When is a Watercolor Painting not a Watercolor Painting?

When it is done with acrylics! After the success and joy of painting my cockerel, I had plenty of acrylic paint leftover and thought I would try using it as watercolor.  I found an online tutorial by Joanne Boon Thomas that looked pretty easy and decided to have a go at painting some poppies.  We saw many on the Camino and I wanted to paint some to remind me of our journey.  I have loads of photos of poppy landscapes. This is how they turned out. Sorry about the quality, taken with iphone.

IMG_1515Acrylic on Paper This isn’t quite how it was supposed to turn out.  They are supposed to be an impression of poppies, but not very good ones!  Although it is possible to use acrylic paint like watercolors, the properties are completely different.  Firstly, the acrylic paint is water proof.  Once it dries, that’s it.  In one way that could be a good thing as one could build up layers of color without making them muddy.  On the other hand, I had a bit of trouble with it as it wasn’t so easy to soften off the edges of vibrant color as the paint would make a hard edge too quickly and there is no way to soften it once it gets dry or starts to dry off.  Acrylic washes are often used for under-paintings for pastels.  I might have another go at re-working this completely with acrylics.  This is something that is going to require a lot of practice!


5 thoughts on “When is a Watercolor Painting not a Watercolor Painting?

    1. Arlene

      Thanks Deb. I had trouble adding the first photo which was my first attempt and is in some ways better than the second painting. Using acrylics like watercolor can be done (I have some books on it!) but is a knack. 😉

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