Today I would like to introduce you to the new kind of medium available in Studio Calico shop. Since last few weeks you can enrich your creative supplies list with the lovely range of Color Theory acrylic paints. My tiny tubes are already at home and I thought that it would be nice if I will write few words about acrylic paints in general before you will start playing with them, plus – I made a quick tutorial. Here we go!
Few basics – acrylics are water-based paints, which means taht you don’t have to use terpentine to thin the paints and clean your brushes. One big advantage of acrylics is wonderful versality. Using them you can achieve many different effects and a variety of styles. For example you can apply them either very thickly (using f.e. palette knives) or very thinly and all sort of combinations between. The consistency and texture of acrylics can be changed with acrylic medium and gel, or modelling paste and water. You can use them on various surfaces: wood, paper or canvas. Once primed up with gesso acrylics can be applied on almost any surface such as fabrics, cloths, clay, etc… These paints dry so very fast, so remember to squeeze only a small amount out of a tube at a time. Acrylic paint is PERMANENT – so please be careful and watch out on your cloths and furnitures :) Unlike a watercolour the dry paint is insoluble and can be over-painted without any concerns – that’s a good part about they permanent nature (that it can be painted over). And the last basic thing – always clean your brushes when changing to a new colour to avoid mudiness. Before you begin mixing paint, make sure you know the ins and outs of the color wheel (you can get lots of informations from Lisa’s ‚Color Studio’ classes). Knowledge of pigment blending can save you time and frustration, as well as rescue a background from unsightly mistakes.
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OK, it should be enough for the begining. I still know lots of various acrylic techniques and I hope I will be able to share them with you one day. Meanwhile I have something easy but eye-catching for all acrylic beginners (and not only) – foil layer.
Once you are not familiar with acrylic paints, you are not sure how they work and you are affraid of ruin the background paper – this method is for you.
Start from the basic composition. Prepare the background, papers, embellishments and paints. In this technique you can paint using brushes, palette knives, finges or you can put the paint directly from the tube – like I did.
You will need a piece of foil (it can be a recycle packaging, plastic bag or a piece of kitchen foil…). I put A5 white paper under my foil to know the area which should be covered by the paint. If everything is ready, you can start appling paint of the foil. It can be totally accidental (but rememebr what I was writting about mixing colours).
Now take a brush, or a piece of paper or palette knive (like on the picture), and spread and blend paint a little bit. You can ‚draw’ some lines on it. it’s the easiest way to give an interesting element to this painting. You can also cover the foil with a smooth, thick surface of paint and scratch some words on it…
While the painting on a foil is ready (remember you can’t wait to long becasue the paint will be dry), you should take a piece of paper and put your painting upside down. And now – you can make a print using your paiting. You can make it on a random piece of paper and use it later as a layer of your project, you can make a print directly on your background or just leave an excess of paint on a paper…
I decided to make a small print and leave it for my future project. I put the foil upside down and I used a brayer to make sure that everything will transfer on a paper. I rolled my brayer over it a couple of times and peel the foil away from the surface. I was left with a print and almost dry piece of plastic bag with fabulous painting on it.
I find this idea very comfortable for all of us. You can use a transparent layer on your project. You can place it wherever you want. There will be no dirt, no blobs of paint – for me it’s a great thing. Of course you can make the same thing directly on a background if you want. Experiment with colours and shapes is fun! Even if you don’t like what you have done it’s not a big deal. Just brush over this ‚mistake’ with gesso. I do this quite often lately :)
Coming back to the tutorial. I put few extra layers on a foil (pale patternred paper plus vellum and another white paper). I decided to enrich this project with other techinique – you already familiar with watercolour, aren’t you. This time I was using Color Theory refillers instead of custom watercolours – they worked great!
When watercolour part was totally dry I put it into the the letterpress station and make a ‚hello’ print using black ink (of course you can’t see this letterpress effect on the picture, but believe me it looks sooo good).
Now it’s only few staps to the end. Stick everything together, combine the layers, add embellishments and pictures, glue the title… I used those lovely wood veneer alphabet from the ‚Whitman’ scrapbook add-on, but I coloured it using black marker.
That’s all. It was easy, right? :) The technique is for everybody. It isn’t stressful at all. It’s quick and looks spectacular. Have fun! I am waiting for your own trials! If you have any questions please ask them in the comments below this post.
supplie list: ‚Poet Society’ scrapbook main kit, ‚Dickinson’ and ‚Whitman’ add-ons, vellum, Color Theory acrylic paint, Color Theory refills, palette knives, letterpress ‚hello’ plate, letterpress balck ink, letterpress brayer.
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