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It’s time to peace with acrylic painting

Festive Flower Bouquet, Acrylic on Canvas

It was time… actually it was past time to make peace with acrylic painting.  I’ve been painting with watercolor for many years now and have yearned for an opaque medium – like oils or acrylics – at times and I have dabbled in both.  But watercolor has been my primary medium, a safety net and it is fun most of the time.  But it can also be challenging and frustrating and sometimes it’s just nice to have an alternative to use to take a break.  I do have my pencils but I wanted more!  I always want more 🙂

Both oil and acrylic paints have a “downside.”  I remember painting with acrylics in high school…. MANY, many, many years ago.  As I recall acrylics dried way to fast and could not be blended or manipulated the way I wanted to.  Oils on the other hand could be moved and pushed and blended to your heart’s content but the smell of turpentine and turpentine substitutes in non-ventilated areas can be dangerous not to mention the drying time.  What’s more the clean up and such with oils is cumbersome and so I just continued to plug along going between watercolor and pencil with an occasional foray into both oil and acrylics.  Of course, the outcome was never the greatest so I stayed with what was familiar… watercolor, pencil, watercolor pencil…

Lately though I have decided to make peace and find a way to paint with acrylics and I became determined to get an outcome that I was satisfied with.  It was time to make peace and try…. really try.  It’s a trend I suppose.  Since I’m making peace with my life in general I began thinking that it might be time to make a real, genuine effort to make peace with acrylic painting somehow.  So I pulled out an old acrylic painting and began splashing around just to see what would happen.  I also began using some watercolor techniques with these ornery acrylic paints and was surprised to discover it could be blast!  And if something went wrong, if you painted something you didn’t like you could just paint over it.  How cool is that?  While it might take a couple of coats to cover some nasty mistake at least covering and repainting were a relatively easy option.  So with a “paint over it until you don’t need to paint over it anymore” attitude I continued on.

I thought I was finished… but I quit too soon.  So I pulled out this painting and began to finish it.

The image above is what I started with – not horrible but not finished.  I needed something so I decided to add some Black-eyed Susans and little white Asters providing a variety in size, color and texture.  I proceeded really for most of the painting with spray bottle, paint and brush.  The finished painting is below and I learned a lot about acrylics.  I learned things I didn’t know.  I learned also that I want to try another and another.  This discovery – that acrylics can be really fun – has ignited passion anew and hopefully this renewed passion will net something really good and if it doesn’t at least I’ll be having fun trying.

Festive Flower Bouquet, Acrylic on Canvas (FINAL)

Available for Sale on ETSY