|Village in Watercolor by April M Rimpo|
|Village in Fluid Acrylic by April M Rimpo|
Above you can see the same scene done in watercolor and in fluid acrylic. The watercolor version was created in preparation for a demonstration to a watercolor club on the similarities and differences between painting in fluid acrylic versus watercolor. I started the fluid acrylic painting at home leaving the darker passages unpainted (e.g., the darkest foliage behind the house and the shadow on the houses). When I arrived at the demo, the foreground grass was a single wash with no shading to indicate some textures in the grass. The unfinished areas allowed me to demonstrate some differences in using fluid acrylic compared to watercolor.
I used colors that had the same pigments in them for both paintings. I saved darker passages to demonstrate because I wanted to show two differences in the mediums.
The dark trees behind the house were painted quite differently. For the fluid acrylic version, I first applied a very wet yellow mix, followed immediately with phthalo blue to shift it to a variety of greens as the phthalo ran and mixed. While that was happening on the paper, I added dabs of dioxazine purple to increase the dark. The puddle of paint was very wet so I moved some of the wet paint around to other places on the painting. When the puddle was less wet, I lifted out some of the dark to reveal the golden hues that I applied first. They were still there underneath the darker mixes allowing me to reveal some highlights in the greens. To demonstrate the point that acrylic is more forgiving about applying complementary colors next to each other, I added a couple dabs of quinacridone gold right next to a purple spot in the trees. They nestled in next to each other without creating a muted, muddy blend which would have been likely in watercolor. All of this happened in a very short period of time (at most 10 minutes) since I wanted to work with wet into wet paint to stress how quickly you could work with a variety of colors in the same area and achieve a variety of darks and lights at the same time.
The second characteristic of fluid acrylic that differs from watercolor is how the paints don't fade. To do this I created the very dark shadows on the houses using a variety of pigments and let them blend on the paper giving depth to the darks. I shifted the darks to a dark green to create the darks under the bush, working around the lighter colors that I had painted before hand.
I did not take the time during the demonstration to go back and create a middle value passage to blend from the dark shadows on the bush to the light flowers at the top, but I do plan to do that before I declare the painting complete. I will also add a few darks in the background trees to create a little more depth and distinction between the trees, much like I did in the watercolor painting.
Other similarities and differences were discussed using other paintings to highlight these characteristics. Separate from this demo painting I showed how to create some interesting organic textures with fluid acrylic, which would be quite difficult to do in watercolor. I also demonstrated creating drips using fluid acrylic, just like you can do in watercolor.
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