Wokingham Art Society
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Demo by Aurora Spain,
Atelier Acrylics,19 May 2009
Aurora began by telling us about the advantages of using the new Atelier acrylics. They are completely non-toxic and are made in Australia. They can be used as oil paints, or like watercolours by adding more water. The big difference between them and conventional acrylics is that when they are dry you can "unlock" them by spraying with a special Unlocking Formula, so that you can continue working at your own speed, blending, altering and so on.

Aurora explained that she uses St Cuthberts Mill 300 lb watercolour paper which she coats with gesso. To achieve the oil painting look she uses Atelier glaze over each layer of painting - up to ten layers.

We were then shown several examples of the various effects possible with Atelier paints. Watercolour washes, sgraffito and texture using a glaze medium were just some. She demonstrated an interesting technique using a base coat of crimson, layered with binder medium. Bronze metallic paint mixed with gloss medium was then applied using crumpled newspaper, and the effect was stunning!
We were then shown how to build up a painting, with a series of prepared sheets that Aurora had brought along. The first sheet was simply coated with gesso. The next showed the chosen background colours, loosely brushed in with the colours mixed on the paper rather than on the palette. The next sheet had the subject, an iris, drawn with neutral paint, onto the background. The last sheet showed all these stages with some of the flower painted in. Aurora then painted another petal, using ultramarine, dioxazine purple, phthalo blue red shade, and white. She sprayed the painting from time to time to keep it workable.

The evening presented us with lots of information, and gave us plenty to think about!

Pat Johnson

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