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Digital Subscriptions > The Artist > September 18 > Acrylics the watercolour way

Acrylics the watercolour way

Last month Barry Herniman revealed the techniques he uses to paint with fluid washes of acrylic, watercolour-style, on paper. This month he’s chosen to work on a gessoed canvas support
Detail Liquid Turquoise, Skiathos, acrylic on board, 233⁄4×233⁄4in (60×60cm).

On a trip to Castro, the old capital of Skiathos, we looked down at this boat floating on a transparent sea of turquoise. I used a lot of glazes to invoke a feeling of depth

I had originally been put off using acrylics because of their garishness and their rather sticky feel and the fact they dried so quickly. When I was given a set of Atelier Interactive acrylics I started off by diluting them with the different mediums but wasn’t keen on the feel of the paint. So I diluted them with water – and that was my eureka moment!

I just love the way I can dilute the paint down to a watercolour wash consistency and apply it in a fluid, freeflowing manner. And being a watercolourist at heart this style really suited my approach to painting. Also, Atelier Interactive acrylics remained workable for the duration of the painting process, providing the paint was sprayed with a fine mist of water. This meant that the paint on the palette wouldn’t dry out either – another great plus. Other brands have since followed suit so they are not unique in that respect any longer.

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About The Artist

Be inspired to get out and about with your painting kit this summer with tips and advice on sketching and painting en plein air from top watercolour artists Amanda Hyatt, Geoff Hunt and Ian Sidaway. Jenny Wheatley shows how to use your location studies to create exciting compositions back at home, while in a the first of a new series Yael Maimon explains how to select the best format for a successful composition. Aldo Balding demonstrates how to paint a full-length portrait, Robert Brindley shows how to capture the spirit of Venice in watercolour, Barry Herniman reveals how to use acrylics the watercolour way. Plus we focus on the rules of painting, how to paint figures on the beach, learn from the painting style of Christopher Wood, how to choose the best colours for different skies, and how to cope with the challenge of working from poor photos. We've included plenty to inspire you this month, as well as information about what to see and do and competitions to enter with great prizes up for grabs!