Search The Web

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Acrylic Painting

In so many ways Acrylic is very similar to Oil paint. This medium is easier to use and cheap as well. A perfect medium for beginners.


  • Acrylic paint is opaque when undiluted. A color can be painted over another color without showing through. A black paint can be painted over white without showing the former.
  • Quick drying properties. An additive known as retardants can be added if you want to slow down the drying process. The drawback though would be the reduction of the adhesive properties of the paint.
  • Water-based. Brushes are easily cleaned. Paint can be diluted with water to make it go further and transparent. Therefore, it can be used like watercolor.
  • Waterproof. Once dry it becomes waterproof.
  • Dries flat. No thick layer build ups like oil paints. If you prefer a lumpy painting, a special additive can be used which will make the paint thicker that allows you to create special effects.
  • Hue darkens when the paint dries. Take this into consideration when mixing colors.


For hard shiny surfaces like glass or metal, this type of paint can easily be removed by scratching or peeling.
Paint is water soluble, therefore, getting it off from clothes and fabric is very difficult.  Once it dries, it's almost impossible to remove completely. It sticks so well to the fabric. This can also be used for painting designs on T-shirts.


  • Can be used on just about any surface. It adheres best to a surface with a slight texture to it.
  • Canvas and textured papers are the best but you can paint directly onto hardboard or even walls.
  • A palette is recommended.
  • Acrylic brush. This have stiffer bristles. Synthetic bristles are used rather natural hair.


Mixing: A good rule is always add a dark color to a light one; a little at a time until the desired result is achieved.

Base Layer: It is a good practice to apply a base layer of one color onto which all other colors are added. Reason for this is because acrylic paint spreads better on top of a base layer than on top of the paper. This will give you more control as you add succeeding colors. Next is reason is you can leave gaps in the paint and let the base layer show in places. A good way of putting shading effects onto an object is with a dark base layer.

Since acrylics are opaque, it is easier to paint light colors on a dark background rather than the other way around. It is one of the reasons why a lot of artists  uses black as the base layer;  which has become quite a popular choice.


It's recommended to use plenty of paint on a wide brush and not much water. For narrow strokes,  side of the brush is used. Always clean the brush before proceeding to the next color. Never ever leave a brush lying with a paint on it while you work on another brush because when it dries up it will ruin the bristles. If you haven't time to clean, just immerse it into water until you are ready to clean it. Clean brush with a little soap in warm water. Do not use a detergent.

Blending: Shading effects can be simulated using blobs of different colors  but the best way to produce good shading is to blend the paint. Mix paint as you would on any other type of mediums  from one color to another. You need to paint quickly before the paint dries. You can create shading effects using different colors. If you are quick enough, you can even mix the paint directly on the painting or surface. This can only be done before the paint dries, therefore, it is very crucial to be quick before drying overcomes you.

Glazing: A pale color mixture that is very much diluted can almost be completely transparent. Paint it over the dry paint. This can be  repeated a soften as necessary. This will make the glaze look stronger each time a layer is added.

Scumbling. A completely dry brush is used to apply a very thin uneven layer of paint on top of another color. This will give a blotchy effect.

Speckling. A toothbrush can be used to sprinkle over the surface that can produce small dots onto the paper as a speckled effect.


  1. I going to have to come back when it's not so late and I have more time to explore more =) My daughter is always drawing, now she is dabbling into the acrylic paints =) She has done a little water color and a friend was teaching her some I can't think of it now. But he paints awesome pictures on vehicles and such =)

    So I definitely want to explore your page more =) I mainly doodle but I've discovered I like to doodle with acrylic paints normally I just use pens =) On our blog is a link to her blog Awesome Art Girl even though she hasn't updated in awhile =/ She is a teen and it's summer haha

    Here from voiceBoks =)

    Arizona Girls blog

  2. One thing to know about Acrylics is that if you dilute them with water it breaks down the chemical properties in the paint.

    A lady from Golden paint company told me that adding water for under coats is fine, but if you want to get glazes on top layers use matte or gloss medium to mix into your full body paint. This makes great glazes. I have a whole assignment where students use this technique.

    Visiting from VoiceBoks.

  3. Hi, Arizona Girls!

    Feel free to drop by anytime. Yep, encourage your daughter to paint whenever she can. It would be good for her. Motivate her by having her finished art works framed. Encourage her too to collect her art works and exhibit them for sale. That would definitely give her a lot of motivation because people will get to see and admire her master pieces. Please drop by and check my online store> She might need something to add in her painting materials. They are all materials of quality.

  4. Hi, Alissa!

    Thank you for taking time and leaving a tip like that. I am sure everyone would make use of that. I'll hop in to yours. Have a great day!