5 Tips on working with acrylic paint
Updated: Feb 4, 2021
I love working with acrylic paint and I want to share with you a few tips which I have learnt along the way. This should help you if you are new to the medium or are considering using it:
1. IT ALLOWS YOU TO MAKE MISTAKES
One of the things that first appealed to me about acrylic paint is the fact that you can make mistakes! You don’t need to forward plan, leaving or masking white areas because you can add white at any point to your painting. You can paint over areas which aren’t working without your image becoming overworked. This really takes the pressure off and means you can play and experiment.
2. IT’S ADAPTABLE
Acrylic paint can be used in thin coats for subtle effects like washes and glazes. It can also be used in a thick consistency straight from the tube to create different textures and tactile effects on your surface. You can add lots of different gels and mediums to change its consistency to your favored approach.
3. IT’S WATER SOLUBLE
You can clean your brushes and dilute acrylic paint with water, which means it’s safe to use in a home environment. This makes it really user friendly and perfect for anyone to use. It is advisable to protect your clothes with an apron and table with a cloth or newspaper carefully though, as when acrylic paint dries it won’t come off. It is paint after all and you want your painting to last.
4. IT CAN HAVE DIFFERENT FINISHES
Once you have completed your masterpiece you can create whatever finish you would like. You can apply a gloss medium to give it a shiny finish, or matt if you prefer. You can apply a traditional finish by varnishing it, or a gentle sheen with a cold wax final layer. As there’s so many options it’s best to do tests before trying a new finish on your favorite painting.
5. IT CAN BE MIXED WITH OTHER ELEMENTS
Acrylic paint works really well if you love to experiment as you can add collage elements to it. This could be anything from photocopied images or sketches, as long as you adhere to copyright rules. You can blend in found paper items like tickets and bits of newspaper. You can add small objects, like beads or sand with care - it’s best to buy sterilized versions intended for this use. You can also paint with oil paint over acrylic. Many artists use acrylic as a base layer before over-painting in oils as it’s a quick drying medium to use.
If you would like to learn more about working with acrylic paint why not join one of my monthly 'Acrylic painting' video lessons. I can guide you through each step to create your own unique version of my painting.