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5 tips & tricks for acrylic painting

5 tips for acrylic painting

5 tips and tricks for beginners in acrylic painting

Acrylic painting is a new but very popular medium in the art world. It is often described as very beginner-friendly and can be used to paint both realistically and abstractly. In both cases, it is beneficial to broaden your horizons and work with different techniques, for example with a watercolor-like effect. This blog post contains some useful tips and tricks for acrylic painting.

Substrate for acrylic paints

Which surfaces are suitable for acrylic paints? / What can I work on?

You can work with acrylic paints on a variety of surfaces, such as paper, canvas, glass, stone, wood or metal. In principle, they stick to all grease-free surfaces. However, it is best if the surface is reasonably smooth. When working with paper, you should make sure that it is as thick as possible so that it does not get damaged or roll up while you are painting.

What points do I have to consider when painting?

Once acrylic paint has dried, it is virtually impossible to get it wet again. For this reason, it is important to make sure you wear clothes that can withstand a few splashes of paint. Brushes must also be washed to remove the acrylic paint immediately after painting, otherwise it will clump and damage the brush bristles.

Curd soap is ideal for washing out brushes because it ensures that the brush hairs remain elastic.

Speaking of brushes: Natural hair brushes are not particularly suitable for acrylic paints, as their bristles are not particularly good at handling them. Bristle brushes, on the other hand, are good for acrylic painting, where you want to be able to see the brush strokes after they have dried. Nylon brushes are more likely to be used for smooth surfaces and transitions.

Recommended acrylic paints

What are recommended acrylic paints?

When buying acrylic paints for the first time, you should consider which quality of paint is best suited to your needs. In short, there are three price levels for acrylic paints: artist acrylic paints, studio acrylic paints and hobby/craft paints.

Artist acrylic paints are the highest quality and most pigmented, but also the most expensive.

The studio acrylic paints are less expensive, but not comparable to the quality of the artist acrylic paints.

Hobby/craft paints are the lowest quality, but at the same time the cheapest.

To start with, we would recommend the medium quality (studio paints). Because of the high price, you often feel the pressure to create a masterpiece with the expensive paints, while the low quality of the craft paints can easily spoil the fun of painting.

However, good colors are not the key to success, since it is ultimately the artist who paints the picture and not the materials.

You should choose the colors carefully; in the beginning you really only need magenta, cyan, primary yellow and white because you can mix all the other colors from them.


Can you also create special effects with acrylic paints? / Can I also achieve a watercolor effect with acrylic paints?

When acrylic paint is mixed with water, it becomes transparent. When two transparent layers are applied on top of each other (so-called "washes"), a third color is created that is more intense than if it had been mixed on the palette. It is important, however, that the bottom layer of paint dries first before the second is applied.

You can also work wet-on-wet. In this case, the colors run into each other and mix to form a new color.

The result of both techniques is a slightly transparent, watercolor-like effect.

Canvas Tips

Can transparent painting also work on canvases? / What should be considered with canvases?

If you apply transparent acrylic paints to a canvas without painting underneath, the colors often look quite weak. Here's a tip:

On a primed canvas without an underpainting, transparent acrylic paints can look a bit thin compared to paper. This can be remedied by applying a colored primer or a colored underpainting on the primer before applying the transparent washes. This is particularly useful if the motif is to have a dominant color.

The details are then applied in thin washes. This technique allows a picture to be built up very quickly.

Good luck!


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