Learning to Rosmale in acrylics

I learned rosemaling in oils originally. I am interested in learning how to do so in acrylics.

My head spins with all of the different mediums, flows, retarders, varnish types.

I am interested to know how to properly prepare a painted item to paint. I read the article about preparing the piece, but want to know if a varnish coat is applied before tracing the design and painting. I learned to do so with oils.

Thank you for your willingness to help. I live in an area with no rosemalers, so I am not able to study with anyone and learn the basics.

I thought acrylics would be easier than oils, but am frustrated, a bit.

Comments for Learning to Rosmale in acrylics

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Jun 09, 2016
by: Cheryl

Hello there!

Rosemaling is such a beautiful art form!

I'm not an oil painter, preferring acrylics. I know many designers of this genre use Jo Sonja Acrylic Gouache.

Gayle Oram is a Rosemaling Master Decorative Artist who has a lot of tutorials and information. Perhaps you can visit her site http://gayleoram.com/index.php.

Like any new medium, there will be a little frustration as you try to get a feel for things.

I hope this helps.

Sep 01, 2016
Don't give up!
by: MamaVia

If I had a nickel for every time in the last 50 years that I explained that "no, I'm not a "tole painter", I'm a "Norwegian Rosemaler"...I would be very wealt...no, I wouldn't, I would have spent it on paint and surfaces, who am I kidding???

I learned "paintin for pretty" from my 1st generation American great grandmother whose parents had come from Norway and Sweden. I later learned that the scrolls and flower patterns and methods Gramma called "for Pretty" was actually called "Rosemaling". My ancestors were basically "subsistence farmers"; their living conditions were austere, and life was difficult...but in spite of "hard times" they endured, a little bit of "pretty" was found in my G-Gramma's home in the form of the iconic stylized leaves and flowers and scrolls on bread boxes, cradles and trunks. My grandmother once said of her mother that "she would paint anything that didn't move" and that the dog would run and hide the moment he got a whiff of turpentine! My G.Gramma had only two children, so had a lot of time to paint; but my Gramma, with 12 biological children and from 4 to 6 "foster" boys, (later replaced with grandchildren who came to live on the farm), never had much time to waste "paintin for pretty"!! My Gramma LOVED children, and even to the last years of her life, the house was full.

But, back to your question of using acrylics instead of oils. NOTHING will give the visual depth of a project painted using "oils". I use two different acrylic style paints the instead of oils...the JoSonja Acrylics and DecoArt Traditions paint. Traditions is "resin based", highly pigmented (low "filler") and can, with retarders and other additives, ACT like an oil. (Generally, I prefer the Traditions because I have COPD, and Traditions has no odor.)

The wisest advice to anyone with a desire to express their artistic creativity is to do the same thing a musician does to get to Carnegie Hall....practice, practice, practice....on paper, on wood, on "anything that doesn't move first"!! My favorite item to practice on are the very inexpensive wood ornaments you can find at the craft stores....

I've been "practicing" since 1963...(when my age was still in the single digits!)...and, I'm finally "pleased" with the work I am able to produce...of course, I still have to use "high humidity", low humidity, the light is too bright/not bright enough, I have a new brush/the brush is too new, my arthritis is bothering me, I have a headache, I'm too tired/I'm too excited....well. I've had to create a number of excuses over the years for the days when the paint just didn't want to be laid down by the brush...

But, then again....if it were easy...and there was no challenge...Would we still want to TRY?? There would be no sense of accomplishment...no joy...if we didn't have to work at it...

Good luck! I wish you the best painting sessions...and hope that you always "Paint for Pretty"...

Good luck, dear! I know you will succeed!!!

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