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Arts and Crafts

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Working With Acrylics

I would love to try my hand at painting, but haven't gotten around to it yet and therefore couldn't tell you whether I rather enjoy working with oil, or acrylic paints.

The difference between the two paints is that in oil paints the binding medium is natural oil, while in acrylic paint a synthetic resin is used to bind the pigment. The latter means that the paint is water soluble, but also dries very fast.

That right there is practically enough to turn me away from acrylics, since my experiences with those paints when painting doors, base boards, etc., are not in their favor; you have to work really fast, especially if you want the colors to blend in your artwork.

I came across some tips though that might be helpful to make working with this type of paint more enjoyable and easier and will buy you some more time. One tip was to dampen the paper and another suggested using a spray bottle and regularly mist the paint with water to keep it from drying out.

From what I understand there are also 'stay wet' palettes available, but apparently those are difficult to handle since they don't have a hole for your thumb. The main thing is that you don't squeeze much paint out of the tube, but little bits at the time; in case it dries out, not too much paint is lost.

Another solution is to mix some retarder in with the paint. Be careful with that though, because when adding too much your paint may not dry at all and removing it from your project is the only option.

These are all feasible solutions which don't take much effort and are not very distracting when you are in the middle of creating a masterpiece. I don't think I will get around to painting any time soon, but at least acrylic paint is back in the picture!

See also:
Working with Acrylics Part 2

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