Thursday, November 4, 2010



In an effort to get myself out of my raggedy funk and to half-assed participate in the Art Every Day Month, I went to Michael's last night and bought some acrylic paints. I have two very small chunky canvases that I bought years ago thinking I would love to be able to paint with acrylics on these little fatty canvases and pop them on the wall without the torment of framing. The thing is I don't really know how to paint in acrylic. Some initial observations:
  1. Adding a new acrylic color on top of an old acrylic color makes it the new color and not a neat hybrid of both. 
  2. Must mix on the pallet and not really on the canvas. Not so with watercolor. 
  3. Adding water does not solve any problems and only thins the paint and makes it yucky.
  4. Accidentally putting my quilted paper towel on the wet paint makes for a cool texture.
  5. I have no control with acrylic. 
  6. I don't know how to add text to a canvas. Initial attempts were not pretty.
So this is a little whale. He's part of a series I am thinking about that incorporate some of the quotes I use in my name prints for kids. I want to add a quote to this guy and I'm not sure how to do it. Or maybe I should just leave him be. The nice thing about acrylic, I'm discovering, is that I can screw up plenty and cover my tracks with more paint. Watercolor is not so forgiving.


Everything's Rosie said...

Actually oil paint is the only paint, I think, that is forgiving; only it takes a s-load of time to dry.

Good luck with your new project.

nacherluver said...

Very cute little fella. Great step out of funkiness. ;)

aimee said...

oh, yippee, you're doing art every day! i'm going to hold you to it. i love your little whale here. acrylics are hard. they are not my friends, at least not on canvas. i think rosie is right - oils are the forgiving ones. but such lollygaggers when it comes to drying! have you tried gouache? it's a fast drier, BUT easy to paint over. i love the look of it!

Susie Lubell said...

i've also heard that oils are forgiving but I was sort of meaning that if I screwed up the writing, for instance, i could just paint over it. forgiven. with watercolor, you screw up and you're screwed. i think i might like wood better than canvas.

Laura Bolter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laura Bolter said...

Ironically I've been painting with gouache all day today and have been so frustrated. I'm thinking it's time to go back to acrylics on canvas or maybe cradled board.... but who knows! One day watercolors feel good, the next day watercolor pencils, the next day gouache sounds interesting... I just can't master anything lately.

Laura Bolter said...

Oh, and this little whale is adorable!

painted fish studio said...

what i see is fabulous! painting is a struggle for me, wish i could give you great tips but nope, i gots nothing.

chrissy said...

i wish i could see that whale at sea and have him spray that awesome colorful whale stuff all over!

rachel awes said...

dearest whale at sea,
can i please swim with you
for a while & would you
teach me about how to
continue to breathe in & out
such color?
i love your kind face & am
moved seadeep to know you now.

Kolleen said...

diggin this sweet little whale Sus!!! he's so cute!

do you want to collage words onto the canvas or paint them on??

i do both...just depends what kind of look you are going for.


Anonymous said...

This is a very timely post - thanks! I've had a box of acrylic paints for years which are still all brand new and never been used (do they expire - maybe they've hardened in the tubes?) and I have canvases and acrylic paper which I bought recently but just can't seem to summon the courage to try them out. I am a watercolour and indian ink girl and so it was interesting to hear what someone else thinks of stepping out of the comfort zone and trying something new. I love your little whale. Would it work to use indian ink for the quote once the acrylic paint has dried?

Liv @ Choosing Beauty said...

This is your first attempt at acrylic? Sheesh. That whale is ridiculously cute for a newbie!!!

I really hate the way acrylic works on canvas. I much prefer painting it on a gesso/primed surface (like the ones I had up north).

It's fun to paint a layer, then use stamps (no ink) to add texture and see a bit of the layer beneath it. :)

Naomi Broudo said...

Hey Susie,
I know nothing about painting at all so I have no comments there. I do have a suggestion about the words though. Why don't you print them out on paper in blocks that mimic some of your other work in water colours. And glue them to the finished canvass and gesso over them to protect?

The little whale is absolutely adorable. Whatever you are doing with the new box of paints is working!