Acrylic Painting Ideas for Beginners
Are you a beginner looking for acrylic painting ideas? Then you have come to the right place! Here are some technical tips that can help you get started painting with acrylics:
(NOTE: There is an excellent video near the bottom of this article.)
• Acrylic paints dry fast, so if you are just starting out, it might be wise to squeeze only a little paint out of the tube and do some experimenting…. If you are using a plastic palette, you may want to use a spray bottle of water to squirt a fine mist over the paint at regular intervals so that it remains moist. However, some artists think using stay-wet palettes is a better option.
• Make sure to keep a cloth or paper towel near your water container so that every time you rinse your brush you wipe it clean as well. Doing so prevents water drops from running down the ferrule and causing blotches on your painting.
• All acrylic colors are opaque; however, you can use them for airbrushing or as watercolors by diluting them with water.
• Acrylic paint tends to age better than oil paint because it usually does not develop cracks.
• Acrylic washes are insoluble, so they can be painted over without spoiling the existing wash. In fact, the successive washes blend optically with the previous ones.
• Heavy layers of acrylic paint can produce uneven, textured surfaces, which can be quite interesting or frustrating, depending on your aims. While thin layers can produce transparent glazes.
• Instead of water, use flow-improver medium to enhance the flow of a color without losing its strength.
• If you wish to blend acrylic colors, dampen the paper you are working on or else the paint will dry rapidly. You can also try to blend colors by brushing rapidly.
• You can use gel retarder to slow down the drying speed of acrylic paint by 50% or more.
• If you wish to form hard edges, use masking tape as it can be easily put onto and detached from dried acrylic paint without causing any damage. However, do not paint too thickly on the edges or you won’t get a clean line.
• You can even substitute glue with acrylic paint when making collages.
• Since acrylic colors dry fast, you just need to wait a little while before correcting any mistakes by repainting.
• Masking fluid can also be used with acrylic washes. After using the masking fluid, dip the brush in soapy water so that the masking fluid can be removed easily.
Use your own creativity to devise new ideas and methods of using acrylic colors.
Finally, here is an insightful and honest 5-minute overview by an artist named Christopher of the materials you will need and the right way to put an idea onto canvas via pencil sketch. (When Cristopher speaks, he is barely audible, especially at the beginning, so you may need to crank up your speakers a bit. But it is worth it because he really knows his stuff.)
written by How to Paint With Acrylics staff,
“Untitled” painting — photo courtesy of Neith Nevelson
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