Same owl – now with acrylics!

Same owl – now with acrylics!

I’m continuing the experiment with colouring my cute owl with 3 different kinds of traditional “wet” media. In the last post I showed the stages of watercolours that I’ve done first, as I was suggested to do in a comment under my Facebook post. Since to do the markers version I need several more colours than I have (fortunately, they are on their way already!) – this time I’ve coloured the owl with acrylics.

Even though I’m very used to acrylics – I paint with them very often – this was actually a double experiment for me, because this was the first time I’ve used acrylic paints on paper rather than on canvas and additionally, I didn’t use my usual paints, but completely different, professional ones that I bought to participate in Royal Talens’s international competition.

It’s always good to know your media before you start creating something ambitious and time-consuming with them in order not to ruin the piece accidentally, so since I was going to have this little acrylics exercise anyway  I thought it would be the perfect moment to learn my new paints too. Not to mention that I also got to test this new SM-LT paint paper I got recently.

Royal Talens Rembrandt acrylic paints, 10 tubes set, slightly modified

Overall I have mixed feelings after finishing the acrylics version of the owl. Don’t get me wrong – it was very fun and I actually LOVE the final result but… For some reason I assumed painting with acrylics on paper would be easier and faster than painting with them on canvas and… it is NOT. I don’t think it’s harder either, it’s pretty much the same and I don’t know why I assumed differently. Maybe there would have been a difference if I used a different style/technique of painting, for example, if I used the acrylics like watercolours – diluted them heavily with water, but if I do everything the same way I shouldn’t expect different results. Unless the paper had very different features than the canvas but except being very smooth, unlike the canvas, the paper worked perfectly with the acrylics – neither the paints nor water soaked in it and it didn’t bend at all, no matter how much water I used on it.

The Rembrandt paints I used this time were very different from my usual ones though, so it had to take me a while to get used to them. They are much thicker than A’kryl and they mix with each other and with water differently than what I’m used to. Also when dry they are shinier than my cheaper paints. I thought I’d mind this shininess but, even though you can’t see it on the photos, the shine does look very nice and aesthetic, for some reason.

The time consumption and some difficulties with working with a partly new medium are the only things I can complain about though. The process of painting itself was fun and exciting and the final result – very satisfying. If I had more time (8 additional hours a day, for example), I could say I’d definitely paint more pieces with acrylics on paper like this, but because it’s just as time-consuming as painting on canvas I can’t promise it to anyone, including myself. On the other hand, I love the way the finished owl looks and it’s much easier to put it in frames later than even a simple canvas board, so it would be great to paint something with acrylics on paper again in the future, hopefully something more ambitious.

For now though – you can see my process of colouring the owlette with acrylics below which is much more interesting than just reading about it 😉 Let me know if you have any questions!

~LW

 

Testing Phoenix Artist’s Palette

Testing Phoenix Artist’s Palette
The result of my latest supplies hunt: Copics, Brushmarkers, Promarkers, SM-LT Start Pads, painting brushes, masking tape and drawing gum in a marker, water brushes, Pablo art supplies case and Phoenix palette

As expected, my Mijello palette lost its easy peel-off feature after a while, and because I don’t want to waste my time neither on scratching the paint off it nor on destroying my poor nails while doing it, recently I came back to my old “budget” setting (clipboard + white piece of paper + tracing paper) while looking for a new palette.

I tried a small round paper palette earlier but after giving it a few tries I realized it’s just too small for me (size matters! 😉 ). I have to admit though I generally liked the idea of the easy cleaning (you just tear off the top sheet!) palette so I thought I could try out something similar but more matching the kind of palettes I’m used to, so rectangle and A3 size.

Since  I was on an art supplies buying spree recently I decided to also add a new painting palette to the shopping cart, so I could test it and hopefully use in the future. After comparing prices and sizes I decided to get the acceptable priced one close to the A3 size I’m used to – Phoenix Artist’s Palette (paper one). I was very curious of it because I don’t know much about the company’s products and I don’t own any. I’ve only heard their oil paints are not very good (can’t confirm it though) but nothing besides that.

I still didn’t manage to try out yet some of the things I bought (like the SM-LT Start Pads that look very pretty by the way!) because of the lack of time. Yesterday though I had my painting session and finally got to try that Phoenix Artist Palette.

Phoenix Artist’s Palette 30,5 x 40,5cm

The first thing I noticed about the palette was that it was very… bendy. My sarcastic side immediately thought that by the phrase “Fine Artist Materials” (you can see it on the palette’s cover) the producer meant that they are thin rather than good quality. Either way it wasn’t a good start of my relationship with the palette.

Phoenix Artist’s Palette: Bendy palette is bendy

If you’re a person who paints while holding the palette in your hand you may consider getting either a different palette or a board you could put under the Phoenix palette to prevent it from bending. And that’s what I decided to do too – even though I usually sit while painting and I keep the palettes on my lap, I still don’t want the palette to bend.

Trying to come up with a solution to the “bendy” problem, I remembered I had an A3 rectangle Leniar board palette that I don’t use anymore because scratching the paint off it is more time consuming than painting itself. The Leniar palette has the thumb hole and the dimensions are similar to the Phoenix palette, therefore it should work perfectly as a board under the latter one…

Old Leniar palette that I gave up on scratching the paint off

…except the thumb opening is aligned to the top of it instead of to the bottom like in the Phoenix palette. But fortunately everything is aligned on an acceptable level when the Leniar palette is flipped upside-down.

So, moving to the most important part – what are Phoenix Artist’s Palette’s sheets like? Here the answer comes immediately too and it also is concerning – the sheets are VERY thin. Somewhere between tracing paper and carbon paper thin. On the top surface the sheets are thickly covered with wax (or a similar substance) so they could keep the paint on them instead of absorbing it so there is hope the palette will actually work like it’s intended to.

Phoenix Artist’s Palette with Leniar palette underneath.

Because the sheets were very thin and the whole palette is very bendy I lowered my expectations from the palette and assumed my sarcastic side had to be right about the quality but still I had to test the palette in practice because you can’t make your opinion on something basing solely on assumptions.

Once I put my paints on this palette I realized it’s not actually that bad! I initially thought the paint would soak in the paper through the wax coat or of some sort of a chemical reaction would start but nothing like that happened. In fact, because of the waxy, and therefore partly smooth but also partly sticky surface of the sheets, mixing the colours was actually very pleasant. The paper is water repellent too so you can spray your paints with water without worrying about destroying the sheet. That gives the Phoenix palette a big advantage over regular tracing paper – the latter one bends and wrinkles under water and small amounts of paints soak in it, which makes the tracing paper almost impossible to use it again later

Phoenix Artist’s Palette test run with acrylic paints. Wax coat makes the paper shiny!

As you can see on the right picture above the corner of the palette is bent but it’s not because of the bad quality of the paper. Rather than that, it’s because the paper is so thin – we’re having a hot summer currently and I had my fan on while painting and the stream of air temporarily bent the palette paper. So, another tip today – if you decide to use this palette outside: staple the palette to the board underneath so you can still tear off the sheets but the wind can’t bend the paper.

During the testing I noticed another feature of the palette that is also a result of the wax coat – the dried paint was not fully sticking to the paper so after it dried completely you could peel it off! Actually, the paint started peeling while still drying out so make sure you don’t mix your paint on an area already covered with a dried paint if you don’t want clumps of dried paint on your brush.

Phoenix Artist’s Palette during and after peeling the paint off

The peel-off process with Phoenix paper palette is not as easy as it was at the beginning with Mijello palette but it’s still quite ok, especially that this one wasn’t meant to be peeled – it was meant to be disposed of after use. Since the art supplies are expensive though, the possibility of reusing the paper sheets of this palette is a nice surprise and a chance to save some money as you pretty much get at least 2 palettes at the price of one.


Overall it was a rollercoaster with this palette: several disappointments but also several awesome discoveries. I think the upsides in this case are stronger than downsides and I will continue using Phoenix Artist’s Palette. I may buy a matching board though because it’s what I’ll definitely need as the palette pad is very bendy and needs a firm support underneath. The palette won’t work too good outside on a windy day either because of the extremely thin paper. If used correctly though the palette can be very helpful and reusing the paper will let you save some money. 4 stars from me! ★★★★☆

 

Acrylic painting: Little Sisters (WIP + finished version)

Acrylic painting: Little Sisters (WIP + finished version)

I was posting some WIP photos of my newest acrylics work on my social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) for a while and now I’m very proud to say I finished the painting with two cute little girls (that are my work colleague’s daughters). I did work on it for quite a lot and I had a lot of fun with the painting but I’m happy it’s finally finished and I can move on to the next paintings WIP photos of which you can also expect to be posted on this blog in… a while 😀 For the time being please check the below progress shots of the little girls painting and the finished painting you can see in my Gallery.

Details:

Acrylics painting: details #01
Acrylics painting: details #02

Painting videos!

Painting videos!

Hi everyone!

After struggling a lot with a gooseneck camera stand to record my painting progress I recently did some research and decided I needed something else to record painting easily. I finally got a new stand and I have to say it was a good idea. There are definitely better stands and setups out there, but for now what I have is enough.

Using this new stand is how I managed to record a new painting video without any problems. Unfortunately, my uploading speed is still an issue so I had to speed the video up, but since I’ve already recorded it I also decided to add a voiceover this time! And someone asked me on my Fanpage to explain about what are the hardest parts of the painting process for me so that’s what I talked about in this latest video.

Anyway, the good news is – now I can record decent-ish process videos not only of digital, but also of traditional painting. And the gooseneck holder I used to use earlier now I can use to record traditional drawing process, for example markers and coloured pencils. It makes me pretty excited, to be honest 🙂 Let me know what do you want the next videos to be about – so far I have one suggestion I got on Twitter for talking about digitally painting lips and noses and that’s what the next video will be about.

Acrylic painting: Wolf (WIP #03 + finished version)

Acrylic painting: Wolf (WIP #03 + finished version)

Another interesting week has passed. Where did all the days go? I swear the last thing I remember is maybe Tuesday? And suddenly BAM! It’s Saturday. But I guess I haven’t just skipped the week because apparently not only I’ve been seen at work but I also finished the wolf painting! It took some work but it’s been a lot of fun too. Also I managed to finished it just in time to gift the painting to my mum for Mother’s Day.

Part 1 | Part 2

Unfortunately the last Work In Progress photo didn’t save nicely so below is the finished painting.