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Acrylic Painting—Some Books and Materials Recommendations

In December 2018 I wrote a post on how to deal with an artistic plateau. I included some book recommendations in the hopes that readers would use some of the books as workbooks for self-study, to work themselves off the plateau they found themselves on. I added pen and ink as well as drawing books […]

Use What You Have Out

I have a lot of students who tell me they don’t have time to sketch. They tell me they have to make a space to work or they have to get supplies out. They tell me that they don’t have time to make background textures. They also admit that they are doing about 15 other […]


Exquisite Corpse with Wet Paint

Above: An 18 x 30 inch acrylic painting I made on Stonehenge white. I began with a series of sketches and thumbnails. I blew elements up and composed them into place. I then drew my sketch with the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen and painted with Daniel Smith Acrylics, using large filberts—about 1- and 2-inches wide.  At […]


Another Peek into Roz’s 2013 Fake Journal—A Dog Portrait of Course!

See the full post for details.


Journaling Superstitions #19: You Can’t Journal Without Your Journal

See the full post for details.


Mining Your Journal for Inspiration—Yet Again

A look at how I used a journal sketch to make a painting.


“Foot in the Door Show” at the Minneapolis Institute of Art

Don’t miss the opening of the MIA’s Foot in the Door Show!


Another Look at that French Bulldog

090518BulldogCroppedLeft: 40-minute acrylic color study that I made from a sketch of a French Bulldog. The actual painting is 11 x 14, shows the full dog's head, and has a margin of orange at the top. It just wouldn't fit on my scanner. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

I've only got about 15 minutes of computer time today. I thought it would be fun for regular readers to see this color study that I did using the brush pen drawing I made on April 28 and posted with Journal superstition #6.

The painting in this post is one of those quick things you do, remember, in the odd minutes of your life. I had turned this sketch into a print. Which I really liked the line quality of, as it captured a lot of what I liked in the brush pen sketch. Then the print was staring at me for so long that I decided I wanted to do something else with it.

Originally I thought I'd do a gouache painting, realistic color, etc. But the other thing that was staring at me from the work table was a Fredrix Watercolor Canvas board that I had prepainted with acrylic paint. (You can see this board if you go to the print link in the paragraph above and scroll down to see the "parts" photo. The board is sitting on the table under the acetate sketch. You'll see it's blue, green, and there is a lot of metallic gold.

Well this board has been sitting around for a long time and Monday night I just had had it. I decided to do a quick color study. I'm trying to paint looser. I did do some colored pencil thumbnails for color, but once I got into this lavender, well that's it.


Fun with Ephemera


Above: a journal spread which uses prepainted pages, found text, and ends with pen and ink and gouache. Read more about the process below. Journal page approximately 8 inches square. Click the image for an enlargement.

It’s the weekend, and after a few days of longer posts I’m keeping this weekend’s posts short. Make stuff; fill journal pages. I hope you’ll do that this weekend.

Here are a couple of steps you can play with:

Looking at Acrylics: A New Book

I’m prone to some of the oddest impulse buys. I’m not talking about the recent purchase at the Franklin Street Bakery of a “twinkette” (the cake of which was too dense, ditto the cream and chocolate covering, yeah, yeah, even the chocolate covering; but their croissant-dough cinnamon rolls were a little taste of near-Paris!), I’m talking about books. I can’t help myself when it comes to certain books, books on topics I think I should, or would someday need to know stuff about, which means basically everything.

Well the other day at Wet Paint I saw Rethinking Acrylic: Radical Solutions for Explaining the World’s most Versatile Medium, by Patti Brady, on the shelf across the counter and asked to see it. Once it was in my hands I just had to have it. (A friend alerted me to Brady's website after I mentioned my find. I still don't remember to look for these things!)

Now I'll just say, I rarely work in acrylics (see my bird-a-day project for an example of what I do with acrylics) but I do enjoy playing with it—they provide me a way of working loose. What I do is not, however, the extreme abstract type of work that is featured in much of this book. (I say “extreme” and give myself away as someone who loves representational art, and I will not apologize for this; but while it will be a long day coming before I turn to abstract work I do enjoy seeing what other folks are doing.)

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