Acrylic Painting for Beginners

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When it comes to starting out with painting, acrylics is the best medium for beginners, so let’s start on this ultimate guide for acrylic painting for beginners. 

It is much easier to manage than watercolor and cheaper than oil paints.

Many art teachers imply that as it dries faster and much easier to fix if you make any mistakes is the reason why it is the best medium to getting started.

If you have never painted before, this is a quick guide for you to jump start the process!

So let’s begin:

Acrylic Painting

Step 1: Gather your supplies.

What you need to start painting with acrylics. Do not worry. It is not as intimidating as it seems.

This is not a full guide of EVERYTHING there is to know.

Our aim for you is to start painting after finishing to read this blog post.

So they are things that you should know when starting.

Essential Acrylic Supplies:

Acrylic Paint Set:You can go with any currently at hand. All of them are good, my personal preference is a heavy body. 

Different size brushes:Make sure you have a small, medium and large brush. The best to use are synthetic brushes. 

Palette: I am not a big fan of plastic pallets. The one that I use is you will need a surface, then tissue kitchen roll.

Put water on it and put tracing paper on top. That way paint stays wet for longer, and you will not need to wash the pellet after you finish (yay!) 

Painting surface/support (Canvas, Gesso hardboard, paper, etc..): I personally recommend to start on paper and then move to canvases. First of all paper is cheaper so less intimidating to mess it up. 

Water container with clean water: Pretty basic but make sure it is big enough so that you are not changing it every 20 minutes. Grab a second jar so you will be all good to simply sit down and paint. 

Easel(optional): This is optional and if you are just using your kitchen table is P-E-R-F-E-C-T!

Step 2: Learn the Basics

Knowing a few basic rules will help to set the correct expectations.

Every medium behaves differences on paper so it is the best to be aware of such differences that might occur. 

1.) Make sure your acrylic paints are kept wet:
If you do not mix enough water and paint they will dry before you know it.

A hack is to use a palette with wet tissue underneath and put tracing paper on top. This is something that I learnt in art school and was a game changer for me. Do not use the plastic palette.

Paints will last longer as a result, because who likes to waste expensive paint?

2.) The paint will dry a bit darker:
When mixing keep that in mind.

Try a sample color on a swatch of paper and then only apply it to the final piece.

3.) Create a detailed outline:
Before painting, outline the whole piece with lights and darks.

Although it might seem like a huge ask in the beginning, it will pay off. Trust me!

4.) Look after your supplies:
This is something that I am personally very guilty of. Most of my brushes are ruined because I am simply too lazy to clean them after use.)

When brushes get ruined, they become very stiff and highly unpleasant to work with.

Make sure, after you finish, wash them with a simple block of soap until the water is clear when you have finished using soap and then store them with the bristles pointing upwards.

5.) Don’t overthink it!:
Yes you might get it a little wrong a very first time but the most important bit is to start. Trust me on that.

Now you know your basics, have your supplies gathered, let’s start painting!

Step 3: Learn basic acrylic painting techniques:

Dry Brushing: You will need a brush and start layering in paint. You will get rough edges of what is actually a desired outcome. 

Detailing: For this, you will need a small, pointy brush and then fill out the details of the painting.

Layering: If your desired outcome is a realistic painting then you will need to use this technique. Start with light layers of paint and build it up until you get the painting that you will love. 

Step 4: Take an art class

That is it!

 Start painting and become an artist you want to be.

Remember that with anything, it will take time to improve and to get better.

You will improve much faster, trust me if you enrol in an art course. As there will already be structure in place and you will be taught by a professional.

If you are a beginner or intermediate artist in acrylic painting then you must check out this course: The Acrylic Painting Academy. 

The Acrylic Painting Academy” is a comprehensive painting course designed to guide absolute beginners to a level of producing professional quality acrylic paintings through concise and “easy to digest” modules that include HD videos and Ebooks.

Designed for beginners, this course lays the foundation required for success with acrylics and painting in general.

acrylic paint for beginners ebook

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7 acrylic painting tips for beginners