Recommendations on Paint for a Beginner?

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jrasche2003 wrote
on 31 Dec 2013 4:58 PM

I am sure that this question has been asked time and time again, but I can't find a thread!

 

I am new 5 paintings so far, 2 of which I made a good turning point I believe.  I started off with student Artist Lofts paint,  and the most recent paintings were done strictly with craft acrylic paints (like Plaid). 

I don't have a ton of money, but what I think I would like to find is a paint that is vibrant beautiful colors, but ones that won't dry as fast as the craft paint however, I also don't want to spend days until I can paint again.  I seem to like layering, so I like to paint a background then paint something on top.  But I like how fast the craft paint dried in that instance, because just about 15 minutes I was really for the next in my painting.

 

I have read so many opinions and blogs, and I really don't want to spend money on something that I am not going to be ultimately happy with in the end.. Any suggestions?  Remember I am a beginner, so you may have to dumb down the technical aspects a big.. hahaha

 

I have attached the two that I am most proud of out of the 5 I have done since I started a week ago.

 

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on 31 Dec 2013 8:44 PM

jrasche—

I've already answered this once already—in my second posting on your questions on blending.

Paul

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jrasche2003 wrote
on 31 Dec 2013 8:47 PM

Indeed you did.  Just looking for other opinions on the subject.  As I have done research it sounded to me as if the Golden Open would take forever to dry.  Am I wrong on this?  I mean, I want a little time, but still would like it to dry so I can move one to more painting.  I hope that makes sense..

 

Of course I do see that you suggested in my learning stages I should stick to standard acrylics.  I think that word, standard is confusing me.  I am assuming that one step up from student on either Golden or Liquitex should be ok for me?

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on 1 Jan 2014 11:21 AM

When they were introduced in the 1950s, all acrylics were "fast drying" acrylics. In recent years, additives were introduced to slow the drying time when desireable. Recently, Golden paints has offered an entire line of slow drying acrylics called "Golden Open Acrylics".

Their original line of acrylic is now called "Heavy Body Acrylics". The "Heavy Body" term is to distinguish it from thinner, more fluid acrylics. The "Heavy Body"—original type of acrylics—is the best place to start to learn how to work with acrylic paint. If the paint is drying too fast, you can use their additive to retard the drying. Also you can use "open acrylics" over standard fast drying acrylics.

You can learn more about all this at Golden's website:
http://www.goldenpaints.com/products/index.php

Under "products" go to "colors" for a good explanation of the paint types. When you click the "Golden Open Acrylics" area there is more information plus a video explaining the use and the drying times for Open Acrylics. A lot depends on how absorbent the working surface is.

There are no easy or quick answers to a lot of this. You learn to paint by painting—and a good place to start is with regular fast drying— "Heavy Body"— acrylics.

I have been working with acrylics since they were introduced in the 50s and I've worked with every leading brand.

Paul

 

 

 

 

 

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AimeeCJArts wrote
on 3 Jan 2014 12:28 AM

Hi there!  Good for you to start exploring painting--it's so much fun!  I recommend to my beginning art students to go with Dick Blick Studio Acrylics. www.dickblick.com   I personally like the quick drying acrylics that allow me to keep layering and working through a painting from start to finish in a relatively short amount of time.  I have a link to the materials I use for my paint and sip and guided painting video businesses at www.CJArts.net on the Get Started page that may help.  You'll also find a Painting Tips page here and know that I am offering one of my painting videos (Umbrella Drink) free for the month of January that you may enjoy checking out too!  All the best to you!

Cheers!

Aimee

Aimee Rebmann

Owner & Artist of Creative Juices Arts

www.CJArts.net 

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jrasche2003 wrote
on 3 Jan 2014 8:11 AM

Thank you for the warm welcome and recommendation.  I did by new acrylic paints based on reviews, so I went with Grumbacher Academy Acrylics. 

I did sign up for a class next week because although I was excited with the couple paintings I made, I have become frustrated with trying to blend a background on canvas panels.  It just seems like I am doing something wrong because I seem to constantly see the 'white teeth' of the canvas showing through the paint.  And I'm not sure if this is normal, good or bad thing.  I always assumed that it would be a solid block of color.  Last night, I decided just to try 1 color, and there again.. white showing through.  So I made the best of that and just sponged the background with two colors.  After that dried, I tried to paint a line in green on top, and it was like a watercolor!  Very frustrating. 

I have been lightly wetting the canvas, maybe I have wet it too much?  Maybe I shouldn't wet my brush before dipping in the paint? 

At any rate, it has been frustrating and last night I threw a panel away because it just was going downhill fast.  Hopefully taking the class will shed some light on things for me, because all these tutorials I am watching just are not helping me.... :(

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TukiF wrote
on 3 Jan 2014 10:27 AM

Hi there! Just happened to see your post and oh boy, do I feel your pain!  I am new to painting and acrylics also So I took a class locally in abstract acrylics to get started. I have had no art training (other than photography) at all prior to taking the class, so I was a total noobie.

May I suggest you give yourself some time to get used to working with acrylics and go easy on yourself? Acrylic paint dries very quickly, not like oils or watercolor, so it requires a different technique. Also, the more paint on the canvas, the better chance of being able to cover the canvas. I also ended up with large spots of canvas showing through in my first few paintings (this wouldn't be so bad if it weren't so white), so I have tried to focus on using more paint than I think I need. This has helped a lot.  It also makes it easier to blend colors on the canvas, but I still have times when the areas I want to work have dried, so I had to learn what to do about that.  A nice thing about acrylics is, if you don't like what you end up with, you can paint over it, so don't throw out your canvases, they can be reused.  You can paint or gesso over them to give yourself a fresh start.

I understand your frustration with the videos, they often assumed a certain level of knowledge that I didn't have.  Even some of the books I have were over my head until I got some hands-on training in a class.

I hope this helps, good luck with your study. You will be amazed at what you can do with acrylics once you get the hang of them.

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jrasche2003 wrote
on 3 Jan 2014 11:19 AM

I really appreciate your commenting!! It really helps!!! I did the painting attached this past weekend (I like the background but I added two chamelons on the branches and I hate them. Not to mention the paint was watery so I had to layer 4 times, and I hate they cakey look.. lol) when I first got the new paints and for the background I did have to use a lot of paint, which I thought, good grief I am going to go broke doing this so I had thought I was doing something wrong.  ON top of that I noticed that the canvas panel slightly warped too. So right away I am thinking I used way too much paint.  So, naturally I assumed last night, when trying a new painting that I didn't need so much, and tried not to use so much water and used (very sparingly) retarder.  I did like how the retarder seemed to help me keep moving with out dragging so much, but here again, I must not have used enough paint.  So then I started adding little bits of water, oh good grief, then I was getting a wash.....DOH!   So like I said I sponged it to fill in the gaps.  Then I just panicked and threw it away... I may have even had a hissy fit.. LMAO! Surprise

I think I just got too frustrated.  I probably shouldn't have even painted last night, did so without a plan really, just an idea of a tutorial.  I ran into the first problem that I didn't have enough paints to be able to have the background color on the tutorial.. so I would have to mix.. and to a noob.. I should have know better.  Disaster from the start!  Then it just went downhill from there.

Thank You so much for responding.  I will step back and take a breath and take this class.  It will be nice to be hands on with an instructor, and maybe I will have those "aha" moments. 

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AimeeCJArts wrote
on 3 Jan 2014 11:51 AM

Yes, what you're experiencing is too much water!  While acrylic is a water based/clean up paint you want to dry off your brush after cleaning so as not to dilute the paint...or chase drips if working on an easel!  Work with a clean moist brush but not a wet brush. This will get you better coverage but know that you often need 2 layers (layers must dry in between so don't just keep adding paint wet on wet and fighting the process-be patient or use a low hair dryer setting!) to provide the coverage you're looking for...sometimes 3 layers for very dark colors!  And the beauty of acrylic is that once dry you can paint over it, change areas and start fresh!  If you want a truly fresh white start just paint gesso over your painting!  Don't throw away your canvases! :). Grumbacher is a very nice brand of paint...perhaps more costly than I would recommend to someone who needs to experiment without feeling the pinch of the wallet with each layer of paint!!  😃

That's great that you'll be taking a class!  In the meantime I really do think checking out my free technique videos and the Getting Started video will help you! I truly gear everything toward the beginner and address the issues you have encountered, so I hope you'll take advantage of the opportunity!  Again, the website is www.CJArts.net. I love being able to share my love of painting with those wanting to get started and give them a supportive place to turn!

Cheers!

Aimee

Aimee Rebmann

Owner & Artist of Creative Juices Arts

www.CJArts.net 

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jrasche2003 wrote
on 3 Jan 2014 12:02 PM

I may just do that before the class on Wed next week, considering it will be near 30 below this weekend and I will need something to keep me busy and my mind off the freezing arctic temps! 

 

Thank you!

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AimeeCJArts wrote
on 3 Jan 2014 12:25 PM

LOL a great way to spend a frigid winter weekend!  I'm thinking you must be somewhere in the Midwest since I heard about the extreme temps there!  I grew up in the Chicago area and while I love the Midwest I don't miss the below zero winter days!!  The technique videos and the free Umbrella Drink full painting video are all of a tropical nature--you can imagine you're in a warm tropical paradise!! 😃🌴🐠☀️

Aimee Rebmann

Owner & Artist of Creative Juices Arts

www.CJArts.net 

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jrasche2003 wrote
on 3 Jan 2014 1:46 PM

Yep up here near Minneapolis, Minnesnowta! :)  Well, this year it's more freezing that snow.. LOL

 

Oh by the way.. the class actually is a Grumbacher class, so you have to buy a class kit.  I tried to piece it out, but it's actually cheaper with the kit.. added bonus I am getting two new colors AND more of the ones I already bought!! YAY!

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on 3 Jan 2014 2:26 PM

You have received some good suggestions relative to the amount of water you are using and to reuse your painting surface by covering with gesso.  One thing you can try with regard to gesso - add some colour to it that will go with the colours you plan to use in your painting.  You can apply more than one coat of gesso - try two or three coats, lightly sanding between coats.  Don't, repeat, don't use cheap paints to save money - use the best you can afford.  I started with Grumbacher back in the '60's, and, when I started painting again in the '90's I came across a garage sale that had a supply of Liquitex paints so I use these and Golden as Paul suggested (my ears perk up when Paul offers suggestions - we are all in the process of learning).  I found some tubes of Windsor Newton acrylic paints hardened in the tube, even when it hasn't been used, so I shy away from buying this brand.  In Canada, I purchased much of my painting supplies at Michael's when they had 40% off sales on paints or brushes, lately, I have been purchasing from Daniel Smith online.  I find that mop brushes can be quite effective in blending or dry brushing, also, 'used' bristle brushes should not be thrown away, they are great for scrubbing paint onto your canvas in a dry brush technique.  I use filberts at lot, and I like angled brushes and sword brushes for glazing.   Besides using water to thin down paint, try a Glazing Medium.

Go to your PBS station to see what painting shows they offer.  I watched Jerry Yarnell a lot and learned how to mix colours and the process of using acrylic paints.  I learned about using a Stay-Wet palette through him that allows you to keep your paints wet for weeks as you work on a painting - I'm not a fast painter.

Two things you might like to watch on uTube - "Worst Mistake Acrylic Painters Make - Michele Theberge.  She will discuss water and different mediums - keep in mind that there are matte mediums as well as gloss.  And, How To Blend With Acrylics, Refined Blending, Art Apprentice Online, Sue Pruette.

One of my most frustrating experiences - deciding to see if I could make a somewhat smiling mouth 'better' - I spent HOURS trying to not have my mother look like she was about to cry, but rather to get it back to the smile that had been there originally.  'Why don't you leave well enough alone' is part of my painting vocabulary.

I wish you well on your artistic journey, and your painting class.

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jrasche2003 wrote
on 3 Jan 2014 2:42 PM

Thank You for your comment!!! Very helpful indeed.

Grumbacher for me was a middle of the road.  Liquitex Basics and Michaels Brand Artist Loft were the cheapest.  My first two paintings I tried were with the cheap Michaels brand starter pack.  10 colors for 4.99.  They looked ok.  Then I saw a tutorial where a guy said he preferred craft paint.  So for the next two paintings, I used the craft paint.

Then I got Paul's recommendation.  I went to the store but didn't expect the sticker shock.  So I figured, middle of the road since I am still learning.  Maybe if I get good enough I will graduate to golden or liquitex. 

But for now... this is where I am at.  Thanks!

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on 15 Mar 2014 3:25 PM

Hi Paul, 

For those who don't know about your second posting (don't know when, or where that is), would you mind repeating yourself one more time? Of course, this is onloy if you have the time. If not, no worries. TIA (Thanks in advance) If you do reply. Catherine

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