Wednesday, 23 July 2014



As you might suspect, Reeves' Mars Black is my go-to black, it is fluid, super glossy, intense and blacker than black. Next to Reeves, my Zelcryl's Mars black almost looks like Reeves' Paynes gray, to give you an idea. Which is fine, when you expect it. Zelcryl also dries super matt, and interestingly enough Amsterdam's Oxide Black starts out looking exactly like Reeves while wet, but dries to look just like Zelcryl. But the Zelcryl has much more body, and Amsterdam has the same consistency as Reeves. 
Which all sounds quite pointless, but can be very important while mixing. 
I recently read that different consistencies in Acrylics still means that the paints have the same amount of pigment, it isn't diluted, thicker bodied paint merely has thickeners added to the polymer, while fluid  acrylics is just pigment added straight to polymer. Now I doubt this is all there is to it, and it doesn't really make sense to me, as the different brands not only differ in consistency, but also in intensity - might this be a difference in natural pigment vs. synthetic? I have no idea - I read an article about it and still don't know.
BUT I don't have to (well I do according to the magazine, but I don't always do as I'm told) I don't have to know how it's made to know how to mix it, or how to create the look I'm going for. Good 'ol trial and error takes care of that. My point being that if I add a little Reeves black to a pre-mixed colour on one pallette, and add the same amount of Zelcryl black to the exact same amount of pre-mixed colour on another pallette, the results would be radically different. Enough Zelcryl to darken it one shade would have turned the mix black if it were Reeves. But the Reeves mix would also take on it's excellent flow, and the Zelcryl's would thicken.You get the idea? Again, none of this is good or bad, just things you need to take into consideration.

My cat just fell out of the window next to me. Way to break my concentration!


Well I am honestly still looking for the perfect green. Lukas' Olive Green is nice, great colour, and about the best green I have I think, (except that it sticks to the glaze? varnish? whatever is on the ceramic plates I use for pallettes, all acrylics just slip off when I wet it except Lukas, it needs a good scrub. Strange that) but I don't have a green I swear by. It's always a matter of mixing whichever green you pick with Yellow Ochre, Raw Umber, possibly a little black if you're okay with the blue tone. In my experience greens are thin. They need to be darkened and lightened just in order to be thick enough to use. Which isn't ideal. 
Also - and this is probably quite obvious - I always have quite a natural green and quite a synthetic as well - same goes with blues. From there it's easy to change the tone, but I can't mix a synthetic shade from a natural colour, it just doesn't happen.


I've found my holy grail when it comes to yellow's to be Zelcryl's Naples Yellow, or Buff Titanium (which is almost always sold out at the closest store which sells them, which is why I'm all out - curses) Light yellows are SUPER DUPER THIN, (and they always seem to want to turn green) and the consistency gets better when you mix in a little white, but with them already being light yellow, you obviously lose colour. So I've found that if I need a bright light yellow, I mix in a teeny tiny bit of naples yellow or buff titanium (depending of course on the shade I need) - I actually ran out of a light yellow and used Reeves' Deep Yellow, which has a very nice tone, and doesn't seem to yearn to turn green. But thanks to Amsterdam I've got all kinds of choice back in my life! Yellow Ochre is in the mix because with these 5 colours you can really get any kind of yellow you could possibly need.

I'm adding this pic to give you an idea of how I mix - don't laugh at my plate palette, it works brilliantly! I like to do it this way that I can easily track how much darker I'm going on the pallette, avoiding mistakes on the canvas. This is nicely fleshy, but is actually for reflections in a silver bowl, go figure.
That's it for now, that last shade still needs to be applied, so I'm off! Happy Acrylicing!

No comments:

Post a Comment