Friday, November 1, 2013


'madame butterfly' ~ acrylic paint, soft pastels, mica, and caran d'ache neocolor II crayons on canvas panel, 4" x 6"

a few weeks ago i took the plunge and ordered enough acrylic paints  to give them a fair try...

acrylic paint in stillman and birn gamma

this was my first painting.  i figured the writing could only help...  :)

 acrylic paint in stillman and birn gamma

hours later, this was my third.   i think i quit for the day after this - exhausted from the effort of learning!


i ordered all heavy body paints, mostly sennelier.   these are the 'face colors': white, titan buff, flesh ochre (i am unable to resist an ochre), yellow ochre, raw sienna, brown ochre, raw umber and payne's gray.


and this is the masterson's sta-wet palette (i got the small 'handy palette') that i learned about from gillian.   it makes *all* the difference - you can paint with no worries about your paint drying out.   most of the paint on the palette in the pic has been there for days.  flesh ochre and raw sienna dry out overnight no matter how moist i keep the sponge, so i only put tiny amounts of them out at a time.   the palette 'paper' seems to be indestructible.  i use a palette knife to scrape any dry paint off, and then put fresh down.   it took a while to figure out how wet to get the sponge - too wet and your paint gets watery, too dry and it starts to dry out.  with a little practice, you can figure this out, though.   i add a little water to the sponge every day, which seems to work best once you've got your paints on there.

'short story' ~ acrylic paint, caran d'ache neocolor II crayons, and soft pastels on canvas panel, 4" x 6"

i'm having a blast with them...  it's so easy to put down a bunch of layers and play.  i like that i have to work way faster than with oils or watercolors.  i think it helps keep things spontaneous.   and if i don't like what i've done, i cover it up.

now i just need more colors...  :)


54 comments:

  1. I love the wistfulness of the first and last paintings, they are such delicate a delicate use of acrylics, your colours soft and gentle where most people (including me) tend to go for the brightness acrylics can achieve. I shall learn from this lovely post and try to quieten down my paintings - thank you for the nudge in that direction.

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    1. thank you, jez... using other mediums (in addition to the acrylic paint) helps with the wistful/soft look. soft pastels are especially helpful; just 'fix' them in place with gel medium or varnish.

      xoxo

      xoxo

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  2. of course i love madame butterfly... how could you not.
    i need to stay away from dick blick ...i did browse the sennelier acylics ...yikes .
    and on jerry artarama they have a mini sennnelier water color set ...walk away kathy
    xxoo

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    1. ha! i'm not sure it's possible for either of us to walk away from sennelier anything. ; )

      love

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  3. Madame Butterfly is really, really cool. Everything about her is wonderful.

    I went to Dick Blick to view that palette, so .... you have to purchase liner papers and sponge liners? I have never used this sort of product before. I know this is a silly question, but how do you use it? Is it meant to 'store' your paints if you put down too much paint on the palette so they can stay wet.. and .. I'm sure it is meant to keep the paints wet while you are painting. If you have the time, I would love to know more.

    Thanks, Lynne.
    Have a great weekend.
    (P. S. I posted a new painting inspired by YOU! :)

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    1. hey joan...

      i think 5 paper liners and 3 sponges come with the palette, and this will be enough to last for a very long time. yes, it's meant to keep the paints moist (just as they are when they come out of the tube/bottle) for a long time. days, in some cases; it depends on the color. but it will definitely keep any color moist during a painting session. when you're done painting you just snap the lid back on. the relative humidity is low where i live, so it's *very* helpful to me.

      i have just been to your place and am smiling... : )

      did i answer your questions? let me know if not...

      xoxo

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  4. oh goodness, Lynne - such beautiful use of acrylics! Love the bolder/richer look of your ladies.

    There's a golden acrylic product called 'open acrylic medium' - comes in matte or gloss & allows more working time on the paper/canvas/board. Can mush is around like oils. I think you would like it :)

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    1. hiya judy!

      yeah, i do know about the 'open acrylic medium'... liquitex makes one too (i'm a liquitex gal because their products have very little or no smell). i might try it... ha ha, i will most likely try it. ; )

      thank you for your nice words. your paintings are an inspiration...

      xoxo

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  5. Lynne, Seems you are having great fun. You know I am an oil girl forever more, but we work differently, so I can see why you would want to learn acrylics. Good luck and keep up the good work/play :-). Love and hugs. xoxo

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    1. annie, here's to keeping up the good play forever. ; )

      xoxo

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  6. I am excited for you Lynne, welcome to the wild and crazy world of acrylics and can I just say that great minds think alike, I had to smile cuz yesterday I was in our local blick and picked up that very same palette, I was so tired of wasting paint and decided it was worth a try and I've not had a chance to use it yet but after reading your fab review know I made the right choice, I also picked up a spare pack of the liners so I know I should be good for awhile. So far it looks like you are having a blast.

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    1. ha! laughing about the palette, susie... yeah, great minds think alike... : ) you'll be good for a *long* time with a spare pack of liners.

      xoxo

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  7. they are wonderful, its so interesting to see your landscape too. its just gorgeous. I use that type of palate, mine is big because I put out so many colors, just the greens alone make me dizzy )). I've got some sennelier, and though I like the texture it seems the colors are off. Especially in the blues. Do you find that? I've also got this two welled deep water basin with holes for brushes that has really helped.
    Every time DB has free shipping for a fifty dollar minimum order I sigh..........and order more supplies!

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    1. hey julie... : )

      smiling about the greens.... i *know*!

      i don't think i have enough sennelier colors to know if they seem off. i don't have any blues... most of the colors i got besides 'face colors' are other brands; i wanted to see how they compared. i liked sennelier and m. graham best, but i think from now on i'll get liquitex soft body paints. i don't think i really *need* heavy body paints since mostly i just want to smear them around, not create a lot of texture.

      xoxo

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  8. fun to hear that you are having fun
    I enjoy acrylics and then i don't
    but i do what you do and if i don't like something add another layer or 6 ;-)
    so fun to see your pieces Lynne, even your palette looks pretty to me. xo

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    1. lol, tammie, another layer or 6 for sure. : )

      and i can understand liking them and then not. i don't think i'd want them to be the *only* medium i painted in...

      love...

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  9. Ha ha-the endless temptation of more colours! Love what you have done so far, especially the first picture. Looks kind of Elizabethan mixed with science fiction. I have not used acrylics, or indeed done much painting for ages. Recently I have been gluing and stamping in a kind of mindless way that I have enjoyed. When I do use acrylics I use a piece of wet newspaper or kitchen towel underneath a piece of greaseproof paper. Works well. Keep on enjoying!

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    1. lol, yeah, sarah - elizabethan meets sci-fi... : )

      that's a good idea about greaseproof paper over a wet towel. i don't know if we have that kind of paper here in the states! we probably do and i just have no idea that's what it is...

      i'm keeping up with you on your blog - but not commenting. i *like* your stamping and gluing. but you know i love your art...

      xoxo

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  10. Love Madam Butterfly , poor Evelyn graffiti head lol knew u would get used to acrylics ,know its a pain with them drying up and all , i also use a home made stay wet palette and keep it in the fridge and find it lasts well ... the third one the old Lynne is coming through lol and love the little scene , i like the little glowing angel watching over the house be nice to think we all have one ...like u i lean towards the neutrals they rock my boat , but then being a Leo those primary colours keep shouting at me lol
    luv ya

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    1. ha ha, yes, my dear bev... the old lynne is definitely coming through in the third one...

      i'm a virgo and those primary colors shout at me... but yeah, being a leo i imagine it's like they have a bullhorn aimed in your direction. ; )

      xoxo

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  11. Happy to hear you got the stay wet palette. I have that in my cart right now. I'm currently working in oil..a portrait. I go back and forth with watercolors, acrylic, oil, etc. I just can't stick to one medium. I also need to order acrylics. Was thinking about Golden's artist heavy body...pricey, considering all the colors I want. ha ha. Great results with your acrylics.

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    1. hey darlene!

      i hear you on the need to work in different mediums... each is unique...

      i think the next acrylics i order are going to be liquitex soft body. i like that liquitex paints don't smell, and i also don't think that i need heavy body paints. i just need some color to smear around quickly. and, the soft body acrylics come in lots of colors. very important...

      thank you for your nice words... : )

      xoxo

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  12. Oh, Lynne - I want to 'read' more of these short stories! Glad you took the dive into acrylics, which are one of my faves. Enjoy! -sus

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    1. sus, believe me, i want to *write* more of these short stories!

      xoxo

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  13. I always admire your fearless exploration of materials. I am a bit of a turtle in this regard. All the media seem to suit your extraordinary peeps! You were the one that got me on to the water soluble oils which I am smitten with as you can work them for so long. I think acrylics dry to fast for my snail like nature! Also discovered the neocolour II this Spring which I totally love.
    Always love to come by and see what you've been up to and what delights you've created.

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    1. carole, i didn't know you got the watersoluble oils! yeah, they're nice... my impatience has driven me to acrylics, though. which i never thought i'd do, seeing as to how they're made with a petroleum product base. alas, i justified it in various ways. ; )

      neocolor II crayons were my first painting love, and i'm still crazy about them.

      xoxo

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  14. I am grinning at your writing on your first attempt...but more than that I am LOVING your paintings here. All so lovely, soulful and beautifully painted.

    Must get a stay wet palette! It's going to be on my next art supply order. :)

    xo

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    1. thank you, lisa, and yeah... i think you must get a sta-wet palette. : )

      xoxo

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  15. I am so looove your work!! My fave this post is the sweet last one! with its dark, but happy colors ♥ Conny
    Piaroms Art Journaling

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    1. thank you, conny... i like that painting, too... : )

      xoxo

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  16. lynne, I think you have nothing to worry about- you seem to learn to use new media like you were born to them. I have to consider for several years before trying such a thing! I love Madam Butterfly, and I can't believe you painted this after only a couple of days of experimentation.
    you are amazing! (but then, I already knew that.) xxoo

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    1. sharmon, it was after a few weeks of painting with acrylics that i painted madame butterfly. a few days of experimentation did not lead to much that was noteworthy... : ) by the time i painted madame butterfly i'd begun to learn how to incorporate other media and that made *all* the difference.

      but still, i appreciate your nice words. : )

      xoxo

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  17. Aha, the seduction of acrylics!
    It was love at first try for me.
    Have you explored the gel mediums as well.
    Enjoy. xo Carole

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    1. well, i've been a lover of matte gel medium for years, but other than that i've only tried mixing liquitex gloss varnish with matte medium to make my own mixture, and i love that. do you have any other recommendations? : )

      love

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  18. Looking wonderful, Lynne! Madame Butterfly is quite exquisite!

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    1. thank you, lulu! i appreciate that!

      xoxo

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  19. I am adoring Madame Butterfly. How rich an effect the mixture of all the juicy tools makes ! ENjoy your explorations, Amazing One !

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    1. thank you and waving my dear Big Heart!

      xoxo

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  20. oh how i gasp every time i visit. madame butterfly is a stunner lynne. i love how you incorporate the soft pastels, i think they always make colors so much more real and interesting at the same time.

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    1. oh constanza, i absolutely agree about soft pastels. they're like laying down magic...

      love...

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  21. Yay on the acrylics, Lynne. I think the more you try them out the more you will love using them. I'm going to try the sta-wet palette - I've never used one before and I have wasted way too much paint!
    I usually stick with only 5 or 6 colors and mix those to complete whatever color palette I need. I use titanium white, burnt sienna, payne's gray, quinocridon gold (from Daniel Smith) which can be mixed to create beautiful variations of yellow, ochre, and orangey-brown, rich gold and a lovely fresh green with a little cobalt blue Golden brand I like the best. Lately I've added raw umber to my color palette to get browns, dark greens or near black. I use all various brands because I like the particular variations in color from certain brands. I like a fairly blue payne's gray so I use Grumbacher brand for that. To me their paynes gray is different in color from other brands. I just recently bought a set of my usual colors from Daler Rowney of heavy body acrylic because they were supposed to be similar to oils in use and finished product - but I honestly could not tell the difference from my usual brands. I'm not picky about titanium white and I use a lot of that so I use liquitex basics for white and it works fine. It's a little soft, but it hasn't been a problem. I rarely use red or black in my palette so I don't buy those colors premixed, I never use premixed yellow either. I like how acrylic can be put on thick, or watered down like washes.
    Can you tell I'm excited you are trying acrylics! I love Madame Butterfly - you are inspiring me to start painting again. I've been on hiatus for the last six months, and done most of my painting in my head. Been thinking a lot about where to go from here with my art and haven't come up with any answers yet!
    xOlivia

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    1. olivia, *thank you* for all this information! i appreciate it! i'm going to order some new paints soon from blick, and what you wrote is helpful. i'm going to try mostly soft body paints (liquitex)... it's good to know that the titanium white 'basics' is acceptable, though. i go through gobs of titanium white... and i agree that all payne's greys are not the same and i have my favs too. i like all of them, but especially ones with more of a green cast. it's fascinating to me how different colors (and paints) can be.

      you should definitely try the sta-wet palette - it'll keep your mixes moist for a long time...

      i need to use raw umber more often to darken colors... i tend to always use paynes grey.

      thank you again for all of this... : )

      love...

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  22. Sorry I went on so long - I talk too much!
    xxOlivia

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  23. the wet palette is the bomb !
    xxoo

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  24. Love madame butterfly-- and the opera, alike, such depths. Also loved ur tumblr quotes today.

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  25. You are a natural with any media because your art is so personal. I think what you have done already is wonderful and am looking forward to seeing more. Thanks for the visit..

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    1. julie, thank you for the nice words... and for the visit. : )

      xoxo

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  26. Acrylic can look very harsh sometimes because of the short drying time and I struggle to paint a face with them because it's difficult to get any blending of tones. Your talent is shining through and I hope you do more for us to see!
    Jess xx

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    1. thank you, jess, and i couldn't agree more... i've decided that i need to water acrylics down considerably because i'm such a blending freak. it's been a steep learning curve and one on which i'm currently stalled. ; )

      xoxo

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  27. hello Lynne, i just admired your acrylics, you managed to keep that softness and translucency which i love n your watercolors, not easy to achieve with acrylic paint.
    a new material is a new adventure, looking forward to more work, xx

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  28. Glad to see you try Acrylic painting. I find it very challenging.
    Press on :).

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