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Sorry if I'm posting in the wrong place- I thought someone here might be able to offer some pointers. I just painted my first two oil paintings ever today. They're actually not nearly as bad as I had anticipated, really! Besides, they're gifts for DH, so he has to like them no matter how bad they are.

The problem is, when I was done, I ended up with a big mess and I'm not quite sure the best way to clean up. I just spent 20 minutes with rubbing alcohol and a cotton ball, trying to get the paint off my face and arms. Not entirely successful. All of the books I've found talk all day long about styles and techniques, but none have much practical information such as how to clean up, how to care for the brushes, etc.

Anyone have any advice? I've got to get the blue paint out of my ears before work tomorrow morning. I didn't even use blue paint today!!

Kristin
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Sorry if I'm posting in the wrong place

You're not. Welcome aboard!

I find linseed oil on a cotton ball is good for removing paint from skin, but you must work fast and get all of it off quickly because it is warm enough to give you a minor burn.

So, are you going to post pictures on the imagestation site or what?

Uhura
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Welcome!
I work in acrylic and enamel paints, so I have no advice to offer on clean up except to make SURE you've got all the paint out of the brushes, especially near the farrel (sp?) or it will ruin the brush.

I look forward to seeing pictures of your work!

Frydaze1
::: too timid to work in oils :::
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Thank you for the tips!

I wanted to start out painting with acrylic. I didn't actually mean to get oil paints, but I misread the tubes (I live in Germany... although I won't point out that the German word for acrylic is "Acryl"... hee hee) Nothing like jumping in with both feet, I guess!

The oils were great to work with, as it turned out. The only problem I ran into was smearing colors together on accident. After looking at a purchased oil painting I have, it looked like the artist painted the background, let everything dry, and simply painted the other objects on top of the background. I will do that next time.

I did get the brushes clean with soap, water, and patience. The color came off my skin using an astringent, but I'll be getting some linseed oil today for future ease of use.

Any tips on cleaning the pallette?

Thanks again! I'll be posting photos of the two paintings pretty soon.

Kristin
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Thank you for the welcome and the tip!! I'll definitely be getting linseed oil today. What is the imagestation site?

Kristin
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What is the imagestation site?


Check out the FAQ --------------->

link and directions are in there.

Rav
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I work in acrylic and enamel paints

Have you tried watercolors? I tried it... and tried it... and tried it... and tried it again. The only thing I improved was my colorful language.

Uhura
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I work in acrylic and enamel paints,

::: too timid to work in oils :::


HA!! I'm just the opposite, I've tried acrylic, they dry too fast, it's too easy for me to screw up. I find oils much more forgiving. I've never tried enamels though, and I'm not sure what you mean. Can you explain?

RM - ought to really, really, get back finishing that one painting
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Have you tried watercolors?

That's where you get the paper wet add color and watch it all bleed into a mess not even worthy of my dog.

I'd rather do tie dye.

The only thing I improved was my colorful language.

At least you learned something.

RM ;-)
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Any tips on cleaning the pallette?

Yeah - don't use one? ;-)
I use a foam plate, and throw it away when I'm done or it's too messy. If I'm using lots of colors and know I'll need more blending space, I use multiple plates. Again, I'm not painting with oil so I don't know if there's a difference.

At a guess, I would say thoroughly scrape the palette and wipe the remainder with the linseed oil or mineral spirits or whatever worked on the brushes.
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Have you tried watercolors?
Uhura


No, I haven't. They seem like they would require creativity and originality and other "-ty" things that I haven't got!

Also, watercolor has always looked ... hmm, I don't know exactly how to describe what I'm thinking. Let me come at it the other way. Oil and acrylic are very "bold", "defined", "finite", "foreground". Watercolors make me think "delicate", "soft", "infinite", "background". Does that make any sense at all?

And you of all people know I'm not a "delicate", "background" anything! So I don't think I could wrap my brain around watercolors since I don't tend to picture things that way. I'll just enjoy other people's work (and hang it in my "delicate", "soft" bedroom - who woulda thunk it).

Frydaze1
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HA!! I'm just the opposite, I've tried acrylic, they dry too fast, it's too easy for me to screw up. I find oils much more forgiving. I've never tried enamels though, and I'm not sure what you mean. Can you explain?

RM


I don't do "real" art. Just One-stroke stuff. So having it dry quickly is really good for me. That way I can layer leaves and flowers and things without making mud and losing my details.

Enamels - Folk Art paint has a line of enamel paints that "feel" just like acrylics when you work with them. I have been using them on non-porous surfaces (glass, metal, plastic, etc). When I use it on glass, I can bake the finished product in my oven so the paint won't chip or flake off. They don't dry as quickly as the acrylic, but are still faster than oil. And they have more of a gloss finish.

Frydaze1
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I use a foam plate, and throw it away when I'm done or it's too messy

that's hilarious- I feel like a total sucker. "Oh, it's in the painting section so I must need one... better get two just to be safe"
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"Oh, it's in the painting section so I must need one... better get two just to be safe"

I can totally relate! The good news is that the lady whose technique I'm learning uses a foam plate.

But here's the "sucker" confession: she sells a plastic "frame" that you put the disposable plate into. It has a notch for your hand like a regular palette. It has little molded "cups" to hold colors - though SHE doesn't use them for that. It has holes in the upper edge to hold brushes, but most of HER brushes (yes, she has her own line) don't fit in the holes.

And I bought one anyway.

Frydaze1, sucker extrodinaire
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PT Barnum would be proud of us, wouldn't he? Now I have to go back to the store to see if they have any palette frames... (Just kidding!!)


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DH is a professional illustrator who works in oils and acrylics. He uses plain ol' turpentine from the hardware store to clean up, aluminum foil as a palette (so he can fold it over and seal the edges to keep his colors from drying out when he quits for the day) and old plastic ice cube trays to mix his colors.

I'm a computer illustrator, so I only know how to make colors from CMYK, but a trick he does with pigments is to do an underpainting in the complementary colors to make the top colors pop out more. I'm not exactly sure how that works, but I can ask him for more details.

pix
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Have you tried watercolors? I tried it... and tried it... and tried it... and tried it again. The only thing I improved was my colorful language.

Uhura


Of all the things we hit in art classes in school, watercolors were the hardest for me.

Cindy
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Of all the things we hit in art classes in school, watercolors were the hardest for me.

I still remember fondly one watercolor project from art class. We were given one piece of that heavy paper and soaked it briefly in water. Then we put the paper on the tabletop and dripped and splatterd assorted colors on the paper. Because the paper had absorbed some water, the paint sorta wandered and squiggled in varied splotches and such. Then when it dried, we took india ink and pens and outlined whatever shapes or patterns we saw or imagined.

Actually, now that I'm remembering, that art teacher had some wonderful ideas which inspired creativity and enjoyment. Unfortunately, that didn't seem to suit the school administrators because she only taught that one year. Nobody officially said she was fired, but a number of parents implied that it hadn't been her desire to leave.

~~ Alison
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I'm an oil painter...sorry it's taken me so long to respond, I've kind of been slacking on this board lately due to personal drama.

My favorite cleaners ever are The Masters Brush Cleaner and Preserver and The Masters Hand Soap. Here's a link:

http://www.dickblick.com/zz069/11/products.asp?param=0&ig_id=529

One of the reasons I like it is that it doesn't strip your brushes like turpenoid does. It will dry out your hands a bit though! ;) It also restored a lot of my grandfathers brushes that hadn't been cleaned since he died. I thought they wouldn't be usable but they're looking pretty good now!

For cleaning my palette, I use a big spackling knife (you know, from the paint department at Home Depot) to scrape all the paint off (you can also use a palette knife but I prefer not to because some of my palette knives are a little delicate) then I use turpenoid to clean it. You can use a razor blade as well if you're careful not to cut up the surface of your palette, depending on what your palette it.

I use an old glass cutting board as a palette--it's really easy to clean and mix on it and it also has little grippy feet that keep the palette from slipping around too much. I cover it with a big piece of plastic wrap to keep it from drying out, or I use another (clean) palette on top of it (this requires scraping paint off the second palette back onto the first palette the next day)

Hope that helps!

ellaluna
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