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10 Tips To Level Up Your Acrylic Painting Skills

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10 Tips To Level Up Your Acrylic Painting Skills

Acrylic Painting By Josef Kote

1. Painting acrylics are pigments in a polymer emulsion thinned and liquefied by the addition of water. Superior types of acrylics dry to form a layer of colored plastic with near permanence.

Because they are water-soluble, no harmful solvents are necessary in the painting process or when cleaning up. Some acrylics have a small amount of formaldehyde or other substances to retard the growth of mold in them. Be aware that these may cause allergic reactions.

2. When you are painting with acrylics, you’ll notice they dry very quickly, a trait that can trouble artists who are painting outdoors in a dry climate. But this characteristic can be used to your advantage.

Painting in layers goes much more quickly than if you were using oils. Finished acrylic paintings are easier to transport and travel with because they dry quicker and are less brittle than oils.

3. Acrylic paint is always going to be more affordable than using oils because the pigments are more cheaply priced.

4. Many mediums are usable when acrylic painting, allowing for a variety of textures and surfaces. Some are gloss medium, pumice stone gel, matte acrylic painting gel, crackle paste, retarder, varnish and glazing liquid.

5. The first acrylic painting tutorial you receive will probably show you how you can treat them as if they were watercolors, thinning them with water or a medium. Some watercolor effects, such as granulation, can’t be replicated with acrylics; lifting previous layers of paint is not possible.

10 Tips To Level Up Your Acrylic Painting Skills

Acrylic Painting By Justin Gaffrey

6. Acrylic techniques are akin to many of oil painting processes, though painting with acrylics alla prima for more than 20 minutes is a challenge. However, wetting the palette and using retarders helps.

7. Acrylics work on many painting surfaces that don’t need to be prepped with gesso. If the surface has even just a small amount of tooth, the paint will adhere without threat of peeling. Acrylic paint is very resilient, but it can shatter in very cold temperatures.

8. When painting in thin, transparent and watercolor-like washes, you can often create soft edges without blending. But here’s one of many crucial acrylic painting lessons: Once the paint dries you cannot soften the edge, which is quite different in comparison to watercolor’s flexibility.

9. You’ll notice acrylic pigments dry darker than they look when freshly applied. This is because of the polymer in the paints, which is opaque and white when wet, but dries clear.

10. Acrylic paint can be extruded straight from the paint tube for solid, intense color. But they can also be bought as a thin fluid for spatters, dripping and airbrushing.

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