Hello all, 

I am new to the forum, and I am currently new to painting in acrylic.  I have done a lot of other art in my life, but my newest hobby is painting in acrylics on canvas.  I was doing well mixing and layering for a while when at some point I had an area that paint just wouldn't stick to properly, and then I let it all dry and went back to it to paint the foreground tree and the paint was having a really hard time sticking as well.  I am using two separate paint brands, the multi-surface folkart paints and Michael's Artist Loft brand.  The multi-surface "sometimes" may stick better but the problem may be that the folkart is a satin finish? the Artist Loft stuff doesn't specify finish...  is there a technique I can use here like coating with an isolation layer to get a better stick like I do when varnishing?  I tried searching up this problem but was hard pressed to find the right keywords to use for this problem.

The last steps on this painting are for me to add the foliage or whatever, and part of the problem is the paint kinda beads or... I dunno just doesn't stick

Thanks for all the help folks, and I hope I can return the favor in the future.  

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Hi Michael, I have met that kind of issue before. the solution I found worked for me is:

1. Add a thin background layer on before painting (thin with water mix, and just cover the canvas), this will give a good and stable surface for the later layers

2. Don't paint too thick on each layer, it would not stay good for other layers, what I did was paint thin and try as even as I can each time.

3. use medium helps, but don't do too much each time, because it would make it harder to coast over later.

4. Some soft head brushes works better with paints mixing too, I have some brushes more frayed and stiff; they seems makes color more uneven and hard to work on later. 

It could also be the paint was 'dry' when you painted it, I would mix with little bit more water to see if it works better. I mix brand too, I use Daniel Smith Acrylic paints (they don't produce it any more); now i mostly use Golden, but I also use Liquitex, Winsor&Newton, etc. (It depends on the color I found like the most at the moment when i bought them ;P)

Hope this helps! :) Have fun on your painting!

-Laurel

Thanks for the reply Laural, I actually bought some gesso, the canvases I use are primed, of course, but I heard putting a base down can help sometimes, I also have had it suggested when doing that base to use airbrush medium which is essentially thin acrylic because anymore than a 30% water addition can mess with the bonding. My mediums oddly are almost all golden, including the black and white gesso, which isn't a medium of course, I have soft gel (gloss) , airbrush medium, acrylic glazing liquid (gloss), and the polymer varnish. The only other medium I have is an artist's loft retarder to use with those paints. I may end up buying golden or liquitex paints if I keep with it as I need to refill what I use but getting started getting artist's loft on sale for 2$ for 4oz. It's a big difference than six to eight dollars for the same amount across 18 tubes... I suppose it depends on how into this I still am.... I dunno if I'm good enough to justify the expense, then again stress relief is priceless, assuming you aren't frustrated :') paint not sticking haha.

I was thinking I could try putting a layer of the soft gel down and then wait till it's a little tacky and paint on that to promote sticking, but I don't know if that's wise.

Hi Michael,

To me the soft gel works better after some base layers of paint. Water down your paint and try a very thin layer, wait until it's try and then start use other colors. I am not sure about air brush (too high-tech for me lol). I more prefer to use softer/smaller brushes to cover over slowly. If painting skins, I more prefer Matte medium, it makes the skin smoother. I use soft gel to get the color blend in better. 


Michael Wellman said:

Thanks for the reply Laural, I actually bought some gesso, the canvases I use are primed, of course, but I heard putting a base down can help sometimes, I also have had it suggested when doing that base to use airbrush medium which is essentially thin acrylic because anymore than a 30% water addition can mess with the bonding. My mediums oddly are almost all golden, including the black and white gesso, which isn't a medium of course, I have soft gel (gloss) , airbrush medium, acrylic glazing liquid (gloss), and the polymer varnish. The only other medium I have is an artist's loft retarder to use with those paints. I may end up buying golden or liquitex paints if I keep with it as I need to refill what I use but getting started getting artist's loft on sale for 2$ for 4oz. It's a big difference than six to eight dollars for the same amount across 18 tubes... I suppose it depends on how into this I still am.... I dunno if I'm good enough to justify the expense, then again stress relief is priceless, assuming you aren't frustrated :') paint not sticking haha.

I was thinking I could try putting a layer of the soft gel down and then wait till it's a little tacky and paint on that to promote sticking, but I don't know if that's wise.

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