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Mar. 24th, 2004

Alright, now that you all have answered my first round of questions, you've sparked a bunch more...

-I was at Hobby Lobby just now (had some time between class and work) and I was looking at all things related to painting. They had canvas, 12 x 16" I think, two for $7.99. Is that a reasonable price? If not, what is?

-As for paint, I really can't decide whether I want to try acrylic or oil. Persuade me :o) Acrylic seems easier to clean up afterward, but oil is all 3-D about it (I think, right?). Are there any brand recommendations?

-Should I look into any of those silly books on how to paint or would they all just be like "this is how you paint an apple and this is how you paint a lake" about it?

And I discovered that I am very impatient to start this. I have to finish a scrapbook that's taking up the living room right now though before I begin. Ahh.


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 24th, 2004 10:45 am (UTC)
Acrylics can do almost anything oils can. Don't start painting with oils. Not only are they more expensive (you have to buy linseed oil for diluting them and turpentine to clean the brushes/your hands/your clothes) but they're more toxic. And they take more skill.

Start with acrylics. The thing to remember about them is that they dry quickly; that's the biggest benefit of working in oil--your paint stays wet for days! You can dilute acrylic and use it like watercolor, too. A good brand is Golden.
Mar. 24th, 2004 10:49 am (UTC)
you can definitely add thickening mediums to acrylic to make it go thick like oil...you can buy a LOT of different things to add into acrylic, just ask someone at an art supply store. i use a cheap kind of acrylic called....i think it's premier? buy the three primary colours (cyan, magenta, yellow), black, and white, and you're set. just don't buy the craft acrylic paints.

oil is EXPENSIVE. just walk down a paint aisle and compare a tube of acrylic and a tube of oil.

as for books, i'm sure there are books that would teach you valuable techniques. maybe check out your downtown library (mine has the newest and widest assortment of books in geenral)
Mar. 24th, 2004 10:52 am (UTC)
Here is how I paint:

go to your local home-town paint store and ask for their discards and remnants. These are the returned, often unused cans of paint that were a mismatch, or the customer simply changed their mind. Stores often wish to get rid of these because for one, they accumulate quickly, and two, they are a fire hazard. Everytime I go I end up getting at least 20 quarts of paint - FOR FREE!
(I suggest just going with latex based paint instead of oils because then you can wash them out with water.)

As for learning to paint: just throw all of your notions of photo-realism out of the window. You'll never achieve it to your liking - you might as well just paint and see where the colors lead you.

Also - go to the dump. Paint on the things you find there: mirrors, wood scraps, sheets of metal. Go to a thrift store and paint over the old canvases there. This gives you more room and a more imaginative surface (not to mention cheaper!) than the gessoed stuff you get at Hobby Lobby.

Good luck!
Mar. 24th, 2004 05:08 pm (UTC)
you are my kinda girl hehe
Mar. 25th, 2004 09:15 am (UTC)
what kind is that? Cheap and resourceful ?? :)
Mar. 25th, 2004 09:28 am (UTC)
hehe youre not cheap... just highly effective at resource management ;o)
Mar. 24th, 2004 11:02 am (UTC)
For a beginner, acrylics, definitely.

You can get books that give you the basics; but, really, the best way of learning is to just paint - paint a LOT. The more you work with it, the more familiar you'll become and figure things out your own way.

For right now, I don't really have any brand I would recommend. More expensive/artist quality paints will be creamier and have deeper/better coloring, etc. but student grade is just fine to start out with and you won't feel so hesitant to use them (especially if you want an impasto look - the 3-D look you mentioned)
Mar. 24th, 2004 11:03 am (UTC)
I tried acrylics, and couldn't get the results I wanted. But oils were Fun. I could mush them around, scrape them off and try again, blend on the canvas...lots of time to play before they dried on me.
Mar. 24th, 2004 11:15 am (UTC)
Acrylics dry faster, don't require anything special in order to clean up after, can be mixed in plastic containers and can be used like either watercolour or oil paints without anything more special than a little water. You can also buy texturisers and drying retardants so you can achieve special effects with them. I use a drying retardant to get a longer blending time so I can work them more like oils. I would buy tube paints since they are more 3-D and are likely to hold their true colours longer than the bottled paint. They are available in nice starter kits.
I have been known to use the bottled paints to mix with my tube paints to get a special colour or something like that, though.

If you feel the price for regular canvases is a bit high for practice paintings you can look for canvas board...it has a canvas textured front on a cardboard backing and usually comes three to a pack for around the same price as one canvas. Its a lot easier to frame than canvas too.

You can borrow all sorts of how to paint books and colour theory/mixing books from the local library before you decide to waste good paint and canvas money on buying one.

I hope you get your scrap book finished quickly, it sounds like you have painting fever.

Mar. 24th, 2004 11:35 am (UTC)
If you plan on doing a lot of painting, it will probably be less expensive (though more time consuming) to stretch your own canvases.

If you choose to do oil painting, remember that you need to pay more attention to surface prep -- pretty much anything you paint on will have to be covered in gesso first, because the oil in the paint will actually break down the canvas (or paper, etc) fibers over time. Acrylic paints are more forgiving in this sense.

Good acrylic paints will cost just as much as good oil paints (depending on how you define "good", of course). What makes paint expensive is the quality of the pigments inside of it -- this is why you'll notice that different colors of "good" paint will cost different amounts. Cheap acrylic paints use synthetic pigments. This doesn't mean that they're necessarily worse than the expensive kinds, because honestly, if a color works for you, then it doesn't matter what it's made of. You probably just won't get colors that are as rich or colorfast. You can even buy straight pigments themselves to make your own paint.

If you're just starting, I say go with the cheap paints, that way you won't feel bad about "wasting" paint as you learn. Don't be afraid to use as much paint as you want -- it drives me nuts to see people scrubbing paint watered down with thinner into canvases because they're afraid to waste paint and let themselves go and really understand how to work with the texture of paint.

You might want to get a book that teaches you things like how to take good care of your brushes, how to stretch a canvas, what different brushes do, stuff like that.
Mar. 24th, 2004 12:00 pm (UTC)
I find walmart to be the cheapest for my small canvas and acrylics.
Mar. 24th, 2004 04:09 pm (UTC)
As I previously stated, I vote for oil.. and my further suggestions for cost effectiveness would be..

georgian (I believe that's the brand) oils are fairly inexpensive but nice (so seems to agree some of my snottier artsy friends) and you can get them at wal-mart, that a thinner from wally world and some of the canvas board (canvas glued down to board that's already gessoed and ready to go and is cheap and comes in a multipack) and you're ready to go for not much cash (oh and one of those cheapie easels from wal-mart too)
Mar. 24th, 2004 05:05 pm (UTC)
i wouldnt start with oil. It is hell to clean up, and not the easiest to use for a beginner.

What i do suggest is forgetting oil/acrylics completely and getting hold of a box of gouache paints. Gouache is inbetween wtaercolour and acrylics. You can water it down and "sketch" with it and it is liek a water colour. You can use it straight out of the tube and pack it thick like an oil paint. You can use it on watercolour paper (about 5 dollars for a book of it at walmart) or on canvas (try big lots, thier canvas are good and affordable). I thought for many years i hated painting because acrylics were all that were available to me, then one day a mentor gave me a box of goache and told me to draw with them. How content i was. You can see a recent goache painting i did at my art journal mesmeraj

Reeves is a good brand of paint for starters. It is affordable, and you can get gouach, watercolour, acrylics and oils all in that brand. They are high quality for a reasonable price.

Id say no to the how to paint books, they enforce too many boundries and it is not your paintings. Look at them, if you must, after you have developed your own style.

Mar. 24th, 2004 05:15 pm (UTC)
Oh and do a colour wheel!!!

You have warm and cool of each of the primary colours (red yellow blue) so if you buy a box set, makesure there are 2 shades of each of these colours.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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