First Acrylic painting I did from a Painting Demo by Lorraine Vatcher

OK so I was not even going to post this but i thought hey maybe I can get some good feedback on acrylics. I have never used acrylics or oils i am wondering what every ones take is on them, can you achieve that soft blended look you can with oils?

This is my first painting with acrylic, I found them very different from watercolor, it was not too bad of an experience but is was not easy (bad photo also, any tips on photographing acrylics let me know). Of course the fact that I followed a demo by Lorraine Vatcher helped a lot you can find her demo here:

If anyone has some useful tips for me please feel free to fill me in, I can use all the help I can get lol.
I am still painting with watercolor, I am working on 2 lilies right now, one for an article and the other for a competition so as of right now I can not share the step by steps, I will post them as soon as I can. Thanks 🙂

15 thoughts on “First Acrylic painting I did from a Painting Demo by Lorraine Vatcher”

  1. Davida,
    You are a fountain of knowledge. I actually bought a big stay wet palette and glazing liquid. I will play with the lighting for the pictures. Thanks for the great info 🙂

  2. Paula, I was attracted to the acylics because I am sensitive to chemicals and smells. I also thought that the drying fast was a good idea ( I am not sure about that one now),you also do not have to worry about fat over lean and waiting to varnish (from what I have read) I will let you know what I think after I use them more.

  3. P.S. I do this in a well lit room with the following when photographing: I set my paint on my sofa with a piece of white paper under the bottom edge. Then I put two torchere lamps up close on either side. This allow for light to be bounced down from the ceiling onto the painting. The paper allows light to bounced up of it onto the painting. Turn your flash off! Then sit down in front of your painting and hold your breath to keep the camera still and take your picture. I can make levels adjustments in Photoshop and straighten edges up too if needed. The results will be a photo of your painting with no distracting glare.

    Of course, all this is unnecessary for a watercolor.

  4. I used to use acrylics almost exclusively for my large self-portraits. They can be very frustrating for those of us who paint realistically. Use a Stay-Wet palette and mix your color before you begin. The paint dries too quickly to mix as you go. I have a sealable cake carrier big enough for the stay wet sponge and paper with my pre-mixed color in little covered cups at the carrier's edge and then I have a mixing area in the middle. I use the Ziplock smallest round cups. They are reusable and I can seal them into the carrier when I'm done painting for the day. Yogurt cups are OK too but they will allow your paint to dry out more quickly. So they are not for longer term storage.

    I have also discovered Golden glazing liquid. It's like medium but it has a retarder to slow drying time. I place some of it on my palette and touch it with my brush before going to the color. It allows for some softening of edges for at least ten minutes. If you want texture use a heavy gel medium.

    As a professional artist or a teacher you can approach all the acrylic manufacturers for free samples so you can try out their products. Be nervey and ask. More likely than not they will give them to you.

  5. I have never used acrylics (for the same reasons as you, I had no guidance) and I would like to ask what is the advantage of acrylics? Less toxic does matter to me and less smell would be nice too. Are there more advantages? I feel very happy with oils and pencils.

  6. Thank you Carol, C, Vicki, Nureeya, Dors, Karen Jan, Christiane.

    Karen, thank you for the insight and the tips, I really appreciate it, you covered some really helpful topics. 🙂

  7. May I offer some help? I used to use acrylics a lot – when my son was small (less toxic and easier clean up). I found it best to mix my colours carefully on the palate first and apply the paint with as large a brush as I could manage, directly, not too much attempt at blending. Keep the colours clean – they can get muddy easily. Keep brushes very clean between use of colours! Oils blend beautifully, but acrylics don't. Acrylics flatten out also so use these qualities to your advantage – don't fight them. You can lightly blend or smudge edges while still wet, or dry brush over an area after it has dried. You need to experiment for a while to become accustomed to them. They do not work the same way oils do even with those mediums you can mix in. This first attempt is pretty good. Photograph in open shade where the light is EVEN across the piece – you are getting light bouncing off the right side here. You need to practice that also – photograph the same piece in varying light situations to get a feel for what happens. Noon is the best time of day, open shade, to photograph. If I was with you in person I could demo a couple of things for you – hard to describe here!

  8. I am sorry not to have any tips on Acrylic Krista. Never used this medium.
    I am in awe at your first try though. Looks great to me. Top marks to you for stepping out and giving it a go.

    great job.

  9. Hi Krista,
    You have very good eyes for art in painting, no matter what you paint with… In my view, even this painting was your first one with acrylic, it looks wonderful!!! Keep up the great work!!!!!

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