Sunday, April 25, 2010


We played pin-the-tail-on-the-bunny at my daughter's birthday party a few months back. I drew the playing area with Sharpie on butcher paper (letters indicate where the kids put their cotton balls):

I've had acrylic paints lying around for ages and finally tried them out today:

I really have no idea what I'm doing yet with the paints. Mysteries I need to solve:
  • What's the best way to mix paint? I used my brush but it seems like there must be a better way.
  • How can you get a good gradient? There's the problem of mixing a consistent set of colors and then the problem of blending on the canvas.
  • How do you paint sharp edges? I originally intended for the thing that became the sun to have a sharp edge but it looked horrible so I changed tacks.

I do like that they don't stink, clean up easily, and dry quickly.


Rachel Blum said...

Just started playing with acryclics, so take what I have to say with a grain of salt...

Mixing paints: A paint knife is a pretty decent way.

Gradients: You need to work wet in wet. Good thing is you can actually thin acrylics with water so they don't dry super-fast.

Here's an experiment with gradients:

Another one, using crosshatch instead of gradients:

Hope that helps, and have fun!

James McNeill said...

Thanks for the tips!

I asked some of my artist coworkers about acrylics. They recommended working in monochrome for starters, to have one less thing to worry about. You can apparently use the underpainting technique to get to a full-color painting from there.