A good example of student vs professional paint
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A good example of student vs professional paint

Here are two versions of the same painting – one with student-grade paint and one with professional. The student grade is SOHO acrylic from Jerry’s Artarama, which I always order for my library programs since it’s inexpensive and decent. The other is Golden acrylic, which is waaaay more expensive and waaaaay more pigmented. You get what you pay for.

You can probably tell which is which pretty easily. Hint: the one on the left is the SOHO. One disclaimer: the yellow I used for the leaves is different: in the one on the left, I used yellow ochre, and in the one on the right, I used cadmium yellow medium.

Why have I painted three copies of this pumpkin, you ask? I’ve started making circulating paint parties at work. Twelve library branches will be offering this program, and my only involvement is sending the kit, which includes a traceable, graphite transfer paper, instructions, and 12 easels. There are three paintings because I want to make these programs so easy to facilitate that branches can’t say no – so staff doesn’t even have to paint anything before the program. Several of them have painted during the program, though, which is awesome.

Anyway, since I had to paint this thing three times, I used better paints in two of them to make it a more pleasant experience for myself. For one, I don’t have an orange in my office, so I had to mix red and yellow for the pumpkin (first world problems, I know). When branches ask to do the programs, I send them a suggested supplies list, and it included orange so patrons won’t have to mix. I also painted on gessoed and sanded (by me) MDF board, which I find SO much more pleasant than canvas. MDF is smooth, and I don’t have to dig paint into divets like canvas.

I should probably say that I still love SOHO paint. It’s fantastic for the price, and the library certainly can’t afford to buy professional paint for everyone. Also, inspiration for this painting came from the internets: the pumpkin from a how-to-draw-a-pumpkin tutorial and the pumpkin face from this Art Sherpa traceable.

Last month the library had JAWS paint parties, and they went really well. I’m looking forward to what happens with this one!

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