Acrylic Glazing and Colored Pencils?
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    Acrylic Glazing and Colored Pencils?

    I read in this month's ImagineFX magazine that one of the featured artists created her pieces using layers of clear acrylic glazing and colored pencils. How would one go about doing this? Do you just throw down a lean layer of acrylic glazing and work background to foreground with the colored pencils as if you were using real paint?

    This sounds really fun, but I wanted to get some more information on this process before jumping in.

    -I often post from my phone; so please excuse the typos
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    I am not sure colored pencil wax would layer on top of the acrylic resin. Have you got any such stuff from that artist to show?

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    I agree with arenhaus, I can't imagine coloured pencils working on top of acrylic. But it works the other way around (pencils first and glazing on top) - I know glazing over coloured pencils with oil paints and oil mediums works well, so I imagine it is the same principle with acrylic. At least without seeing the work, that seems to me the most obvious thing the artist would be doing.

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    As long as the acrylic layer isn't too glossy it works fine. Keep to thin washes, and if the surface stops wanting to accept the pencil, then a layer of matte medium will restore the tooth.


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    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=222004 Take a look at post 9. That may helps...

    Build the darks up with glazing and the lights with opaque colors. Opaque colors for the lights should be scumbled in, it is easier to control them that way. Just stop at the right value, which is easy if you build them up in steps.

    Here a tutorial from Joe Jusko http://www.comicartfans.com/GalleryP...122&GSub=37335

    And Paul Bonner is doing a similar thing, although not in acrylics http://muddycolors.blogspot.com/2011...ul-bonner.html

    Glenn Fabry is working in that way too. http://www.glennfabry.co.uk/workinprogress.htm

    And for further research take a look at this: http://www.amazon.com/Anatomy-Fantas.../dp/0715320289

    Glenn Fabry wrote a book with the unfitting title "anatomy for fantasy artists". You would never expect 3 pages describing his technique a little closer in there. It is worth a look.

    cheers, Acki

    Last edited by AckermannPhilip; October 26th, 2011 at 09:05 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by arenhaus View Post
    I am not sure colored pencil wax would layer on top of the acrylic resin. Have you got any such stuff from that artist to show?
    This is the artist that I saw in ImagineFX:
    http://pockypuu.blogspot.com/

    I didn't look through her whole catalogue on that blogspot, but it looks like that is her main technique (acrylic+CP), so it looks like most of the art on that website are this technique.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AckermannPhilip View Post
    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=222004 Take a look at post 9. That may helps...

    Build the darks up with glazing and the lights with opaque colors. Opaque colors for the lights should be scumbled in, it is easier to control them that way. Just stop at the right value, which is easy if you build them up in steps.

    Here a tutorial from Joe Jusko http://www.comicartfans.com/GalleryP...122&GSub=37335

    And Paul Bonner is doing a similar thing, although not in acrylics http://muddycolors.blogspot.com/2011...ul-bonner.html

    Glenn Fabry is working in that way too. http://www.glennfabry.co.uk/workinprogress.htm

    And for further research take a look at this: http://www.amazon.com/Anatomy-Fantas.../dp/0715320289

    Glenn Fabry wrote a book with the unfitting title "anatomy for fantasy artists". You would never expect 3 pages describing his technique a little closer in there. It is worth a look.

    cheers, Acki
    Wow, thanks for this great response Acki! There's a lot to absorb here.

    What sort of acrylic do you use for the glazing? And if you decide to reply to this, assume that I know nothing about painting materials when giving your description I want to make sure that I get the right materials for the job.

    Thanks again for your response, that was exactly what I was looking for.

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    Daler Rowney system3 Student grade paints. ( They are not even that bad, which one would expect after using their crappy oil paint "georgian" )

    But recently I have decided to go with Golden Acrylics. If you want to see those at work check out Greg Craola Simkins. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhdhz...eature=related.
    ( If you wonder what he is doing: He is doing a deadcoloring first before he starts to work out lights, shadows and detail with opaque strokes, glazes, and scumbles. Just open your mind and suck it up into your brain. You can always mix techniques, no need to shakle yourself. But just keep in mind: Basically, wet into wet blending with acrylics and water is a bad idea. Does not work very well.)

    Glazing technique or no glazing at all: You want lightfast, good quality colors in your artwork.

    But nobody will kill you for going with the cheap stuff to get known to the technique. Oh, and don't make yourself crazy because of any fancy glaze medium.
    Just get a cup of water for the first studies. That is enough. Play around with the goodies later when you know what to do.

    So... that is all I know. As a rookie I am just getting into that stuff by myself , so please observe twice before you take anything for granted here.

    cheers, Acki

    Last edited by AckermannPhilip; October 27th, 2011 at 05:56 AM.
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    Thanks again for the reply, Acki.

    One last question: I'm reading through a few of these tutorials, and some of these artists are masking off parts of their paintings. How are they doing this? Is it some sort of wax that they apply, and then later remove?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Syle View Post
    How are they doing this? Is it some sort of wax that they apply, and then later remove?
    Masking fluid/frisket/rubber cement.
    http://www.comicartfans.com/GalleryP...122&GSub=37335
    The yellow tinge that you see is Winsor & Newton "Art Masking Fluid"


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    Sorry, last question Acki.

    How are these artists going about drying their glazes between passes/washes? Are they just counting the minutes?

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    I am going to risk some criticism here but through experience I have found that using bad acrylics to glaze can really frustrate someone trying to learn layering techniques. I learned how to paint with acrylics but as I became better the glazes and color weren't rich enough so I went oils and stuck with it for years. At some point I was introduced to Golden fluid acrylics and now I have returned to acrylics with an occasional oil finish.

    The thing is that when you build layers with inferior paint it can get chalky and deaden colors. Of course in the hands of someone experienced you can get around that. But it can swear one off of acrylics too early from frustration.

    I am not advocating going out and buying a million dollars of good acrylics vs. a few dollars for bad but if you want to give acrylic glazing techniques their due then you really need good paint.

    And by the way I used a similar method of acrylic colored pencil application that Tran uses earlier in my career. Elwell is spot on. You just need to limit the number of washes and build carefully with pencil not making a candle with every stroke.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Syle View Post
    Sorry, last question Acki.

    How are these artists going about drying their glazes between passes/washes? Are they just counting the minutes?
    Hair Dryer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bcarman View Post
    I am going to risk some criticism here but through experience I have found that using bad acrylics to glaze can really frustrate someone trying to learn layering techniques. I learned how to paint with acrylics but as I became better the glazes and color weren't rich enough so I went oils and stuck with it for years. At some point I was introduced to Golden fluid acrylics and now I have returned to acrylics with an occasional oil finish.

    The thing is that when you build layers with inferior paint it can get chalky and deaden colors. Of course in the hands of someone experienced you can get around that. But it can swear one off of acrylics too early from frustration.

    I am not advocating going out and buying a million dollars of good acrylics vs. a few dollars for bad but if you want to give acrylic glazing techniques their due then you really need good paint.
    You are completely right of course. The richness of the paint and the contained pigment is a very important factor for good results.

    That grinch study in my SB is destroying itself because I glazed low quality green over a red underpainting, which was done with good quality paint. The red is showing through more and more.

    So yes, you are right in that point, my bad. =)

    cheers, Acki

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    Thanks for the replies, everyone.

    I am making an attempt at this. I've chosen to do a copy of a painting that someone in this community did. I can't recall who painted this, because I saved the image to my computer a long long time ago (sometime around when I first joined, I think...).

    My process so far:

    1. Pencil sketch
    2. 1 layer working fixative spray
    3. paint in a yellowish/warm under-toning wash
    4. layed down some frisket to separate the background from the main subject
    5. attempted to lay in some sort of blue/grey glazing layer for the sky; it looks way too green/marine blue.

    Questions:
    1. Am I laying on my frisket thick enough?
    2. Am I moving in the right steps as far as my process is concerned? From what I could research, it seems like I am.
    3. If I were to take on Acrylics instead of watercolors, would my approach and treatment of the paper/paint be any different? The reason I ask, is because I don't have a lot of spare money to throw at acrylics right now, especially if they aren't going to be much different.

    Paul Bonner is quoted in one of those links you posted Acki:

    "I use water colours in tubes, I guess in the same way someone else will use acrylics, gouache or oils. Squeezed out onto a plastic Ikea tray. "

    What does he mean by this? Does he mean, compared to most normal watercolor applications, that he tends to use more watercolor paint/pigment on the surface of the paper? This quote intrigued me, but I wasn't quite sure what he was saying here.

    Thanks for any help!

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    Update:

    I tried to grey out the sky a little bit. I'm finding with watercolor glazing that things tend to get muddy really quickly. Am I not letting things dry sufficiently enough before doing a pass with a different color? Maybe I'm using too much water...

    Even though trial and error will be king in this sitch, any advice and help in the right direction would be greatly appreciated.

    PS: Acki, I ordered that book, "Anatomy for Fantasy Artists", that you mentioned in your earlier post. I hope to get it soon!

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    I feel like I am on the right track. I am a magnet to muddy colors, so I am finding myself having to often brighten areas up with white, and then sort of start over with the glazing process.

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    If you put several glazes of red on a white surface you will get a rich color. If you glaze many different colors over the other, you achive an optical color mixing. Lay a glaze of red over yellow and you will get orange. Add more red glazes to deepen the tone and to achieve purer red. Add green and you will get mudd. As you can see, it is similar to normal color mixing.

    So if you get mud, you just did not know what you did.

    BUt I have to say, that your copy attemts are some difficult projects. I would not have the guts to attack this ( the same goes for your oil painting copy ).

    And it is tricky to achieve the right chroma and value with glazes if you copy something. The only honest advise I can give you: Study color theory, attack the canvas, screw it up, and go for it again and again and again....

    Your quesitions:

    1. Am I laying on my frisket thick enough? What is a frisket?
    2. Am I moving in the right steps as far as my process is concerned? From what I could research, it seems like I am. Yes.
    3. If I were to take on Acrylics instead of watercolors, would my approach and treatment of the paper/paint be any different? The reason I ask, is because I don't have a lot of spare money to throw at acrylics right now, especially if they aren't going to be much different. I don't know how to use watercolors. But I can imagine that acrylics are a lot easier to use for this. Especially with this technique. You can go right back into it when the last glazed layer is dry after a few minutes. Don't you have to use some kind of fixative for watercolors between each layer? As I said, I don't know how watercolors behave. Though it is quite useful being able to remove the previous layer if you went wrong. You can't undo a layer with acrylics once it is dry. I hope that I am right with what I know about watercolors. I would appreciate the meaning of someone who is experienced with watercolors more than mine here.

    my advice for you. Draw 10 illuminated spheres. Paint each one in this technique in different colors and try to achieve the same values relationships. Then play around with optical color mixing. After that you could add some texture for example. That gives you more understanding.

    Last edited by AckermannPhilip; November 7th, 2011 at 08:48 AM.
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    Wait, what? You started out asking about a specifically acrylic technique, and now you're working in watercolor? While there may be some overlap in techniques, they're totally different things.


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    That blue masking tape is going to fuck you up a bit. You'll wind up unconsciously relating your painting to it... And get a bit of a shock when you remove it.
    Better to use a cream/white.

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    Shit, so much quality advice in this thread; thanks everyone for taking the time to hammer some common sense into an idiot like me. I'm off to paint!

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