I'm a new acrylic painter but long time sketcher and doodler. I'm really interested in how a lot of artists achieve the clean, curved outside border lines. They look unbelievably symmetrical and tight. I've fooled around with various techniques and cannot figure this out.
I'm attaching an image of one of John Culquis' paintings for reference.
Any suggestions or tricks would be really really appreciated!
Sense nobody is rushing to respond to your question, I'll offer a few thoughts. Although, I can't give you a direct answer.
Your best bet is to ask Culquis himself how he works. He has a website. You might ask if he works out the picture in detail prior to painting and if he uses any mechanical aids such as french curves in preliminary drawings. Also, you might ask him what type of acrylic he uses. My guess is that the dark lines are produced with a more fluid type of acrilic paint.
Also a curious point is that, in the photos of him, he is standing at an easel while working. I would imagine that this would be a difficult position for the producing the type of line he makes. The arm does not have a natural support to steady itself as it does working at a drawing board.
In the past, when producing this kind of art for reproduction as an illustration, the dark lines would be done on treated, clear acetate and the color applied to the reverse side. Today, commercially this type of work would be done on a computer using Adobe Illustrator. However Culquis is producing acrylic paintings. This leads me to believe he has a tight preliminary pattern for the painting, refining the lines as the picture progresses and using fluid acrylics.
Good Luck—Paul Sullivan
Howz it Paul,
first of all, thanks for taking the time to respond to my query. Actually, your response was quite helpful. I found that image of him standing at the easel and it looks like he's creating the mystery lines with a pretty large brush! Sheesh. (http://www.muchomuchobuenobueno.com/2010/07/interview-with-john-culqui.html)
Take care and big mahalos for your help and suggestions!
The type of line in question here can be learned and can be painted in a standing position. It would take time and practice. Think of the precision it takes to do pin striping on cars or single stroke sign painting. This type of work demands special brushes and paint that is thin enough to flow easily with the brush stroke and opaque enough that the line can be completed in one stroke. That is why I suggested that you ask Culquis what type of acrylic he uses.