Today's painting worked much better than yesterday. I started with the darks today and then added the lights. Yesterday I forgot to reserve the light areas while I worked on the shadows and that lessened the contrast and caused me to overwork the painting.
I realized today that with the acrylics I can combine the transparency of watercolor that I love with the ability to paint light over dark. Very liquid acrylic paint works in a similar way to watercolor. The same luminosity can be achieved but it is more forgiving of mistakes.
It is funny. I knew that acrylics could be used in layers like watercolors but I never really clued in on how I could use that for my paintings. Intellectually I knew it but emotionally I wasn't connected to it in any way. This opens up whole new worlds of possibility for me. There is an idea niggling around in the back of my mind of somehow combining watercolor and acrylic techniques in the same painting. It will be interesting to experiment further with this in the future and see where it leads.
I wonder what it would look like if I did the hair and clothes with thick acrylic paint but did the face and background using very thin layers of acrylic? Hmmmm.