Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Acrylic Paint techniques and tips

Acrylic paint is a fast-drying paint containing pigment suspension in acrylic polymer emulsion. Acrylic paints are water soluble, but become water-resistant when dry. It can be used on practically any surface - canvas, board, concrete, paper, etc...

Because Acrylic paint is soluble in water and can be modified with acrylic gels, pastel or media it is very versatile and  the finished painting can resemble watercolor or oil painting, or look completely unique, unlike like any other paint.

Tips and techniques for using acrylic paint:

Preventing paint from drying out:
Acrylics are often preferred because they dry faster on canvas than oil paints. However, in some circumstances, there may be a need to keep the paint moist longer. One way to keep paints from drying out is to spray a light mist of water over them occasionally.

Creating fluid paints:
Fluid paints can be used like watercolors, or for glazing and washes. Add water to the paint to create a more fluid texture. The ratio of paint to water depends on how thick the glaze is expected to be. The more paint there is than water the more solid the color would be and as more water is added the texture becomes smoother.  Make sure that after mixing the paints, allow time for the air bubbles to rise to the surface.

Painting glazes:
Acrylic paint glazes are often used to create more depth in an image. These types of paints are light enough to show the underlying layers on canvas. Light colored glazes can also be used to provide softening effects when painted over dark or bright images.

Remember to wait for each layer to dry thoroughly before applying another coat. This will prevent the paint from smearing or leaving unwanted smudge marks. After the application of several layers, apply rubbing alcohol to reveal colors from earlier layers.

Pouring paints:
Pour painting is a new trend in using acrylic paints to create art. The paint is simply poured directly onto the surface and the canvas tilted to move the paint around. It allows colors to blend naturally as they come in contact with each other and this can be done with one or multiple colors at a time. Keep in mind that when pain is mixed using this technique some subtle effects/colors can be partially lost when the painting drys out.


Varieties of the acrylic pain - this is not a complete list there are also Fluorescent acrylic paint and other varieties:

Craft acrylics can be used on surfaces besides canvas, such as wood, metal, fabrics, and ceramics. They are used in decorative painting techniques and flux finishes, often to decorate objects of ordinary life. Although colors can be mixed, pigments are often not specified. Each color line is formulated instead to achieve a wide range of pre-mixed colors. Craft paints usually employ vinyl or PVA resins to increase adhesion and lower cost.

Heavy body acrylics are typically found in the Artist and Student Grade paints, they are the best choice for impasto or heavier paint applications. Heavy Body refers to the viscosity or thickness of the paint. They will hold a brush or knife stroke and even a medium stiff peak. Gel Mediums "pigment-less paint" are also available in various viscosity and used to thicken or thin paints, as well as extend and add transparency.

Interactive acrylics are all purpose acrylic artist colors which have the characteristic fast drying nature of artists acrylics, but are formulated to allow artists to delay drying when they need more working time, or re-wet their work when they want to do more wet blending.

Open acrylics were created to address the one major difference between oil and acrylic paints, the shortened time it takes acrylic paint to dry. Designed by Golden Artist Colors, Inc. with a hydroponic acrylic resin, these paints can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days, or even a few weeks to dry completely depending on paint thickness, support characteristics, temperature and humidity.

Fluid acrylics, or flow, soft body acrylics, have a lower viscosity but generally have the same heavy pigmentation of the heavy body acrylics. Available in either Artist quality or Craft quality, there is a fluid acrylic for every level of art and budget. These paints are good for watercolor techniques, airbrush application, or when smooth coverage is desired. Mix the fluid acrylics with any of the mediums to thicken them for impasto work or thin them for glazing applications.

Iridescent, pearl and interference acrylic colors combine conventional pigments with powdered mica (aluminium silicate) or powdered bronze to achieve complex effects. Colors have shimmering or reflective characteristics, depending on the coarseness or fineness of the powder. Iridescent colors are used in both fine arts and crafts.

Acrylic gouache is like traditional gouache in that dries to a matte finish and is opaque. However, unlike traditional gouache, the acrylic binder in the acrylic gouache makes it water resistant once dry. Like craft acrylics, it will stick to a variety of surfaces other than canvas and paper. This paint is typically used by watercolorists, cartoonists, illustrators, and for decorative or folk art applications.

Exterior acrylics are paints that can withstand outdoor conditions. Like craft acrylics, they adhere to many surfaces. They are more resistant to both water and ultraviolet light. This makes them the acrylic of choice for architectural murals, outdoor signs, and many flux finishing techniques.

Sample Acrylic Painting on Canvas Board

Sample Acrylic Painting


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