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Find Lesson Plans on! GettyGames are demos & examples of Larry


From: Larry Seiler (lseiler_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun May 18 2003 - 00:52:14 PDT

> I am sooo impressed with your student's and your achievements!
>I have a question. I never liked acrylic in school and have avoided it
>since. I found that it dried too fast for my snails pace and I ended up
>with depressed areas and raised spots, etc.

>I love water based oils.
>Do you think I could teach my students to achieve paintings of your
>level with water based oils? Or should I take a class again in acrylics?

well....I certainly wouldn't discourage a class in acrylics just for your
own personal growth. Assuredly though, the waterbased oils should be fine.

I have the Chromacryl acrylics in 1/2 gallons with pumps for convenience
sake, and even start my elementary kids out using the stuff. I keep
styrofoam plates on hand for palettes and haven't experienced any of my
students finding the paint drying too fast for them.

For my advanced students that come back a second year, I give them Utrecht
acrylics in jars. A thicker higher quality acrylic pigment.

For personal work with acrylics though, I found that if you keep a spent ice
cream gallon pail nearby with about 2" of water in the bottom, you can turn
the styrofoam plate upside down on it anytime you get up and about. The
water in the bottom of the pale acts as a humidifying factor...and I found I
could let a plate sit there for a couple days and the paint would stay wet.

The convenience of the acrylics extends to painting near
anything...including fabric, wood name it.
technically do not have to have a gesso primer first. Oils have an acid
content that would eat at the support....and a primer not only becomes a
base to paint on...but protects the support from the paint. Acrylics being
a polymer do not have this damaging factor. The gesso is more or less
something I use because I like a uniform surface to paint on. I add black
and umber to the white gesso to have a midvalue and slightly warmer.

Another trick for painters is this- Yes...I know I mentioned the white
styrofoam plate, (whch is for convenience sake) however...if you find your
colors are a bit lifeless and especially attempting to imitate nature's
vibrancy...use a palette surface that is warm in value. The wooden palettes
of oil painters serves a secondary purpose many are not aware of. What
makes color sing where light exists is the warmth and pureness of a color.
On a white takes very little warmth in the color to seem warm
by comparison. The problem though is that applied to the canvas after
mixing the color on a white palette does little to match what you see nature
doing. By mixing on a palette that is warm by nature...a color that would
appear warm on a white palette might not seem so warm on a warm palette.
Thus, you tend to mix your color warmer on a warm palette, and apply it
having a bit more color strength, purer, brighter chroma intensity and so
on. The result is your paintings will be more striking...more bold, and
will happen naturally. They'll seem to breathe more life as a result.

Larry Seiler
My website, featuring both my artistic and musical personalities-

Member of NAPPAP-
"Painting is easy when you don't know how, but very difficult when you do!"
Edgar Degas