What is Acrylic Paint? Learn the basics

Learn The Basics of Acrylic Paint

If you enjoy experimenting with different media and surfaces as an artist, acrylic paint could be an excellent option. Acrylic paints are water-based paint that dries quickly. They are made of pigments suspended in an acrylic polymer emulsion. This provides versatile usage of paints.

Basics of Acrylic Paint

In this guide, you’ll learn about the unique properties of acrylic paints, discover application techniques, and find essential supplies. At the end, we will also give you tips for creating stunning artwork that will amaze your friends and family.

What are the Acrylic Paint Properties?

Acrylic paint, the binder, combines acrylic resin particles and water, called a polymer emulsion. The water prevents the acrylic resin from drying and hardening immediately. Resin particles appear milky in color because of the addition of water, which influences the reflection of light.

An acrylic binder is thick, fluid, and milky white while wet, but once it dries, it forms a flexible, colorless, transparent film. Acrylic paint boasts several vital properties that contribute to its popularity. Acrylic paint has a quick-drying nature. Artists can build layers rapidly and thin the layers with water for different effects. 

Acrylic Painting for Beginners

For starters, focus on learning the basic techniques like mixing colors, using brush strokes, and preparing the canvas. These skills can build the foundation for more advanced projects, and with some dedication, you’ll see noticeable progress in your art.

Painting Supplies You Need

You’ll need the following supplies for the best results.

  1.  Choose a basic oil paint or acrylic painting set in primary colors. Ensuring a diverse range for mixing and experimentation.
  2.  Invest in various paint brushes, including flat, round, and detail brushes, to accommodate different painting techniques and styles.
  3. Purchase pre-stretched canvases or canvas boards of various sizes to suit your artistic vision.
  4.  Acquire a palette for mixing and blending colors. A traditional handheld palette or a tear-off disposable palette are both suitable options.
  5. Explore texture in your paintings with a palette knife, which can create unique effects and add depth to your artwork.
  6. Easel provides a comfortable and adjustable workspace, allowing you to work on your canvas at an optimal angle.
  7. For preparing your canvas, apply gesso on it to prime the surface after that, start your painting. This will ensure better paint adhesion and longevity of your artwork.
  8. Have a container for water to clean your brushes between color changes.
  9. keep rags or paper towels nearby for wiping brushes and controlling moisture when painting.
  10. If you’re using acrylic mediums or thinning agents, palette cups are handy for managing their application.
  11. Use acrylic mediums such as gel or matte medium for smooth texture and finish of your paintings, making them water resistant.
  12.  Consider having varnish to protect and enhance the longevity of your finished paintings.

With these supplies, you’ll quickly have the foundation to work on your paintings.

Acrylic Painting for Beginners

Painting Techniques

Mastering various painting techniques is crucial for creating captivating acrylic artworks. Use palette knives for creating textures. Practice blending colors and work on layering to add depth and dimension to your paintings.

Color Mixing and Blending

Understanding color mixing is fundamental in acrylic painting. Experiment with primary colors to create a vast array of hues. Blending heavy-body acrylics and soft-body acrylics on the canvas allows artists to achieve smooth transitions and striking visual effects.

Acrylic Paint Supplies

Equipping yourself with the right tools is essential for a successful acrylic painting journey. Invest in professional quality paints, brushes, a durable artist palette, and various acrylic paint colors. Additionally, consider the use of acrylic mediums to enhance your artistic expression.

Canvas Preparation and Priming

To ensure that your artwork lasts for a long time, it’s crucial to prepare your canvas properly to apply paint. First, apply a layer of gesso to prime the canvas, providing a smooth and absorbent surface for the paint to adhere and give a matt finish.

Palette Knife and Brush Strokes

Experimenting with different tools, such as palette knives, can add unique textures to your paintings. Understanding various brush strokes allows you to convey other emotions and styles in your artwork.

Acrylic Pouring

Acrylic pouring has gained popularity for its amazing results. The fluid acrylic technique involves pouring lots of amount of paint onto the canvas, creating abstract and dynamic compositions.

Texture in Painting and Underpainting

Introducing texture to your paintings adds a tactile and visually engaging element. Explore techniques like impasto using heavy body paint or create an underpainting to enhance the depth of your artwork. Texture invites viewers to interact with the piece on a sensory level.

Varnishing and Glazing with Acrylics

Protecting your acrylic paintings is essential for preserving their beauty over time. Varnishing safeguards the artwork enhances colors and provides a consistent finish. Additionally, experiment with glazing techniques to add subtle layers of color and depth.

Varnishing and Glazing with Acrylics

Tips and Tricks for Acrylic Painters

What is Acrylic Paint Drying Time?

Knowing the drying time of acrylic paint is essential. It helps achieve the desired effect when layering or blending colors with paint. When blending water-based acrylic paint, work quickly, but for a new layer of paint, wait for the previous layer to dry. Having control over the drying time provides flexibility in your creative process.

Thinners and Additives

Experimenting with thinners and additives allows artists to change acrylic paint’s consistency and drying time. Achieve various textures and effects by adding these elements to your artistic practice.

Acrylic Paint Brands

Choosing the right type of paint brand is a personal preference based on your artistic goals and budget. Popular brands like Golden, Liquitex, and Winsor & Newton offer various colors and quality pigments for artists of all levels.

Acrylic Paint Workshops

Join acrylic paint workshops to learn from experienced artists and gain hands-on experience. With some practice, you can become part of a supportive artist community.


As an artist, the possibilities for using acrylic colors are endless. This incredibly versatile and expressive medium is the perfect choice for anyone, regardless of their skill level. Whether starting or looking to take your painting skills to the next level, acrylic paint can help you achieve your goals. Experiment with new techniques and enjoy the creative process of your acrylic painting journey.

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