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  1. #1
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    Cheapest way to get Acrylic Paint on something?

    After the Manley colour theory lecture, I am inspired to do traditional still life studies.

    My issue is that canvas is fairly expensive (for acrylic painting), especially when I'm considering doing quite a number of studies.

    Does anybody know cheaper alternatives if they even exist? I've heard some types of paper can do it but I don't want to buy the wrong ones.


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  3. #2
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    Get a cheap ass acrylic paint book at Walmart, paint the edges of the sheets the stick together and don't wrinkle as they get wet. It works okay for me. Worse case scenario? You lost a whole 8 bucks.
    Do you Mentler?

    Booting up a new sketchbook.

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  5. #3
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    You can paint acrylic on practically anything. Any heavy paper will do.

    Tristan Elwell
    **Finished Work Thread **Process Thread **Edges Tutorial

    "Work is more fun than fun."
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    "Art is supposed to punch you in the brain, and it's supposed to stay punched."
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  7. #4
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    Acrylic will stick to pretty much anything but thin paper will warp unless you tape it down.

    You could get a big sheet of mountboard and chop it up, that's heavy enough that it shouldn't warp.

    Edit: also, if any of those studies turn out well, it's a cheap, sturdy acid free surface that should wear well if you want to keep them.
    Last edited by Flake; July 27th, 2009 at 09:14 PM.

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  9. #5
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    Heavy watercolor paper works fine--if you notice it warps, just stretch it (either with tape or staples). A watercolor block would remove all worries about warping. Masonite is also pretty cheap and works great after a couple coats of gesso.

    There's a lot of options.

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  11. #6
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    Be warned though: Masonite isn't for everybody, it's not nearly as easy to draw on as paper or illustration board (some people think it's easier that canvas, I'm not one of them) and it doesn't absorb water well like paper, illustration board or canvas, meaning slow drying times.

    And yeah, even sketchbook or moleskine paper will work in a pinch. It helps if you leave margins at the edges of the paper dry.
    Do you Mentler?

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  13. #7
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    you can pick up huge rolls of lining paper for cheap which you can just tape down to a surface. i've used it and it's usually fine unless you work too much water into it, then it warps. hardboard is also very cheap which you could get from a hardware store. they usually sell it in big sheets. some places will cut it up for you for a price or you can just do it yourself. i'd recommend that over the paper just because warping can be a pain in the butt. if you are planning to work large scale then do use the paper instead, because the hardboard will start to warp at a certain size unless you mount it.

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  15. #8
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    Absolute cheapest alternative for doing studies that might well end up getting tossed out, is buy a big thing of cheap gesso and prime up cardboard. You can get cardboard for free, and it's often heavy enough to take a light priming. Or hell, work directly on the cardboard if there is no printing on it, as the brown/grey color is a nice mostly neutral tone to start working on.

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  17. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Wilson View Post
    Absolute cheapest alternative for doing studies that might well end up getting tossed out, is buy a big thing of cheap gesso and prime up cardboard. You can get cardboard for free, and it's often heavy enough to take a light priming. Or hell, work directly on the cardboard if there is no printing on it, as the brown/grey color is a nice mostly neutral tone to start working on.
    This, big time. Gesso the old cardboard backings from your drawing/painting/pastel pads, gesso the thinner piece of cardstock that's on the front, gesso invitation cards from local art shows, bank pamphlets, and PAINT ON THEM!!!

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  19. #10
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    You can re-use old stuff, too, if it's on heavy enough material. Did that painting go muddy? Not like what you did? Gesso over it and start again.....

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  21. #11
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    I've painted on cardboard boxes I tore up. Works great.

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  23. #12
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    get big A1 sheets of grey board for about £1 and then prime them with PVA. Works a charm and you get a lot of little canvases out of A1. I double side them too.

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