Friday, March 16, 2018

Acrylics #1: The Night (It's Something)

For a while now, I've wanted to try Acrylic paint. I've used watercolor. I've dabbled a little with gouache, but it never became a medium I would automatically reach for. And for the past several months, I've only used watercolor or painted digitally on my Samsung Galaxy Tab A. I've used a combination of paint and colored pencil to get the effect I was looking for. With watercolor, I can spend hours building up layers from light to dark. Too dark too early and the colors get muddied. However, with acrylic paint, I can go from light to dark or from dark to light. It’s the same way with gouache, but like I already mentioned, it just wasn't my favorite medium to use even though its like acrylic. But again, same old same old gets boring after a while, and I was ready to branch out again and try something new. Acrylic seemed to be the obvious choice.

For my first foray into acrylic painting territory, I wanted to try something with dramatic lighting, limited color palette, and darker tones (alternating between pink, purple, and dark to medium blue). And this is the end result, which I've nicknamed The Night. I like the painting. It was fun to play around with the paints and get a feel for them, for example: how much water to add, how the paint behaves on paper, things like that.
However, now that I’m no longer working on this piece, I can pinpoint a few areas that I want to work on. If you look closely at the cheek you can see that the contrast between light and dark is sharp—almost too sharp for my liking. I probably needed a few more shades to bridge the gap between light and dark. I could have used a purple that then transitioned into lavender and then pink, and perhaps a yellow, white, or a lighter blue to brighten certain areas. But it is what it is. And now that I know how I prefer my acrylic paintings to look, I can work towards achieving that on the next one I work on.

Overall, I actually like acrylic paint a lot more than I thought I would. It fits with my process of making art, and I’m now much more excited to continue working with this type of paint. Up next: this sketch. And with the aforementioned things in the second paragraph of this post, I’m more confident that I’ll be able to get the result that I’m looking for.

Have you used acrylic paint? If not, would you try it?


  1. I haven't used acrylic paint in ages - probably not since high school...

    1. I never used acrylic paint because it was a medium I didn't think I would like, but my reaction was the total opposite of what I expected. Acrylic paint is a lot of fun to use.

  2. I'm happy to hear you had success with the medium! :)


Comments are appreciated and always welcome. :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...