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Why do you work in acrylics?

Updated: Jan 13

I love acrylic paint! I feel like I have mastered acrylic, having worked in them for many years, and I can use several different techniques to get the effects I want. Acrylics are very versatile and have come a long way in recent years. The quality has vastly improved and they have become more vibrant with a great finish.

I use acrylics like watercolours, to begin with. I take a large brush and add a lot of water to the paint to cover the canvas. I love how quickly they dry so I can build up layers of paint creating a translucent effect. I have recently taught myself palette-knife painting, and love using thick acrylic paint in areas to build up texture, usually along a horizon.

I worked from home for many years, often painting on my parent's kitchen table or bedroom floor. Acrylic paints are water-based, and have little scent, making them safe to work in domestic areas. I am sensitive to strong smells and while at art school, found the smell of oil paints and white spirit intoxicating for a few moments yet over time they gave me headaches.

People often mistake my paintings for oils, as I can create similar effects with acrylics and use a thin gloss varnish when complete to bring out the colours. I like the control I have with acrylics and love using different techniques in my paintings. I have used oils before, but it felt like painting with butter! It may be something I try again in the future, but for now, I am happy with acrylics.

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