ACRYLICS V WATERCOLOUR

ACRYLICS V WATERCOLOUR

I’m often asked whether I prefer acrylics to watercolour and I honestly have to say I love them both!
 
ACRYLICS are great to get stuck into a painting on canvas and hang it straight on the wall. I usually work from darks to lights and can easily alter the painting as I go – just as long as the layer is dry! Acrylic is my first choice for original works to sell.
WATERCOLOURS are SO PORTABLE! I love taking them with me to add colour in my sketchbooks. I love how quickly I can use a brush to capture shapes in watercolour to then draw over in pencil to record a memory. I love that I don’t have to wear ‘painting clothes’ for watercolour! It took me years to embrace using plenty of water though… but now that I’m less worried about the end result, I’m more often delighted with the organic things that watercolour can do.
 
And you know what? Doing a study in watercolour for an acrylic painting is a quick way to test an idea before committing to a canvas.

Yesterday I painted this month’s acrylic Paint Along, ‘Caravan Dreaming‘ in watercolour for my Shiny Happy Art Club members. ***Often it’s the inspiration that’s the block when you want to learn to paint***, so we use one image to inspire another. It’s no longer acrylic OR watercolour, it is, in the MOST FRIENDLY way, AND.
 
So don’t limit yourself. If you want to paint, try both. Stay open to the seasons of your art life that you may prefer one or the other, but never close the door completely. There’s too much art joy to be had!
 
Hope you can paint a little (or a lot) this weekend. And if you need inspo, head over to my website, www.shinyhappyart.com. That’s what I’m here for!
 
See you in my virtual studio.
 
Anna
Mooloolaba Surf Lifesaving Club – four ways

Mooloolaba Surf Lifesaving Club – four ways

What’s better than one #mooloolabasurfclub ? FOUR.

The first was sketched on our first morning at the beach (fun),
the second from a photo that night (a bit staid),
the third on the beach (while my students may have been taking bets on how long it would take me to finish it – 17 minutes), and
the fourth from a photo as a demonstration painting in our main room with (mildly) spherical perspective and only four paint colours.
 
There’s so much to be said for painting a subject multiple times – and if it’s a subject you love, that’s even better.
 
Danny Gregory of #artb4bkfst says, “Warhol’s Law: if one drawing of a thing looks okay, ten look AWESOME.”
 
I agree.
 
And I think I’m done now.
 
Anna
Which Brush is Best?

Which Brush is Best?

Choosing the right brush size and shape can be a big decision when you are just starting out as a painter.

In my opinion, size does matter – especially if you are painting a big canvas, I recommend you start with a big brush.

Different Brushes Sampler

The shape of the brush matters too – to understand what each brush can do and the marks they can make painting a sampler can really help you get familiar with what each brush can do.

Try them out and see what kinds of marks they can do.

Pulling the brush in different directions, or twisting the brush makes such a difference.

Different Directions Brush Sampler

The more miles on the brush you do, the more you will understand what size and what shape will work best for what you are trying to achieve in your painting.

One Brush – Many Different Marks

I suggest you try different brands if you can, and look for a brush that holds its shape after a few uses.

Really, anything goes! 

My only “don’t” is don’t use watercolour brushes for acrylic.  In my experience they just won’t hold their shape. And I often use brushes marked as ‘acrylic’ for watercolour – it’s my personal preference.

Get some miles on some brushes and you’re bound to find your personal preference too.

Anna

Purple Rain in my studio

Purple Rain in my studio

I just realised that I hadn’t yet shared the timelapse of one of my recent paintings, ‘Purple Rain’. 

I was painting on the day Prince died, and while I was planning to do ‘all the colours’, for this one, purple flowers with gold foil berries seemed appropriate.

This painting has been varnished and is now available for sale on my website here and is similar to the style of painting I’ll be teaching at the McGregor Spring School in Toowoomba in September.

Shiny Happy Boxes and Bags

Shiny Happy Boxes and Bags

It’s been a long time since I’ve bought wrapping paper… and I find it almost impossible to throw away bags and boxes that I ‘just might’ find a use for. So in the interest of decluttering let me guide you through the creation of these truly unique gift bags and boxes.

Firstly, you’ll need some bags and boxes to upcycle. I LOVE Apple packaging, and it’s best to paint over all the imagery on them so you don’t get your recipient’s hopes up (unless you truly are giving them and iPad of course!). I’ve also used a couple of simple bags and a post box with some interesting Ukrainian leaf stamps (thank you Etsy!).

If there are stamps or interesting things or images on your bags and boxes, make sure they’re stuck on well. I’ve used some Golden Gel Medium to adhere the stamps well, but PVA or a glue stick would also do the job for this project. (The leaves on these stamps inspired the pattern I ended up painting onto this box.)

Choose your colours and paint over the text and logos – I’ve used Teal + White, Hansa Yellow + White and Magenta + White. By adding the white to each colour I’ve made the paint more opaque/less transparent, and more likely to do a good job of covering the bits I want to disguise.

Then using a paint pen or brush, start adding some patterned detail. You can also use stencils, more collage, pencils or sharpie markers. Be inspired by the patterns around you – fabrics, cushions, even all those new colouring in books that seem to be everywhere at the moment, can all be sources of pattern inspiration.

Here I googled ‘woodblock’ images and started with this paisley pattern inspiration.

For this bag I used acrylics to sketch on a loose wreath especially for Christmas.

Now, whether they go under a tree or in the mail, know that your packaging is as much a gift as what’s inside. Do a few at a time so you’ve always got a bag or box handy.

Fun, huh? I’d love to see what you make! Share with me on instagram or facebook – #shinyhappyart