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How messy is acrylic working?

Posted By DavidG4YVM Last Year
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DavidG4YVM
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As I compile my order for new media a frind has said how messy ecrylics are to use.

With watercolours in used to working neatly on a table in my conservatory but if acrylics are very messy I might need to reconsider where I work. Should I start a studio in an upstairs room I wonder...

D
Daveyboyz
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For me they aren't messy, and I work in a most unorthadox way... I usually paint on my bed!

There are some spots, and I put my sleeve in the paint and transferred it to my curtains but really all things considered I don't make a mess.   I use a pallet knife and have been using a sheet of perspex as a pallet (glass would be much better I think)  

Acrylic dries quickly and so if you do make a mess you better deal with it pronto, and keep on top of keeping your brushes clean but I think it is quite manageable to paint in most places without causing mayhem... especially if you have an easel/desk situation.   a sheet of newspaper on top and all should be well as long as you don't drop your brush in your lap or pallet on the floor (Because it is guaranteed to end face down) 
RobertJones
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I've never had a dedicated studio, probably too mean to acquire one.   In my present accommodation, which is a bed sit with attached kitchen and bathroom (fairly grotesque, don't go thinking it sounds idyllic) I have painted for the last 17 years in acrylic, oil, and watercolour.   The one medium I'm more careful with is pastel, because there's not much I can do about the dust, but the only time I've had any problem with messy media is when I dropped a bottle of masking fluid on my trousers, and that was obviously using watercolour.  

Very liquid acrylics will be mildly messier than heavy-bodied paint, but if you take DaveyB's precautions - you're painting ON your bed, not IN it, I trust?  Knowing me, I'd drop off to sleep with a brush in my hand if it were the latter - you should be no more vulnerable to mess than using any other medium.   

And we all make a bit of mess - where's the fun otherwise?  
SydEdward
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Davidg4 never mind what your friend says .Has he had sixty years of experience like me?
Acrylics are not messy but you haveto remember that you are painting with acrylic plastic and if you let it dry on your lap it is very difficult to,remove , unlike watercolour . So buy a chest and lap covering apron. You will need a palette to mix your paints on, like a piece of glass with the edges taped. You may want a Staywet palette later but I went for years without one..You are using a semi,liquid so get a plastic table cloth to take any splashes that may occur in. the frenzy of a masterpiece and dont drop your brush on the carpet if you have one under your table in your consevatory . So get your acrylics stuff or you will not experience the pleasure of unwrapping the wonderful materials we have discussed ....Go for it David lad ....Syd

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RobertJones
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Plastic tablecloth - good idea.  
EllenM
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Good advice from Syd. I work in the kitchen on a work top and also in the conservatory. I’ve got a roll of lining paper I’ve had for ages, bought from B&Q, I just cover all the surfaces with that and it works a treat, I keep reusing it until it’s really ditched.....comes in handy too when the grandchildren come and want to do painting.

Ellen
SydEdward
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David if you have another £5-95 get one of these grey things with the holesand a lid at the right of the photo. its a two section round water container and a winner over two jam jars for space alone......Syd

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DavidG4YVM
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Ah, now the round thing with holes in I have...bought by a good friend.  I tossed it into my box of stuff because I dont need it as a w/c painter but now I see she had prescience!!


D
SandraKennedy
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Acrylics are fantastic, go for it! I won't repeat the excellent advice you've already had from the experts, just endorse that if you take reasonable precautions (cover for table if you work on one and drop sheet on floor is a good idea as well) there should be no problems. Any "accidents" need to be dealt with fast. I actually find oils messier, seem to transfer paint from painting to clothes just by looking at the painting!
SandraKennedy
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Syd, what a lovely tidy workspace you have! What is the black object in the bottom right hand corner?
SylviaEvans
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Gosh Syd...sooooo tidy . Yes what is that black thingy bottom right?? David so much good advice . I have a cover thing I pull on over my head. It’s not been washed EVER . My kids reckon it’s worth framing so I might sign it before I go and it can be framed and flogged as an abstract.
Kitchen roll or loo roll also to hand to mop up the inevitable mess.
Most of the sleeves on my unposh garments ( where they are not covered by afore mentioned abstract coverall ) are covered in rainbow deposits... so don’t wear your Wedding/ Court/ Funeral suit .

Sylvia.
Marjorie
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David, still have a few of these left - Sylvia wanted a pink one a while ago. All made to measure....
Splosh
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If you really want to be messy, you can be as messy as you like.  But there is no need to be with acrylics.  In fact it is inadvisable to be as acrylic paint is a devil to get off and you may not be able too.  whereas watercolour and oils are mostly removable apart from the staining colours.  Best to get the Apron or a boiler suit if you are really messy.
DavidG4YVM
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Marjorie (3/27/2018)
David, still have a few of these left - Sylvia wanted a pink one a while ago. All made to measure....





Lol lol and tripple lol
DavidG4YVM
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I've always fancied an artists smock....nows my chance

SydEdward
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Sandra and Sylvia you will be astonished to learn that the black thing is a lid and its on a jar of UV gloss varnish i bought two years ago and has never been used seeing I just stack paintings unframed or even mounted. As a matter of interest and on another tack do you girls have a yearly visit to the optomerist like wot I do . just asking.......Syd 😀😀

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David You want a smock . Go to a charity shop and buy a large shirt to your choice of colour or pattern £3 should cover it.
its also easier to put on i think and the large size gives you the looseness wanted. A smock should be accompanied with a straw hat and a straw to chew on for the village idiot look.
A thing that has been bothering me when i think of my coservatory is that in summer its unusable at times because of the heat there. Quite unsuitable for humans and death to acrylic painting and the latter for most of the year due to quick drying at normal comfortable room temps. Soooo I advise you to use that spare room for your studio for this reason (Lucky man)
Syd

Syd Edward
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SandraKennedy
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Sorry Syd it was actually top right not bottom right, don't know why I said bottom right. On a closer look it is a large square box so likely contains art materials. And yes, I do get a regular visit to the optometrist although I get called back at about 18 month intervals. Eyes are OK, just said bottom when I meant top! Put it down to having a senior moment!
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I have an apron and a boiler suit for when I'm using acrylics. I seem to get in a mess when I use them - my boiler suit has paint in the middle of the back for instance - and I have a decorating sheet for the floor. My advice would be to cover everything you care about! It's very difficult to get out of fabrics especially once it's dried.

By contrast, with watercolour I am very tidy. I don't think I've ever made a mess where I didn't mean to.

Kay M
DavidG4YVM
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Acrylics does seem to be a lot messier in my imagination.

Maybe I have a dirty imagination
SydEdward
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Sandra indeed its a small wooden box with drawers for odds and ends and tubes of Viridian and Thalo gren red shade that Imhavent the heart to bin. tThings like that .Sylvia thats your answer if you are still there......Syd

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David have you missed my post re. smocks and conservatory painting just a few posts up.....Syd

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DavidG4YVM
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Syd

Thanks for the info. Probably right about the shirt, though id need xxxxxl


As for conservatory heat...thanks

D
DavidG4YVM
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Syd

Thanks for the info. Probably right about the shirt, though id need xxxxxl


As for conservatory heat...thanks

D
DavidG4YVM
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Syd

Thanks for the info. Probably right about the shirt, though id need xxxxxl


As for conservatory heat...thanks

D


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