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JuniperCake
Jan 26, 2013


al-azad posted:

What kind of paper do you recommend for acrylics? I use heavy, rough watercolor paper for watercolors but I find when using acrylics I can't build up layers. I think it's because the paper is absorbing the paint and causing it to blend instead of layer.

This is really thirsty paper. I have about 20 seconds to do wet-in-wet before it's bone dry.

Take this with a grain of salt as I don't use acrylic often but I've had some success with Bristol board for it. I've been able to build up layers on it and while it still dries pretty quick (without a medium at least), it'll give you more than 20 seconds to work with it. Not confident its the best solution but I think it would produce better results than watercolor paper.

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JuniperCake
Jan 26, 2013


DisDisDis posted:

fancy brushes?



Honestly if the brushes you had gave you good results for five years of constant use then I would probably just buy the ones you like and are used to. Raphael is one of the best brands and it's really hard to go wrong with them anyways.

If you wanted to explore other options besides your mongoose brushes, the Raphael Kolinsky Sable rounds along with the Winsor Series 7 Kolinsky rounds are pretty much considered to be the best in class for things like inking/detail/fine linework (and I like them as watercolor brushes as well). These brushes are very expensive however, so if you do go for them, get whichever is cheaper of the two for your Kolinsky brush. Both lines are solid and should last a long time if you take good care of them.

For oils I find that natural/hog bristle brushes last a long time and work pretty well especially if you end up using a fair amount of paint on the brush. You'll still need some softer brushes for details like a sable/synthetic flat or something similar like your mongoose but you don't want to use soft brushes exclusively because oil/solvents are very hard on them. That said you should definitely buy a cheap bristle first to see if you like that kind of brush before going out and spending money on a Raphael or other high quality bristle. I know some oil painters who hate bristles so much they'll exclusively use sable/synthetics for oil and just live with the fact that they go through lots of brushes.

Though definitely make sure you have a separate set of brushes for oils, and a separate set for water soluble media. That is not stuff you want to mix together.

I can't speak about acrylic as I don't use it personally, but I know there are quite a few around here who do so one of them should be able to give you good recommendations for that medium.

JuniperCake
Jan 26, 2013


DisDisDis posted:

Thanks so much! I now have a way better understanding of brushes. Unfortunately I wasn't fast enough pulling the trigger on one of those Kolinsky rounds while they were on sale and now they're all (indefinitely?) backordered

They'll come back so don't worry. I'm not up to speed on how the market for high end brushes actually works, but they definitely fluctuate a bit in terms of availability and cost at least on Amazon. Just keep checking Amazon now and again and wait for the ones you want to show up at a reasonable price. Could always try ordering directly from the company too.

JuniperCake
Jan 26, 2013


DisDisDis posted:

A round brush should be holding a point, even if it's pretty large right? I'm guessing it's my fault for de-stiffening it by running it under the sink but this one splits into multiple points when dry/medium wet and some of the outer hairs are bent out. I haven't even painted with the thing yet :c

(I promise to actually post art the next time I post in here)

Yeah. A round brush that cant hold a point is not a good round. Running it under the sink shouldn't have ruined it though unless the water was like all the way on or something maybe. Smashing the bristles with your fingers (gently squeezing the sides of it to get water/paint out is okay), painting with it too roughly (like smashing it point first into the canvas), letting it sit bristles down in your water cup/mineral spirits or just letting paint dry on it could hurt it though especially if you make a habit of that kind of treatment.

And some brushes are just made poorly even from otherwise good companies, it just happens sometimes. That might have been what happened to you.

If you are in an art store that provides water ( most of the major ones like Jerry's will) there is a test you can do for rounds. Remove the glue with the water gently, then tap the metal part of the brush firmly against your wrist while the bristles are still wet. If your brush is a good brush, this will cause it to instantly form a perfect point. If it fails to do this, or it kinda does this but lots of hairs are fraying out or something then you know you have a bad brush.

JuniperCake fucked around with this message at Nov 20, 2014 around 09:55

JuniperCake
Jan 26, 2013


TheNBucket posted:

Thanks, I kind of see it now, when I look at the original picture. Guess I have to play around with some colors to un-round it.

edit: and by colors I'm talking shades of grey

Speaking of greys, you could use a little more variation in your values. Your piece is looking a little washed out compared to the original and sorting your planes out would also help a bit in dealing with the structural issues you are having. Like look at the nose in your painting vs the original, the shadows have more darks and the lights have more light and you can clearly distinguish the top of the bridge vs the side of it. You can also see more of the bottom of the nose in the original than you show. You're depicting it as a line, but it's really more of a triangle-ish shape with one nostril visible.
You are also missing shading entirely in a few areas, such as the skin above her lip, the shadow cast by her nose, and you need to extend the shadow on her headwrap up a bit more too, etc. If you are using cream/tan paper you may need to break out the white (or at least something that's a little lighter than the paper) for highlights and push the darks more to get that much needed contrast.

It might help to convert the picture you took of the piece to greyscale (along with a picture of the original) and do a comparison to see how it matches up. Sometimes color can get in the way, so sometimes its helpful to convert to greyscale in order to check for accuracy.

JuniperCake fucked around with this message at Mar 10, 2015 around 19:28

JuniperCake
Jan 26, 2013


Turpenoid still smells but it's a bit better than mineral spirits. That said, I'd worry more about pastel and charcoal dust over time than stuff like turpenoid or gamsol. (seriously if you do a lot of pastel, put on a mask if you don't want the lungs of a coal miner)

It's just a fact that most art supplies will probably kill you if it gets in your blood stream. Between Lead, Cadmium, Chromium, Cobalt, hell Holbein even still has Mercury in their artist grade vermillion red, etc, theres plenty of stuff that is potentially harmful. But you should be okay if you use common sense.

Don't eat or drink while using hazardous stuff, use a mask for stuff that has airborne particles and maybe use a liquid glove if you paint. If you are really worried, look up the pigment you are using (its the code that reads like PB 29) then check it against a list to see whats actually in your paint tube. Names are sometimes misleading but the pigment stuff is standardized so you should always be able to go by that.

That said, if you are just safe with your materials and don't chew on your brushes or huff the spirits you should be fine. The heavy metal based pigments tend to be beautiful and long lasting so don't be afraid of them. Also they are in acrylic and watercolor paints as well, so it's not just an oil thing.

JuniperCake fucked around with this message at Mar 20, 2015 around 20:10

JuniperCake
Jan 26, 2013


drat, that's pretty impressive progress. You have some really nice stuff there.

TheNBucket posted:

I really love those drawings.

What is the "no line" thing you're talking about? Is it about not sketching the person through lines, and instead use value to naturally create a "line"/distinction between two objects?
If that's the case, how do you organize everything?

Its the planes/shapes approach as opposed to focusing on contour. For being organized about it, best advice I've ever been given is to: start with a middle tone (such as use grey paper like he did, or cover white paper with charcoal dust and just erase out the lights instead of drawing in shadows) and work from broad to specific. Identify which shapes in the figure are lit and those that are in shadow for the whole piece before you even worry about detail. Then add core shadows and highlights,etc after you've established your base values.

Taking steps back to look at your work as a whole helps as well, and you can still measure and use negative space just as you would in a contour drawing. In fact you can just start with a contour to get your measurements and shapes down, then just put the value drawing over there and ignore the contours/guide lines once you don't need that info anymore. It's not too difficult to stay organized so long as you are always mindful of how the piece looks as a whole and don't just work on small areas in isolation right from the get go.

If you've never done a value drawing before, look up value spheres and do a few of those. They are a bit simple but they do a really good job of teaching how to work with value.

JuniperCake
Jan 26, 2013


Shnooks posted:

Speaking of oils - what's the consensus on oil painting inside of an apartment? I live in a very small apartment but I miss my oil paints so much. I switched to gouache in college and it was OK for a while but I love the flexibility of oils. I guess theoretically I could just go and paint outside on nice days.

How's the fume situation typically? I remember being lightheaded after 5 hours in the oil painting studio and that room wasn't very big.

Well you can get at least a little ventilation with an open window and/or a small fan. It might also to help to try odor-less turpenoid or gamsol instead of regular turpentine if you are having problems. Turpentine is noxious as hell so switching to an alternative should make a difference, not that I'm convinced turpenoid or other odorless spirits are 100% safe (they are still strong solvents after all) but they are definitely less intense. So that combined with finding some way to ventilate the space a little might be enough to make you feel better about painting indoors. I would definitely not linger in the room you paint in if that's an option, like don't paint in your bedroom just before bed.

Other than that not sure, I kinda figure most of the stuff I work with will probably kill me so I just try to take what precautions I can and then not worry too much after that. Maybe it's not the best answer but if someone has a better way to go about things I'd also be interested in hearing it.

JuniperCake fucked around with this message at May 23, 2015 around 03:18

JuniperCake
Jan 26, 2013


TheNBucket posted:

One of the dangers with odorless turpentine is that you cannot smell it. You could be inhaling a lot of fumes after you've stopped painting, but not know it.
The cup I used to wash my brushes in smelt for several days after I got rid of the turpentine in it.

I'm pretty paranoid about it, so I've stuck to acrylics, even though it can get frustrating at times.

Can't speak for all odorless mineral spirits but I've used turpenoid and while it's labeled odorless you can definitely smell it. Course even if you don't linger in the room when you aren't painting you'll obviously still be exposed to some extent while actually painting whether you smell it or not.

JuniperCake
Jan 26, 2013


TheNBucket posted:

So far I've not used turps to thin it out, because of the fumes. Instead I start out with 'straight-from-tube' and eventually I use more and more linseed oil mixed into it.
I'm not sure if linseed oil + paint is thicker than just paint.

Adding linseed oil to paint will slow the drying time compared to paint out of the tube. Oil = Fat, it still follows the fat over lean rule. So yeah, you want your outer most layers to have the most oil, so sounds like you are doing it right.

Also you can use turpenoid, gamsol or other odorless mineral spirits to reduce your risk of fume related dangers if you want a turp alternative. It's nice to be able to start with a wash that dries quickly. If you want a medium that might be a good alternative for your initial layers, you can also try Galkyd. That will make your paint more fluid and hasten the drying time instead of slowing it like the linseed oil does.

JuniperCake fucked around with this message at Aug 14, 2015 around 00:49

JuniperCake
Jan 26, 2013


TheNBucket posted:

I used to do Acryllic paintings, so I use acryllics for initial stages.

How do you clean your fingers properly? Water and soap plus alot of rubbing, or is there a good technique?

I don't know if there's a "proper" way, I just use soap. I've used the pumice stuff and the little hand scrubbers and those are nice as well as the brush soap, but I think even reg soap should work in a pinch if you don't mind washing your hands a few times. I use liquid glove before I paint so I like to think that helps make clean up easier but I can't really tell half the time if that stuff even works.

I believe someone in the thread mentioned that certain plastic gloves work pretty well so I think I might give those a try. But that's less for easy clean up and more the fact that I want to cut my exposure to stuff like cadmium/lead and all the other heavy metals that some of the good pigments are made out of. Though I imagine that would make cleaning your hands pretty easy at least.

JuniperCake
Jan 26, 2013


poemdexter posted:

Coworker convinced me to take a painting class with her so I did. I'm a software developer by trade and have no business holding a paintbrush, but I literally cannot stop it's so fun.

<Neat Stuff>

Those are really awesome, especially for your first foray into painting. I love your cantaloupe studies in particular but the others are great too.

Keep it up, you got a knack for this!

JuniperCake
Jan 26, 2013


girl pants posted:

Thanks for this! I find my pencil sketches always super obvious underneath watercolor-- can you suggest any way to make it less obvious? Maybe I need to use a lighter hand when I sketch...

Sometimes its not bad to have the initial sketch show through a little bit. Matter of taste and all that.

But if you want the sketch to not show, just go over it several times with a kneaded eraser before you add ink and/or watercolor. Get it pretty faint but just there enough that you can see stuff so you can add what you want. Also if you ink before you watercolor and wait for the ink to dry you can take some time to clean up the marks a bit more before you get to paint. Also if something happens to be stubborn and hard to get rid of, can consider covering it with something opaque (goache, gesso, various mediums, whatever).

JuniperCake
Jan 26, 2013


Dreadwroth posted:

I'm curious what you guys thought of the pastel pieces I posted earlier in the thread. They're going to eventually be bigger pieces on galvanized steel sheets done with acrylic or enamel paint and be around 3 by 4 foot panels.

I like your designs and your color choices over all. I think the green one with the red background is the best of the lot in particular. The gradient you got going from green to blue is pretty cool. I see you tried to do something similiar in the red blue one, but its too subtle to really notice it as clearly as the other. Also for red/blue one the composition seems a bit cramped. If that's on purpose, then you should maybe think about having the tentacles overlap a lot more (use some foreshortening and make some of them recede or approach so its not mostly side to side, the bottom three on the right in particular need the most work) or just exaggerate how you have them bunch up in places like its confined in a box or a tight space. Really play that up. As it is, it looks like you just ran out of room. If you don't want it to look cramped, then consider something like just having the tentacles go off the page or something like that.

Another thing to think about is to to maybe work in some more variation in texture and push in your values more. Especially in the eyes, you need some more dark and some stronger lights than you use if you really want them to look wet and stand out from the rest. Your eye on the green one is a lot better than the two on the other. The tentacles could use a little more variation too, maybe put some more darks in where they turn away from the light or tuck under one another to add a bit more depth/interest. Again you did that in the green one in places and it works, but the other one could really use a bit more.

Overall they are neat, and you should definitely keep it up with the pastel work. It's a really fun medium.

JuniperCake
Jan 26, 2013


dog nougat posted:

I'm using mostly Windsor & Newton with a bit of Holbein (non acrylic) and schmincke for my white. Paper is hot press, I forget brand..it was an old scrap. Seems like a creme strathmoore about 120lb. It's a solid paper, but I can't seem to use wet media very well with it.

My paint did sit around for a while, so some separation of the gum Arabic and fillers/pigments occurred, not really sure how to remix tubed paint. I have a vial of gum Arabic anyway if needed. I'm currently just using straight thinner and paint which is probably part of my problem. The other is that I painted relatively great when the paint was fresh on my pallet but it's since dried somewhat and reviving it is weird. I'm kinda treating it like block watercolors.

As for brushes, I have a solid amount of cheap sable brushes up to 6 round. Several larger wash and brights that I believe are synthetic. Then there's the liners. Zen brush acrylic bristles. They are actually OK bristle wise, but they seem to leak water in a weird way... They have hollow handles and drip water from the ferrule. I can't get the paint to flow well with them especially. They're super small though.

It's mostly working with gouache once it's dried on my pallet I guess that's giving me the problem. It's a transportable watercolor pallet FYI. Should I treat it like regular paint and only use fresh? Which would certainly waste a poo poo load of paint that way... Or I'm imagining the correct way is that I can totally rejuvenate semi dried water media. I'm just unsure how to do so.

Uh, when you say thinner you mean water right? Cause Goauche (non acrylic) is essentially just watercolor mixed with an opacifier like opaque white. If you are using turpentine with watercolor that's probably why it wont work when you re-wet it. Your pallete is fine, you can use it as long as you want without cleaning it so long as the colors aren't all muddied together, water will bring the paint back even if it's been dry a long time. You can even rework like, 100 year old gouache paintings with just a wet brush. Gouache is always workable, that's one of the benefits of the medium. Provided you don't mix anything weird with it that is.

W&N and Holbein make decent gouache, just like with any paint make sure you use their artist line not the student, other than that it doesn't terrible matter much between the two.

JuniperCake fucked around with this message at Feb 7, 2016 around 07:38

JuniperCake
Jan 26, 2013


Carotid posted:

Still on an ornate ladies kick:



Good lord, Daniel Smith watercolors are SO vibrant

Daniel Smith is the absolute best brand.

JuniperCake
Jan 26, 2013


Argue posted:

Is gouache safe to dispose of down the bathroom sink? How about its waste water?

Every watercolorist I know washes their brushes in the sink and Non-acrylic gouache is essentially opaque watercolor. Also since you can re-activate dried gouache with water (just like watercolor) you really don't have a need to dispose of paint most of the time. So the minimal amounts you put down the sink won't do much. It's water soluble so it's not gonna get stuck in your pipes either.

Not that there's zero risk, some of the high quality stuff will still have heavy metal pigments but they lack the corrosive-ness of oils or the plastic-y ness of acrylics. Course if you are using earthtones then dirt is dirt. All and all I wouldn't worry too much about it.

Not sure about acrylic gouache, I don't have much experience with those.

JuniperCake
Jan 26, 2013


a hole-y ghost posted:

And traditional gesso sounds like a fun little project to try out.

If you are going traditional, go all the way traditional. Go with rabbit skin glue, just like ye olden days. It will make the canvas much more taut than acrylic gesso and generally feels much nicer to paint on (after sizing the canvas you can play it like a drum which is an added bonus).

Though you'll want to stretch your own canvas if you do that since most pre-made canvases will be gesso'd with acrylic already. If you use the glue, only use the glue and dont mix it with any other kind of gesso or anything acrylic at all.

It's definitely more work but it's also kinda cool to be sizing canvas just like the old masters did it. Worth trying at least once to see if you like it.

JuniperCake
Jan 26, 2013


I agree with your friend as well. I think if watercolor teaches anything its how to plan and that's valuable no matter the medium.

Though yeah, I've seen some people in particular fine art circles make dismissive comments about watercolors. Maybe because it used to be used in commercial illustration back in day? It feels like a hang up with people who are way too focused on prestige over substance.

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JuniperCake
Jan 26, 2013


Dr. VooDoo posted:

So Iím looking to start with watercolors (a friend has even given me some supplies for a holiday gift ) and Iíve started to look online for learning tips and information on using the medium but Iíve noticed something a little odd. A lot of artist forums and posts seem to try to dissuade people from watercolors in favor of acrylic or oils painting instead, stating that water colors are looked down upon or wonít be given the time of day because itís seen as a beneath high or fine art circles. Is this just internet garbage or is watercolors really seen as inferior to other painting mediums and if so is there a reason? Iím a little baby just taking my first steps into the arting ocean so sorry if this is a dumb thing to ask

It's true for fine art circles not so for illustrator circles and other art venues. You absolutely shouldn't be persuaded to ditch a medium based on what's trendy in fine art however. There's plenty (and more reliable and less soul crushing) ways to make money from art outside of gallery circles. Besides, if you decide you want to get into a gallery later, having multiple mediums will be beneficial. Maybe the gallery you sign up with only wants a particular kind of art from you, and that will leave you free to market and sell your watercolors most likely. (Some gallerys might still be mad at this but others won't so long as it doesn't directly compete with them.). If getting into a "highend" gallery is not a concern to you then that's even more a reason not to care about what they think.

As far as the reason I'm not sure. My guess would be stuff like watercolor/gouache/etc were the medium of choice for commercial art and illustrators before digital. So that might be where some of the stigma comes from, watercolor is certainly as rich and complete an artform as any other. It was the go-to for academic painters for quick sketches so that might also have something to do with it. It's very easy to get a small watercolor kit and a sketchbook and go out and paint whatever you want. It's great that way.

So yeah, gently caress fine art circles, go out and have fun with watercolor. Besides, even if you do eventually switch to a different painting medium I guarantee your time spent learning watercolor will not be wasted. There is so much any painter can learn from watercolor in particular.

JuniperCake fucked around with this message at Dec 12, 2018 around 14:53

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