Watercolor or Acrylics?
I have no idea if anyone is reading these tidbits of my thoughts, but writing them is doing me a lot of good! My main goal here, though, is to encourage others in any way I can.
I haven’t painted in a couple of days, except that I wrote this yesterday, so now that’s a lie. I just finished painting for about an hour. I try not to paint longer than that at a time, because I have to get up and move around a little.
Anyway, I have been working on a watercolor painting of tulips. I have already done an acrylic of the same flowers, but I created a different arrangement for the watercolor. These two mediums feel so incredibly different to work with to me! I know I can add more water to acrylics to thin them out and use them like watercolors, but I have not tried this yet. I plan to try it soon. But working on the watercolor over this last week has felt a little frustrating! It is the first one I’ve done in almost a year. I hadn’t realized that I had gotten so into acrylics that it felt like I had left my watercolors behind! The paints are still good, I have a bunch of unused watercolor paper, and I can use the same brushes I use for acrylics. But I had not realized how very different the FEEL of the two mediums is until now.
In working on this painting I have realized that I miss the thicker feel of acrylics. See? I can’t make up my mind which one I like best! But the great thing is, I don’t have to! When I work with acrylics, I feel exhilarated by the thickness of the paint. With watercolors, if I lay them on too thick to begin with, I have to try and thin those out once they are on the paper which is somewhat difficult. But with acrylics, I find that I need the thickness. However, I don’t lay them down TOO thick at first, because once they are dry, I can’t get the paint off the canvas as easily as I can get watercolors off of the paper! That is a difference that is pretty significant. However, it forces me to take more time and think through what I’m doing which is good. Sometimes I get impatient – I admit it. When I’m nearing the end of a painting, I start to feel antsy about finishing it, because I am usually knocking around five or six other ideas for paintings in the meantime.
One of the greatest challenges for me in using acrylics is layering colors. For instance, I tend to paint from light to dark. But layering the colors in the acrylic of the tulips didn’t work out as well for me as it is working with the watercolor. With acrylics I like to paint dark to light – FUN STUFF!! I discovered this while I worked on my last two paintings. I’ve never started with a completely dark canvas before, though. I have read about this approach in artist magazines and books. I find it interesting to see what professional artists have tried and decided to share with us amateurs! They are tremendously helpful to me. But layering the colors in the acrylic of the tulips didn’t work out as well for me as it is working with the watercolor. So each medium has its ups and downs OR it just means I still have a lot to learn. More than likely it is the latter in my case!
All I know is, I NEED TO BE CHALLENGED!! Without challenge I become bored.
Enjoy a nice Summer day today! Give someone a hug and tell them you love them.