Saturday, November 22, 2008

Experimenting with Acrylics

My friend Natalie has been taking a class where she uses liquid acrylics, stamping, scraping, and layering, and all manner of interesting stuff. She gave us a mini "workshop" at our usual Thursday painting group to show us what she learned. Most of what she did was too complicated for a first timer, so I tried to simplify. Here is one of my finished pieces. (I have another one that I like much better using red, black and gold, but it too closely resembles something that I used for inspiration, so I am afraid to post it here).
This one would be my second best out of four tries. I started with a quarter sheet of Arches coated with gloss medium. I brushed on a thin layer of raw sienna (quin gold would have been better but I didn't have it), floated a bit of turquoise, scratched and stamped and let it dry. I stamped an interesting border (borrowed the stamps) on top, and sectioned off a vertical band and painted some narrow borders. I used a "writing" stamp in the vertical border. Lastly, I painted the orchid with gesso mixed with gloss medium, and mixed some shadow colors and painted the leaves. What I liked about this is the underneath layers showing through. The samples my friend brought were a lot more sophisticated in this technique. And I liked designing the different borders. I occasionally make use of borders in my watercolors, so this wasn't entirely new.What I didn't like was the shine from the gloss medium that we mixed with the paint, and the fact that the paint dried too fast. I would love to incorporate what I learned into a straight watercolor painting, or possibly one using liquid acrylics but without the gloss medium.