Ways & How

Art: How to use Acrylic Paint

Art: How to use Acrylic Paint

Having knowledge of how to use acrylic paint can help you achieve various looks ranging from the thinnest to the thickest coats in your art work. Because acrylics are fast-drying and very versatile in nature, they should be used right from a tube. Acrylic paints are water-based; therefore, you should have a water jar right beside you for purposes of thinning the paint and to wash your paint brushes at the same time as you switch from one color to another color. Following are the basics to using your acrylic paints more appropriately.

  1. Keep the acrylic paints workable. As mentioned, because acrylic paints are naturally fast-drying, squeeze out only a little amount of paint from the tube. It is wiser if you have a spray bottle so you can spray over the paints on your plastic palette to keep them moist and fresh. As you go paint, you can try multiple shades, mix them altogether, and make a creative base-color for your next painting.

    You should save any leftover paint. Scrap off any dried out portion and keep the remaining wet paint in a re-sealable container.

  2. Blot the brushes. Put a paper towel, newspaper, or a piece of cloth beside your water jar and wipe your brushes on it after rinsing. Doing so will prevent paints from mixing unnecessarily. It will also keep your brushes from applying too much water onto your canvass, as the water could run down the paint colors. And instead of producing finer art work, you end up having ugly color streaks.

  3. Depending on the look you want, apply thicker coats or add a little amount of water for a thinner look. The result is similar to using watercolors or air brushing. Remember, acrylic paints are not permanent. They can be washed off in other words. Just be extra careful in using water so as not to spoil the look that you are trying to produce.

  4. Apply multiple layers of paint to produce a transparent glaze. Your application must be as thin as possible. Putting on heavy layers can make a glossy surface rather than transparent glazes. Thicker acrylic paint can also be utilized as glue for collages. Do not use water on the acrylic so it stays as sticky as possible.

  5. Work quickly when blending colors. Acrylics dry fast; therefore, you need to work fast on color blending without necessarily compromising the overall appearance of your art work.

  6. Paint sharp and hard edges. To do this easily, use masking tape. It can be safely stuck on and thereafter removed without damaging the layers. Just push down the edges firmly to produce clearer and smoother edges.

Practicing techniques on how to use acrylic paint can lead to perfection. But don’t expect to produce great art work immediately. With time, however, you are sure to become an expert acrylic painter.


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