Thursday, September 3, 2015

Red Dress and Product Review

Generally, when painting, I tend to work with heavy body acrylics (usually Liquitex or Golden Acrylics. After watching some tutorial videos and reading some blogs, I've been interested in trying out something in a soft body with a higher flow, but the thought of building a new palette of colours in a different variant of paint was kind of off-putting, seeing as starter sets are usually prices in the 40-50 dollar range, and buying individual colours to create a basic palette was even more prohibitive.

That being said, when I found myself with a bit of birthday money last month, I decided to treat myself and picked up the Classic Professional Soft Body Acrylic Paint Set from Liquitex which comes with 8 basic colours in two-ounce jars.  The set is currently listed at almost 60 bucks (and also out-of-stock) on the Liquitex website. I don't know if that is USD or Canadian dollars, but I do know that I was able to pick the same set up from the Curry's at the Pacific Mall in Markham for about $35CAD, tax in.

The set includes the following colours:
  • Titanium White
  • Ivory Black
  • Napthol Crimson
  • Dioxazine Purple
  • Emerald Green
  • Cadmium Orange Hue
  • Phthaloyanine Blue (Green Shade)

Here's my first attempt working with this set:

Acrylic on 6" x 8" canvas board
The technical stuff:

First off, I've come to the conclusion that I don't particularly like working on canvas boards. I bought a few small ones during my birthday shopping spree for doing quick one-offs and practice bits, but there's something about them I find hard to work with.

Since my goal was to get sort of used to working with the lower viscosity paints, I was limited in my palette.  Let's put it this way: I have about 30 different colors in the heavy body, so working with just 8 colours meant I'd have to do more mixing.  Or not, because although I don't know if it was the type of paints or just the colours chosen, I really liked the more vivid colours in the end (although I did have to do some mixing for skin tones and shading).

What I wasn't prepared for was how messy the soft body paints are. This shouldn't be surprising, I guess, since they are a lot more runny than I am used to.  I was a complete mess just by the time I even got them open and got the little tab-things off each bottle.  A mess, I tell you.

I had to do a lot of layering and blending before kind of got the hang of A) what I wanted the paint to do and B) getting it to actually do what I wanted.

The fun stuff: 

This piece is kind of a quick-and-dirty, but in two parts. I was mostly just screwing around the first session, which took about an hour, and I wasn't wholly satisfied with what came out of it.  I sat down again last night and played around a bit and got this kind of classic cartoon look going.

I really enjoy the ambiguity in this picture. It's not obvious if this is a grown, but petite, woman or a little girl. The dress itself is something you might see on either. Her stance also doesn't make it entirely clear if she is walking, dancing, or gearing for a fight (as the wide stance and the clenched fist might indicate).

She looks defiant. I kind of like that.