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Tube acrylics

Discussion in 'Painting Techniques' started by PJ Deluhery, Dec 4, 2007.

  1. PJ Deluhery Active Member

    Hi Alex,

    For me, nothing compares to the richness of a figure done in oils.

    A few years ago I went to JoSonja acrylics for undercoating oils. They are labeled the same as oils, and generally follow the colors pretty closely. Whatever brand you choose, look for a good "tooth" (surface for the oils to adhere to) and for the colors to dry dead flat. If in doubt, try a couple brands and experiment until you find what you like.

    I think you will be a lot happier with acrylics labeled the same as your oils - what ever brand you choose. This makes mixing a lot simpler when you get to the oils. It can take a lot of time and experimenting to figure out which Valljeo is the correct undercoating due to their nomenclature.

    In my experience, it is very important to have the undercoating color the same as the oil color. I paint using a very thin layer of oils, so the undercoating must be the exact color because the oils are quite opaque - this is why I switched to acrylics with the same names and (roughly!) the same formulae.

    I'm not sure I fully understand what you are saying about how you get the "tight ambiance", but it seems to me that whatever technique you used in acrylics should transfer to oils pretty much the same. For example, if you mix in a little neutral gray to dull acrylic colors, the same technique would work for oils, though you will have to experiment on the proportions a bit to get the level of dulness you are looking for.

    Good luck with the switch to oils. I'm sure you will have some period of adjustment , but I am confident you will be happy you made the switch.
  2. PeteC Member


    I recently tried an experiment which, I thought, turned out well. I primed my figure in flat black primer and went right in with my oils. I used the fat over lean rule just as you would on a painting. This is, I scumbled in a thinned dark value and then built up the highlights in thicker applications of paint.
  3. Einion Well-Known Member

    You could try working over a uniform base, i.e. directly over grey primer, but I think you just need to find out how to paint to get the results you have in your head through trial and error. Most painters have their own little techniques that are slightly different to another's and they tend to develop these themselves with practice.

    The problem with using artists' acrylics is that typically they are slightly glossy (commonly referred to as a satin finish) and that doesn't provide a good tooth for oil paints to stick to. You can paint over them, but almost everyone thinks it's better to paint on a matt finish.

    Hehe, much better! Artists' acrylics will almost always be significantly better quality than hobby paints; which is surprising since they actually work out to be cheaper in the long run, despite seeming to be so much more expensive when you buy them.

    'Colour harmony' as most people use the term is merely about control. It's automatic with some painters once they get to a certain level - they don't think about it consciously, it just happens as they paint.

    It's important to realise too that harmony for one person might be something quite different to another. There's a lot of personal taste involved.

    This won't guarantee what you're looking for - even using 'the same' pigments in an acrylic underpainting you will not typically get the exact same colour that you'll see in the oil mixtures in many cases.

    The way of achieving this is to mix the colours to look the same.

    If you do want to try out your idea I'd recommend the Jo Sonja acrylics as a cost-effective route. This range offers many of the common artists' colours in a tube paint that's not too thick and it dries to a consistent matt finish. But I think you'd have to buy them online, from the US more than likely.


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