Getting Creative With Acrylic Paints – Advanced Techniques

Getting Creative With Acrylic Paints – Advanced Techniques

After you have mastered the basics of laying down acrylic paints, you may want to try your hand at a few different techniques.

Spattering – This technique is achieved by flicking your brush loaded with thinned-out acrylic paint. The paint is allowed to splatter and drip onto your surface. This technique is sometimes used with watercolors, but acrylics are particularly well suited for it. The effect suggests a grainy texture that enhances the atmosphere and depth of your painting.

Scraping and Rubbing – This technique mimics everything we love about oils: texture, depth and broken colors. You will need a scraper, which can be anything from a flat spatula to a metal rasp. (You could even use an old credit card!) When using this technique, you can mix your paint and colors directly onto your surface allowing you to drag and create striation and variation.

Stenciling – This is a very popular technique among mixed-media artists. Using acetate, stencil paper or even cardboard, a shape is cut out and placed over your surface. You may then either paint inside it or around it. After the paint has dried, you can move it to a new section to repeat the shape or pattern. It is ideal to use with acrylics because they dry so quickly.

Texturizing – This is another technique where the fast-drying aspect of acrylics comes in handy. Acrylics are mixed with other materials such as sand, marble or alabaster dust, or sawdust and come available in modeling pastes or gels. These are used on a hard painting surface before you begin your painting. You can apply with a spatula or a comb to achieve the desired textured effect. Applying prior to painting prevents cracking. When using pastes, they should be applied no thicker than ¼ of an inch and allowed to dry in between layers. Opaque paints used over modeling pastes or gels dilute the effect, so painting over your texture with acrylics mixed with a glaze will yield better results.

Acrylic paints are tremendously versatile. The sky’s the limit—so experiment and have fun.