Saturday, 17 September 2011

Alla Prima (Wet-on-Wet) with Acrylic Paints

You might probably think that family and work has been kind to me to allow more painting and blog updates on this project. The truth is that this extra time provision has been a consequence of some revolutionary developments and revisions made to my acrylic painting techniques. Having gained some experience from using acrylic retarders, I decided that it will be helpful to formalize a short pictorial demonstration of how the oil painting technique Alla Prima or 'wet-on-wet' could be employed in acrylic painting.

To begin, a moist ground consisting of a 50/50 mixture of retarder and water was applied with an airbrush. This solution saturates the porous matt base color to prevent conspicuous stains to occur when the opaque colors are next applied.

Prussian Blue, Deep Orange, Flesh and Black in their original state (with no prior thinning needed) are dabbed over the moist ground. Note how the colors diffuse and mingle with each other like in water color painting.

These colors are carefully mingled together. Keep in mind that the purpose of using ingredient colors is to generate tonal variety and over working will therefore result in a flat homogeneous tone.

The extended drying time also permits the highlight color to be concurrently applied.

The sfumato effect could be created by blending the boundaries together with a dry brush (a la Bob Ross).

The finished result with smooth tonal and color transitions and the pièce de résistance, no silvering and watermarks!

I have no doubts that while some might find this relevant, my intention however was aimed towards oil and enamel painters, who at one point in time tried to make the switch but were unable to adapt to the mandates of the acrylic paint medium. Therefore what I'm hoping to achieve is to perhaps close the divide between the two mediums, expand the potential of the acrylic medium and idealistically offer seasoned oil and enamel painters another crack at painting with acrylics.




Anonymous said...

Hi, Calvin:

Your work with acrylic retarder is really opening my eyes to the possibilities of using paints like Vallejo. I was always hesitant because whenever I'd used acrylics in the past like Tamiya, the fast drying time made them frustrating to work with.

Thanks for the tutorial!



Serhat said...

At last, i reached to you! i know now your secret recipes. oh by the way, i'm great fan of your works. You are my master, and i thing i should pass to you.

(and i'm sorry about my broken english.)