Tips to start painting with acrylics

Tips to start painting with acrylics

Tips to start painting with acrylics. The acrylic colors are perfect for those approaching for the first time in the world of Fine Arts. Easier to use than oil paints, they allow us to make our first emulation of the great artists without excessive expense.

Acrylics offer fast drying times and modern, bright colors, even if the final result depends above all on the quality of the product we will buy and how we will then use it. Therefore, we have decided to write this short guide where you will find 7 tips for those who want to start painting with acrylics.


Start with a set with the primary colors

There’s no need to buy a large set 48-color set or an endless selection of bulk tubes if you’re starting. However, before embarking on a significant expense, you need to understand if you are passionate about this technique and the path you want to take.


Therefore, recommend that you consider purchasing more straightforward sets of 12 or 24 pieces maximum. The best choice you can make is to start with a group of acrylics with primary colors, along with a tube of white and a line of black. Alternatively, you can also order loose pipes on the occasion of exciting discounts, but be careful to include the primary colors plus white and black and some particular shades that inspire you. Remember that acrylics are very versatile and easily mixable with each other, so the combinations are endless of lotus flower drawing.


From an initial selection of 12 or 24 colors, you can create all the variations you need for your paintings, even if it is clear that it will take some experience! If you are looking for fluorescent, metallic, and therefore more particular colors, we recommend that you look at other special packs and sets.


Keep acrylics wet when you work

Tips to start painting with acrylics

Never forget acrylics dry very quickly, especially in comparison to other techniques such as oil painting! Novice painters will often find themselves a little confused by this feature, which can create some problems! Here is a typical situation: imagine that you have spread the colors for your painting on the palette and have mixed some of them to obtain intermediate shades. Then, immediately after, you focus on coloring the first area of ​​our painting or working on some detail, and when you go back to the palette, you realize that the colors have dried and dried. 


What a tragedy! First, you wasted some color, and second, you will have to remix them to get the intermediate shades you were looking for earlier. For this reason, we recommend that you focus on the large areas of your painting first, where you can spread the acrylic with a larger brush. Later you will take care of the details using more OK brushes and preparing only the necessary quantities of product on the palette.


Important advice: It is instrumental in using a spray bottle filled with water to humidify your palette and the acrylics you have spread on it to make them dry more slowly. However, please do not overdo it with water, or the paint will lose consistency!


Choose the right brush

The choice of acrylic brush and the softness or hardness of the hair will depend on the consistency of the acrylic paint you will use. If you work with thick paint, we recommend using stiffer bristles, while with light colors, you can use softer bristles.


There are no strict rules on hair type: you can use natural or synthetic hair. The choice will depend on your tastes. The critical thing to check is that the bristles are reactive and return into position after being tilted following the brushstroke. It is a test you can do to evaluate the quality of the brush you have purchased.


The ideal is to start with a small selection of 4-5 brushes with different shapes and sizes: starting from the fine round tip for the details to the big and wide flat end to fill the bottom, you will have excellent companions to create your early works. If you want to know more about brushes and learn how the various parts that compose them are called, read the glossary on brushes for painting.


Where will you paint your first picture?

Acrylic colors are very versatile and, a very convenient feature, they can use on a wide variety of surfaces: paper, cardboard, canvas, wood, metal, and glass. But, of course, the best color take will be on porous surfaces, where the paint will stop and stabilize and not slip or run.


 For this reason, it is advisable to treat smooth or unprepared substrates such as wood with a white or white plaster base. The same is also done on the canvases if the latter has not already been prepared, and therefore, this primer has already been applied to the fabric.


Our advice for beginners also in this case is not to rush into buying the most expensive or most enormous canvas available in the catalog, but rather to invest a few more bucks in the paint set or brushes for acrylic and to start painting on supports such as cardboard, paper or wood (which we may already have at home) or on cardboard or canvas panels. Then, later, when we are more experienced, we will paint our first canvas!


How to dilute acrylic paints?

We often realize that the acrylic released from the tube is too dense or that we would like to create glazes or transparency effects. It is immediately apparent that it is necessary to dilute the acrylic paint to make it more fluid and easier to apply.


However, we cannot think of treating this paint as oil paint: the base is entirely different, and so are the products used as auxiliaries or mediums.