Acrylic painting surface and medium experiments

After my issues with the paint lifting off of the apple exercise while I worked on it, I wanted to do some experimenting with different gessoes, surfaces, brushes, and mediums.

To compare with my bottle of Liquitex Basics gesso, I brought home a big jug of Jerry’s Studio Acrylic Gesso and applied it to a few surfaces with a small foam roller. After trying out a variety of combinations, Jerry’s gesso seems to be working for me on fabric that’s been adhered to a panel, and the Liquitex Basics is better for brushing on paper. Jerry’s applied with a roller was way too smooth on paper and that’s one of the reasons I struggled with the apple.

Daily Art 06-19-2018 testing out brushes and surfaces for acrylic paints
On the top section, I adhered some linen blend fabric to some illustration board and coated it with gesso. The texture is fantastic for brushing on the acrylic paints! On the bottom section, I prepped a piece of watercolor paper with a variety of colors and mediums to test lifting with different brushes.

Another thing I tried was mixing the toned ground layer with matte medium instead of water. My paints aren’t artist quality and the water was weakening the acrylic bond. A similar approach was done with some of the paint swatches in the upper left — the second and fourth rows of swatches are made more transparent with Golden Gloss Glazing Liquid rather than water.

I also put more paint on my brush, and tested out a filbert that’s softer than the Isabey Isacryl. The tests on paper (the lower section of the photo) worked much better with this softer brush than the Isacryl. The paint didn’t lift off as I went back over, and the brush strokes weren’t as apparent.

I’m totally loving the texture of the fabric on the panel! In the top section of the photo, I used a mystery linen blend fabric that I had gotten several years ago at a remnant shop. I wish I knew what it was, but they don’t label at that shop. I’m going to prep more panels with that fabric as well as some cotton duck canvas that I have in my stash. The paint adheres so nicely to the canvas sample and was a lot less stressful because it didn’t continually wipe off with additional brush strokes. The Isacryl brush works much better on this surface as well.

I hope to get back on track tomorrow by repeating the apple exercise.

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