7 Tips and Tricks for Painting with AcrylicsAcrylic paint is great medium for beginners because it’s non-toxic and can be easily cleaned up with soap and water. Acrylics are also great because they can be used to paint on any surface as long as it doesn’t contain wax or oil.
One of the first things that we tell our guests when they paint with us is that acrylic paint dries fast - sometimes too fast. It’s fast drying time is great because it allows our guests to complete their painting and take it home at the end of a two-hour event. It’s not so great when it makes it on to clothing or dries out before they are able to blend it.
Here are 7 Tips and Tricks for Working with Acrylic Paint .....
1. When blending colors, keep your paint surface wet. You can do this by working very quickly. It may also help to frequently dip your brush in water to help keep the paint wet and spread more easily. If your paint dries out before you are able to blend the colors you can always reapply the paint immediately above or below the area you want to blend into.
2. Use wide and complete brush strokes with the largest brush you can when working on backgrounds. Because acrylic paint dries fast, short choppy brushstrokes will dry that way - your short, choppy brushstrokes will show up. When working on backgrounds you are trying to paint from one side of the canvas to the other without taking your brush off the canvas - a complete, wide brush stroke. If you find that your brush is drying out in the middle of the canvas and you cannot complete the brushstroke, try adding some water to your brush or picking up more paint.
3. Let your paint dry if you want to paint over something or layer colors. Acrylic paint will dry in a matter of minutes, depending on how thick it is. If you don’t like what you’ve painted, you can simply paint over it after it’s dry. If you are layering colors and getting blending of colors that you don’t want - let it dry. Your canvas can quickly become a muddy mess if you work an area with too much color and don’t give it enough time to dry between colors.
4. What are your options for when you “mess up” ? If your paint is still wet - you can dip your finger or a papertowel in water and simply erase your mistake. You literally can take the paint back off the canvas and erase it if the paint is still wet. You can also paint over the “mistake” when the paint is dry. OR take the Bob Ross approach that there are never mistakes only happy little accidents.
5. Acrylic paint will permanently stain clothing. If you don’t get it off your clothing very quickly, while it’s still wet, it becomes more challenging - if not impossible- to get it off. Getting acrylic paint off clothing is a topic in itself but the main thing you need to know is that if you get paint on your clothes, keep it wet until you can get it out. Murphy soap works well to get acrylic paint off brushes, hands and clothing but simply getting your clothing wet and working the paint with your fingernails is the best first line of defense.
6. Take care of your brushes. Just like paint dries on clothing it’ll dry on your paintbrush if you don’t take care of them. When working on a project, keep your brushes in a water cup when not using them. You’ll also need to thoroughly clean your brushes with soap and water after each use.
7. Most importantly have FUN and remember as with most things….practice does make perfect!!
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