Friday, August 16, 2019

Watch Me Screw up the Giant Eyeball! and More Reviews

Well, I almost got through my eyeball study without screwing it up, but not quite. All the same, I spent a lot of time painting, filming and editing so I am going to embed that last part here. I'm not sure what my issue is with eyelashes. I just totally overdo them. It's a quirk (by "quirk" I really mean rookie error I need to stop doing). I still enjoyed the process, and I think I learned a lot about painting with acrylics already. Since I bought so much stuff for painting, and I still have a huge amount to learn, I will be continuing my painting blogs for the month of August. Hopefully I will have some new speed paints and tips to pass along with my reviews.

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Reviews: Arteza Acrylic Colors, The Paint Puck, Strathmore Acrylic Paper

Arteza Premium Acrylic Colors

Originally I only bought the Arteza 4 oz acrylic paint pouches in burnt umber and yellow ochre because I didn't have those colors in the Liquitex Basics, and I was curious about the highly reviewed Arteza line. Each pouch is about $8 and that is really cheap for a 4 oz (120 ml) size. At first I found the pouches worrisome, but after buying those first two colors and receiving them unblemished in the mail, I felt better about the packaging. It is probably one of the reasons the company can charge such reasonable prices for quality materials. I decided to buy pouches of the Naples Yellow and Rose Madder, and these also arrived undamaged. I have had no problems using the pouches, either. Just don't squeeze too hard!

Image of Four ounce pouch of Arteza acrylic paint from
This is what the Arteza pouches look like
(image from Amazon product listing)

The paint itself is of equal quality to Liquitex Basics acrylic paints, which I have reviewed in a previous post.  They have a creamy smooth consistency and impressive pigment load, and they dry to a satin finish. I was able to blend them with the Liquitex paints, gel medium and Golden Satin Glazing Liquid without any issues. The colors are vibrant, and the ones I have used dry with very monir color shift. I used the four colors of Arteza along with Liquitex white and burnt sienna to make a small painting, which is still a WIP.

Image of 8 X 10 inch Acrylic painting by Pumibel
I can do better, but I plan to finish her over the weekend.
(painting by Pumibel)

You can buy Arteza paints in sets of smaller tubes if you want to try them out without having a large amount of paint left over. I think they are rather good paints for students and raggedy artists. Like all acrylics, they dry fast, so if you need more work time, be sure to buy an acrylic medium like the ones I mentioned above. Liquitex makes dozens of mediums that you can buy in small bottles for reasonable prices.

The Paint Puck

The Paint Puck was a random item I saw on another artist's YouTube video, and I knew I couldn't live (well, paint) without it. This is a little silicone puck with tentacles and a suction cup that you stick at the bottom of your water jar. You rub your brush back and forth over it when you rinse, and this removes more of the paint from the bristles than simply swishing them around in water. They come in packs of three, which is great for me as I like to have two water jars ready to go when I am painting. It keeps your brushes cleaner without having to get up to wash them more often.

Image of The Paint Puck pastel colored set from
This is the set I bought, but there are many colors available
(image from the Amazon product listing)

You still have to wash your brushes, though, so I suggest the General's Pencil co Master's Paint Brush Cleaner and Preserver for that. I used to have a small jar of it, and it lasted for a very long time. I looked for it while I was shopping for art supplies at Walmart, but my store doesn't carry it. However, I found a similar product in the cosmetic section: the Equate solid brush cleaner. It is for makeup brushes, but it works the same way as the Master's brush cleaner and costs the same by the ounce. 

Strathmore 400 Series Acrylic Paint Pad

I like Strathmore papers in general, so I decided to try the Strathmore Acrylic Paint pad for practicing my painting. One thing you should know is that it buckles as soon as you start applying paint, but as the paint dries it will straighten back to an almost flat base. If you finish a work on the paper, you will probably need to matte it, so leave an unpainted edge.  You can always flatten out a dry painting by placing it under a few heavy books too.

I think the finish of the paper is very similar to real canvas, and definitely close to canvas panel boards. I cannot see this holding up to heavy impasto and highly textured effects, but it is fine for practicing lighter techniques and mixed media.
The reverse side of the paper is soft  and velvety, and I plan to try dry media like colored pencil on this surface to see how it works. I did swatch some watercolor on the reverse side, and it looked okay. I cannot say how advanced watercolor techniques would work on it, however. There are ten sheets in each pad. 

image of Strathmore 400 series acrylic paper pad
Strathmore Acrylic Pad
(Image from Amazon product listing)

I am enjoying my rediscovery of acrylic painting, and I hope to have more to share with you soon. I filmed while I worked on the painting of the red haired Goth girl, so I will see if I can make a helpful compilation video after I finish that piece.

 Are you trying any new art mediums? Let me know how it is going in the comments! 

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