Acrylic painting is the new mantra. Explore the tips and techniques given in the article to know how to do acrylic painting.

Acrylic Painting Tips

There is a world of difference between regular painting and acrylic painting. While watercolour paintings have a matte look, and oil ones are glossy, acrylic paintings can have both the looks depending upon the amount of water used for diluting colours. Acrylic paints are fast drying paints that can be diluted with water but become waterproof when dry. Acrylic paintings also differ from basic oil paintings largely because of their fast-drying tendency and their lack of even lustre inherent to oil paintings. However, acrylic paintings are more common in contemporary artists owing to their versatility. They dry very quickly allowing use of pastel (oil & chalk), charcoal, pen, etc. on top of the dried acrylic painted surface. Although these paints came into being largely as substitutes to oil paints for allergic artists, they have carved a niche for themselves in the contemporary art world with their graceful strokes and grand finesse.
How To Do Acrylic Painting
Pre-Painting Tips 
  • Acrylic paintings cannot be modified like oil or watercolour ones so make a rough draft before you start with the actual painting.
  • Do not completely rely on painting directly if you are a beginner. Make light outlines using softer graphite or “B” pencils. “H” pencils tend to leave marks, which show through the colours.
  • Keep a cloth handy when you paint to blot your brushes frequently. This prevents the brush from getting thicker with the fast drying colour.
  • Keep a jar of water nearby to dip in your brushes once you are done with them.
  • By far the most common and arguably the most potent base for acrylic painting is canvas. However, you can also experiment with wood and Masonite to get more creative. They can be cut into various sizes as against the monotonous rectangular canvas sheet. 
Painting Tips
  • Since the acrylics dry fast, make sure you squeeze out very small quantities from the tube.
  • Keep spraying a mist of water on your palette to prevent it from drying.
  • When painting on a paper, try dampening the paper a little to slow down the rate of drying.
  • Acrylics do not mix with oil colors, so for custom colors, acrylics must be mixed with acrylics.
  • You need not rely only on water to make your acrylics flow better. If you want a glossy finish on your painting, then use a flow-improver medium instead of water.
  • To add an extra texture and weightage to your painting without using too much color, you can use impasto gel in your colour mix.
  • As mentioned earlier, acrylic paintings can be glossy or matte depending upon the amount of water used for diluting the colours. For opaque look, the colors should be used undiluted while for a translucent watercolor look, the colors have to be highly hydrated.
  • Acrylic paints are very effective at adding depth to an image by repetitive painting. They can make an image look realistic. Make sure you let a layer of paint dry completely before you apply another coat.
  • Rubbing alcohol is a special fluid, which, when brushed on or sprayed on multiple layers of acrylics, reveals all the layers of colours.
  • You can get a perfect finish for sharp edges using acrylics. Paint the surface completely and let the paint dry. Put masking tape in a way that the shape or edge you intend to paint is formed. When done, let the paint dry and remove the tape. 
Post Painting Tips
  • A coat of varnish on the complete painting is a must if you are not planning to frame it. The varnish keeps the dust from the painting.
  • Make sure to wash the brushes immediately after you finish painting so that their bristles do not fall off the next time you use.

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