Sunday, 12 July 2015

SUNSET OVER THE LAKE - Using Atelier Interactive Acrylic in a hot climate

As promised here is the second installment of testing Atelier Interactive Acrylics in a hot climate.

My studio is so hot that unless I paint in the morning, ordinary acrylic paint dries as soon as it comes out of the tube. I needed an alternative, hence the testing of Atelier Interactive. Interactive also dries fast, but it has the added benefit that you can reactivate it up to several days afterwards with a light mist and rework it.

With the second painting, SUNSET LAKE, I went back and adjusted a few things after 24 hours. I found that you could lift out areas with a damp brush like working with water colour. You could also go over passages that had dried with too hard a line, and soften it. I easily changed the line of the mountains against the sky because it hadn't created a hard ridge like normal acrylics. It accepted the change readily and covered in only a couple of coats rather than scraping with a blade and applying multiple coats to the area. On analysis I may go back and lighten the distant mountains, because it looks much nicer on the canvas painting.

As you can see, the Canson Arches I used for the second painting, seems to intensify the colour. It is also very absorbent and when you go in with a damp brush to touch up, it creates a strange spongey wicking effect where it temporarily changes the colour of the paint all around the spot. This does go away quickly but it is quite scary.

I also reactivated my dried out palette from the previous session by spraying lightly with water and allowing it to sit for a minute. I found too much weakens the paint, so it's best to mist several times to get into the thicker areas. Being frugal, I was impressed at this aspect of the paint because with ordinary acrylics they just get thrown away or for frugal me, used for texture in abstracts.

Just like ordinary acrylics, Atelier Interactive does dry a different colour, lights lighten, darks darken, intense brights intensify and dull colours go muddy. That didn't bother me, because as an acrylic painter I'm used to it.

Comparing the two paintings, I found it easier to paint on canvas than Arches, perhaps because the ambient temperature was over 90 degrees. I do find that Atelier Interactive seem to have a softer look than ordinary acrylics which can take some getting used to. It's more challenging to achieve very dark and very light areas. I think this is just a matter of changing technique slightly. All in all I like the result of the SUNSET OVER THE LAKE more than that of SUNSET LAKE, but I do like the extra texture in the latter.

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