8 techniques a beginner should try

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Acrylic paint is an artistic medium with the greatest number of paradoxes. Why is that? When painting with acrylics, the watercolor technique is commonly used. However, once dry, the paint inherits the physical qualities of traditional oil paints. The paint changes from a water-soluble medium to a water-resistant medium.

Whether you’re an arts student or painting is your hobby, acrylic is a cool medium to master. How to find the acrylic painting technique that suits you best? Check out the article below.

Why should you consider acrylic?

Acrylic paint was a medium of such impressive artists as Mark Rothko and Lubaina Himid. The paint became popular in the 1940s and was developed as a means of home improvement in America. Little did marketers know that it would soon become the preferred medium for contemporary artists.

Once you’ve gotten help with your Paperwriter essay, we recommend learning the pros and cons of mastering an acrylic painting technique.

Advantages and disadvantages of acrylic

  • It is a medium of contemporary art. If you are a fan of postmodernism, you should definitely try acrylic;
  • Although acrylics may contain toxins, they are water soluble. Therefore, it is not necessary to use poisonous spirits;
  • Acrylics dry quickly, making them both a blessing and a curse. For example, you cannot use popular oil techniques on acrylic. But unlike oils, you don’t have to wait weeks for the paint to dry;
  • Acrylics cost less than traditional oil paints and can be easily mixed with other mediums;
  • Diapers dry quickly. Therefore, an artist must work fast.

Technique n°1: Good old watercolor

Water is the main ingredient an artist uses when working with watercolors. Because acrylic is water soluble, try the same technique on it!

The water will thin your paint while allowing you to work in layers. This technique also allows you to stay experimental with the process. For example, you can add gouache or mix acrylics with real watercolor paints.

The thing to remember is the surface quality. Do not use water-resistant fabrics. Instead, it’s best to choose watercolor paper that’s heavier to medium.

Technique #2: Dry and edgy

Use a stiff bristled dry brush for this one. After dipping your paintbrush in thick acrylic paint, quickly draw strokes or continue dabbing on the canvas.

What does technology bring you? First, the texture. Because the paint lacks water, it is thick and quickly creates an edgy texture. Second, the colors are more vivid if compared to the watercolor technique. The last is convenience. Indeed, working in dry technique gives you more control over the layers compared to other techniques.

Technique #3: Stippling (only for the most patient artists)

Dotting is like a modern pointillism technique. Do you remember the greatest pointillists like George Seurat and Paul Signac? Yes, they used millions of tiny colored dots to create visual effects. The result was particularly majestic if observed from afar.

So, how to implement the stippling technique in acrylic? First, think about the palette. Divide your palette into tones and apply each tone in small dots with a brush. We advise you not to work in layers but to take the full color you need. Second, remember that this technique requires a lot of patience. If you don’t feel comfortable being in a meditative state for hours on end, it’s best to ignore it.

Technique #4: Drip

Do you remember the monotony of Jason Pollock’s technique? The artist dripped the paint onto a lying canvas with precise movements to create surreal shapes. The end result was mostly layers of colored lines and dots splattered in different ways.

To do the same on your canvas, lay it flat. Take the can of paint and add a little water to dilute it. Take a brush, dip it in the paint and start dripping it and splattering it all over the canvas. You can experiment with the canvas laid vertically.

The process is meditative and chaotic. The result could be unpredictable. Therefore, if you want more control, you better choose other acrylic painting techniques.

Technique #5: Erasure

This is a technique stolen from traditional watercolor. All because acrylic is a water soluble medium. Removing some pigment from the top layers will give you a smooth transition in shades. This is a great technique if you need to draw clouds or add more texture to the landscape.

For this technique, use wet towels, sponges or napkins. Gently pat them where you want to lighten or add texture. Keep “erasing” the saturation of the color until you are happy with the result.

Technique #6: Splatter and Splatter Technique

This technique is reminiscent of the approaches of dripping. However, there is a huge difference. The drip technique is usually performed on a flat canvas. Additionally, it requires more control over the painting process. At the same time, splashes and splashes do not require extreme control over the brush.

Why practice the splash-and-splatter technique?

  • It’s fun and easy. The result is unpredictable;
  • It’s performative. Moreover, anyone can do it as it does not require substantial artistic skills.

Technique #7: Use your palette knife

If you don’t like watercolor, switch to oil painting techniques. When painting in oils, artists use palette knives to create smooth transitions. In doing so, they avoid extended textures and hard edges. The same goes for acrylic paint. If you prefer to work in thicker layers, use your palette knife. Remember that acrylics dry quickly, but you need to use the tools in time.

Technique #8: Mix the mediums

As it has been said, acrylic is a versatile material. It gives you the opportunity to experiment. To explore the effects, mix acrylic with other mediums. For example, gouache. The result will be matte surfaces with less saturated colors. Especially if you mix acrylics with gouache blanks.

Do not mix acrylic paint with oils. The latter need alcohols, which do not go well with water-soluble acrylics.

Final Thoughts

Acrylic is an amazing medium for both beginner and professional artists. They allow an artist to experiment and are more affordable than oils. Another great characteristic of acrylic is the number of painting techniques. Whether it’s a dry or watercolor technique, your painting will sparkle with vivid color.

We hope the article was helpful to you. Good luck in your artistic journey.

Grace Johnson’s Story

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augusta free press