Studying Acrylic with 50 Small Paintings

Hello everyone… and hello September! The last two months, July to August were really great! Got a lot of commissioned projects; I joined an exhibit; Kadayawan; Mural and craft events. It was truly fun, but it was also draining. Physically and mentally. So, I decided to take a little break this month. Break from commissioned projects and focus more on personal ones.

One of the things I’m focussing on is my painting. I have neglected painting because I’ve been doing so many things. Although, the projects were still painting related but I guess, it’s different when you’re doing it for yourself and not for anyone else. And because I like honing myself; learning how to do other techniques and trying out new things is really important but I haven’t had the time to play because of work.

Von, a friend of mine, said “Artist ka kasi. You need to rest, to think and to recreate yourself.” Naks! So much wisdom from that friend, lol. Hello Besh, if you’re reading this.

Going back to painting… I’m refreshing my acrylic knowledge. You see, few years back, I started acting on my being a “frustrated painter” by joining Art Kamp. That’s one of the best decisions I’ve made. And I’ve missed painting on canvas. Been using watercolour lately and I wanna play with a different medium this time.

So, for the past few days, I’ve been studying again, the old fashion way – with a book. Luckily,  Mama Cel (my sister’s mother in law. Whom I treat like a second Mama too. She’s also been so supportive when it comes to my painting), gave me a book. When I got that, I know, it will come handy, someday. And it did! Thank you Mama Cel for this book. This is truly helpful. I am so grateful for your love and support.

Now, Let me share the materials I’m using. While I was doing this, I realised how grateful I am for my family and friends. They been giving me materials to help me hone my passion. Would you believe, most of my materials were given as a gift. I cannot be more thankful for them.

• Let’s start off with the book. Learn to Paint in Acrylic with 50 Small Paintings by Mark Daniel NelsonA gift from Mama Cel that was bought by my sister, Sandy (she wanted a part of the shootout for buying it, haha).

I’m not sure where you can find this here in the Philippines. I have not seen this in any bookstores yet. But I linked it on Amazon in case you want to check it.

I love how simple this book is. It has 50 small paintings with different techniques. What I like about it is you see a final output even by allotting a little time for practice. It took me more than an hour on my first few study because I was over thinking and still getting used to it again. After that, it took me just 30 minutes to set up and finish 1 painting.

Every painting has different techniques. From mixing colours to values and more.

I’m doing 1 studying everyday and so far, I’m on to my 7th painting now. Then I put the paintings on my wall so I can see them and be inspired again to paint.

• For the paper, I’m using Max Leaf Oil-Acrylic Block Pad instead of a canvas. This was given by Helen. Thank you so much for the two pads, Helen. I was really able to saved some money for the papers.

I think this is available in any bookstores. This is a block pad for acrylic and oil. The paper is thick enough to hold too much paint and it doesn’t warp because the sides are padded. It’s around 8×6 in. with 16 sheets. This is also good for mixed media. If you like to make collages with paints, this paper can hold such heavy medium.

I didn’t put any prime (gesso) on it anymore since it’s a just study. So far, the paints were easily absorbed without putting too much of it. I put washi tapes on the edges as my border before painting. But since it’s quite costly, I am now using masking tape.

• As for the paints, I’m just using student grade acrylic paints: Sakura Acrylic Color and Acrylique Acrylic – you can find these at Morning Light.

Since it’s only a study, it’s best to use affordable paints. I’m also using the smaller tubes so I can buy few more colours and to check which ones I use frequently. Surprisingly, the 75ml can go along way. But I suggest getting a bigger tube of Titatium White. With this study, it uses few colours: Titanium White, Unbleached White, Ultramarine, Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Red. Cadmium Yellow. I don’t have some of the colours so I use the ones that are close enough.

Sakura and Acrylique are semi heavy body paints. Meaning the paints are thicker or creamier. If you’re covering a large area, heavy body paints can cover it faster. I’m quite comfortable with this kind, for some reason. I like Sakura if you asked me. It’s opaque with heavy pigment.

 I’m also using, Chromacryl. This was given by Katia. Thank you so much, K. I’m putting these paints into use. This one is a soft body acrylic or fluid. It’s thinner. This is nice if you want a flowing paint by spraying water on it.

• Cheap paint brushes will do.

I use cheap paint brushes for acrylic. But make sure the brushes are soft and sturdy. I’ve been using these for years now and so far, it’s still alive. Except for the blue one because we used it with oil based paints for a mural and we forgot to clean it with lacquer (don’t follow me).

When using acrylic paint, make sure to have a clean water tub with you. Always rinse it after so the paints won’t stick on the paint brush. Although, sometimes, it becomes really messy. But I like how dirty my paint brushes are. Makes me feel I’m maximising its potential. My favourite brands are Best Buy from National Bookstore and Denise from Morning Light.

That’s all you need to start painting… let me share a 1 minute time-lapse video of one of the practice paintings I did. I just used my iPhone and a tripod from WackyThank you my dear boyfriend for sharing your things to me. 

I am surrounded with such great family and friends who supported and believed in me since I started this creative journey. Painting can be quite costly that’s why I am so thankful for these people for being so generous and giving me these materials that I can use to continue my love for painting.

I hope somehow, I inspire you to paint. Whether it’s acrylic or watercolour, it doesn’t matter. As long as you paint something. Don’t hinder yourself if you don’t have the same materials that I posted here. There are so many tutorials available online. As for the paints, there are affordable ones that you can buy in sets. So, you see… if you really want it, you can find a way.

If you want to see more of my process, I usually share them on my instagram stories: @iam_artisan. Come join me there and if you have questions, feel free to send me comments or direct messages. I’d be happy to answer them as much as I can.

Happy painting everyone…

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