Learn to Paint With Acrylic Paints

by denisesanger on March 26, 2012

Acrylic paints are often the chosen media if you want to learn to paint!

Acrylic paint is a fairly easy type of paint to use in order to create many different types of artwork. You can find this popular type of paint at about any art supply stores and a very large selection online at Art Apprentice’s Online‘s store.   If you want to learn to paint with acrylic paints, you just need to learn its basic painting characteristics and some painting techniques before experimenting with it.

Basic Characteristics of Acrylics

Acrylic is a thick, fast-drying paint. Its drying speed is important because it affects the way the paint works. Since acrylic paint is so fast-drying, you can easily paint over mistakes; however, if you want to blend different colors of paint together, you may have a hard time doing so. You can buy paint retarder or Extender at an art supply store if you need to blend acrylic colors. This paint medium causes the acrylic to stay wet for longer periods of time.

Since acrylic paint is often a medium viscosity, it is easy to work with if you desire a little texture in your painting.  You can create textures by deliberately applying the paint thicker in some parts of the painting and by pushing beads, sand or other objects into the paint while it is wet. Many mixed media artists use all kinds of tools to create patterns and marks in the wet paint. The thicker paint also lends itself to brighter, more vibrant colors than some other types of paint. If you need your acrylics to be thinner for a particular piece of artwork, you can mix them with water or with an acrylic Extender.

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Learn to Paint with Acrylic Painting Techniques for Abstract Art

Try to experiment with a variety of different painting techniques to see what acrylic paint can do. One popular technique used by abstract artists is called pouring the paint. Using this technique, you pour paint directly onto the canvas instead of dipping your brush in the paint and painting brush strokes with it. You might need to thin the paint before doing this so that the paint will flow across more of the canvas surface. Each color of paint can be poured on the parts of the canvas you want it on. Usually you do not need to use a brush on the paint after you do this, although you can experiment with brushing poured paint to see how it affects the texture. Painting in this manner can help you create a rippling ocean in an abstract style, or a sky full of clouds.

Learn to Paint with Acrylic Painting Techniques for Formal Art Work

Another effective acrylic technique used by the old masters is called scumbling. Scumbling involves the soft application of lighter colors over a dried under-painting. You’ll need a stiff, dry brush to do this. Some artists refer to scumbling as a dry brush technique. This simply means that the artist uses a very little amount of paint to create this effect. After the darker layer or the under painting has dried, dip the brush into a little bit of the lighter paint color. Rub the brush with a cloth to get out most of the paint. Then using a scrubbing motion, scrub the area of the painting with the brush to apply a thin layer of paint onto the painting.

Learn to Paint by Experimenting!

The best way to learn to paint is to experiment with acrylic paints to see the results you get. Try using them thinned out like a watercolor to create transparent glazes and washes.  Try the scumbling and pouring techniques as well as painting whatever way is comfortable for you. You can also experiment with dripping paint off the brush onto the canvas and putting other objects into the paint for mixed media art work. Finally, try different types and sizes of brushes to see how that affects your painting style. Use texture mediums to make the acrylic paint thick and heavy. This is called impasto.  Do a little research on the Internet and read all you can about painting with acrylics. Remember to have fun and be proud of your finished creations. As a beginning artist you will look back at your early creations and remember the excitement and sense of accomplishment you experienced.

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