your brush is drippy – that’s too much water
- Blend the colors next to each other for a more natural look
- Blending works best when both colors are wet
- It is better to work when the paint on the canvas is wet and you have plenty of your colors mixed and ready
- Add highlights by adding white paint (or lighter paint) to your brush and blending it with the wet paint on the canvas
- To thin the paint and overlay colors use acrylic gel medium.
- Use little canvases (or a canvas pad) to test color mixes
- Painting in acrylic involves more set up and prep than watercolor. And more clean up.
- Using a sheet from a palette pad – taped to your palette – makes clean up easier!
- It is not as easy with acrylics to make a quick fix or change
- Using painter’s tape for a straight horizon line presents some challenges. The paint can accumulate at the tape creating an edge.
Click here to view my collection of watercolor and acrylic seascapes.
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