Why I love painting with acrylic

Two years ago I made the switch to using acrylics in my art. It was a move away from the watercolour illustrations I had been creating into landscape art.

I've been asked a few time since, why I changed, and to be honest, it just felt like the right step. I was following a creative tangent to capture the places I'd visited, and the ideas in my head just weren't coming out how I wanted when I used watercolour. 

Exhibit A:

It took me a LONG time to make the change. I was getting frustrated that the work I was creating wasn't what I had envisioned and I was stubbornly continuing on the same path without changing anything. I was reluctant to turn to acrylics. 

Acrylic was the paint I used during my high school days, mostly because it came supplied in big bottles in the classroom.

Exhibit B:

When I left school, acrylic paint didn't hold the same appeal, it was thin and cheap and didn't produce the results I wanted. My university days were spent playing with print-making (before building light sculptures out of junk), and in my years after graduation I picked up watercolours. 

It's only in recent years I came full circle and turned back to acrylics only to find out just how much better they are than I remembered. Its feels like a completely different paint. Which to be fair, it is. I invested in good quality paint instead of the cheap school stuff. 

What I've loved about my exploration into acrylic painting is the layering. If I paint a tree but don't love it, its no biggie.  I'll just paint over it.

This is something I just couldn't do when painting with watercolours. Mess something up with them, and that's it; you need to start fresh. 

Acrylics have been so much more forgiving and I've really enjoyed the last few years of exploration with them. I've been able to produce paintings that match with what I had envisioned and set out to do. I've been able to use paint in a new and exciting way, layering colours and strokes to bring elements to life. It's been so fun.

All this is not to say I will never paint with watercolours again. I have and I do still use them, just with less frequency. I know I'll come back to them again one day with renewed vigour and enthusiasm. But for now, I'm loving acrylics!

(and pastels...

...and watercolours....

....and acrylic markers...

...and watercolour markers....

... and let's be honest - ALL the art shop supplies!)

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