Best Acrylic Painting Tips: A Beginner’s Guide

Fancy giving painting a go?

Acrylic paints are extremely versatile and vibrant, offering the artist a wide range of textures, colours and consistencies. They are also affordable, making them ideal for covering large areas with paint. They can also be painted on almost anything and dry into a water resistant surface.

Here are our best acrylic painting tips for beginners.

1. Which brushes to use

Acrylic painting: Brushes

Acrylic brushes tend to be made from synthetic materials and can be used with a variety of mediums. Oil brushes and watercolour brushes should not be used. It’s important to have a good variety of brushes, from small to large.

2. Understanding acrylic paints

Acrylic painting: Paints

Experiment with a variety of brands to see which one you enjoy acrylic painting with the most. Acrylic paint is essentially plastic; more specifically, pigment suspended in a polymer emulsion. You can break that emulsion with too much water, so take care when thinning it out.

3. Storing your acrylic paintings

Keep your paintings neatly stored, safe and organised with a toastrack. Australian made by local artisans, toastrack stores up to 16 canvases at a time or 8 wet artworks for drying. Perfect for keeping your acrylic paintings organised and safe!

4. How to mix acrylic paints


Mixing acrylic paints is a precise process. Check out the colour wheel as a guide for which colours to mix. You can mix using a palette knife, a plastic knife, or even an extra brush. Please note that some paints can dry a slight shade darker.

5. Keeping your acrylics wet


Acrylics dry quickly – sometimes too quickly. One way to keep paints moist easily is to mist them with water when you’re acrylic painting. You can buy gardening misters at hardware or gardening stores. Depending on the surface you’re painting on, you can water your acrylics down enough to almost resemble watercolour. This can be a valuable trick to quickly lie in an under painting to get started.

6. Glazing to create form

A glaze is basically a thin layer of paint that is very translucent, allowing some of the colour underneath to show through. It brings photorealistic paintings to life as well as providing a protective finish. Using a gel medium is the best and most even way to achieve a glaze.

7. Blending

Acrylic painting: Blending

Blending is a tricky technique to master with acrylic painting. Working wet into wet is the best way to blend. You can also dry blend by laying in colour, letting it dry then dry brushing colour over it.

8. Wet in wet and over dry to build texture

Acrylic painting: Wet in wet and over dry to build texture

It’s best to use this technique when the colour or surface underneath is dry. You can see that acrylics have an incredible amount of control and will stay put pretty much where ever you put them.

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