Watercolour on paper, size A4, commissioned artwork – now with new and very happy, owner. The name of this little scotty dog is indeed, “Cookies”.
One of the problems facing acrylic artists is that this type of paint often dries out too quickly. Artists who work in acrylics ( as I do, albeit occasionally) know how frustrating it is when you leave a specially mixed colour, for even a short time, to find on your return, that the paint on the palette, is now as hard as a rock, totally unworkable and, therefore, quite useless……
Having seen artists try to keep their acrylics moist via the use of cling film, kitchen foil and assorted covers, which worked for a couple of hours but not much longer, I have a solution that works very well, even in the summer heat of my Breton Studio. That is, to place the palette, plate, and so forth, on which you have mixed the paints, in a (preferably) clear plastic box that has a tightly fitting lid. This container will keep the acrylics moist and totally useable for several days. I use the container for a brand of chocolates (covered in gold foil) that are extremely popular at Christmas, for this purpose, and it has never let me down. I hope this tip will be of use to you.
This watercolour features a little cove in Ballycotton, a well known an very picturesque fishing village in West Cork. I added in the cat for a light touch. This artwork is now in a Private Collection.
This artwork (Artist’s watercolour on rag paper) was built around the bunch of cherries, adding the deep blues of the plate and the copper browns of the jug for emphasis. Details and price available on request..
Commissioned by an orchard owner. Both of us were very pleased with this work. Now in a Private Collection.
A friend’s photograph initiated this artwork. It was executed in acrylics painted on primed board and framed, under glass. Details and price of this original, signed artwork are available on request.
Some people deem still-life to be old-fashioned….. Details and price of this original, signed, artwork available on demand.
Commissioned artwork, featuring a popular local tourist townland.
When you are on a tight budget and are purchasing an inexpensive framed canvas, remember these usually have a somewhat porous fabric. If you wish to avoid using a large amount of paint/thinning agents for the finish you require, buy a large carton of Gesso (a type of chalk based bonding agent) and prime the surface with several coats of this quick-drying material. The results will give you a smooth and relatively non-absorbant surface which is ideal to work on and which gives very good results to your artwork. I have to stress, however, that in order for your portrait work to maximise your art skills, only the very best quality canvas will suffice. And even they, may require a coat of this primer to give you the very smooth surface you may require.
Perhaps you work in watercolours? In this instance, a small bottle of artist’s gum arabic or drawing glue is an excellent investment. This permits (a) colours to flow freely and easily under your brush and (b) it does not allow the paper to become saturated and thus unworkable. However, if you are painting with acrylics or gouache, then conventional water is probably still the best material for use as the spreading agent.
Now I come to a somewhat contentious piece of advice. Artist who work in oils, know that they can take a very long time to dry, even when used in conjunction with a drying agent. Water-based oils, though, dry quite quickly, but aren’t all that popular as to date their finish and spreadability and colour range is frankly not the same as their oil counterparts. I have found, that adding a little bit of acrylic to an oil colour (obviously exactly the same colour, hue, tone, etc.,) enables the oil paint to dry very quickly. A word of warning though. This mix has to be applied with a soft brush and brushed very well onto the canvas, so as to avoid brush marks when the colour dries out.
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Thank you for reading this, and I hope it will be useful to you.
Drawing and painting are therapeutic, creative, educational and above all, hugely enjoyable occupations. My Studio (just 35 mins. from Rennes) is open to visitors all year round and you are welcome to enjoy the 2 hour (1-2-1) highly acclaimed art sessions that I hold (indoors and outdoors) during the year. For further information, please fill in the form below and e-mail it to me. For artists and non-artists, there is residential accommodation too.