Sunday, November 1, 2009

Stephen Quiller Workshop – Saturday – Acrylics

Steve began the day with an introduction to the acrylic medium. Acrylic is by far the most luminous medium available, even surpassing oils. It is also thought to be the most durable, although it will take a few hundred more years to prove that. It is a non-yellowing, strong, transparent and versatile binder. Steve believes Richeson’s acrylic to be the best binder of all acrylics based on the “stretch test” which proves it holds the most pigment. You can read more on this subject on the Quiller Gallery website.

Statistics show that 1/3 of painters use acrylics to some extent in their work so it has become a very popular medium. Next Steve reviewed his 12 color spectral palette [MUCH more on page 54 of Watermedia Painting with Stephen Quiller] and began a demo of how to use acrylic transparently similar to using watercolor.

acrylic set up and sketchHere Steve shows us his preliminary sketch and has his tubes set up to squeeze.  

about all I need to do for now40 minutes later Stephen arrived at a stopping point…  FORTY minutes!!!!  In this photo you can see the overhead mirror which made it easier for students to see what was going on. 

I must admit that, having painted very little in acrylic, I was scrambling mentally to keep pace with the volume of information at this point. I did relearn these points:

  • When acrylic is used transparently [like watercolor], it will dry the same value as laid. If it is applied thickly it will dry darker.
  • Paint does not granulate the same way it does in watercolor applications.
  • Lifting paint and softening edges must be done before the paint dries – once it dries, it won’t lift.

After we had a chance to use these techniques for a bit, we regrouped and Steve changed the entire feeling of his demo simply by glazing [applying paint very thinly] over the top portion of the painting with a red/orange color. Look at the difference that made...

sat am beginning   Before the glaze                             After the glaze.

And, once again hidden at the bottom of my blog, here is my effort on this technique.  [ouch]

DSCN3942I’ve got a lot to learn about painting with acrylics.  Fortunately, I’m going to get a chance to review this again soon.  Sharon Williams is instructing a class through Chinook Learning Services called “Paint Creatively with Watermedia” and we begin tomorrow.

As I plow through the notes and photos I took over the course of the week I am reinforcing the things I learned.  It’s amazing how much ground we covered in the five days.  Part II of Saturday tomorrow…  ciao!

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AnotherQ said...

I love "taking" this class through you. :-)
Thanks for sharing the experience and the photos. This is very interesting!

Sharon said...

I like yours better than his!