Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Working with Latex Paint

My idol, Carlos "Botong" V. Francisco once joked "If you cannot make it good, make it BIG" referring to the murals he was making. Size do give a painting an added dimension by just the sheer visual impact it creates on a wall or a building. size is also the refuge of impatient painters like me who view details as tedious and unnecessary. I love painting murals because of these and has learned to solve the downside of this genre by using Latex paint. Technology has improve the durability and versatility of these housepaints commonly used then as now as wall protection and beautification. Specially if not exposed to the sun or water, this paint would last as long as expensive artists paints. My first mural was directly painted on a wall and in five years time had to be repainted. What I learned from that is not to paint latex on concrete and waterproof the painting somehow with a cladding like the now readily available acrylic emulsion. Another disadvantage is posed by the lack of viscosity of latex, you have to apply it in washes with a brush, pallet knives would be useless. Latex also changes color as it dries, turning darker and duller while drying so you have to do some instinctive visualization of the final color but i solve this problem by putting on acrylic paint on the final layer where i hope the color will not sink into the latex or I plan a painting to be meant to be lower in value at its final appearance, you can't do very bright colors with latex except if you intend to put pure white. In the end, for the muralist, latex can go along way in saving you the expense of large amounts of quality paint on a work you intend to see quickly done.

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