Decorative Acrylic Painting Tips for Beginners

Acrylic painting offers many benefits such as quick drying time and the fact that it's allergen- and odor-free. Acrylic paint is versatile and gives a lasting finish. If you're just learning the art of decorative acrylic painting, use the painting tips below for a great start.

Acrylic Painting Supplies

You should have a variety of brush sizes so you can be flexible in your painting. Also, a palette or tray for painting will be useful.

Other supplies include a palette knife, fan brushes, and toothbrushes. Be sure to include plenty of practice materials and papers for sketching.

Drying Time

Acrylics dry very fast, usually within only minutes, so it's wise to keep the paint in the tube and only use a little at a time. If you prefer to use a palette, there are now palettes that will stay wet during use so your paint won't dry out. Or, you can use a regular palette and keep it wet by spraying it with a small amount of water occasionally. This keeps your acrylic paint in a ready-to-use form.

Blending Acrylic Colors

With fast-drying acrylics, blending colors can be a trying task in itself. You can blend colors several ways. Colors can be mixed and stored in tubes or containers and then blended using a web palette. Also, you can use very small dots of different shades and overlap the colors to blend them. You can also layer shades instead of trying to blend them while wet.


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Beware of Cheap Acrylic Paints

Avoid buying cheap acrylic paints unless you're using them for practice only. These will often fade after exposure to the sunlight for a period of time, especially particular light shades such as pink and violet. Invest in artist-grade acrylics for lasting beauty in your art works.

Use Sketches as a Starting Point

It's wise to use pre-drawn sketches as the starting point of your acrylic drawings. Trace or copy the sketch onto canvas or board. Then, use a thin layer of acrylic paint to prime the sketch. Be sure your sketch-work can still be seen through the thin layer. You can also prime the canvas or board first with white color and then copy your sketch onto the primed surface.


Masking Fluid for Layering

Watercolor masking fluid works well for layering colors or saving areas of your painting to paint later. The masking fluid can be applied to keep an area of the painting clear. You must remove the masking fluid only after it has completely dried. It can be removed by rolling it with clean fingers. Also, be sure to use a brush specifically for masking fluid. Don't use your regular painting brushes.

Learn from the Pros

Study after a few acrylic painting pros to get pointers and learn new painting techniques. Artists such as Donna Dewberry (One Stroke technique) and Priscilla Hauser (First Lady of Decorative Painting) offer many great tips. You can learn creative techniques such as Trompe L'oeil or create beautiful wall murals and other great works.

Acrylic painting can be both fun and rewarding. Use your imagination along with these tips to create decorative acrylic works of art that you and your friends can enjoy for years to come!

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