I borrowed this phrase from the recently deceased Canadian painter Robert Genn who believed that there is only so much we can learn about how to paint from the many fine instructors and resources available today. The true learning comes from going off on our own and just doing it - Go to your room!

I have had the good fortune to take instruction from outstanding artists in Canada and the USA. I continue to work on my own development ( Going to MY room!) . I share, through this blog and workshops, what I have learned and what others have shared with me.

I created this blog primarily for those attending my workshops to keep in touch and to further share as we grow together. If others are interested in following that would be great.

Enjoy the journey.

Saturday 17 March 2012

Saved From The Dark!

I love working in acrylics. I have become comfortable and somewhat confident that I can work through the bad stages in most of my paintings and come out OK - at least OK enough for my stage of learning. I have confidence that I can  make changes and test new ideas and get immediate feedback - because of the fast drying time. I like experimenting with different paints - in acrylics that means different viscosity and manufacturers with specific claims. Some claim slower drying times etc. and I will post my opinions about these in a future post.

My biggest issue with acrylics is not drying time - but that they dry darker. This is not an issue in most cases - I can cope. I have jars of premixed colours of known drying values ( painted on their lids) and as most of what I do in acrylics are land and sea scapes I can live with a degree of inaccuracy.  But every once in a while I  become really frustrated that the final product dries darker than I expected. 

Winsor & Newton's new Artist's Acrylic paints boasts that they dry without value change. So I decided to give them a try. I purchased about 20 tubes of colours - a mix of lights (mostly opaques ) and darks ( mostly transparents) and put them to the test. I mixed a small pile of colour on a Stay Wet palette. I painted a round spot of colour on a gesso treated canvas board and dried it with a hair dryer. Took  photo 1 below. Then painted one stoke of fresh wet paint from the piles onto and out from the round colour spot and immediately took  photo 2. The wet and dry were of the exact same colour and value - I could not detect a difference live or in photo. 

Dry Paint 

Wet Paint stoke added to dry paint

WYSIWYG   What Ya See Is What Ya Get

I have used the product off and on since and am content in the belief that there is no value change. This has potential advantage for tight work - portraiture etc. 

Anyone else found the same or different? 


  1. Hi Brian, These acrylics do seem to be much better regarding the colour change problem than other brands. I detect a very slight difference, at least on my iMac screen, in that the dried colours seem just a tad brighter, more intense, which I don't think is a bad thing! I stopped painting with acrylics years ago out of frustration at the colour changes (especially upsetting for skin tones!) and also the too fast drying. I just can't get that wonderful blending and jewel-toned luminous quality that oils have when I use acrylics even adding the mediums which are supposed to help with this.

  2. Thanks Karen. Of course, most colours dry a bit differently so it will take some time for me to be convinced - but so far so good. Cheers.


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