Saturday, August 27, 2016

Acrylics and palette knives

Hay Bales at Sunset
12" x 12"  acrylic on canvas

I have a love/hate relationship with acrylic paint.  I love it because it dries quickly and I hate it because it dries quickly.

I have experimented previously in using acrylics with a palette knife and have found that right out of the tube, no matter if its a "heavy body" acrylic paint or not, it just doesn't have the body that I am comfortable with to produce a good textured surface.  I use Liquitex Thickening Gel to thicken the paint, but it doesn't feel quite right to me.  Not yet.  Or perhaps I am simply used to the buttery feel of oil paints and their slow drying qualities.

You can see the effects of the gel in a video I made in January.

Having said that, this piece is just off the easel and I am happy with the result, but it took a bit of persuading to get it to where I wanted. What I do like about acrylics is the ability to overpaint without much wait time due to their quick drying nature.  The slight darkening in colour after drying makes for tweaking after the fact or remembering to use a lighter value when painting, whereas oils don't change their hue on drying.

The jury is still out for me, but I'll continue to use them when the mood takes me. The colour and form is fine, application doesn't thrill me as they dry too fast, but perhaps I'm simply used to oils and their natural disposition towards palette knife work.