Testing the tools of the trade: Acrylic Paint and Inks

SA Artist Magazine: Issue 29 – Pg 40 to 42

Words and photos: Willie Jacobs
DEMONSTRATION – Testing the tools of the trade: Acrylic Paint and Inks
Well-known artist and teacher, Willie Jacobs, is back with a new series! He will be testing a range of art products from watercolours and inks to oils and pastels. Follow him as he discovers new tools and techniques.

“I find Iris acrylics to be a very versatile medium which can be applied as a thin wash as well as a thick impasto. It is an acrylic paint that stays wet for quite a while after being squeezed out for use. The range of vibrant colours makes it a favourite of mine!”

I did this exercise to experiment with the Iris range of acrylics. There are such vibrant colours in the range, so I had to find a subject that would do justice to what Iris has to offer. Once again the online ordering process at Artsavingsclub was simple – they offer excellent discounts on a wide variety of products. The order was placed and the products arrived at my door within 24 hours!

Tools used

The products I ordered: Iris Acrylic Colours – Cad Yellow Medium, Violet, Rose Madder, Alizarin Crimson, Green Light, Silver, Naples Yellow, Emerald Green, Cadmium Red, Cad Orange Deep, Turquoise, Magenta, Cerulean Blue, Yellow Ochre, Neutral Grey, Payne’s Grey and Pearl White. I also selected the Urban Artist A3 canvas, Speedball Acrylic Ink, Floline squeeze bottles, Pigma Micron pen, Bianco bright brushes, Dynasty round brushes and 1.5 inch Prime Art Hake brush.

Fig 1

STEP 1: I first did a quick sketch onto the canvas.

Fig 2

STEP 2: I then embellished the drawing by using the Pigma Micron pen and the Acrylic Ink in the handy squeeze bottles. This ink is quite thick and took some time to dry before I could continue with the painting.

Fig 3

STEP 3: I started out by applying thin washes using Cad Red, Yellow Ochre, Cerulean Blue and Naples Yellow for the flesh in shadow. I used Magenta and Mauve for the jersey and a mixture of Cad Red and Alizarin Crimson for some of the flowers in the hair. A foundation was laid for future flowers with a mixture of Emerald Green and Yellow Ochre.

Fig 4

STEP 4: For the background, I used Emerald Green and Turquoise.

Fig 5

STEP 5: When the background was in place I started to place stronger colours. I used the Bianco bright brushes for the flowers in the hair and the Dynasty round brushes for detail in the eyes, nose and mouth.

Fig 6

To finish the painting I decided to make use of the impasto qualities of Iris to create a stronger sense of depth. I started to apply paint with the brush straight from the tube for the flowers and even applied paint for the jersey with the palette knife. A touch of abstract was added to the background with a credit card and some Yellow Ochre mixture.

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