It's Christmas Cracker time!
I love the exhibition at Byard Art this time of the year. The gallery is choc-a-block full of beautiful paintings by a huge variety of artists from far and wide. I am very proud to say that they have invited me to have four of my small paintings in the exhibition this year.
As many of you may know I have been on a journey to change the materials that I work with. For years I have painted in oils but one of the problems I was facing was that I have been asked to make more paintings, which is absolutely great, but because of the many layers of detail that is the way I work my paintings are not dry enough to varnish and exhibit for up to eight months. Hmm, I felt I was letting people down.
So I began my journey to find some quicker drying paints. I didn't like the obvious choice of water-based oils as I couldn't get the glowing, vibrant colours. So I tried out all sorts of acrylics with slow drying mediums. Whatever I tried I never found a medium that had the kind of buttery consistency of oil that was workable for a day or so. I also didn't like the colours.
Just as I was thinking that I would never find what I was looking for I found myself in Jarrold's Art Shop in Norwich. On the shelf were some new kind of paints I had not seen before, 'Golden Open, Slow Drying Acrylics'. I had a chat with one of the very knowledgeable assistants who had tried them who told me that they did dry much more slowly, in fact they stayed workable for a long time. I bought a few primary colours and back in Cambridge set about testing them.
Although they do not react exactly like oils, in drying time they were what I was looking for and the colours are wonderfully bright and easy to mix and shade (I do a lot of shading). The two paintings shown are using my new set of 'Open' paints. I shall still make some paintings in oils but if I need to do some in a tighter timescale I shall use the acrylics. The only downside I have found so far is that because they are very transparent and perhaps less dense than oils I get through the paint much quicker.
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