Learn to Paint with Acrylic Paints
Painting is Rewarding
How to Paint with Acrylic Paints
How to paint with acrylic paints offers challenges similar to other paint mediums. Trying new things in life including painting helps make life interesting and rewarding. When I suggest to friends that they try painting, they often say,"I could never paint as I cannot draw a straight line" However, if you don't try something you will never know how good or how bad you are. Acrylic paints are a fun and inexpensive medium to begin your art experience. You can purchase an inexpensive set and dig right in. Who knows you may even turn out a masterpiece. Acrylics clean up well, and dealing with a water based paint means no odor or toxicity.
Materials You Will Need
You will need some basics to start painting with acrylics.
- A set of acrylic colors to include the basics: red, blue, yellow, white and burnt umber are fairly basic. You can add colors as you paint more. Starting with a limited palate will help teach you how to mix different hues.
- Start with two or three different brushes: A round bristle brush, a flat edge brush and a rigger for detail. You will want to add different size brushes to your collection as you progress
- A pad of paper palettes that you can throw out after using.
- A small table easil
- Two glass or plastic containers of water. Dip your brush in one and then the other. This will keep you from changing the dirty water all the time.
- An 11 by 14 canvas or canvas board
- Lots of paper towels
- A spray bottle to keep the paints from drying out
- A photo or still life to work from
- A pencil and drawing paper
- A jar of gesso--this whitener will cover over any mistakes you make.
Brushes and Easels
Properties of Acrylic Paints
Acrylic paints are extremely versatile. Try these different paint surfaces along with the usual canvas for variety.
- Some metals and plastic
Acrylics dry very fast, so you keep your spray bottle handy to give an occasional spritz.
Since Acrylic is a water-based paint, you can use it like watercolors, and make transparent washes. As youadd more water to the paints the more transparent the paint will become. There are many mediums available to use with acrylics to create different surfaces and textures, retard the dryness, and create a gloss or mat finish. Keep experimenting with mediums and colors while you learn how to paint with acrylics.
Have Fun Painting
Care of Acrylic Paints
With a few simple rules you can reuse the acrylic paints on your palate soft and flexible. While you are painting you can spray with water to keep the paints from hardening. When finished for the day give the paints a final spray and cover with a wet paper towel. Another way of preserving the paints is to put the palate in the fridge overnight. Make sure the paints are well covered.
Put the caps securely on the tubes to keep the paint fresh each day of painting.
Odds and Ends
There is an acrylic paint on the market called "interactive". This paint dries as quickly as other acrylic paint but does not form a skin, and can be revived with water.
Since acrylic dries so fast it often does not blend as well as oil paints.
Practice mixing colors and see how many you can come up with just using red, blue, yellow, white and burnt umber.
Though sometimes drawing is not as fun as painting---a good painting needs a good drawing.
If you are copying a photo, look for the dark areas on the photo and add them on the canvas or board before you begin the rest of the painting. You will establish good contrast in your painting.
Always clean your brushes when changing to a new color to avoid mudiness.
Try painting upside down--the picture not you.
Experiment with colors and shapes. If you don't like what you have done just brush over with gesso. I do this a lot.
Practice with different brushes to create different effects.
And if you are so inspired how to paint with acrylic paints take a class or go online for different tutorials.
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