Traditional Techniques

In a recent discussion I was admonished about not using traditional media. I use acrylics because they don’t smell; at least that is the prime reason. The individual in question wasn’t really being critical they just assumed that any real painter would use oils. In Da Vinci’s time oil paint was a new thing, as was painting on canvas. Many painters at that time painted on wood board. Those artists weren’t particularly worried about traditional methods so why should I be.

Acrylic is an interesting medium and the pigments used are beautiful. Actually acrylics can use all of the traditional old pigments as well as the latest ones. The pigments are simply ground up very fine and added to the acrylic base. Oils can use modern pigments too, but usually they don’t, probably because there is a prejudice towards traditional pigments. The advantage of traditional techniques is that they are time tested. It’s difficult to argue with a medium that’s been around for several hundred years. Acrylics have been well tested and testing today is much better than it was but it’s still new.

I like modern pigments. They are often more colourfast than traditional pigments and they are sometimes in a Nano-particle form. Nano scale particles are new and I’m anticipating some interesting new paints;

http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1162/LEON_a_00114

I see advantages with new products. Substitute ‘new’ with ‘acrylic’ or some other new medium. So long as they are tested and come out better I have no problem with them. Artists have always experimented with new techniques or products and I don’t think we should stop.

 

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