I Don’t Need You Anymore

An Acrylic Painting Crisis

In all the painting or drawing dabbling I’ve done, there is always a definitive moment that divides my experiences into “before” and “after.” It’s the moment I realize I don’t have to worry about going back because every mistake is, in fact, a painting challenge (in this case an acrylic painting challenge!) that isn’t dire or insurmountable. It just calls for a little creativity.

Rouen Cathedral: Setting Sun (Symphony in Grey and Pink) by Monet, 1892-1894, oil on canvas.
Rouen Cathedral: Setting Sun (Symphony in Grey and Pink)
by Monet, 1892-1894, oil on canvas.

Sometimes it takes more time than I would like for this moment to arrive. But with acrylic painting, this occasion came a lot sooner than I expected–which makes sense considering how user-friendly acrylics are.

I remember I was trying to re-create a Monet painting of the Rouen Cathedral. This was at a time when I didn’t have access to an easel, so I was painting on the floor. I reached across my painting and got a smear of unmixed color where it didn’t belong. Breath gone, hopes dashed, on the verge…of…hysteria. But wait! Don’t panic. Before I gave into my instincts to rush and fix the problem, and no doubt actually make it worse, I stepped back and waited. And waited just a bit longer. Eventually, I got what I wanted–the surface dried and I just started that section all over again. I lost some time but not much else.

This situation provided a good reminder not to lose my head, but more than anything it gave me a lot of appreciation for the fast drying rate of acrylics. And, in fact, after I learned this lesson the hard way I began loosening up and not being so fearful, because I knew that if I made a mistake, I could always reapply pigment after the surface had dried.

By painting with acrylics I learned that I didn’t need my uptight fearfulness anymore. But what I did want and need was to better understand how other acrylic-painting artists work–and I’m still learning this. Finding out the perspectives of practicing artists is so helpful because I know they’ve really put their paint through a workout. I want to gain from that knowledge! Right now Acrylic Painting for Beginners is what I’ve set my sights on. It gives a lot of coverage and discussion to the fundamentals of acrylic painting that I want to know more about and there are so many gorgeous examples of the best acrylic paintings out there to inspire me, too. It’s pretty close to the perfect resource! Enjoy!


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Courtney Jordan

About Courtney Jordan

  Courtney is the editor of Artist Daily. For her, art is one of life’s essentials and a career mainstay. She’s pursued academic studies of the Old Masters of Spain and Italy as well as museum curatorial experience, writing and reporting on arts and culture as a magazine staffer, and acquiring and editing architecture and cultural history books. She hopes to recommit herself to more studio time, too, working in mixed media.   

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