This article reveals the key acrylic painting techniques you should know. Acrylics are fast drying paints that can be used straight from a tube, like oil paints, or can be thinned with water, like watercolor. They are extremely versatile and vibrant, offering the artist a wide range of textures, colors and consistencies.
Acrylics are also affordable, making them ideal for covering large areas with paint. Because these paints are opaque and fast drying, they can be very forgiving, allowing you to cover up mistakes with more paint. They can be painted on almost anything and dry into a water resistant surface. While you need to be aware of how quickly they dry, acrylics can be blended beautifully.
Read on for everything you need to know. We'll begin with the kit you need, then introduce some simple acrylic painting techniques such as mixing and misting, to help you get used to working with this wonderfully versatile and rewarding medium.
We'll begin by introducing four key brush shapes that will be useful in your journey into acrylic painting, and exploring what each shape can be used for. Acrylic brushes tend to be made from synthetic materials and can be used with a variety of mediums.
It's important to have a good variety of brushes, ranging from small to large. You'll soon learn which you're more comfortable with, but these four are some of the more common shapes you'll encounter. The Filbert brush is a great all-purpose brush that can offer a straight or rounded shape.
Here we're using golden acrylics, which have a buttery texture and can to hold up to a lot of water. These are considered 'Heavy Body Acrylics'. We'd encourage you to experiment with a variety of brands to see which one you enjoy acrylic painting with the most – everyone has their favorite type and brand. Acrylic paint is essentially plastic; more specifically, pigment suspended in a polymer emulsion. You can break that emulsion with too much water, so take care when thinning it out.
The acrylic painting techniques in this article can be put into practice with any heavy body acrylic paint, student or professional grade.
How to mix acrylic paints:
Mixing paints is a precise process. It's good to know your color wheel here as you'll be mixing very specific colors as you work. Red and yellow can be combined to make a variety of oranges. Add in some green and you'll get brown and burnt umbers. Using a palette knife, a plastic knife, or even an extra brush is ideal when acrylic painting. Mix thoroughly and remember that some paints can dry a slight shade darker.
Misting: How to stop acrylics from drying out
Acrylics dry quickly – sometimes too quickly. One way to keep paints moist easily is to mist them with water when you're acrylic painting. You can buy gardening misters at hardware or gardening stores. Depending on the surface you're painting on, you can water your acrylics down enough to almost resemble watercolor. This can be a valuable trick to quickly lie in an under painting to get started.
Hope this helped bring you some information on Acrylics and help move past some objections so you can get started painting today!