Friday, May 23, 2008

Acrylic Revolution

It’s frustrating that bookstores don’t carry the stock they once did. For instance, there are dozens of books available on painting with acrylics but it’s hard to know which ones might be helpful without taking a look at them first. One book I can personally recommend is Nancy Reyner’s Acrylic Revolution: New Tricks & Techniques for Working With the World's Most Versatile Medium.
I’ve learned a lot from reading this book mainly because the focus is on technique rather than eye candy. Not that I have anything against eye candy, but all too often you don’t really understand how an artist has achieved a particular effect and this is frustrating. However, it’s apparent from the get-go that Reyner has put a lot of time and care into her book because the material is easy to grasp, comprehensive and inspiring. In all, she presents 101 different techniques (plus variations) and each one is illustrated with plenty of how-to photographs.
Not all of the techniques grabbed me of course, but there are many I could see incorporating into my own work like embedding stickers into acrylics, creating atmospheric techniques with a spray bottle, and using a brayer to make gradients. Reyner also has a section on doing transfers and another on achieving a crackle effect. I liked the information on using palette knives too. Even though I’ve been working with acrylics for years, I never realized their potential until reading Reyner’s book. Now all I have to do is get off my you-know-what and actually do something with the cornucopia of ideas she shares with us.


A bird in the hand said...

I just checked out some art books from the library. They have some old but very useful volumes on acrylics like Acrylic School by Hazel Harrison.

Dale said...

this is great! I would be so very interested in checking this book out. I may need to pick myself up a copy.

azirca said...

Thanks for the heads up on the book. I'll have to keep a look out for it.

Carole said...

I'm pretty lucky in that our library system usually has the books I'm interested in looking at. I just recently came across this book (actually have it here at home now) and am seriously considering buying it for my home library/reference.

I've been working with acrylics for years as well, but this book opened my eyes to many more possibilities.