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Excerpts from my newsletter.

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Painting Techniques For The Acrylic Painter

   ~Technical Tips~

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This issue deals with various techniques for achieving successful end results. The technical tips given here are simply basic aids to your painting endeavors. The experienced artist can be very resourceful by employing methods not mentioned here.

   Stippling
When implementing this technique, I advise you to use older brushes since this method is abusive to the bristles. Hold the brush perpendicular (90) to the support when applying paint and the same when loading the brush. Splat the brush down onto a neutral surface first. This *breaks it up* so that the paint application creates the desired effect. The success of this technique is determined by the amount of water used - i.e., not too dry, not too wet. This approach is wonderful for painting foliage. Be sure to leave areas of space (see through spots). Use lighter mixtures for subsequent applications.

I will often use this method when painting foliage. Then, I switch to using tiny brushes to further delineate the forms.

   Scratching
This technique is great for creating the illusion of grass. It will work only over fresh paint and you must scratch rapidly. To perform this method, use the end of a brush handle or some other tool and work from the bottom to top - vary the scratches to achieve a more realistic look. When implementing this technique using acrylic paints, I suggest working small areas at a time, as acrylics dry fast.

When I use this method, I will also do additional work with tiny brushes to further illustrate the realism.

   Wet Into Wet
This technique is basically mixing color on the painting surface by applying one application over another. When using *fast drying* acrylics, one can utilize this method to control the drying by brushing, sponging, or by spraying the surface with water using a fine mist bottle (note: use a fine mist bottle, not a pump sprayer). These approaches will extend the wetness of the paint. Water can be used repeatedly for management or control.

This painting method is good for creating a soft look, as well.

   Cutting
This technique is useful when a hard edge is required - such as the edges of a building. Simply place an *index card* over the location you wish to protect and brush out from the card to prevent the paint from running under it.

This painting method is less time consuming than using friskets. However, most of these kinds of painting challenges require the use of a *masking fluid*. I will discuss their use next.

   Friskets
Friskets are * liquid masking solutions*. It is applied over smaller objects, creating a protective plastic film when dry. The area surrounding the object can then be painted with consistency. When the paint is dry, the frisket can then be easily removed with the use of a rubber cement *pick-up*. The material in the pick-up resembles the rubber found in some soled shoes.

I paint on hardboards - I can easily remove the frisket by gently brushing over it with my fingertips without concern of damaging its surface.

More Tips:
Introduction Page | Optical Mixing | Translucent Water | Color Contrasts
Hue, Value, Intensity, Color Temperature | Composition | Value Scale | Young/Helmholtz
Red Power | Keeping Acrylics Moist | Brush Care | Color | Book Excerpt


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