Do you want to learn how to paint using acrylic paints - but don't know where to start?! If you've never painted before - painting can seem intimidating.
All these are common questions and leave many too afraid to pick up a brush. But painting is easier than you think and once you start - you'll realize how much fun it is and let your inner artist shine.
We'll cover these questions and more in our step-by-step guide below.
Acrylic paint has a distinct set of properties which make it standout from oils and watercolors.
Since it dries quickly and is easy to work with - it makes it the perfect medium for beginners to paint with.
The options are endless on what you can potentially paint: classics such as Starry Night, cities, animals, landscapes, and food. You really can't go wrong - here's a list off paintings ideas to get you started.
Not all of these are necessary to get start we recommend getting started with a round, bright, filbert and a flat. Each of these paintbrushes also come with a number after the name of the brush, the larger the number the wider the brush. We recommend that you buy the following synthetic brushes to get started Round 1, Round 6, Filbert 8 and Flat 12. This 5-brush set is commonly used in many painting classes and is also the one we include this in our Starter Box experience.
To learn more about brushes and how to take care of them - check out our post on brush care.
As we mentioned earlier acrylic painting is very easy to work with - which makes it great for beginners. For colors, start with basic tubes of red, blue, yellow, black and white. Keep in mind you can mix these colors together to create any additional hues/colors that you may need. There are two different thicknesses for acrylic paints referred to as "body: heavy body (thicker) and soft body (thinner) - if you want to work on a painting that has more textures then we recommend buying the heavy paint - they’re also the most popular. Don't buy too much to begin with, acrylic paints can last a while and you will be mixing the paints with water as well. Don't forget your palette to mix the paints - we recommend a 8" x 10" heavy paper board.
Now that we've talked through the items you need for acrylic painting, let's talk about the mediums you can potentially paint on: canvas, wood or fabrics. For beginners, the easiest medium is canvas - we suggest buying a 16"x20" canvas and one that that doesn't requiring pretreatment. If you choose to go with a canvas, we also suggest an easel so you can paint comfortably while you sit.
We want to provide you with some quick color mixing tips, but a lot of it has to do with experimentation. Color mixing is the first step to begin with, often times you will use colors on their own but mixing is also required.
Don't use black to make colors dark, adding black paint typically leads to colors being more cloudy and muddied.
A touch of white or a lighter version of the color you are using will add a differentiated hue to the color. Adding the color white to any color will help with hue and opacity as well.
Make your blues standout by adding red to it, it'll make you blues much more deeper in color.
You can partially mix colors before you start to paint, you will get a cool mix of colors when you start to apply the paint to the canvas.
Dabbing is similar to taking a web sponge and putting it onto a canvas. It is a commonly used technique that creates a unique texture. We used the splatter technique to create the backdrop for our Lovebirds At Dusk painting
When you take a completely dry brush, put some paint on it and then apply it to a canvas you will create a strong color on the canvas. The lines will be rigid and uneven because there is no water to smooth it out. The dry-brush technique leads to a unique look with jagged edges.
The perfect technique when you want to see texture, diluting the paint with water will lead to this type of technique being applied. The paint will set in a texture manner permanently when using this type of technique.
This technique allows you to create smaller dots. Dip your paintbrush into the color, hold it perpendicular to the surface and then touch the tip of the paintbrush to the surface several times, keep repeat as long as needed.
A big hurdle to overcome for beginner artists is that the painting doesn't come out as they intended it. It's fine if the painting isn't perfect it's yours! Have fun, relax and create something. The video tutorial we provided above have some of the techniques and it shows you how to use all the materials as well.