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Acrylic Painting for Beginners: A Step-by-Step Guide

Acrylic paint is a fast-drying paint made of pigment suspended in acrylic polymer emulsion. Acrylic paints are water-soluble, but become water-resistant when dry. Depending on how much the paint is diluted with water, or modified with acrylic gels, media, or pastes, the finished acrylic painting can resemble a watercolor, a gouache or an oil painting, or have its own unique characteristics not attainable with other media. The main practical difference between most acrylics and oil paints is the inherent drying time. Oils allow for more time to blend colors and apply even glazes over under-paintings. The slow drying aspect of oil can be seen as an advantage for certain techniques, but overall it hinders the artist’s ability to work quickly.

To get started, you will need a canvas, acrylic paint, a palette, and some brushes. You can find all of these supplies at your local art store.

When you are ready to start painting, begin by sketching out your design on the canvas. Once you have your sketch, you can begin to fill it in with color. If you make a mistake, don’t worry! Acrylic paint is easy to remove and get corrected.

Experiment with different brushstrokes and techniques to create interesting effects. You can also add texture to your painting by using a variety of mediums. Acrylic painting is a great way to relax and express your creativity. Always worthy to give it a try!

Some basic techniques to get you started:

– Blocking in: This is the first step in creating a painting. You will want to start with the larger areas of color and then work your way into the smaller details.

– Wet on wet: This technique is achieved by working wet paint into wet paint. This can create some interesting effects and is perfect for blending colors.

– Dry brush: This technique is achieved by using a dry brush to apply the paint to the canvas. This will create a more textured look.

– Glazing: This technique involves painting a thin layer of transparent or translucent color over another layer of color.

– Pallet Knife: This technique involves using a knife to apply paint to a surface.

– Stenciling: This technique involves using a stencil to apply paint to a surface.

– Spraying: This technique involves using a spray bottle to apply paint to a surface.

8 Acrylic Painting Tips for Beginners

Whether you’re looking to create a masterpiece or simply wanting to add a personal touch to a store-bought item, these ten tips will help you get started with acrylic painting:

1. Choose the right type of paint – Some acrylics are more opaque than others, while some have a longer drying time. Do some research to find the right type of paint for your project.

2. Pick the right brush – Just like with paint, there are different types of brushes available for acrylic painting. Each type of brush has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to choose the right one for your project.

3. Prepare your surface. Acrylic paint can be applied to a variety of different surfaces, but it’s important to prepare the surface before you start painting. Make sure to sand down any rough edges and wipe away any dust or dirt before you start painting.

4. Use a primer. A primer helps to create a smooth surface for your paint to adhere to. It also helps to prevent the paint from chipping or flaking off over time.

5. Start with a light color. It is easier to add darkness than it is to add light. By starting with a light color, you can build up the colors slowly to create the desired effect.

6. Create a color palette. Before you start painting, it is helpful to create a color palette. This will help you to choose the colors that you want to use and to mix them together to create new colors.

7. Take your time. Acrylic paint dries quickly, so you will need to work quickly. However, it is important to take your time and to not rush through the painting process.

8. Clean your brushes. After you finish painting, be sure to clean your brushes. This will help to prevent the paint from drying on the bristles and making them difficult to use in the future.


Acrylic painting is a great way for beginners to get started with painting. It is a versatile medium that can be used on a variety of surfaces, and it is easy to work with. Acrylic paint dries quickly, so you can work on your painting in short bursts or in one sitting.

Acrylics have also become the preferred medium of many contemporary illustrators. Its fast drying time and the ability to create a variety of effects are unmatched by any other paint medium. Today’s illustrators can create effects that were previously impossible without the use of multiple mediums.

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