Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Change is Good
Hansel and Gretel, acrylic and collage, private collection.
I think that changing media leads to better artworks because it frees a person to experiment.

This is a work done several years ago. While organizing photo files, I ran across the image and realized that it was one of my first works using acrylic paint. Prior to this, watercolor had been my focus for my career. I'd seldom worked seriously with acrylics, finding them too transparent, gooey, and plastic-shiny. Then an artist friend introduced me to Maimeri Polycolor paint. What a difference--it's opaque, thick and buttery, and dries matte!

And I realize now that there are great advantages to switching up media every so often. I like the feeling of freedom that comes from experimentation, and switching to a different medium allows time to just goof around. This piece has much more freshness than my previous watercolor works, mostly because the focus was on a new-medium adventure rather than precision.

I also drew first with a paintbrush instead of penciling-in. The kids may not be perfectly drawn, but I like their rather offhand character.

Recently I've begun to work more with oils, and am being a bit too serious with it--probably because oils have that reputation for "seriousness". I hope to break out of that soon, and prove my theory that changing to a new medium is a freeing experience. We'll see...

Thanks for the visit!


  1. Good advice! Once I feel I've learned the basics of watercolor, I'll try the Maimeri Polycolor. I also want to work now on more of your ink and gouache (or was it gesso?) techniques. Could you please remind me what brand you use? (I remember you weren't satisfied with Holbein white gouache.) Thanks!

    1. Hi Kathleen--thanks for the comment! When working with colored inks, I use either Holbein's Acryla white gouache for the highlights (or sometimes gesso--which also works) so that the highlights don't move with the subsequent application of transparent inks. For watercolor work, I use Winsor & Newton white gouache. What you might be remembering is that I don't care for Chinese White watercolor, as it doesn't liquify as easily as white gouache, and also seems to dry out in the tube.


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