Art: Anyone Have Any Tips for Acrylic on Illustration Board?!
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Thread: Anyone Have Any Tips for Acrylic on Illustration Board?!

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    Anyone Have Any Tips for Acrylic on Illustration Board?!

    I'm working on a full color illustration and I love good acrylic stuff (Carl Critchlow, Jim Burns, Wayne Reynolds, etc.) so I thought I would attempt it even though acrylics are a fairly new medium for me. I'm working on gessoed cold press illustration board, which I've never attempted before, and no matter what I do, I cant seem to blend the paint or smooth the brush strokes out with out the paper making a wierd texture, Additionally, I'm having a hell of a time getting any opaque color to stick to the surface. Any tips about using this medium or illustration board would be greatly appreciated! I would love to make a good acrylic illustration for once, but I'm bashing my head against my desk and looking fondly at my water color crap and colored pencils!

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    I've got nothing..

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    Ilaekae is offline P.O.W.! Leader, Complete Idiot, Super Moderator Level 17 Gladiator: Spartacus' Dimachaeri
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    I think you have two problems, not one...

    1. The surface sounds too smooth. You mentioned you gessoed the board. Is it ultra smooth now? If so, you actually eliminated the tooth of the original board.

    2. You indicated that you are new to acrylics. They ain't oils. They don't blend that way without a lot of drying retarder, AND you really don't wanna do that. The fact that a number of your colors are skating on the surface means they're too stiff. The same happens in oils and guache with certain earth colors. Just add a bit of medium or water.

    Acrylics have to be worked with fast if you like wet in wet. I personally work in a modified drybrush style...build the image up in layers of opaque color, each of which should be fairly dry before adding the next. Or work in one of the oldest techniques around and one that you should be familiar with if you work with water color or oils--glazing. Roughly build your image with grays or a monochromatic pallette, then glaze in the colors using a thin medium/paint mix. The opaques would go on next for the finishing.

    It sounds like your lack of familiarity is getting in your way. Don't attempt a painting right off. Get some paper and practice doing exercises that allow you to learn how to manipulate the paint. If it's thinned with water or a lot of medium, it actually works just like watercolor. The thicker apllication methods require a little skill and practice...so practice...just make smears and see what happens with different thinnings, different types of brushes, different speeds, etc.

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    Thanks Ilaekae! Good stuff.

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    to add to Ilaekae's comment,

    when i work in acrylics i work up from very thin glazes over a detailed (and sealed of course) graphite rendering...once i'm starting to get the feel down and my value/hue relationships then i move into thicker paint w/ a little retarder to slow it down a tad so i can blend. the glazes in acrylic work great because they dry fast and you don't have to worry about the pigment being lifted in later layers...just becareful of flaking near any masked edges once you are in the later stages of the piece.

    good luck buster,
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