10 Acrylic Painting Tips For Beginners

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Everything You Need To Know To Get Started With Acrylic Paints

Painting is a great hobby to take up if you are looking to learn more about colors, use your spare time to make art, or just to relax after a long day.

However, it is not as simple as it first appears. Every type of painting is different. This is why you see so many professional artists only specializing in watercolor painting or oil paints.

Today, we are going to give you a quick guide to using acrylic paints – you will even find this helpful if you have painted before.

#1 – Get The Right Brushes

When you first start painting, you want to make sure that your equipment isn’t working against you. That is why we recommend picking up a set of acrylic paint brushes for beginners.

It is recommended that you use brushes with synthetic bristles with acrylic paint as they will do a better job of picking up and spreading the paint evenly.

#2 – Don’t Use Too Much Water

If you are used to using watercolor paints then you might be tempted to use water to thin the paints.

However, this does not work as well with acrylic paints. You can use a little water when mixing up the colors, but adding too much water on the page will make them flaky and likely to crack.

#3 – Don’t Mix Colors On The Page

When you are using watercolor paints and even oil paints, you can get away with blending a lot of your colors on the page. Both of these paints are fairly slow drying.

Acrylic paints, however, dry fairly quickly and are not designed to be mixed on the page. They do work well if you want to make multiple layers of paint.

#4 – Remember The Paint Will Oxidize

When you are first starting to use your paints, you should create a set of swatches. This will give you an idea of how much darker the colors will get once they have dried down.

Typically, acrylic paints will dry down darker.

Having your set of swatches on hand while you are painting will help you to prevent any unwanted surprised.

#5 – Mix Too Much Of Each Color

Making the exact shade out of paint more than once is difficult for even the best painters. So, when you are mixing paints for your work try to mix more than what you think you will need.

This will mean that the colors you are using won’t change halfway through the painting because you ran out.

#6 – Wash Your Brushes As Soon As You Are Done With Them

Acrylic paint is mostly made with plastic, so when it dries it is hard to get off your brushes without damaging them.

If you want to get the most out of your set of brushes then we recommend that you wash them as soon as you have finished using them. Even though it can be tempting to leave all the washing up until you finish the piece. Or even until the next time you paint.

#7 – Be Aware Of How Quickly The Paint Can Dry

While blending is a key part of painting, it can be a little tricky when you use acrylic paints.

When you are blending with acrylic paint, you will want to make sure that you do it straight away. If you allow the paint to get too dry before you start blending you can tear the page.

#8 – Make Sure You Are Using The Right Kind Of Paper

When you are painting with acrylic paint, you will either want to use Hot Press paper or Cold Press paper.

You should avoid using Rough Grain paper – as the paint will only exaggerate the lumps.

#9 – White Is Your Best Friend

Did you know that you can create an opaque effect with color by mixing it with a good amount of titanium white? You can also use the color to help you tidy up mistakes you have made.

#10 – Black Does Not Appear In The Natural World

Black is not a natural color, therefore you should not be using it in your painting unless it is for stylistic purposes.

When you look at the night sky, it is made up of purples, blues, greys, and greens – it is never just black.


Of course, part of art is about learning when and how to break the rules. So, you don’t have to follow all of our advice in this article.

However, as the artist Bansky once said, you have to know what the rules are before you can break them.


About the author

Saman Iqbal

Saman is a law student. She enjoys writing about tech, politics and the world in general. She's an avid reader and writes fictional prose in her free time.

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