You have been looking for some hacks on how to start with acrylic paint. There are just a few things you need to consider if you will be painting with acrylic paints. You need to know the acrylic paints the main composition and characteristics. That way you can have an enjoyable painting session. There are just a few important things about acrylic every artist must know.
What are the things needed for acrylic painting? Is there any specific canvas or painting surface used for acrylics? What is the best painting surface for acrylic paints? Are there any techniques that even a beginner can execute properly?
5 Hacks On How To Start With Acrylic Paint
The first thing you need to prepare on how to start with acrylic paint is the materials that you will be needing. There are a few supplies that every beginner to the medium has to prepare. For a more accurate list of all these effective materials for acrylic painting, or its properties, check this link. It will help you get started precisely. However, we also list down all the questions that may come up in your mind right now.
For every painting medium, there is always a rule of thumb to follow. If you want to achieve a great painting session with oil paints, for example, you need to prepare all your supply first. That is because the oil painting is a unique medium which properly primed canvas is needed. It affects the overall drying time with a well-prepared painting surface. On the other hand, watercolor paints need to be applied through a required watercolor paper. The cold press ones are ideal even for beginners. Watercolor paints are naturally forgiving.
Now let us talk about hacks on how to start with acrylic paint. Acrylic paints can be applied to almost any kind of surface. Not just with a painting canvas, they can go with woods, paper, glass, clothes, and the list goes on.
Start with a thin layer as your first coat
Not all painters do this trick but somehow it will help you really great if you start with thin layers. The trick is, you don’t want to cover the tooth of your canvas with thick layers of paints immediately. Remember that acrylic paints are water-resistant when they are dried up. It is necessary to not create a hard and glossy or shiny surface in the beginning. That is one of the hacks on how to start with acrylic paint especially if you are a beginner to the medium.
As you advance with your painting session and you can start to apply thicker layers. Do not worry about acrylic paints drying time, they really dry faster than you think. That is why you can work on your phase easily with them.
Check your painting surface absorbency level
Before jumping to doing different hacks on how to start with acrylic paint. You must take in full consideration the absorbency level of the painting surface that you will be working with. Absorbency level technically depends on the painting surface that you will be using.
The absorbency level of each painting surface differs drastically. Remember that acrylic paints if applied directly to any surface without diluting, it will totally stick. It will hold onto any surface that you used. However, if you will be diluting your acrylics (which I know you will, if not now, in the long run) with water, then take consideration of your painting surface.
The most common issue with a diluted acrylic paint is it may ‘fall out or have cracks’. That may happen if you will not check the absorbency level of the painting surface that you will use.
Checking the absorbency level of a painting surface:
- Ready-made canvas board – glossy/shiny surface, though they are good for a start, not really absorbent. The acrylic paints will take time to be absorbed by the support or canvas.
- One great solution on how to start with acrylic paint with this canvas is by adding thin layers of primer. That way, it can alter the absorbency level of the painting surface and make it more absorbent. Though take note that if you will be using acrylic paints straight from the tube. Then a glossy or shiny painting surface is good to go.
Applying layers of Acrylic gesso helps if your diluted formulation of water is more than 30% of the acrylic paint.
- Using a surfactant to reduce the surface tension of the shiny or glossy canvas board. An acrylic flow release is a great example of a surfactant.
- Pre-primed surface panels – shiny and smooth surface, they are not absorbent. Just like the ready-made canvas boards. Pre-primed gesso panels are quiet smooth that affects their absorbency level. However, if you will be using thicker acrylic paints, they are also good to go. If not, then purchasing those unprimed panels are better. You can do the application o gesso by yourself. That way, you can control the amount of gesso and how thin or thick will your layers be.
- Pre-primed cotton canvas – medium absorbent, slightly textured. There are many good reasons for buying a ready-made canvas. It is convenient for you if you just wanted to paint directly. Check if the canvas weight is 12oz at least, to make sure that it can hold up water and won’t bulk as you apply paints. Remember that the thicker the canvas is, the more water it can hold.
- Watercolor paper – high absorbency, slightly textured surface. The absorbency level of watercolor paper is good for diluted acrylic paints too. However, if you will be using an ordinary craft paper, check its weight always. A good kind of paper for acrylic is cotton canvas with 12oz in its weight. Also, you can adjust the water level that you will use to dilute your acrylic paints as well.
If you will be using more water to dilute the acrylic paints, it has two possible effects on your painting surface. It all depends on where will you apply the thinned paint. If you will be applying it as the base or the first layer to your pre-primed canvas, then it is good. Why? Because it will be absorbed by the painting surface itself. The support base is always absorbent on the first layer of paint that is applied. Especially if that paint layer is just thin. It will dry up easily as well.
On the other hand, if you will be using the diluted paint on the last layer, it is also okay. That process is called glazing. Glazing traditionally changes the color of the under-painting. Take note that you must let the under-painting be totally dried before glazing. That way the glaze will stay on top of the painting. This will give a shiny surface for the latest layer.
There are many ways on how to start with acrylic paint such as thin layers. This kind of application gives the artist time to create an acrylic painting that dries faster. You can purchase ready-made acrylic paint that is already diluted before packaging. With the new technology that most manufacturers used to process paints with water. This way, you can just directly apply your desired color to the canvas.
You can choose the fluid acrylics for a thin layer of applications. They are good to go and apply on your ready-made canvas. Fluid acrylics are known for their consistency and intense colors.
Whatever type of paints and how you want your acrylics may, you can easily find one now.