How To Paint Modern Acrylic Landscapes

Oil paint, while beautiful and vibrant takes a long time to dry. Can you imagine the patience of Renaissance painters as they waited weeks for their masterpieces to dry? It must’ve taken them years to make those wonderful, beautiful paintings.

It is because of the length of drying time that acrylic was invented in the 1950s. Acrylic paint gives you the advantages of traditional oil paint but with less drying time.

Working with acrylic paints over traditional oil painting is quite difficult because of acrylic’s fast drying nature. This means there is little margin for error if you decide to work with acrylic. A lot of professional illustrators and artists prefer working with acrylic to meet short deadlines for projects.

One of the more popular paint subjects is the landscape. Below are a few tips when making modern acrylic landscape paintings for whatever purposes you need them for.

Materials you’ll need:

  • Your choice of acrylic paint colors
  • Acrylic gloss medium
  • Canvas
  • Water
  • Synthetic and stiff brushes
  • Denatured alcohol
  • Glass surface palette

  • When choosing your paints, always go with the primary colors: ROYGBIV (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet.) Every paint manufacturer has a fancy name to call their basic colors to make them seem unique but the colors just boil down to the basic seven ones. The only difference is the depth of the color and the color that is mixed in with the primary one. At this point it’s all relative to your taste. Just pick colors that tickle your fancy.
  • When working with acrylic paints, you can use both water and gloss medium. Water can thin your paint to give it that trademark watercolor touch and you can mix paints with the gloss medium. You can also extend acrylic paints by mixing it with gloss medium as well.
  • Always use good quality brushes for applying acrylic paint. Use good quality stiff bristle brushes for the broad strokes and use synthetic brushes for the details. This rule isn’t set in stone. You can practice with both brushes and see which one you prefer to use. The more you practice with the kinds of brush, the better you will be at mastering the strokes produced by either brush.
  • When mixing paints, always use a glass palette. Glass is best because of it smooth surface allows for better mixing and blending of colors and can be easily cleaned of dried paint afterwards.
  • Use denatured alcohol as a solvent for acrylic paint. You can also use it to clean your brushes afterwards so the paint doesn’t dry and stiffen the brush.
  • When beginning your landscape painting, pick a great spot where you can see the contrasts of the view you want to paint. Use your brush to first lay down a thick swath of color for the sky and the earth. Mix and match your paints until you get the colors of the landscape right and apply them as details to the painting.

These aren’t specific steps because artwork is always personal. Just paint your landscape as you feel it and let your emotions color the canvas.


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