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I’ve had the opportunity to sit in during one of the group art jamming workshops and subsequently, I even got to paint with the acrylic paint. Not going to paint you a rosy picture here (yes, pun intended) as it certainly was not as simple as it looked! However, I have compiled 5 useful tips that would turn it into a pretty manageable session!
1. While sketching the final image on individual smaller canvases, offer to help with it!
Our facilitators would recommend you to use a pencil to lightly sketch the diagram you wish to paint on the grouped canvases aligned together. This really helps every team member who would later take one canvas (with the drawn design) to paint his section. On that occasion, only one team member was doing the rough sketch on all the individual canvases. Remember that you have to complete everything within 2.5 hours! Don’t focus too much on creating the perfect picture and hence only send your best member to do all the drawing. Instead, balance it out with a contribution from more of your team members who would add value to the whole experience! What’s more, by asking for their contribution, you show that you value what they can bring to the team. It also opens opportunities for colleagues to learn from each other.
2. You don’t need a lot of paint! Explore textures, opacity and different tones!
After your team is done with the sketch, your next step would be to paint. From my observation, most people would use all of colour A to mix with colour B! Now, this is not advisable because you might still want colour A and colour B to work with than just the resulting colour alone. Moreover, when your brush is dipped in too much paint, you are unable to achieve textures from the brushstrokes and lighter opacity from a less solid fill. By skipping out on these two elements, you could miss out on so many varieties to your canvas. Try starting out with less paint on your brush and proceed to coat more paint on your brush if you need to fill it up later! For even more ways to achieve different textures, check out the Unique Ways to Paint in Art Jamming (3M).
3. NO WATER needed on acrylic paint! But, using a scarce amount can achieve the thinned look!
Credits: E.H. Sherman
If you used watercolour before, it's probably second nature for you to dip your brush in water. The beauty of acrylic lies in it not needing any water at all! But, if you would still like to experiment with water to achieve a pseudo-watercolour look, just dip your brush lightly. You can actually thin the colour and achieve a different gradient look (compared to gradients from lighter to darker tones and vice versa). Be careful not to use an excess of water! It could ruin the canvas!
4. Paint alongside those whose canvases are going to be beside you and above or below you!
While you work on your individual parts, you are highly recommended to occasionally align your canvas with the other canvases. This helps to ensure that your final picture looks cohesive! Also, while you paint on your own, you may be creating your own tone of green, which doesn’t match the green of the next canvas your team is working on!
5. Have fun! Mingle with your friends and enjoy the process!
Last, of all, don’t forget to have fun! It is more about the journey and your experience than the final result! Nonetheless, if you do follow these tips, your end result should look rather presentable!