Hi there, I am a complete beginner in painting. I love landscapes and abstracts. I love the vibrancy and transparency of watercolors but I want to try acrylics and have bought myself a couple of canvases. I would really appreciate if anyone can suggest some excellent and detailed books on acrylic painting and techniques for beginners.
I suggest you take a look at the books on acrylics available at Amazon.com. Most of them are very reasonable. There are several that look good as starter books. One you might check out is " An introduction to Acrylics" by Ray Smith. Also, Artist Daily has a free book on acrylic techniques. Look on the home page under "Free Resources".
Thank you Paul for your suggestions. There are so many books on amazon it is kind of hard to decide which ones to select. In your opinion what should i pick if i have to choose between acrylic painting for dummies and the intro to acrylics that you mentioned. Also i did my first acrylic painting on canvas while i was painting tree leaves with the sponging technique using different shades of green available in the acrylic painting set all the greens kept on absorbing to form one unified dark green shade. while i was expecting different shades as i waited between layers to dry.i dont understand what could be the reason.the same thing happened with the browns.
I would suggest "DK Art School: An Introduction to Acrylics" by Ray Smith. It is reasonable at less than $8.00. The paperback version would be good because you should be using any book like this as a work book. I cannot indorse the book. I have just looked over the books available and it looks like a good place to start. As you progress in your self instruction, you will need several books to work with.
Regarding the problem with the sponge technique. There are several things that might not be going right. It is difficult to tell exactly from a written description of the problem. However I'll offer a few possibilities. Your working surface may be too absorbent. You may be thinning down the paint too much with water. If you are thinning the paint too much, it is working like watercolor and is too transparent. Along with that, the greens you are using may be too close to each other.
Here are a few quick suggestions for a sponge technique:• I suggest brushing the surface with acrylic gesso before starting. This will seal the surface.• Remember that you do not have to be working on canvas while learning and experimenting. A coat of gesso on 3/16" foam board is a good practice surface.• Use the paint a bit heavier and dryer. In other words, make sure it is opaque and not transparent.• Try the technique on some scrap paper to get the right result.• Be sure the colors are contrasting enough. If you are using greens, be sure one is darker and the other lighter and more brilliant.
I hope this helps.Paul
Thanks a lot Paul. Your reply is extremely helpful. You are right I didn't use gesso as i thought i didn't need it on preprimed canvas board. The greens were thick enough but maybe i need to make my own greens instead of using the ones available in the set. they looked great when i applied them on paper and on canvas burtwhen they dried on canvas board they were absorbed. I just read your bio and you are an amazing artist rich in experience and talent. Hats off to you! Thank you for taking the time to reply me. I am too embarrassed to share my work with you. Congratulations on your achievements. Awesome.
Don't ever hesitate to ask questions or show your work. We are all in this together, trying to learn as much as we can about drawing and painting.