How To Use Acrylic Paints

Using a new kind of paint is always exciting, and if it happens to be acrylic paint then you are in for a lot of fun. Acrylic paint is a water-based type of paint that makes use of thinners (which in many cases is water) in order to achieve all sorts of different look and effects. It is held in high regard by many painters due to the relative ease of using acrylics, a well as the variety you can have by simply adding more or less water to any kind of acrylic paint. However, just like any other kind of paint there are things to watch for when using acrylics. For one, it is composed mainly of acrylic resin, which means that acrylic paint has a tendency to dry up very quickly. The painter needs to be sure about his work before applying acrylics—otherwise he might accidentally produce an effect on the piece which he will regret later.

So the question is how do you properly use acrylic paints? This article will delve into that topic by giving some tips and advice in the form of a series of simple steps, which you can either follow or keep in mind in order to make the best use of this special kind of paint. So if you are interested in using acrylic paints and do not wish to make any beginner mistake, then the steps below will aid you in painting like a professional:

  • Because acrylics tend to dry up very easily, you must keep that in mind when applying it on your palette. This means that when you squeeze the paint out of the appropriate tubes, you should only squeeze out the amount you are going to use that moment. Otherwise, the paint will dry before you even have a chance to dip your brush in! You can relieve this problem somewhat by spraying a bit of water in your palette before placing the paint. If you want to keep some of the paint that has dried, you can scrape them up and add them to wet acrylic (the same color of course) so that it can be sued again.
  • Do you want an opaque look or something thinner? The specialty of acrylics is its ability to easily look thinned out or concentrated, depending on how much water you use. However, be careful when going for a thinner look. Acrylic may be sticky, but if you put too much water it may end up running down your canvas—creating a look you weren’t quite expecting (and probably don’t want). But you can fix this problem by simply painting over the runny parts.
  • Use masking tape for very sharp effects. Because it is water based, painting tape is very effective, so if you want to go for a sharper look then simply use acrylics over the tape to achieve it. This is one of the reasons why acrylic can be easier to use than other kinds of paint.

On a closing note, a paper towel or perhaps a newspaper make great brush cleaning materials. Also, the paper will absorb some of the moisture, which will eliminate the runny effect from applying too much water with the paint. Good luck, and keep your creative juices flowing!


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