Acrylic Painting Techniques

Creating acrylic paintings on a canvas can be a daunting task for students and beginners. However with the right ideas and techniques, one can create beautiful art even on the first attempt. Here are a few basic acrylic painting techniques that can help you in your artistic journey:

  1. Dry Brush: Painting with a dry brush undiluted by water, helps in creating a strong and bold colour statement. Since there is no water to smoothen the edges, the paint tends to look uneven. This can be used very effectively to create an organic effect. It lends texture and movement to the lines which gives the painting its own unique personality.

  2. Wet Brush/Washing: Diluting paints with a small amount of water lets you treat the acrylic in a way similar to watercolours. Translucent strokes can be applied very well with this watered down paint. The difference between this and watercolours is that acrylic will set down permanently. It is important that you learn to use both the wet and dry brush techniques in order to create beautiful textures and layers in your painting.

  3. Stippling: The stippling technique is generally used very effectively in drawing, but can also create a good effect with paintings. It involves using a number of tiny coloured dots in order to show texture and create a beautiful imagery with subtle variations.

  4. Palette Knife: Using a palette knife to apply paint is one of the best ways to give your painting an artsy, dreamy feel. Though the technique can seem advanced, there are many simple ways to project it in your paintings. Use a palette knife to scrape up a bit of paint and apply it on the canvas. Just think of it as spreading butter on bread, it really isn’t much more difficult than that.

  5. Layering: Layering is a very useful tool that can help in providing perspective and depth to your paintings. To create these layers, you must paint from the bottom up. Start with blocks of colours, washes and slowly refine them to create your artwork. This is a very useful technique that can be used in pretty much any type of painting.

  6. Color Mixing: Mixing colors is a great way to create new shades, especially with acrylic painting. Instead of completely mixing two colors, use your palette knife to give a quick mix. You can get a fascinating array of colors with this. For more ideas and inspiration, do check out the other articles in the ‘Tips and Techniques’ section of the Ovya website.