Things the paint-n-sip instructor forgot to tell you about Acrylics

The first installment of the Art Crimes series.

“Stop wasting paint!”
Because paint is money.
Maybe it’s drying on your palette or you're throwing it away by the globs.
Or Worse, you’re getting frustrated when paint doesn’t behave on canvas the way that you envisioned. So what? You use more or you accidentally dilute it too much.


There are some things you should know about acrylics.


There are different kinds.
Want to know the difference between Heavy Body and Softy Body?
Heavy is thicker and usually needs to be diluted. Unless you’re an oil painter like myself- and palette knife wielders too- who prefer a thicker consistency.

Check the opacity rating.
Most tubes will have this information on the label. Opaque, semi-opaque, semi-transparant, etc.

There are additives.
If you’re in love with a soft body paint but need stronger coverage, there are extenders that you can purchase to give your paints that thick, buttery consistency.  Similarly there are opaque mediums to add to your transparent colors.
Love the color but wish it were sparkly? There are iridescent mediums. You’re welcome.
Accidentally purchase a heavy body?
Dilute with water.

By the way…
Acrylics need water. More so than plants.
Dipping your brush in water can be too much too fast! Keep a cheap spray bottle of water by your painting station. This will save your palette or your paintings if they begin to dry before you’re finished. Water also helps to blend colors when you already have a lot of paint on the canvas.

There are cheaper alternatives.
Some pigments are expensive but they have inexpensive, synthetic alternatives called “hues”. Like Cadmium Orange vs. Cadmium Orange Hue for example.
When buying cheaper paints, mind the lightfast rating. Over time, pigments will deteriorate. How serious is your project?


Have you witnessed any unspeakable wrongs? Tortured brushes? Abandoned paint tubes? Dried up markers!? Confess them to me.
Comment here and your rant could be featured in the next edition of Art Crimes.

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