Hi.. I've recently began painting with acrylics but I'm having problems in getting the results that I want. I'm interested in Greg "Craola" Simkin's technique but I can't manage to execute as I please.
Here is a video of his performance:
How does he smudge the paint getting that nice and soft result after he puts it on the canvas? Is he using any medium or just water? What kind of brushes does he use for that task? Does he use a "special" acrylic paint, like the slow drying ones? I'm sure he uses acrylics.
I tried with a glazing medium but I get a really messy result. I also tried using a watery paint but it dries to fast and the result is messy too.
I suspect that more than anything else, he is understanding how his paints operate - i.e. how long they take to dry on different surfaces and with different additives (water, medium, and retardant). As an acrylic painter myself, I suspect he is just using the paint slightly diluted and working on small sections at a time so it doesn't have time to dry out. As noted he is using a second brush to blend but you don't have to; but you can't dawdle or do big sections all at once and expect to blend wet in wet. You can, however, dry blend by adding successive glazes on top of your base coat, waiting for each to dry 1st (Joe Jusko does this, he has a really informative site on DeviantArt).
Hell you can use acrylic house paint if you want the blending is in the way you brush it on. want to work a big area use a bigger brush. try double loading your brush with two colors one on the right side one on the left. Play with it to figure out what happens as you rock the brush or use it like a calligraphy stroke as they did in china painting. Flogging wet paint with a dry paint free brush can create blends, it will be a different effect use the end of the bristles as opposed to the side of them, play! Try wet into wet, try wiping or blotting the wet paint. Try laying down a color let it set then dry brush colors over it to develop form or color transitions. This employs optical color blending.
acrylic can be thinned with water or glaze medium to be used similar to watercolors. Take a bristle brush with paint in it an splatter color into a (wet or dry) base color. while base is wet use balled up paper of plastic bag to press into surface lifting paint to create textures lightly fog it to soften some of it. Try misting a little rubbing alcohol on to a wet base color it will break it up in weird ways. Scrub the paint with your brush on and on mixing and combining techniques. I hope this will get you thinking and playing. Hey pickup a book on faux painting they have good ideas for techniques.
Hey I've been a big fan of Craola for years and I was really lucky to get him be my mentor for one of my school classes last year. I did a painting based on the assignment he gave to me and we talked through email. So I think I'm able to answer those questions for you.
1. He stretches the canvas on the "panel," not stretch bars. So the canvas has a hard flat surface behind to support it. This is how I do: buy a wood panel(don't need to buy a good one), glue the canvas on the top, flip the panel and then stretch the canvas. After that, I start putting gesso and sand the surface until it's smooth.
2. He only uses water. I've forcing myself doing that for years. Craola also does a lot glazing which you can see in his other videos. He'd damp the area he wants to glaz and then just put a little bit paint (somettime just a dot), then use another brush to brush through the paint. The tip is he puts a layer of matte medium before he starts painting. Matte medium is able to hold water on the canvas. So the water wouldn't drip too fast.
3. He uses Trekell brushes. He also has his signature brush set on the site.