Ways & How

How to Paint With Acrylics Without Streaks

How to Paint With Acrylics Without Streaks

Using acrylics is one of the most popular ways to create paintings and other crafty projects. Acrylic paint is a good choice because of the flexibility, durability and relatively lower cost of the medium. Learning how to use acrylics is easy, though some beginners and even some long-time painters may still encounter challenges. A main problem acrylic often presents is that painting a large area with a large amount of color sometimes causes “streaks,” which often look like rough lines. Here, we offer some tips on how to paint with acrylics without streaks.

  1.  Basics of handling acrylic paints. Learning how to use acrylic paints well may be tricky in the beginning, but it will become easier once you get used to the paint’s consistency and characteristics. Knowing how to dilute or thicken the paint when appropriate can help you prevent streaks. Since acrylics dry relatively quickly, you have to work fast and make your brush strokes clean. If you don’t want your work to have a certain texture, such as brushstrokes or streaks, try to correct the painted area immediately.

    , when squeezing from the tube, only push out a small amount at a time, since large amounts can easily dry up when not immediately used. This can also contribute to a thicker paint consistency that tends to easily cause streaks.

  2. Try using fluid acrylic. The type of acrylic affects its consistency. Heavy body acrylics tend to be thicker and thus have a higher chance of causing streaks when painting. Fluid acrylics are lighter and do not easily leave any texture behind. Using this kind lessens streaks and makes it easier to do flat washes or paint over large areas.

  3. Add a glazing medium or flow aid. Aside from purchasing fluid acrylics, you can also make regular acrylic paints more liquid by mixing them with additives, such as glazing mediums and flow aids. These additives increase the fluidity and absorbency of the paint, thereby allowing you to use them for finer details and easier blending. Again, having a more fluid paint allows you to minimize the appearance of brushstrokes and streaks and also allows you to paint soft edges and lighter effects. Though you can add water, too much may compromise the quality and appearance of your painting. Thus, using commercial additives may be preferred.

  4. Choose your brush well. Typically, a brush with harder bristles tends to leave more distinct brush strokes and streaks than softer ones. In the same way, brushes with shorter bristles also leave more streaks than those with longer bristles. Choose a brush with softer and longer bristles, and be sure to match the brush size with the area being painted. If you’re painting a large surface with a single color, like a background, choose a larger brush to minimize the number of strokes, thereby also keeping the appearance of streaks to a minimum.

  5. Use proper technique. In addition to using the right brush, proper technique greatly helps minimize the appearance of undesirable streaks. When painting an area, keep your strokes long and straight for a smoother and less textured look. If you’re using thicker paint, avoid going over an area more than twice, because the paint gets streakier once the lower layer dries up and you cover it up with another one.

  6. Other great tips and tricks. Alternatively, you can opt to paint an area using several very thin fluid layers instead of one very thick layer. Another option is to apply the color with a hard brush, then go over the paint with a very large, soft brush to blend in the paint onto the canvas before it gets streaky. If the paint dries too fast, you can wet the canvas a bit before applying the acrylic paint and running a soft brush over it.

Working with acrylics takes a lot of practice, and avoiding unwanted streaks and strokes on your painting requires a bit of effort and good technique. With the useful tips above, you now know how to paint with acrylics without streaks so you can create smoothly finished paintings with just the right textures and blends you want.


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