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Archive for the ‘Adventures in Acrylics’ Category

Welcome Back

As part of the online workshop series Adventures in Acrylics, I’d like to share a tutorial to help you get the most from your choice of colours, whether you have been collecting them for years or have a shiny new box of gleaming tubes in front of you. After this you will know just what colours you have and be able to find just the one you want from a huge pile, every time.

Do you know what colours you have? Make a colour chart and discover your full palette

Do you know what colours you have? Make a colour chart and discover your full palette

You Will Need

  • Acrylic paper or piece of white mount board
  • All the acrylic paints you have
  • Brush
  • Water pot with water
  • Rag
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Pen

Method

Do have a new box of paints? Then if the tubes are still in the box they are lined up ready to go. Perhaps though you have been collecting your acrylic paints for some time. If that’s the case, go rummage, find every tube/pot/jar of acrylic paint you have. If they are all in one place together you are more likely to use more of them ;)

Some acrylic paints are flow formula (ie more fluid) others are heavy bodied (more like toothpaste in consistency). Separate your acrylic collection into two boxes so you can easily home in on the different kinds when you want to.

  • Separate your chosen paints into colour families, reds/yellows/greens/ blues etc. Lightest to darkest within those groups works well.
  • Because paints often dry to a slightly different colour than they look on the tube/packaging, you are going to paint samples of each. In the interests of only doing this once ;) Try to paint your samples on to something sturdy like white mount board as it will last longer.
  • Next to each patch of colour that you paint, write the details from the pot/tube. That’s the colour name and number and if you have a selection of brands the brand name too. You can shorten the brands to initials as long as you write yourself a key ;)

Make sure you wash out your brush well between colours and keep changing your water so the colours stay true.

Now you have a beautiful chart that can live in the box with the paints, when you are creating a project you can use the card to choose just the colour you want, and know which one it was. Drawing a pretty grid to paint inside is optional, but it can make it easier to scan across later on.

Here is a picture of my paint chart, the quick one I made when I first got my paint (on the mount board, shown above) and the detailed one on the acrylic paper. You could also glue this sheet onto mount board, if you want it to last longer.

Detailed Paint Chart

Detailed Paint Chart

Options/Added Extras

If you prefer a more mobile colour chart.

  • Cut a piece of mount board for each paint you have.
  • Write the brand, colour name and number on the back of each tile, before you paint your swatch on the front.
  • Punch a hole in the cards and string them together so you can keep them in colour families, but still have the options of adding to the collection as you buy new paints.

This version will also allow you to pull colour schemes together from the cards and encourage you to experiment with more than just your favourites.

Links

Check out the Art Supplies tab at the top of the blog, you will find links to the main manufacturers there. At the paint manufacturers sites you will often find downloadable colour charts, although these are only guides as the printed colours will vary depending on how your printer is set up (and how much ink is left in it ;) )

The manufacturers charts are very helpful for identifying the colour names/numbers and for newbies which paints are opaque, transparent or semi opaque or semi transparent. This is very helpful when you are just starting out and haven’t yet worked out which colours will  have which opacity. It makes a huge difference to the success of your experiments, when you know the opacity of your paint colours ;)

Hope this tutorial helps you discover just how many colours you have, and now you know what you will have, perhaps it will tempt you to use more of them, rather than just sticking to your favorites. I’d love to see your finished results.

Best wishes and thanks for reading see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

In today’s post, as part of the Adventures in Acrylics workshop, I’ll be sharing a tutorial on how to create a wonderful dark wood paint effect. It looks something like rosewood, or perhaps mahogany, but whatever you want to call it, this gives a beautiful effect. Like the previous tutorial, this is super simple to create and waiting for the paint to dry between layers, is the most time-consuming part.

Here’s what a finished piece looks like

Dark Wood paint effect for Adventures in Acrylics

Dark Wood paint effect for Adventures in Acrylics

You Will Need

  • Winsor & Newton: Galeria Acrylic paint; Buff Titanium, Burnt Sienna and Burnt Umber.
  • White mount board
  • Jar of water
  • Scrap of rag for cleaning.

Method

I’ll include a written description of the process, for those who don’t speak English, there’s always the trusty translator, check out the TRANSLATE THIS SITE link, in the side bar.

  • Put some Buff Titanium on the palette, than use the palette knife to apply a layer paint over the white surface of the mount board. Apply the paint generously, as if you were buttering bread ;) Change direction with your knife and leave a few white areas here and there. Allow this layer to dry fully, before you move on.
  • Clean your knife in the water, while you wait for the paint to dry.
  • Next, put out some Burnt Sienna onto your palette, pick up some paint on the knife and apply the Burnt Sienna in patches, here and there over the Titanium Buff. Change direction when applying the paint to create textures. Leave some of the white areas and some areas of the buff titanium visible. Allow this layer to dry fully, before you move on.
  • Clean your knife in the water, while you wait for the paint to dry.
  • Put some Burnt Umber onto your palette, this is a semi transparent colour and will allow the other layers to be seen through it. Pick up a generous amount of Burnt Umber onto your knife. You only need a thin-film of the paint over the card, but the knife will move better over the card if it has a layer of paint across it. Apply a thin layer of the Burnt Umber over the whole piece and allow this to dry. Try not to go over this layer too many times as it tends to get sticky as its drying and if you want a smooth result you don’t want to over work it. Allow this layer to fully dry before you move on.
  • Clean your knife in the water, while you wait for the paint to dry.
  • If you feel your piece is looking too bright apply a second layer of the Burnt Umber over the card, either just in places or over the whole thing, depending on the look you are going for.
Dark Wood paint effect for Adventures in Acrylics

Dark Wood paint effect for Adventures in Acrylics

The earlier layers glow through the semi transparent Burnt Umber, and add lots of visual interest and texture to the piece. Like the weathered wood, you can make this more textured by using heavy bodied acrylic paint like Daler Rowney Cryla if you prefer or use mediums to change how your Galeria paint behaves. This original version is reasonably smooth so if you wanted to stamp or write over the surface you could do so. It would also take  image transfers if you wanted to add some.

Options/Added Extras

In the coming weeks/months I’ll be introducing you to some acrylic mediums. As well as mixing the mediums to your paints, you can also use some of them as a glazing layer. If you already have some, you could paint over the finished piece with matt or gloss medium.

  • The matt medium will not change the appearance of the finished piece, but it will seal in and protect the layers of paint.
  • The gloss medium will dry to a high shine, and make the piece look as if it has been polished.

Experiment with what you have and see which you prefer. You don’t have to add the glaze layer, but it will help seal the paint in.

Links

Check out the Art tab at the top of the blog for details of suppliers where you can find a local stockist and also colour charts for the paints I’m using.

Hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and will give the technique a try, it is simple to do and by varying your colours or how you apply the paint, there are plenty of opportunities for further experiment with this idea. I’d love to see your results and how you incorporate this technique into your own projects. Do leave me comment with a link to what you create.

For more in this Adventures in Acrylics series check out the dedicated class page.

Best wishes and thanks for reading see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

In today’s post, as part of the Adventures in Acrylics workshop, I will be reviewing; Royal Langnickel Palette Knives for Painting set.

Royal Langnickel Knife set #LP71

Royal Langnickel Knife set #LP71

Product Details

  • Manufacturer/Brand; Royal Langnickel
  • Item number: LP71
  • RRP at time of writing: £9.18

Reason For Buying

I had already bought a Royal Langnickel K4 painting knife and loved it, this set included the K4  and also P10 and P2. So by getting these I can try these out and see what they will do for me. Looks like I got a bargain, I paid £3.75 for mine, but when I checked he manufacturers site they are listed at £9.18.

Pros/Cons

  • Nice and light in the hand
  • Flexible not at all scratchy
  • Beautifully made wooden handles

Cons

Haven’t really got any.

Build Quality

One of the knives in my set had some surface marking on it, but at this price point, you can’t complain, I’m happy to try these out for experiment and if the marking becomes an issue I’ll re-buy this individual knife. The handles are very comfortable and although light are solid. The blades are flexible and not at all rough as some more expensive knives I’ve had, have been.

Value for Money

Excellent, these are good-looking knives and great quality for the price point. Well worth trying a set.

Would I buy it Again?

Totally

Summing up

Royal Langnickel Knife set #LP71

Royal Langnickel Knife set #LP71

Palette knives are great for colour mixing without gunking up your brushes. The knives in this set are superb for applying paint to your chosen surface and great for larger areas too. Palette knives come in a huge variety of shapes and kits like these are fantastic for trying different shapes and seeing which ones you like. The knives give an amazing array of options for applying the paint and creating texture. It took me a long time to try knives, but now I have I love them, I’m using these more than I do my brushes :)

This is an affordable set, I highly recommend you try them. If you have been wanting to try knives for a while, this is an excellent place to start. There are different kinds for different purposes, and when you start out its tough to know which to choose, these sets are an ideal place to start.

Links

The links below will take you to the manufacturers site, from here you can find more information about the product and locate a store near you.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

In today’s post, as part of the Adventurs in Acrylics workshop, I’d like to share a book I recently made. I decorated the cover using a painting technique that I’ll show you how to create, in a video tutorial on friday. This book features Coptic stitch binding, one of my favorites as the book lies flat when its open, handy for taking notes.  I can’t believe its been so long since I made a book. Between crocked back and whiplash, it seems to have been forever!

Coptic stitched handmade book, with dark wood effect covers

Coptic stitched handmade book, with dark wood effect covers

Hope you like the book, I’m pleased with how it turned out. There’s a bookbinding tab at the top of the blog, if you want to learn more about bookbinding or find out where to get bookbinding supplies from. Check out the tutorials tab, or the grab button in the sidebar for more information about the online workshop series, Adventures in Acrylics.

The closure on the book features Billie’s Book ties that I shared a video for recently. I added bead spacers in place of actual beads, as they were such a nice brass colour, they went well will the books colouring. If you would like to see how to make the ties, check out the video Billie’s Book Ties.

Its been  very tricky to get a photo of this book, in real life there are so many beautiful tones of colour in it, but the weather has been so dark, getting them to show up on camera, hasn’t been easy. Check out the video tutorial on friday, as that was recorded on a brighter day ;)

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

Earlier in the week, I mentioned how I like natural textures, and taking photographs of anything weathered and worn. This tutorial was inspired by a weathered picket fence. The technique is quick and simple and because you can creat this with a flat finish, its ideal for cards, art journals, ATC as well as book covers and altered art surface decoration. Join me in this latest instalment of Adventures in Acrylics to create a weathered wood, paint effect.

Weathered Wood Paint Effect

Weathered Wood Paint Effect

You Will Need

  • Mount Board in white
  • Winsor and Newton: Galeria; Acrylic Paint: Buff Titanium and Raw Umber
  • Scrap of car sponge
  • Palette

Method

  • I am working on  white mount board, that hasn’t been gesso’d. You can also use other board but for this effect you will need to apply a layer of white gesso to it, to give you the white base. That does affect how the paint will move on the board though.
  • Put some buff Titanium onto your palette. Choose a direction for your wood grain.
  • Dab your car sponge into the paint to pick up some colour, then dab off the excess paint on to the palette, this also blends the paint into the sponge.
  • Swipe your paint across the board, in the direction you chose for your wood grain. You just want to catch a few areas here and there, this is to create some texture, rather than covering the card. Let this layer dry completely before you move on.
  • Put some Raw Umber out onto your palette, dab into this paint using a clean area of your sponge. Dab off onto the palette before moving to the board. Apply this colour by swiping the sponge across the board in the same direction you did for the lighter colour. Allow this layer to dry before you move on.
  • To get the best results you want to break up any large areas of colour, layer over particularly dark areas with the titanium buff, and over light areas with the Raw Umber. Let layers dry between coats or the paint will merge together rather than tone down the earlier layers. Continue these last few steps until you have an effect that you like.

I have written the instructions as well as the video, so that if you don’t speak English, there is always the trusty Translator :) I’ve put a link to one, in the side bar.

Options/Added Extras

Here’s a paper mache box that I decorated using the weathered wood paint effect.

Weathered wood Box

Weathered wooden fence

The Winsor & Newton Galeria, is a flow formula acrylic paint, if you want a more textured effect try using Daler Rowney Cryla as that is a heavy bodied acrylic paint. The consistency of Cryla is more like that of toothpaste, so will leave a more textured result.

Try altering the colours for different base wood effects.

Since making the film, I’ve noticed the Cryla equivalent; called Titan Buff and is not as yellow as the Galeria Titanium buff paint. This is not a problem if you apply the Galeria one lightly, but it will need more careful blending if you get larger areas of it on this project.

If you want to seal in your colours, apply a layer of matt medium over the whole piece, this takes a while to fully dry but does not affect the colours. I’ll be going into more detail about mediums, later in the course.

Links

  • For suppliers: Check out the Art tab at the top of the blog, for manufacturers and retailers. They will be in the supplies section.
  • For more information about the Online Workshop series Adventures in Acrylics, check out the dedicated Workshop page.

Hope you enjoyed today’s tutorial and will give this technique a try, I’d love to see your results. Do leave a comment and a link to your projects if you post them on your blog.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

In today’s post, as part of the online workshop; Adventures in Acrylics, I will be reviewing; Royal Langnickel: 6 Piece Flexible Palette Knives.

Royal Langnickel Flexible Palette Knives

Royal Langnickel Flexible Palette Knives

Product Details

  • Manufacturer/Brand; Royal Langnickel
  • Item number: RD70
  • RRP at time of writing: £1.99

Purpose

The packet says Quote” Ideal for all arts and crafts projects. Use for maxing paints canvas painting and all creative texture applications. These knives are made of flexible plastic for ease in mixing oil or acrylic paint.” End quote

Reason For Buying

There are a bewildering array of shapes and sizes of palette knives to choose from. I wanted this kits as it has 5 different knife styles to experiment with. Also being plastic, they won’t ruse of be as scratch as metal knives that I’ve seen in the past can be.

Pros/Cons

Pros

  • Good choice of styles in the pack to experiment with
  • Light in the hand
  • Easy to clean
  • Very affordable
  • Comfortable to use

Cons

Just a niggle, sometimes these knives can be a little too flexible. I was trying to stir gesso and they were bending more than they were moving it. Not a problem with the paints or thinner mediums. Can’t complain, given the price point. I’m still happy with them.

Build Quality

Fair for the price.

Value for Money

Excellent. A great way to experiment with different designs of knife, to see which you will use the most.

Would I buy it Again?

Maybe, but just for spares

Summing up

Royal Langnickel Flexible Palette Knives

Royal Langnickel Flexible Palette Knives

I have another set which look identical to these bur are un-branded. My unbranded ones are a better quality and have a smoother finish and are a bit firmer. That sais when you don’t want to spend a fortune or ruin expensive knives to stir up paint/mediums/ gesso, then these are fine. Ideal to experiment with, but once you find a style that you like, upgrade to the metal versions. I’ll be reviewing the Royal Langnickel metal equivalents soon.

Links

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

Wherever I go I love to take photos of textures, be that rust, lichen, aged stone and brick, peeling paint that sort of thing. A few years ago I found this wonderful weathered fence and just had to take a photo.

Weathered wooden fence

Weathered wooden fence

Now that I’ve been experimenting with acrylic paint, I discovered a great way to replicate the weathered wood look. I dug out a little card box, that I bought to alter and have been ‘saving’ and decided its time had come and that it would become a weathered wooden box.

Weathered wood Box

Weathered wooden fence

Previously when I’ve been creating this effect, I haven’t used any gesso as the board I was working on was already white. This time the box was brown, so I applied a coat of gesso using a scrap of car sponge. Anyone joining me on this workshop will discover that car sponge will become a bit of a trade mark as my go to tool of choice. I’ll let Blue Peter keep their sticky backed plastic, its car sponge for me hehe. The paint behaved differently over the gesso so it took more blending that I had expected, but with more layering and blending, I am very pleased with the result.

Do you like it? Would you like to know how to create this paint effect? Join me on friday for a video tutorial on how to create ‘Weathered Wood Paint effect’. You won’t believe how easy it is, and the result is flat (unless you want to add additional mediums to the paint to bulk up the texture). So this effect would be perfect for art journals, cards, ATCs as well as book covers.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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