Posts Tagged ‘Acrylic Painting’

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Today I’d like to share a few tips for making quick and easy pallets for acrylic painting. I wanted easy pallet options for acrylic paints, something re-usable or something already destined for the waste bin, so I didn’t create extra waste.

Quick n easy pallets for acrylic paint

Quick n easy pallets for acrylic paint

You Will Need

  • Plastic Lids from Milk cartons
  • Non Stick craft sheet/oven liner (see options at end of page)
  • Tin plate-white


Tin Plate

The most reusable and best for colour mixing was the white tin plate. I got mine from a shop selling camping supplies. The white base makes it easy to see your mixed colours. Simply squeeze out your paint then mix. To clean; leave the paint to dry on the plate, then leave  the plate in water for a short time and using a dedicated scrubbing/washing up brush, brush off the paint. Most of it will peel off, what won’t peel will scratch off using the back of the brush.

Ranger Craft sheet/ Non Stick oven liner

I have used the ‘proper’ Ranger one, then found the same thing in Lakelands and this is where I now buy mine. Details at the end of the article. This surface makes a great pallet just to put small amounts paint onto and for one stroke painting type techniques where you are blending paint on the brush. It is also ideal to have under your painting projects as like before its easy to clean. The only down side is the dark colour means it’s not easy to tell the true colour of mixed paints, so it’s not ideal for colour mixing.

Plastic Lids

We get those plastic milk bottles from the supermarkets. Having been brought up in the 1970s when there was always a Blue Peter appeal for collecting the metal lids from milk bottles of the day, it gave me the idea to try to reuse the plastic bottle tops.

These lids are quite shallow but other lids will give you different proportions. These are fine to put small amounts of your new paint out onto, but since they are strongly coloured they aren’t much good for mixing colours into. You can do it, but make sure you test your mixed colour before you use it on your project 😉 Cleaning; difficult to clean, so they tend to be a one use item.

Options/Added Extras

Try any non porous surface to  mix onto. Remember NOT to return to the kitchen any item that you have used in your painting as the paints contain pigments and chemicals that are not safe to ingest!

I use old jam jars as water pots, this is handy as you can see when your water gets too grotty and you need to change it. I also use them for storing brushes in. Especially useful for brush storage are the taller jars, like the ones you get coffee in.


How about you, have you any tips for reusing household items for pallets/storage? I’d love to hear about them, do leave me a comment.

Best wishes and thanks for reading see you soon

Billie 🙂


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Welcome Back

If you have decided to try acrylic paint for the first time, gone to the art store to purchase some paint, brushes etc and been bewildered by the choice, this book is for you. If you were too embarrassed to ask for help in the store, this book is for you. I started an art journal in May 2009, and soon discovered that layering water colour paint, or water soluble wax crayons, didn’t really work. I had seen people using Liquid acrylics and had some of my fathers Cryla paint to try, but all the gels and mediums were a mystery. I wanted a book that would explain the different kinds of acrylic paint, what the differences were and what I could paint on. This book did just that. Today I will be reviewing the following book

The New Acrylics;

Complete Guide to the New Generation for  Acrylic Paints

by Rheni Tauchid


Rheni Tauchid's Excellent book

Published by Watson-Guuptill Publications

ISBN 0-8230-3159-4


Chapter 1; The language of Acrylics

Here you are introduced to just what acrylic paint is. The differences between the very fluid acrylics through to the heavy body (thick) acrylic paint. There is an explanation of the difference between student and artist grade paint.


Chapter 2; Materials and Equipment

The most comprehensive description of the different surfaces you can paint on to and how to prepare them. The different kinds of implement that you could use to paint with.


Chapter 3; About Colour

Here you will find descriptions about colours and the differences between various pigments, both natural and synthetic. This is a  kind of Features and Benefits description of different colour groups. If the descriptions on the labeling of paint tube, jars bewilders you, there is an excellent description of what the various terms mean. Metallic, iridescent and other unique colours are also described.

Chapter 4; Acrylic Mediums

 This is one of my favorite chapters in the book. As a total novice to acrylics, mediums were a mystery, they look the same in pots, they sound similar in their names. Before this book I had written off experiment with mediums, as too costly. This chapter starts with a review of the main groups of mediums and uses pictures to compare different mediums, to various food stuffs; honey, icing, cream. Things that most people can relate too…inspired! After this there are dedicated sections on each of the mediums, showing applications for which each medium is suited. A perfect glossary to refer to, for future projects. No more blind date buying of mediums, just to see what they do.

Chapter 5; Basic Applications

This chapter has a description of techniques –  not a step by step but enough information for you to understand techniques; under painting, glazing etc and their effects on colours. How you apply them to your own creativity, is still wide open. This is a very clever book, at no point does the author attempting to ‘push’ the reader into any particular style. It is so refreshing to read this style of work, plenty of inspiration, without feeling forced into a particular style of working.

Chapter 6; Alternative Approaches

Techniques a plenty! Here is where there are some excellent step by step tutorials. Interestingly, even here the tutorials are just for a specific technique – still not trying to ‘tell’ the reader where these ‘should’ be used. You might expect me to want to be told where to apply these techniques, since I’m a total beginner but everyone has their own opinion about what art is to them, so this is actually perfect. I had so many ideas while reading this book, about how I could use the paints/mediums and techniques. Maybe if the book had tried to ‘tell’ me where I should be using them, I  might not try my own ideas and either think my way was wrong or just follow a particular project and not experiment.


There is a generous section on using acrylics for printing. Some great ideas to try, 3D work and mixed media are also covered.

Chapter 7; Decorative Objects

 A selection of step by step projects, using the techniques described in the earlier sections of the book.


Summing Up

What I love about this book, is that it gives you a comprehensive description of the different paints and what they do, without pushing you toward any particular style of painting. Other art books want to teach me how to use acrylics to look like watercolours or to paint in the oil painting style. This book could have been called ‘The Dictionary of Acrylics’ or ‘All the things you’ve always wanted to ask about acrylic paint, but were afraid to ask.’ If you are passionate about colour you will love this book, the author is clearly passionate about the subject and her style of writing is inspiring and engaging as well as informative.


This book is a perfect reference guide for the new painter, and for more established artists who want to try some new mediums or techniques. There is some superb artwork in the book and each new page, just makes you go WOW. I defy anyone to look through this book and not be desperate to get to their paint after reading it.


I started reading this book knowing NOTHING about acrylics. Intimidated by the choices of paint available and not knowing what kinds of products to purchase. I did have a clear idea of how I wanted a finished piece to look but needed advice on what products would be suitable to achieve this. This is the most inspiring book on art I’ve ever bought. I have learnt which paint to buy to get the effects I’m looking for, which mediums would be suitable and how to use them. I am now very excited about all the amazing things that acrylic paint can do. I now can’t wait to get some paint and start experimenting.  My fear of painting has, at least in part, been replaced by excitement about all the possibilities of what can be achieved with acrylics.


This is a fantastic book, thank you Rheni for the wealth of information packed into this book and for allowing your reader space, to use the materials and technique’s in their own way. This is a MUST have book for anyone interested in acrylics, a fantastic reference  and research book for all your acrylic questions. Would I buy it again? Definitely and I’ve recommended it to all my friends too.



Here is a link to the book on Amazon

This is Rheni Tauchid’s Blog


Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie 🙂

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Welcome Back

In today’s post I  will be reviewing the following book;

Acrylic Artist’s Colour Mixing Bible by Ian Sidaway

The book is published by Search Press and the ISBN number is 1-84448-137-9

I have just started to use a set of Cryla acrylic paints and wanted to know how to mix colours effectively. The sub title of the book is; A visual guide to more than 2500 mixes and glaze effects. So this looked like a good place to start.If you have never used acrylic paint, or are considering trying it, then this is a very good book to buy before you buy your paint etc. There are sections covering Materials and equipment, techniques, colour theory and the rest of the book is full of pictures of colours of paint and how they mix with a ‘core pallet’ of colours.

Materials and Equipment

This section covers the nature of acrylic paint and what to expect when you use it for the first time. There are a variety of different kinds of acrylic paint which are covered at the very beginning. There are also all kinds of different additives that you can mix with your paint, all of which achieve different finishes, these are also discussed in this section. There are various ‘tools’ you can use to apply your paint, not just brushes, the book describes which work best with the particular types of acrylic paint. Different kinds of mixing pallet and easels are also discussed. The section ends with a description of the various supports (surfaces) onto which you can apply your paint, you don’t have to use paper or canvas, the book describes painting on to wood and how to prepare your chosen painting surface for the paint.


The great thing about this section, is that it not only describes a whole range of different techniques but it also shows which kind of paint it is best to start with, to achieve a given effect. As I say, perfect if you haven’t yet bought paints, as by looking through the techniques sections, you can see what kind of styles you prefer and select the appropriate choice of paint.


Understanding Colour

This section is dedicated to colour theory, it is comprehensive and although I have to say I still don’t understand it, it is a chapter to study as it will be very useful. The chapter ends with an introduction to the core palette of twelve colours that are used in the colour mixes, for the rest of the book. 


The Colour Mixing Directory

The rest of the book is full of a very comprehensive range of colour mixes. Recipes of how the core palette of twelve colours, mix with a range of other colours. This is excellent, if you have ever stood in front of a shop display of tubes of paint and been bewildered. You get to have a good look at lots of colours and see which appeals to you, in the comfort of your own home.

  • Each base colour is given four pages.
  • At the very top of the pages, the original colour is show pure, and it lightens as it goes across the page.
  • There are six panel’s of colour on each page, these show the colour to which the page is dedicated, mixed with each of the core pallet colours in turn, in various different combinations.
  • The original colour is also shown mixed with these colours and with white added or water added. So however you use your acrylic paint you will get an idea of the results you can expect to get when mixing.


Summing Up

I am very pleased with this book, it is wire bound so lays flat when it is open, very handy if you are referencing it whilst mixing colours 😉 It is useful to see a whole range of different colours, to help you choose your own palette for the first time. The section about the difference between the different kinds of acrylic paint and what techniques can be achieved with them, was very helpful. The brush/tool section, is great for selecting the correct tool for the kind of paint you want to use.

My one personal downside of this book, was that I was really hoping to be able to be able to purchase the palette mentioned at the start of the book. This article was written in June 2009 and at the time this is published some of the colours from the core pallet in the book, are not available in my choice of acrylic paint (Cryla). In fairness to Daler Rowney their Cryla range is due to expand in October 2009, so I may well wait until then to make my final choice of which paint to buy. I am also considerering Golden fluid acrylics, so my options are still open.

Another book I would like to get and after only a brief look through, would also recommend for anyone starting out with acrylic paint is; The Acrylic Artist’s Bible; The Essential Reference for the Practicing Artist by Marilyn Scott. Marilyn’s book is full of techniques and a good place to start if you are new to the medium, like me.


Here is a link to Amazon for the books mentioned in this article, as there are search inside options available for both books.

Acrylic Artist’s Colour Mixing Bible by Ian Sidaway

The Acrylic Artist’s Bible; The Essential Reference for the Practicing Artist by Marilyn Scott


Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie 🙂

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