Worst Mistake Acrylic Painters Make

After one of my acrylics talks a few years ago, an artist pulled me aside and said,
“Now, I finally understand why my paintings are falling apart! I wish I had known what you just taught me 10 years ago!”

My heart went out to her. I’ve made more technical mistakes with my art over the years than I care to recount. That’s why I’m so passionate about sharing with artists how to build a sound and stable paint film.

I don’t want to hinder anyone’s creative process. That’s the last thing I want! That’s why I offer some sound alternatives here to get the same look without harming the paint film.

Please, please share this info with all your painter friends, artists groups, classes, professors, etc. I’ve found in the 15 years I’ve been teaching this to artists of all levels from those with 40 years experience and paintings in museums to the absolute beginner, only about 5% have ever heard of underbinding. Let’s make sure no more artists have their paintings fall apart by something that could easily be avoided.

These are the materials I mentioned in the video above:
Liquitex airbrush medium
Liquitex gloss medium
Liquitex acrylic gesso 32oz.

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Adding Texture to Your Paintings Using Ceramic Stucco & Flexible Modeling Paste

When I first switched over from oils to acrylics years ago – I was always trying to get away from the “plastic-y” look they had.

Then I discovered the array of gels and pastes that could take the standard paint texture from creamy to stiff to sandy to matte.

The two I show you in this video are still in my all-time favorites list.

Hope you enjoy it and let me know your thoughts! Have you used these before? What are your favorite acrylic gels? Any techniques you’d like to share?

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Have you ever gotten paint on your clothes?

Ever gotten paint on a favorite item of clothing, carpet of piece of furniture?

This is hands-down my most popular video on youtube:

This method works for the toughest dried on acrylic paints and mediums as well as oil paints AND it’s a non-toxic, biodegradable product.

Another tip – my husband and I have restored 3 different hundred + year-old homes and I have used this product to safely soak layers and layers of the paint off of intricate hardware.

Andrew Lenz owner of Lenz Arts in Santa Cruz claims it “saved his marriage” after he tracked tar in the house and nothing else he tried would remove it from the carpet.

Hope this helps!

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How to Do Stain Painting with Acrylics- Video Tutorial & Art Workshop

A lot of people recently when I tell them about my next in-person workshop have been asking me “What exactly is stain painting?” So I thought I would show you rather than tell you. In the late 50s and early 60s there was a move towards creating abstract canvases in which color became the primary subject matter and the paint itself practically merged with the surface. These painters created fields of color on large canvases which might envelop the viewer with their scale.  were some of the known “Color Field” painters among many others. Helen Frankenthaler and Morris Louis invented a particular type of Color Field painting called Stain Painting in which the liquid paint seeps into the fibers of an unprimed canvas.

© 47 Untitled, 1946

Here is a video from a talk I did at Portland State University in Oregon showing some simple preliminary steps to getting started with this gorgeous technique.

You can see from these photos, I like to encourage people to work large and get their whole body into it! We’ll be doing some yoga stretches to warm up – but don’t worry if your body won’t allow sitting on the floor, I have a big studio and plenty of table space, too.

These were taken in 2009 and 2011 in North Carolina. May 5 will be  the first time I have ever taught this workshop on the West Coast.

It’s a beautiful technique and so much fun to try! Come join us for an all-day workshop in my studio in Emeryville, CA Saturday, May 5. Click here to register.

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Making archival linen hanging tabs for works on paper

Yesterday, I needed to show my assistant Sarah how to create tabs for my drawings. I thought, hey! might as well share my technique with you, too!


Let me know what you think and  also let me know if there are any other topics you’d like me to cover in a video tutorial.

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