Should I try acrylics?

You must log in to interact with the forum threads.

Please note: Our website relaunched on the 18/09/2019 and to access your old forum account, you will need to follow our upgrade procedure here to reinstate your old website account.

Hang on Studio Wall
Showing page 1 of 2
I fancy having a bash at acrylics but will the different techniques I require spoil it slow down my progress with watercolours? Or Am i just overthinking this? D
It can't hurt to try acrylics, I can only see it adding rather than subtracting from your artistic abilities. You may find it hard work in comparison to watercolour though, having just tried watercolour it seems so much more convenient, less changing/washing brushes...all the colours are there in front and available so less issues opening and closing tubes, mixing too much or too little paint etc.
You're overthinking it. In my opinion - though mind you, I think I'd have made faster and more uniform progress if I'd specialized in one medium rather than indulging myself in three or more. If you want to try an acrylic that behaves, in certain respects though most definitely not in all, like watercolour, go for a liquid type - there are several, Chromacolour is one I like. If on the other hand you want something completely different from watercolour, so that you don't confuse yourself, try Daler Rowney's Cryla, a heavy-body acrylic that I also like a lot. But what you should be careful not to do is get your more expensive brushes mixed up with those you use for acrylic - it's very hard indeed on sable, if you have those, and will quickly ruin them. Synthetics work much better with acrylic, or even hogs.
Well there you are - can't get much more experienced than that! I am but a lissom youth compared to Syd, but I've been using acrylics since ca. 1965 and have been gratified to note the improvements in quality and colour ranges over the years; System 3 is a very good paint, by the same company that makes Cryla, and comes between the very liquid paints and the heavier bodied ones. Yes, get stuck in - there are many, many additives, mediums, methods, types of acrylic, and few of the technical problems you can encounter with oils.
Hey David as a new user to acrylics myself (4 weeks) I've found learning acrylic is honing my skills as a watercolorist, it makes me think harder before I paint as mistakes are not as easily corrected. good luck =)
Syd, I've been wanting to ask you this for a while and here is a perfect opportunity. I would really be interested to know what attracted you to acrylics in the very early days (I think you've said that you've used them since the 1950s) and at that time they would have been a very new (and I think not particularly accepted medium at first ?). New medium, you would have been established in a different medium (watercolour?), so what was it? And then what did you like enough about them to continue, before the improvements in colour and quality that Robert mentions have taken place over the time? The artists working in acrylic that I know have all started since the medium became "mainstream" and a lot of the improvements had taken place, I've never known anyone who started with them in their infancy.
Thanks Syd. Ok on that link. (for those who are interested it was a set of colours by System 3, cheap as chips as a set but as Syd says, their colours not mine.) I'll have a bash. I'll buy a couple of yellows, blues, reds, umbers and a paynes of black and a white. Maybe not even that many...might be fun to try a limited pallete....Blues and white ho ho. Thanks again Syd D
I don't think System 3 are under-pigmented at all - and of all the people on this site, I'm one who's the first to moan about that. I'd never used them until someone gave me a set (bought by an artist who was too ill to go on working, and has since, sadly, died) but I use them a lot now. So Syd can consider himself endorsed. They flow beautifully off the brush, too.
Get big ones, David. And a few smaller ones as well, for the detail. Black hogs are good brushes. Oh ah, and while I think of it - big tubes are a good idea, stops you being niggardly, which is death to spontaneous painting. Just remember with acrylics to ensure the cap is screwed back on properly, or it'll turn into solid plastic.

by RobertJones

trying acrylics can only help your watercolours . . ,before you begin painting ,think of your subject and what colours you need to do it. otherwise you may fill your board and not use half of them .and waste a lot of paint . I would try the minimum you need for the subject, some like to use the three primaries only plus white, swarfega and a waterbucket is better for me to clean my brushes,, turps gets dirty quickly ,,,and can effect the colours ,even when brushes are wiped on rag. that stinks the place out ,,
And that's 60 years of painting experience from Alan. Take a look at my last posting on oil painting, Alan, and see what you think of painting without solvents - because that stink was getting to me, and I don't think you need it; why did we ever assume that we did?
Syd, you did indeed answer to my satisfaction. Thank-you very much for your comprehensive reply, it was really interesting. I'm sure your paintings were gems if the ones I've seen on your Gallery are any indication. It is unfortunate that due to problems with the caps breaking our local art supply stores have stopped stocking System 3, or indeed any DR acrylics, and while I know I could order them online I really don't want to bypass the local stores as that is how you lose them. However we can get Liquitex heavy body, Matisse both structure and flow, and W&N artists quality, sometimes they are even on special which is when I try to stock up. Atelier Interactive seems to be the universal mid-range go-to over here. I hope you enjoyed your lunch Syd, you'd earned it!
Showing page 1 of 2