Monday, January 29, 2007

I was inspired

I recently watched a TV programme about Rolf Harris.

(I always remember him for doing large paintings; they must have been about 8 by 6 foot size, using a 6 inch paint brush. When he was painting he used to say “Can you tell what it is yet?”

When he finished the painting he would stand in front of it and sing a song. Of course the painting was the same subject as the song he sang, and provided a good backdrop for his performance.)

It was a very good programme and he talked about coming to London from Australia in the 1950s.

He went on to say that his mentor (painting mentor) showed him how to cover the whole canvas in paint and then pick out areas and refine them. The approach was to work on the whole of the painting rather than focusing on a particular section.

How about trying a different style?

Of course he was an accomplished artist already, but it can be interesting to try to paint in different styles and try various methods of applying the paint. It can be easy to get caught up with the idea that you have to paint in a certain way or have a proper picture at the end of it.

I know this happens to me! It is not always easy to allow yourself the freedom to experiment on a painting surface. However if you do not like the final result you can always cover the canvas or canvas panel with a layer of gesso or thick white paint and reused it. If you are painting on paper you can throw the paper away or cut up parts of it to use in a collage.

Trim it to a good bit!

If you are painting on paper or a canvas panel you might have a particular section that you really like. Using these painting surfaces means that you can trim down the surface leaving you with just your favourite section – another masterpiece!

Do not stress about painting something wonderful. You can learn a lot by just playing around with your paints, and having a good time too.

No time like the present

In Rolf Harris’ case he had stopped painting for about 10 years before he was offered a painting TV programme to do. So even if you have not picked up a paint brush for a while there is no excuse.

His enthusiasm was contagious; he was having a great time. He said that he likes to turn off the TV and do things instead. I have to admit on a dark winter night I tend to just sit and watch The Box.

Perhaps you will think about doing something more interesting, I know I will be!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Top Tips for Acrylic Painting – Number 3

Do NOT let the Paint Dry on the Brush

Acrylic paint dries very quickly and it is important not to let the paint dry on your brush.

If the acrylic paint does dry on the brush, the brush will be ruined. If this happens you will need to throw away the brush. This is really disappointing if it is a favourite artist’s brush, and can be expensive!

During a painting session rinse the brush and store the brush in a shallow tray of water, on its side to avoid damaging the tip. This way any residue of paint in the brush will be kept wet.

Give the brush, or brushes, a good clean at the end of the session.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Top Tips for Acrylic Painting – Number 2

Cover surfaces and yourself!

Acrylic paints are water based, and the brushes are cleaned using water. However, once the paint is dry it forms an impermeable skin.

If some of the paint dries on your hand you will see that it looks like a thin layer of plastic.

Therefore when acrylic paints are dry they can be almost impossible to remove (depending on the surface).

If you are painting be sure to cover any important surfaces that you do not want to have marked with paint.

Acrylic paint will also stick to fabric so it is a good idea to wear painting clothes too!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Top Tips for Acrylic Paints – Number 1

Always replace the top or lid of your acrylic paint.

Acrylic paints dry very quickly so always replace the top back on the tube of paint, or the lid if you are using containers of paint.

If you don’t replace the lid the acrylic paint will start to dry. Once acrylic paint is dry you cannot re-wet it. Therefore it will need to be thrown out as you will not be able to use it in your painting.

Also paint drying in the tube is annoying! The bottom of the tube could be cut off and some paint rescued that way, but it is easier to get into the habit of replacing the top every time you open up your acrylic paint.

Replace the top of the acrylic paint and it will last for a long time.