Basic Acrylic Painting – Preparing a Work Space

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 22,295
    Painter Mary Gallagher-Stout breaks down how to prepare a work space for basic acrylic painting.

    Mary Gallagher Stout: Hi! I am Mary Gallagher Stout and we are going to be painting a yawning, ferocious, stony lion. Right now, we are going to get our studio space ready because you need to be able to work in a space that is conducive to all this creativity that you are going to be doing in creating in a second.

    So what I am using is a tabletop easel that I made. You don't have to make your own or you can just get like a a piece of wood. But if you don't have a wooden easel or a tabletop easel, you could certainly affix your paper to the wall or nail. If you have a canvas, you could certainly just put in hammer and nail in the wall and hang the canvas on to the wall itself. So you don't really need an easel. Its just what you prefer. You just need to have a lot of space because you are going to be moving around. You need to be able to move your arms and then get yourself on nice and full of paint. So you want to be in a place that you are not going to be too concerned, if we you get paint. So may be the garage or the basement, a place where you can feel free to create and make a mask and have a blast. Alright, so let's talk about the kind of paper I am using to create this painting on, since we are not using canvas. I am using polystyrene. Its, I believe, 2 mL and it has some plastic in it. So it doesn't fickle, when you put paint on to it. A lot of times when you use poster paint, poster board; I am sure anybody thats painted a poster board remembers how it curls up when it gets wet. Because there is plastic in this, it doesn't roll.

    So we will affix our sketch on to the easel. I have already done a sketch of a yawning lion. It was a photograph of a lion that I saw. Because I like to work from a face that isn't reality, I like it to be about my interpretation of the subject. When I sketched it, I put in all the information that I need for my painting. So I don't want to use that photo as a reference, I want it to come from somewhere else. I want it to come from memory and feeling, and those type of things, not an actual photograph of a lion. So thats why I am not using a photo for a reference. Like I said, I have put in all of the darks. I have put in enough information that I know where things need to go. So I don't need a photographic reference.

    So after you finish sketching and we have it affixed to the board, the next step is to prepare your paper. So our next step will be to lay two coats of clear jesso on to the surface, let it dry overnight and then we are going to paint in our under painting.