Etsy Seller Challenge, Day 9: Materials

Today is about the materials I use.

My favorite materials are acrylic paints and stretched canvas. Acrylic paint is wonderfully versatile and easy to use. There are lots of different colors available and the paint can be mixed with sand for example. In contrast to oil paints, acrylic paints dry quickly, which is usually an advantage. When it comes to canvases I especially like the structure, which can be used to make areas of plain color more interesting. And it is nice to paint on canvas, with brushes as well as palette knives.

Last year I painted on MDF for the first time and was a fan right away! Mdf must be prepared by applying at least 2 layers of gesso (a type of primer) on all sides. As a result, the material is slightly less water-absorbent (otherwise the paint dries almost immediately) and it can be prevented from warping. If nothing is added to the gesso for structure (such as sand), the surface will remain smooth, like a kind of silk with a chalk layer. I love it, because it is very different from canvas.

My second favorite material after acrylic paint is soft pastels. Working with soft pastels is very different from painting with acrylic paints, it is kind of a hybrid between drawing and painting. One can create wonderfully soft and fine transitions from one color to the other, and give the impression of a lot of depth by adding layer after layer of soft pastel. So far, I only used pastel paper, but I often read that drawing on pastel mat would be particularly nice, which I will try one day. A disadvantage of soft pastel drawings, is that they always have to be matted and framed. I think this is a disadvantage, because framing is quite expensive, at least if one wants to maintain a good quality, or needs sizes different from the standard.

The third favorite material is watercolor. Again, this is very different from acrylics and soft pastels. Mistakes cannot be corrected and the artists must be able to use involve accidents into the motive. It always seems to be very easy, but a really good watercolor painting requires a lot of experience and practice. Besides, there are many fake watercolor paintings available as prints and downloads. I suspect that the watercolor effect is the easiest to generate with a computer program. Maybe I write something about it …

Anyway, sometimes I try other materials such as colored pencils, oil paints, ink, etc., but so far none of these felt as natural as acrylics, soft pastels or watercolor…