To begin the online workshop Adventures in Acrylics, I’d like to share some tips for how to look after the tools you’ll be using. So they will last you for longer. Acrylic paint is a joy to use, but you need to be kind to your tools for them to look after you.
You Will Need
- Cold Water
- Bar of white soap
- Washing up brush
- Scrap card
- Rag or towel
Acrylic paint dries quickly in air. To help your tools last longer, wash the paint or mediums out of them as you go, as soon as you finish using them. If you let the paint dry into the bristles of your brushes, they will be ruined.
Keep a piece of scrap card next to you as you work. When you want to change colour, simply brush out the remaining colour from the brush, onto the scrap card. Rinse the brush out in a jar of water, until the last of the paint has gone, if you do this while the paint is still wet on the brush, it comes out easily.
At the end of your painting session: Wet your brush and swipe it over the bar of soap, lather the brush by swiping it too and fro in the palm of your hand. Rinse well in cold water to remove any remaining colour and soap. Leave your brushes to air dry fully before putting them away.
Remove access paint or medium by swiping the knife across the scrap card, then swish the knife if your water pot. You can use a scrap of sponge to help rinse off any more stubborn residue. If you clean knives as you go, you probably won’t need to do any more to the knives at the end. Make sure you dry your knives off on a towel or rag, before you store them, so they don’t go rusty.
Rather than add to land fill with tear off palettes, I use a non stick surface to mix colours on. The white enamel plate I use is ideal and is very easy to clean. Allow the paint to dry onto the palette (trust me, if you use a non stick surface like said plate, its fine).
Once the paint is fully dry, pour a small amount of water into the plate, just to cover the paint. The water won’t re-activate dry paint, but it will lift it. Leave it a little while and the larger areas of paint will be floating in the water. Use the back of the washing up brush (dedicated to the job DO NOT put one you use for paint in the kitchen!) to encourage the remaining paint off the plate. Peel off the larger areas of paint and put them in the bin. Use the bristles of the washing up brush to encourage the few remaining spots of paint to lift, then rinse under the tap.
Easy peasy, you use minimal water and aren’t using acres of paper you don’t need to. I tend to keep the prettier scrap card, sometimes you can turn them into art by stamping over them 😉
Dry your tools with the rag before storing and you are ready to go next time. Next week I’ll be introducing you to palette knives and there will be a video tutorial for a new painting technique.
Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon, for more Adventures in Acrylics.