7 Acrylic Painting Techniques For Beginner Painters

Acrylic paint is a water-based medium that becomes water-resistant when it dries. The medium is fast drying and is very versatile. It has properties of oil and watercolor, which make it one of the most used mediums for painting.
Acrylic painting has become famous as enthusiasts are starting to make using them a hobby. If you are a beginner, you might want to know how to use acrylic properly. Here are some acrylic painting techniques every painting apprentice should know:
Preparing your surface: In order for your surface to be suitable for acrylic paint and so that it can securely adhere to the surface without peeling or scratching off later, your should prime or gesso your surface before you begin to paint. Weather painting on a canvas, or on wood, glass, or even plastic, gesso is the best primer to allow your acrylics to stay on your surface. To learn about different types of Gesso  and how to apply Gesso click here.
Keeping acrylic usable: Most beginners put massive amounts of acrylic paint in their palette every time they do acrylic painting. This is one of the most common mistakes beginners commit. Since acrylics dry so fast, putting a great amount of the paint on your palette may cost you more. You may also want to invest in a spray bottle to keep your palette wet and prevent your acrylic paint from drying too fast.
Creating opaque colors: One of the best acrylic painting techniques is diluting them so they can be used like watercolors or for airbrushing. You can apply acrylic thickly with very little water or mix colored acrylic paint with titanium white to create different levels of opacity. You can experiment with the thickness and lightness of colors and strokes in your painting by using this technique. You can also thicken the paint with an acrylic medium such as a heavy gel gloss medium. When you want to enhance the natural brightness of your acrylic paint and make it thinner, you can use a Gloss Gel Medium. A Gloss Gel Medium can help you achieve a more transparent finish with natural sheen.

Blending acrylic paints: Since acrylic paint dries so fast, you  have to work fast as well to blend colors naturally. But you can increase your time by dampening the canvas or your paper. However, if you are using acrylic on smoother and sleeker surfaces, dampening may not work. Just remember, depending on the brand of acrylic paint, the more water you add to your acrylic the less opaque your acrylics become. Also, the brand of acrylic paint has a lot to do with the success of your blending. You get what you pay for… I personally use Liquitex and Golden Heavy Body Acrylic Set because they both are a professional grade of paint and blend very well with other colors.
Mixing acrylic paint: This is a task in itself. In order for you to successfully mix colors and get the colors you desire, you need to know a few basics about color theory. Things like primary, secondary, and intermediate colors to shade, tint, and tone. Doing a little research and experimenting can save your acrylics from becoming muddy, ultimately saving you money and time. To learn more about mixing colors without making your painting all muddy, check out my friend Will Kemp Color Mixing Course. It’s one of the best color mixing courses I’ve seen.
Making glazes: The best acrylic painting techniques for creating transparent glazes are building up in thin layers and making soft strokes. Using thin layers establishes a glazed effect where colors underneath show through. Use the brush softly when spreading the acrylic paint to make sure that they are applied thinly across the surface. You can also use glazing medium to make acrylic paint more transparent, to create fine glazing acrylic painting techniques. There are different kinds of glossing medium available but make sure not to buy one with oil as it is not compatible with acrylic.

Improving your painting flow: If you want to establish an excellent flow in your acrylic painting without losing the colors, use flow improver mediums instead of just water. Improver flow medium increases the flow of acrylic colors, allowing the application of areas of flat, even color without changing color strength. It is also effective for hard edge painting techniques. While water breaks the acrylic paint binder, flow improver breaks the surface tension of the water in the paint. It is more efficient in maintaining the strength of the colors without compromising the finish.

Creating Textures: Unlike watercolors, acrylic paint is so malleable and controllable that creating textures can be done with ease. You can create some interesting textures by simply making your paint thicker, giving your acrylics a relief effect from your surface. You can use a palette knife to scratch lines in the acrylics, to give your paint another feel or look. The skies are the limit to creating different textures using various tools and mediums.
Adding Medium: If you are interested in being very creative, you can manipulate acrylics using various types of mediums to give you some interesting looks. There are three types of medium, incl{uding Fluid Mediums and Additives, Gel Mediums and Additives, as well as an array of Effects Mediums and texture gels. These acrylic painting mediums allow you to alter the acrylics in a way that you can turn or pull the acrylics, in a way that can’t be done if tried straight from the tube.

I hope these simple techniques get your juices going. I love painting with acrylics and  would encourage you to begin practicing some of these techniques if you are interested learning different acrylic painting techniques. The skies are the limit. The more you practice experimenting with acrylics the more comfortable you will become with acrylics.