I decided to try out these Pebeo craft acrylics, £2 each at Hobbycraft for a 59ml bottle. There was a huge range of colours in matt, gloss and pearl finish, and it took me a very long time to restrict myself just to four that I thought would look good together in a project. In the end I went with Matt Teal, Matt Powder Grey, Pearl Violet, and Pearl Gold. Limiting myself to just these plus a few mediums to mix them with, I experimented with a few techniques.
First was a great background technique I learned on a sketchbook course. It’s a simple way to tame the blank white space that some people find intimidating when starting a piece of art. Squeeze a few colours of paint out onto the canvas and take a few swipes with a palette knife. I just used the teal, violet and grey for this, holding back the gold for emphasis later on. The thinness of these paints worked quite well here, covering the surface quickly and thoroughly.
Next, I tried a technique I’d come across, using a drop of paint and a brayer to create oval shapes. This took a bit of practice! I wasn’t entirely happy with all the shapes but hey, this is only the second layer. Imperfections can be covered up or worked in. The thin paint may have been a drawback here, though it did mean you could get a sketchy second impression with the brayer further down the canvas, which was quite fun.
The next layer was stamping, using some chunky foam kids’ stamps, and the circles from the paint lids (just cos they were there). The paint was pretty good for stamping with these big, bold shapes.
I wanted to see how the paint mixed with other mediums, so I used the violet with a gloss gel medium and painted some rough squares and swirls. It gave a glossy finish, but beyond that it didn’t alter the effect much, and didn’t really inspire me. Next I tried impasto medium. I mixed the gold with the teal to get an interesting metallic green which I applied with a palette knife. Then I added even more texture with the impasto mixed with powder grey. That gave a nice distressed look.
I did some more stamping over the top to fill in the gaps. The gold check pattern was a bit much at first, but I was able to lift some of the paint from the centre of the squares with a wet brush which toned it down a bit. Finally, I flicked a few different colours over the piece to add to the distressed look. You get some large blobs with the thin paint if you’re not careful, but I thought the effect was okay.
These are fun, water based craft acrylics with bright colours and a range of finishes. The gold, despite being listed as a pearl finish, is nicely metallic. They are versatile, and can be used with brushes, stamps, mixed with impasto medium to use with a palette knife or spread thinly to cover a background quickly.