Acrylic is one of the most versatile mediums for painters. It is also one of the easiest, making acrylic painting one of the best art-forms for beginners.
If you’re not sure how to start, however, check this list of 12 fun and easy acrylic painting techniques, which will make you a pro in no time!
1. Dry Brush
As the name suggests, this technique involves using a dry brush with no water to apply the acrylic paint, just as it comes straight out of the tube. This gives strong, uneven and dynamic brush strokes for a dramatic overall effect on the finished painting.
You can mix your acrylic paints with water to create an effect which is very similar to watercolour painting. Experiment with ratios of water to paint to see how it looks, but to get a great watercolour wash effect you will need a fair bit of water. You can even mix the wash with dry brush techniques for a multi-textural painting.
Stippling is the name of the technique where you use your brush to create a series of tiny dots, which formed together create the overall effect. How close together you place the dots will determine the level of shading you create, and this technique can be very effective in creating dimension within your painting.
This is the technique you use to create the fine details which make your painting realistic and life-like (if that is the style of painting you want to do). To apply detailing, use a small, pointed brush and carefully paint in the fine details.
You can create a splatter effect by flicking the paint from your brush onto the surface. You will need a fairly wet brush to do this. The result can be pretty uneven but it is a fun technique which can be used for a particular part of your piece (for example to create stars) or across the painting overall for a splatter-effect piece of art.
Underpainting is a useful technique to be able to easily create an overall painting. This technique involves creating a sketch of your painting as an outline in paint first, and then painting over the top. This not only helps you to manage proportions, perspective and create a polished finished product, but you can also choose to leave some of the underpainting visible in the final product which adds an extra dimension to the painting.
Layering is another simple approach to building a painting. It involves working on the painting one layer at a time. You can start with the base layer in large blocks of colour, and you may choose to use a wash for this. Then paint the next level with slightly more detail, and so on until you reach the top layer with fine detail.
There are several effects which do not use a brush at all, such as dabbing. Dabbing uses a sponge, piece of paper towel or similar to “dab” on colour accents with a very unique texture.
9. Palette Knife
Using a palette knife is another way you can apply paint without using a single paint brush. You can use a palette knife to spread the paint onto the surface the same way you would spread butter with a knife. This creates a very artist and effective result.
Sponging is a similar technique to dabbing, but involves using light, springing dabs with a cellulose sponge. This creates an irregular pattern and an interesting texture in the paint. It is also fun to do and a good easy technique for beginners.
Glazing involves mixing the acrylic paint with a glazing medium, which is a thin, translucent substance. This brings a luminous quality and richness to the painting. You can also paint an opaque layer and then apply a transparent glazed layer over the top for a stained-glass effect.
Don’t feel limited to the paint colours which come out of the tube. You can create virtually any colour or shade by mixing your acrylic paints together. It’s best to mix your paint with a palette knife, plastic knife or a separate paint brush (not the brush you are using for painting). Creating the exact colour you want can be a precise process, so it is a good idea to consult with a colour wheel to work out the ratios you’ll need. Of course, experimenting and discovering new
These techniques will give you some ideas on getting started with your acrylic painting, now all you have to do is decide what you want to paint! If you’re looking for inspiration, check art sales sites like ipicasso.co.uk for more ideas.