Having serious second thoughts about this retablo business

Studio view of a retablo painting in progress © Wren M. Allen

A studio view of the retablo in progress

Oh, dear. Yesterday’s progress on the retablo was not smooth sailing. The liquid acrylic pigments dry almost instantly on the plate, so there isn’t much time to blend or scumble. And at 8″ x 10″, the image requires small brushes, which I don’t have, so I’m using an old synthetic watercolor brush, which doesn’t have much body to stand up to the heavy liquid. The dried paint has a rugged, crusty texture, which I find undesirable.

After 3 years of working solely in watercolor, I’d forgotten just how messy and nasty acrylic paints are in comparison. Clean up and set up take a significant chunk of the work period. I’m totally dissatisfied with where this thing is at right now, and having a serious re-think about what to do next, or even if this project is something to abandon all together.

Wondering if it’s time to punt.

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2 thoughts on “Having serious second thoughts about this retablo business

  1. I found my way here through your post on the LinkedIn Illustrator’s Guild. I think a better brush and some acrylic medium could help. I’ve heard you can put an additive in acrylics to make them behave more like oils, they dry more slowly and the color is more workable. Your local art supply store should be able to point you in the right direction. I’ve yet to try this myself, but plan to as I’m fighting my acrylics as well. It should not be such a struggle! This design is beautiful, I hope you can find a way to make it work. ps- I am a big Illustration Friday fan as well! 🙂

    • Thanks, Kris for the advice!
      I really like the work on your blog, BTW. Nice combination of a sweet style and interesting point of view.

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