Questions For Painters: Canvas, Gesso, Acrylic Paints?? Help?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Vince Maskeeper, Mar 20, 2005.

  1. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    I know nothing, but I've decided I'm going to start painting. I am going to order unprimed canvas, stretch it and prime it with Gesso myself. I need some tips from anyone who knows about this stuff.

    I'd like to buy online, but don't know what brands are good or what stuff I'll need (gesso brushes? what size brushes for actual painting? what canvas weight: #10? #8? #12? Any tips on stretching and priming canvas?

    I'm sure there are some painters here, or maybe just some folks who took some art classes in the past. Any tips on what I might need, what brands to trust and (even better) online sources with good prices... they would be much appreciated.

    -Vince
     
  2. JonZ

    JonZ Lead Actor

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    I dont remember [​IMG]

    Last year when I decided to do a watercolor after a decade off I just went to the art store and simply ran my hand over the paper until I found one I liked.

    Any advice someone gives you will be preference.Get some different paper and try them and see which you like best.
     
  3. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    Vince,

    I am the son of a commercial artist, so I'll try to help. Canvas stretching is easy and fun to do for the novice painter to "get you into the art". My best advice is to find a great (not good, but great) fine arts supply store. Must be a few out in LA LA land. Be sure to go to one that has young hippie chicks or artsy types manning the desk. Steer clear of the real commercial ones. Then, ask away! Artsy types are usually quiet, unless you are talking about art, then they don't shut up.[​IMG] Although I inherited some of my dad's talent, I've never been much on painting. But I did used to go to work with him and part of that time was spent going to the fine arts store. One thing I did learn there - buy great brushes, camel hair if possible. Nothing can frustrate a painter like inferior brushes. As for paints, oils give great results, but are a pain to use. Beginners usually stick to acrylics; they are easy to clean, easy to mix and easy to apply.
     
  4. Jamie Goff

    Jamie Goff Agent

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    I'd like to recomend a book to you. It's called Art Class: A Complete Guide To Painting By: Simon Jennings. You can get it at Amazon.com for $11.99. It will answer and show you how to do most of the questions you have asked. The book will also give you a great reference guide to different painting techniques. I think this would be the way to go because a book like this will give you the basics you need to start painting.
     
  5. DustinLC

    DustinLC Supporting Actor

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    Vince,

    Why waste your time stretching your own canvas and priming it when it can be bought with all that done at a cheep price. I've always spend my time on the art itself instead of bothering with all that. The only reason I can think of that would make me want to stretch my own would be if I can't find the size I want. So far, art stores have provided me with all dimensions. Yeah, it's not hard but it's still time. You cut, strech over the wood frame you snap together yourself, put a coat of gesso, let it dry, sand it, put on another coat, ect...... waste of my valuable times. However, professional artists take pride in going through the whole routine. I don't have that much time.

    It should be easy for you to find a store nearby in your area.

    Speaking from someone who's done watercolor, acrylic, traditional oil, fast-drying oil, water-mixable oil, and gouche, my favorite is traditional oil. Don't mess with fast-drying oil and water-mixable. Their consistency gives me headaches in achieving my goals.

    To start out, I would recommend acrylic though. It is the most flexible and can be made to look like watercolor or oil. It really depends on what you paint. Acrylic will give you the most flexibility. It's clean and safe.

    As for brushes, same deal. It depends on what you are painting and what kind of effect you like to achieve.

    Hey, once you got your supplies and know what you want to paint, come back to this thread and I'll give you some tips on the painting itself.

    I know you wanted to paint because there's something you want to paint, right? That will be a start. I know a lot of books, ect will recommend you get all this stuffs but if you're more focus, it will narrow down what you need especially when it's time to choose color.
     
  6. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    I ordered it! Thanks for the tip...
     
  7. DonnyD

    DonnyD Screenwriter

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    When I was younger, like 35 years younger, one of my hobbies was oil painting. Back then, making a frame and stretching an old white bed sheet over it, applying several coats of latex paint, worked very well. Of course, now most people would make fun of that but it worked. And was cheap!

    Several years ago, I switched to acrylics. I found it easier but with less "open" time.

    On canvas, in our area, large pre-stretched canvas is hard to find so I simply bought a roll of canvas (forget the type) and made my own frames the size I wanted. Since most of my work the past few years has been pretty large paintings (4x5 etc), it has definitely worked for me.

    Good luck and have fun!
     
  8. Jamie Goff

    Jamie Goff Agent

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    When I started out painting I used Liquitex Basic acrylic paints. They weren't to expensive and worked really well for the money. www.pearlpaint.com sells them for $2.38 for a 75ml tube and $5.32 for 200ml tube. Use google and you may be able to find a better price.

    Couple of things about acrylics:

    1. They dry fast, so always have a spray bottle of water handy to revive the paint.

    2.Make a glass palette. Buy a picture frame, and take the glass from it, then put a white foam cardboard backing (like presentation board) behind the glass, and duct tape (tape it around the borders) the foam cardboard backing to the glass. This works well because the paint is easy to mix on the glass surface, and clean up is a breeze, just scrape the paint off with a paint scraper and some water.
     
  9. DustinLC

    DustinLC Supporting Actor

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    Liquitex is the way to go. It comes in student level and professional level. The difference is the concentration of pigments. I would just go with the professional ones. If the painting doesn't turn out well, at least you can't blame it on the quality of the paint [​IMG].

    The brand isn't all that important. I like Liquitex simple because of the durable, flexible tubes and the big twist cap. I also buy Golden brand which is fine too. I just don't like their tubes as much. When the paint dries underneath that little cap, it takes more work to peal it off. It's no big deal though.
    Go with which ever one or mix them. It doesn't really matter.

    I can see why the size you want would make it difficult.. Can you not go with 24x48?

    As for the fast drying problem of acrylic. It's very annoying. Oil has its own problem but acrylic fast drying is the biggy. They do sell slow-drying agent to help slow it down but it won't help much. I recommend you do acrylic like you do a concentrated watercolor. Don't just use the paint out of the tube. Dilute it with water or glazing agent. How much is up to you. Do your paintings in layers. The more layers you have, the better your painting will be in depth and color. It takes longer and transparent and ugly when you start off but keep at it and it pays off. With acrylic, you can't make mistake. Just cover it up. This is also why working with layers is good. It will allow you to correct mistakes. Of course, with the present of water, it will also slow down the drying time.

    Vince, you still haven't mention what area of painting you're diving into. I think it makes a difference in the discussion.



    Donny, I hear ya. It's the final art that counts, not what's underneath it.
     
  10. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Again, think of it as an abstraction of a frame from a film. So I might have something like this:
    [​IMG]

    And it will be come a bit more solid colors and stylized. We'll see how it develops as I work on it.

    Thanks again for the tips, any additional ones you have would be appreciated.
     
  11. DustinLC

    DustinLC Supporting Actor

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    Oh, I recommend buying liquitex mixing/glazing for acrylic. It comes in this white bottle and have the consistency of liquid soap. Gloss or matte.

    http://www.liquitex.com/Products/flu...lossmedvar.cfm

    They can be used to dilute the acrylic and give it body while painting. My mixture of paint always contain either water, this medium, or the mixture of the two. I never use the paint right out of the tube because it won't brush well and dries too fast. Whenever you want the most concentrated paint/pigment, mix a little of this medium in. In most diluted form, mix the paint with just water. Remember that everything is water soluble here so everything can be mixed together.

    When your painting is finished, use this medium to sell it.

    Is that the piece you'll be working with?

    Have you thought about how to transfer your drawing on it yet? Don't do your sketch on the canvas or you're be spending half the time erasing like hell. It's very difficult to erase pencil on canvas. Minor erasing is ok and it's going to happen but keep it at a minimum. If you must have a lot of erasing on it, it just means you're need more work to cover up the mistakes later. It's just annoying to see half-erased lines bleeding through your acrylic during the layering stages.

    Here's how I would approach that piece. Once you got your drawing done, mix some burnt sienna and raw umber and dilute it with water. Have your canvas down on a flat surface. Use a large angle or flat brush and brush in the dilution. It should be a water consistency and your drawing should bleed through. It's just tinting the canvas so you'll eliminate the white. We'll talking about 1 part acrylic to about 7-10part water (use a cup). It's always best to err on the side of too light/diluted. Let it dry laying flat. It'll take about an hour depending on how much water you have on it. There'll be areas that are darker than others but it doesn't matter. None of this will be in your final piece. I usually just have my mixture and pour it directly on the canvas and brush it out. This step is just to seal the drawing and to eliminate having to deal with the white.

    Then after it's dry, have your canvas on an easel. Use either burnt sienna, raw umber or burnt umber (a mixture of those will be fine) slightly diluted and retrace the pencil drawing. You don't have to do this if your piece is so stylized that accuracy isn't needed. Remember that when you painting is finished, you won't have any lines. None of it will be visible. They're just a guide.

    Now, you can blot out the shapes with the same color having the canvas on an easel. How you approach this step will separate the realistic approach from what you're after. Use a flat brush and the same color and imagine the piece in just sepia. Do the black jackets of the men in the back with the most concentrated mixture and the yellow in the front with the lightest. You don't have to take this sepia-look approach but many artists like to establish the lighting and contrast this way. It provides an underlayer for the painting. Also, by doing this, when you apply in the color, it'll stand out and you get a real good sense of how your painting will turn out. Contrast that with just start dabbling in the yellow, for example, on the white background.

    Looking at that scene, I would say be careful with the men's black jacket. If you'll not careful, those jackets will dominate your painting. It'll also stand out the most from the distance. I suggest starting the jacket light. Don't even use black. Black is rarely use in a painting because it contrast too much with everything else. Black can also be created by mixing ultramarine blue (any dark blue will be fine) and raw umber (burnt sienna, burnt umber is fine too) if you ever need it. I use black to tint a color but most of the time, I use payne's gray to tint something (payne's gray is actually a mixture of black and ultramarine blue).

    You're going to hear all these experts or books telling you that only the primary color, ect, are needed and all can be made from just a few tubes. First off, it can be wasteful when you'll starting off learning how to mix colors. Let just say you're trying to create skyblue (ultramarine blue with white), you only need a very small amount of blue on white but beginners will have too much blue and end up having to add more and more white. By the time they got to skyblue, they pretty much used up the white [​IMG]. If you have the money, buy the skyblue and adjust it lighter or darker from there [​IMG]. I'm certainly not recommending buying all the colors. Liquitex makes so many that are so close together in color that it makes no difference which one you choose. Also, depending on the kind of paintings you do, you only need certain colors. Go first with the series 1 colors in case you haven't yet discover how much more it cost as you go up the series [​IMG]
     

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