All about the inspiration behind the art. Acrylic Paintings, Impressionism, Art, Southern, Modern, Contemporary, Coastal, Flowers, Famous Places, New Orleans, Florida, Gulf Coast, Food, Expressionism, Fauve, Cityscapes, Architecture, Decor, Painting, Beach, Tropical, Seascape, Landscape, Still Life Mona Vivar Fine Art: The Agony and the Ecstasy of Acrylic Painting (Part I)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Agony and the Ecstasy of Acrylic Painting (Part I)

Acrylics or oils?  That is the question!  I have used one or the other during my painting career, but lately I have been using acrylics almost exclusively. I tend to be impatient when it comes to completing a painting.  I also like loose, spontaneous paint strokes.

Here's the deal on acrylic paints:  great because they dry quickly; tricky because they dry quickly.  Just like most things in life, you can't have everything.

Keeping these ideas in mind, I decided to go through a typical acrylic painting session in this post.

Here's my palette. 

I use a limited number of colors ranging from white to black.  I always include Titanium white, one yellow (cadmium yellow medium), two reds (cadmium red light and Matisse Australian Red Violet), one pink, two blues (ultramarine blue and Phthalo blue), and Ivory black.  I also add two extra colors for bright, tropical Florida scenes.  Those colors are Matisse Southern Ocean Blue and Matisse Emerald.  Any professional grade acrylics are fine such as Liquitex, Golden or Derivan Matisse.  I use a Masterson Sta-Wet Palette so I don't waste too much paint and to keep the paint moist during a working session.  I also use a spray bottle full of water to help keep paint wet.  I have a large water container to wash brushes and a flat water tray to keep paint from drying on the brushes.

I always prep my canvas by putting a thin coat of yellow ochre on it and letting it dry.  I have my own photos of St. Augustine landmarks shown that I used as references in this session.  I worked on two paintings together to keep the colors similar.  I put a thin coat of Golden Open Acrylic (Gloss) medium on both canvases to slow drying time of paint and to allow me to paint wet-in-wet for the session.  Basic images were painted in with a mixture of ultramarine blue and red violet. 

Then I developed the paintings by blocking in basic shapes and correcting the building perspectives as I went along.
And I corrected perspective and color some more....
Meanwhile, my palette shows the color scheme being used.  My brushes are becoming more numerous too!
Then I correct some more!
I decided to call it a day to let everything dry.  The paint on the canvas is still wet at this point due to the Golden Open Medium.   It will be dry tomorrow at which point I will complete the paintings with thicker, more textured paint.  And I am sure I will be making more corrections!
I will publish Part II of this post tomorrow.  See you then!
All images copyright of Mona Vivar 2013.


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