This Article is About
using acrylics
oil paints
tap water
oil paint
couple minutes
How To Paint - Using Acrylics
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This article will be targeted at anyone wishing to learn how to paint using acrylics

What are acrylics

Acrylics are basically a type of plastic I could go into more technical terms like polymers but for the average reader and artists it's enough to know, it's liquid plastic in a tube, container.

How best to use them

Theres many ways to use acrylics: 1) using straight from the tube, container. 2) using them in conjunction with other mediums example being a medium called gesso, this medium allows much more texture then using only the acrylics alone. 3) acrylics can also be mixed with tap water, this allows an artist to make they're medium watery which leads to a smooth flat look.

What benefit is derived by using them over other medium

First off, I'm not here to put down other mediums, ex: oils, water colors and so forth. The fact remains that acrylics have certain properties that tend to set them apart from all other mediums. this being said lets speak of that aspect, acrylics when learning how to paint can be very forgiving. By this i mean, when first starting off and not sure of what your doing, theres going to be plenty of mistakes.

When you first learn how to paint using acrylics unlike how to oil paint, all mistakes can be corrected, as in the case of oils they would need to dry first which can be a long process, or scrapped off the canvas, not a pretty site I tell you. with acrylics this step is very easy, wait for them to dry, maybe a couple minutes, then just paint over the same area.

Second benefit would for sure be the lack of strong odor usually associated with oil paint, this in it's self I think is a real selling point for acrylics.

Thirdly but not any less important would have to be that acrylics as a medium are very easy to clean up, using only water. This is critical when you consider that to clean up oil paints requires a paint thiner, strong smelling and dangerous to the environment.

Purpose of this article is to walk the reader step by step through the entire creation process

Step 1) Preparation: You'll want to buy or get together some type of small containers to house the paint in. This is important, especially if you want to keep any color combinations you create, acrylics tend to dry very quickly.

Step 2) Buying the paint: Acrylic paints, can be bought online or at a retail store, if you know what your after then online is preferable, being that you can compare pricing and usually this method can get you a great discount. Brushes and some type of board or canvas to work on is better purchased in a retail store. You're going to want to see and feel these to make sure it's what you want. What type and make of acrylic paint is entirely up to the ready/artist, I could suggest a product called Liquitex not because I'm affiliated with them cause I'm not, only because I've used them my whole life and find them to be a great products. Like I said the choice is yours. I will point out that the colors you choose should be very specific, (Red should be cadmium if at all possible) ( Blue try to buy cobalt ) ( Yellow would also be cadmium ) ( Black try for titanium ) and lastly ( White snow flake ). I've found these to be the best you can buy and give the best result for pigment quality ( richness of color ).

Step 3) Buying brushes, this is important, for this is your tool so to speak. If your planing on creating a large paint with not much detail then go for a large flat brush, but my suggestion is buy a few different sizes and shapes. Try to at least purchase one very small brush, this you'll be using for your detail. What type of brush is again up to you but I've found the best when using acrylics is nylon or another synthetic bristle. This allows the artist a rigid tool for painting and at the same time will clean up much easier then say a natural bristle brush. Lastly it's relatively inexpensive, so it's my number one choice.

Step 4) Buying a board or a canvas to work on, I personally like working on a board, this allows me to use a lot of detail in my paintings. Canvas on the other hand is easier to paint, the paint won't slide around as in a smooth board, but is much tougher to create detail on, unless your already an expert painter, in which case you don't need my help.

How To Get Started or how to paint using these acrylics you've just bought

First off find a subject matter, this could be anything, remember that your the artist so what you want to paint is the only thing that matters. I would suggest you start off simple though, at least for your first work of art, simple makes it easier to complete it. Once you have a completed piece then you can look to expand on what you've learned so far about the paint and board or canvas and how they relate to one another.

Secondly after picking out your subject start with a pencil sketch and make sure you have an eraser handy as well. Mistakes with beginners will be often and nothing to worry about, you could say they're to be expected. Even myself with many years of experience with paint often make mistakes and have to correct them.

Look very carefully at what you want to paint, learn to see all the shapes within, this is a technique used by all successful artist. If you do this you'll start to see only shapes not the whole and this helps to say put your painting together as though it was a puzzle. Each piece fits in and adds to the whole, using this process helps to keep you from becoming overwhelmed by the vast detail of your subject.

Whatever you decide to paint, theres always going to be areas that are larger then others, I'd start with them first, as in maybe the sky or land, if you were to paint a landscape. The detail should be the last thing you attempt, this will really make your painting and it's what will make your painting interesting and keep you absorbed.

How To Mix Your Acrylic Paints

Colors - ( Primary consist of Red, Yellow, Blue ) with these an artist can make any color imaginable.

( Secondary colors are: Orange( Red and Yellow ), Green( Yellow and Blue ), Purple( Red and Blue )

( Black when added to any color will make something called a shade of that color ) dark Blue is a shade of Blue when black is added.

( White when added to any color makes whats called a tint ) Pink is a tint of Red when White is added. ( Black and White together make Grey ) this is a shade of White but at the same time a tint of Black

Texture - How to paint using texture, this is achieved simply by adding or not adding to your acrylic paints. What do I mean by this, simply that if you take acrylic paint and add a product called Gesso to it, this will create texture. Texture in this case is paint that has substance and is very thick.

Water when added to acrylic paints makes the paints watery, easy to apply, good for detail, with a very smooth finish. so think about what your trying to create and the effect your after.

Some Thoughts On Art In General

I've been an artist from as far back as I can remember, probably before I could even walk. I love it, and can honestly say anyone taking this on won't be disappointed, it's a real challenge, but the pay offs are enormous.

The joy it will bring you is worth all the effort it takes to learn to paint, so don't be afraid to jump right in and get started.

Thanks for reading my article on How To Paint using acrylics and I wish my readers all the best, I hope you learn how to paint with much joy and decide to learn how to paint with other mediums as well. The sky is the limit so experiment and set your soul free


Street Talk

I wrote a similar version for beginners, thanks for sharing your tips! Check out my article please!

  about 8 years ago
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