Painting 1: Intro To Acrylics - Materials
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Wooden Palette
Buy
Optional
Disposable Palette
Buy
Optional
Plastic Palette With Lid
Buy
Assorted
Paint Brushes
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Wooden Palette
Buy
Optional
Disposable Palette
Buy
Optional
Plastic Palette With Lid
Buy
Assorted
Paint Brushes
1
Water Container
Several
Paper Towels Or Rags
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Stretched Canvas
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Canvas Board
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Optional
Canvas Paper
Buy
Optional
Wooden Panel
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Heavy Paper With Gesso Ir Shellac
Assorted (colors listed)
Acrylic Paint
1
Palette Knife
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Spray Bottle With Water
Optional
Slow Drying Acrylic Medium
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A bar of soap (any sort)
A wide variety of materials are used in acrylic painting. We’ll start with painting surface options.
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The most common painting surface is primed canvas, which is usually stretched on stretcher bars.
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Traditional paintings were often made on linen. Canvas is made of cotton so it’s less expensive.
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Canvas and linen can also be stretched ever or glued to boards.
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They even make pads of canvas paper which has the texture of canvas but is very economical.
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You can also paint on thick paper, but you must first prime it with a coat of gesso or shellac.
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You can also paint on panels, which can be made of wood, Masonite, and other hard materials.
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No matter what you are painting on (canvas, linen, paper, or wood) the surface must be primed.
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Primed means painted with a sealing coat of primer. Gesso is a common primer for painting.
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Some people use shellac but I don’t recommend it as it’s not archival.
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To prime an unprimed surface use a large paintbrush or hardware brush to evenly coat it with gesso.
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When priming stretched canvas, do a cross shape and then work towards corners to prevent warping.
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Let it dry and add another coat. For my professional works I’ll do as many as five coats.
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Giving a pre-primed canvas or panel an extra coat of gesso or two will make it smoother to work on.
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But of course that’s not necessary. You can use anything pre-primed directly as it is.
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In addition to a painting surface, you will also need a palette.
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A disposable palette pad is best. It makes clean up easier, especially for acrylics which dry fast.
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You can also use a plastic palette. Those with lids can save your extra paint for a day or two.
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If you try to save leftover paint this way, spritz your palette with water before closing the lid.
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Now let’s talk about your tools for mixing and applying paint.
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Paint brushes come in different shapes and sizes.
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The numbers on a brush indicate their size, with low numbers being smaller and high numbers larger.
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Each brush shape has its own name and uses. These are the most common.
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Here are thier descriptions from Wikipedia.
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Here are four other common types...
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... and their descriptions.
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Brushes can be made of many hair types, natural and synthetic. Choosing new brushes can be daunting.
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To start, get 4 sizes each of brights OR filbert and a few rounds. Synthetics are cheap & work well!
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Once you get paint on a brush, don’t set it aside or it will dry and be ruined. Put it in water.
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When done, clean brushes by rinsing in water. Then wash with soap until soap suds have no color.
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We also need paper towels, cotton rags, or disposable towels on hand to wipe off brushes and clean.
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Plastic or metal palette knives are used to mix and apply paint. I prefer the kind that has a bend.
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To clean a palette knife, wipe it off with a rag while paint is wet (easier than scraping dry paint)
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There are many mediums you can use with acrylics. Each has a different purpose. I’ll review a few.
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Some mediums make acrylic paint much thicker so you can work “impasto” (thick with lots of texture).
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Some mediums change the surface shine of your paint, from very glossy to matte.
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Most mediums can make paint transparent while still having body, unlike adding water to thin it.
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If you want to do blending, the slow-drying medium is helpful. Acrylics dry too fast to blend well.
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You don’t need any of them to get started, except maybe the slow-drying medium if you plan to blend.
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Finally, we need paint! I’ll describe which colors in “Painting 2: Colors You Need For Color-Mixing”
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