|Some of the brands I use|
I often alternate between acrylic and oil paint and for speed I'll start with acrylic to get some ideas and textures onto canvas as the seed of an idea. I actually prefer oil paint, for the sheer physicality of the material, but recently I've used acrylic paint more because I've been able to explore fluidity, layering and the kind of approach I've been using in my ink on rice paper series. The thing I like best about acrylic paint is that it dries really fast so I can keep working on a painting all day. Oil paint can take days to dry before I can continue, depending on how thickly the paint has been applied.
So far I've used five brands. I started with Liquitex which is a good paint - I prefer the 'heavy body' because I can use a painting knife with it and also it can be thinned with water or acrylic mediums - and gives good intensity of colour. However, sometimes it can feel a bit 'plastic.' I also use certain earth colours from the Windsor and Newton 'Galeria' range because generally earth colours are fairly permanent and this is a cheaper range. However, the consistency is not the best and I would only recommend it to extend your stock of paint and not for sole use. Most recently, I have begun to use a paint I bought in Nicosia (available in the UK too) which is Daler Rowney Cryla heavy body acrylic. It is a professional quality and it has a great intensity of colour, you can use it with a knife and also thinned like watercolour. If you paint with it on watercolour paper, you can keep layering over and over and simply erase inadequate areas with white - I posted a few small works on paper recently which used this acrylic on paper. Here is one which was worked with thick and thin acrylic paint, with erasures as part of the image.
|'Night Roads,' acrylic on rough watercolour paper|
Another acrylic paint brand I have yet to try but friends constantly recommend is the Golden heavy body acrylic paint. I know artists who only use this and certainly if you have allergies to oil paint and turpentine this would be a good substitute.
Generally, there are 'heavy body' acrylics which are stiffer and more like oil paint and 'flow' acrylics which can be used for watercolour effects.
|'Black Road', acrylic on canvas, 60 x 50 cm|
|'Sun Fan and Sea,' acrylic on canvas, 60 x 50 cm|
It may be in the end that I work both of these with oil paint, or eradicate them quite severely - but in the meantime I will make some small sketches to see if I can work out further elements. Since sorting paintings on to shelving in my studio-in-progress, I have found older work to finish, and work I thought needed finishing but is in fact ok. It takes time for one's vision to truly 'see' the work which is why I don't mind going back to old work, and I never feel that a painting can not be retrieved. Doubt and Revision are an artist's companions.
I'm also starting some new, vertical 'waterfall' series canvases which will be worked with oil paint once I get in to my studio which is half-way ready. Next time I will write about my favourite oil paints and how this medium influences my painting approach.