Comparing and Reviewing Acrylic Paints to use in Fluid Paintings

I just had to post a video today. I had no idea how to put this one in writing and hence I am posting the link to my YouTube video right here.

Fluid painting- This is one of my favorite ways to use acrylic paints. This is just to see which acrylic paints dry and still retain color despite being diluted with water to create a fluid-like consistency. Golden fluid acrylics may be the best but I haven’t tried them because it is quite expensive in India and not easily available.

Do let me know in the comments below if you have any questions or suggestions. Have a great day.

 

Why is ART Expensive?

Today’s post is not just for Artists, but also for those interested in art. Often enough we come across people who want to know why we charge as much as we do for paintings or commissioned portraits.

Well, we don’t start off with very high prices. First of all, we artists change or update our prices with time. There is a reason for it too. Let me start with an example. Suppose I quoted Rs. 1000 for a graphite sketch 7 years ago. I would quote Rs. 3000 now.
Several things justify this price.

  • The amount of time I have spent improving my art. My graphite sketches from 7 years ago don’t look nearly as good as they do now. There is more detailing in my work now. You can see for yourself.
  • I made graphite sketches on A4 size copier print paper before. A few years later, I used papers from a sketch pad which were of a superior quality. Now, I use the best paper there is that is available in India, so obviously, it costs more. As long as we are talking about paper, I would also like to mention that graphite pencils also come in various quality. Most of you (and I’m addressing my fellow Indians here) must have heard of HB, 2B and H pencils that we used in school. We artists use a variety of pencils to do a graphite sketch like 10H, 9H,..,..,..,..,H,..,2B,..,..,8B and so on.
  • Prices of art supplies keep going up.

You may ask why street artists at art fairs charge as less as Rs. 300? Well, for the same reasons I have mentioned above. Paper alone costs me that much or more.

Comparing a few of my works from before, to my current works

My First Textured Painting(6 yrs ago)
2 years after my first textured painting
My painting Made in 2013
My painting Made in 2017
My First Landscape Made in 2016
Landscape Made in 2017

It is not wrong to ask an artist why their art costs that much. Its your money you’ll be spending/investing. So it is your right to ask that artist. And it is their duty to answer you. But, don’t undervalue the artist. And know these things I have mentioned above, before you judge them.

Think about it. You may spend Rs. 3000 on an evening out with your partner, but you think it is too much when you have to pay an artist who probably spent hours or days making a portrait for you. Does it seem fair?

Well, that is just about graphite, the cost is less there compared to Acrylic paints or Oil paints. When you are paying for an artwork, you are not just paying for the cost of raw materials(Canvas/Paper, Paints, Other art supplies).

You are paying for the following

  • The skill of the artist, the amount of time he/she has spent perfecting the skill.
  • The amount of time the artist has spent making the particular artwork.
  •  The idea/imagination behind the painting, that came out of the artist’s head.
  • The amount the artist has spent on reference photos(if they have used any).
    Just to elaborate on that, My collection of bird paintings had to come from a variety of reference photos which were bought from the photographer. I had to pay the photographer because he spent hours trying to capture the perfect image and also spent on his equipment. So, I cant just paint something that he captured, and make money out of it and not give him any credits. That would be stealing.
  •  The amount the artist has spent on art classes.
  • The amount of paint/art supplies the artist has used, to learn that art.
  • Finally, the raw materials the artist has used in making that particular painting that you are buying.

So the next time, you tell someone “Hey I make that much because I spent so much on my Engineering degree” or something like that, remember, the same applies for artists too.

If you want to read more of my blog posts, you can subscribe by just submitting your E-mail id at the top of the sidebar on my website. If you are reading this on a mobile phone, you can scroll down and find the subscribe button there. You’ll get an update every time I publish a post. No spam. I assure you. Have a great weekend.

How to clean Paintbrushes and their maintenance

We all value things that we’re passionate about. For an artist, it is paint supplies. Of all my paint supplies, I value paintbrushes the most. My magic wand as I call it…. So, I’m going to address a very important issue- Paintbrushes and their maintenance.

It is very important that you learn how to clean your paintbrushes. I spent months painting in oil paint, not knowing how to clean my paintbrushes, resulting in dirty hands and clothes too. I had no idea how to get rid of the paint from my brushes. Honestly I tried washing it with warm water and soap and as a result had destroyed too many of them. Mind you, paintbrushes are expensive. So, lets start with the first.

  1. Oil Paint – First wipe off any excess paint left on the brush with a paper towel or a rag. There are a couple of options to clean oil paint off your brushes.
  •  Paint thinner/ Turpentine: You may also get this as distilled turpentine which is less harsh on the paintbrushes
  • Kerosene: This is less expensive. I used this when I didn’t have enough money to buy the good stuff.

You should know that both the turpentine and kerosene have a really strong smell. So to those of you who cannot stand that smell or are allergic to the same, I recommend buying odorless paint thinner. This is slightly more expensive compared to the usual turpentine.

Once you wash your brushes in turpentine, you wash them again in a clean separate  container full of turpentine and then wash it with warm soap water.

2. Acrylic Paint

Acrylic paint is water based and can easily be washed off with water but you need to make sure you don’t let the paint dry on the brush completely. Once you let the paint dry on the brush completely, getting the paint off the brush is a difficult task. I use turpentine if the paint has completely dried but I try to make sure that such a situation doesn’t arise. In any normal circumstance I wash the brushes once with soap and warm water in the end.

3. Watercolor

Wipe it off on a paper towel. Just wash it in water once and then dip it in another container containing clean water.

Well, now that you know how to wash them, you also need to know how to dry and store them.

  • Dab the paintbrush with a tissue or an absorbent cloth.
  • Rest them on a flat surface over the tissue/absorbent cloth until they dry.

Note: Do not place your paintbrushes standing in a paintbrush holder before they dry or else water will seep through the ferrule and the bristles will fan out or shed as the glue holding them together will peel off. Do not rest your brushes standing bristles-down ever(wet or dry).

Follow these simple methods and you will have no more issues with paintbrushes.

Do come back and read my blog next week. I upload one blog post every week now. My next blog post will not be art related, it will be about some of my crazy travel experience. You can find the subscribe button on the top right sidebar of my website/blog. No spam, I promise. You will only get an update when I publish my next blog post.

If you have any questions/suggestions, mention it in the comments below.

Have a good weekend.

Setting up an Art Studio

Writing this blog, reminds me of an earlier time when I dreamed of having my own studio space. I still have that dream, of creating a really big art studio with a sloping roof, ample amount of space for storage, lots of chests of drawers and a very organised space allowing in a lot of air and light. But until I can afford that, I’ll make do with what I have right now.

When you explore various fields and try out various new things in art, you end up with a lot of art supplies and soon enough you will start worrying about where to store all of it. Well, when I moved into a new 3 bedroom home yet again two years ago, my husband asked me “Which room do you want for a studio?”

I noticed there was only one room which had a wall unit/shelf near a large window and I knew, that was the one. Hardly any termites in that room; a bonus. I moved my two trunks into that room and set up this lovely space as my art studio. It doesn’t take long really. I didn’t even have any storage boxes. I used the boxes that my phone cases came in. I also used the cardboard boxes(cartons) that my online shopping came in. Over a period of two years I have bought a variety of nesting storage boxes and baskets to store my art efficiently in a small space. And mind you, I bought these on discount. Do watch my video to see my little piece of heaven.