Starting Out With Acrylic Paints

So I think the tagline of this blog should switch from “crafted fashion” to “whatever random thing I’m interested in at this moment.” Hmm… not a bad idea, really. Maybe I can get my webmaster to help me with a site redesign.

In the spirit of change, I am, as you may or may not know, on a painting kick at the moment. I always start out these things hoping that this will be THE ONE. The ultimate art. The craft that Speaks To My Soul.

The problem is, my soul has ADD.

Hence, painting. Since I started a little over a month ago, I have learned a lot about paints and pigments and mediums. I’ve chosen to mainly use acrylic paints, since they can be cleaned up with soap and water, don’t produce fumes, and don’t take forever to dry.

Essentially, all fine art media use the same pigments to achieve color. Acrylic paints are made from the same pigments as watercolor and oil paints, and pastels. The only difference among the different media is the binder. In watercolors, it’s gum arabic, in oil paints, it’s linseed or vegetable oil, and in pastels it’s chalk, clay, wax, or oil. In acrylic paints, the binder is acrylic polymer, which is water soluble when wet. When they dry, which can be in as little as a minute, depending on the thickness of the layer, they are permanent, flexible, and waterproof.

And the color. Oh, the color! Over the next few posts, I’ll be showing you some color charts I made based on nine different colors: three reds, three blues, and three yellows. I’m trying to stick to a limited palette in each painting that I do, but I’m also trying to test out a bunch of different colors to see which ones I want in my limited palette.

I’m also learning, as I go along, about the different paint companies and the different qualities of their paints. Dick Blick has been invaluable, because their website is packed with information and they carry nearly every brand of paint imaginable. I’ve also been learning by trial and error, testing out different brands of paint and seeing which ones suit me and which don’t.

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