Top Ten Tips for Painting with Acrylic Paints

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Learning how to paint is an exciting hobby, but it can be a bit daunting to start with.  However when you choose to use acrylic paints you have chosen the best possible option.  No smell of thinners (that you get with oil paints) plus the ability of reworking areas in the painting (that can be difficult in water colour painting).
Here are my Top Ten Tips for Painting with Acrylic Paints
1. Acrylic paints dry very quickly so always replace the tops back on the tubes of paint.  Paint drying in the tube is annoying and a waste.  The bottom of the tube could be cut off and some paint rescued, but it is easier to get into the habit of replacing the top every time.
2. Acrylic paints are water based, and the brushes are cleaned using water.  However, once the paint is dry it forms a impermeable skin.  Therefore when acrylic paints are dry they can be almost impossible to remove (depending on the surface).
3. It is important not to let the paint dry on the brush, if it does dry on the brush the brush will need to be thrown away.  During a painting session rinse the brush and store the brush in a shallow tray of water, on its side to avoid damaging the tip.  Any residue of paint in the brush will be kept wet.  Give the brush, or brushes, a good clean at the end of the session.

4. Buy good quality nylon brushes.  Good brushes give a better result.  Nylon brushes can be stored (on their sides) in water, but other types of brushes would be damaged by this treatment.
5. Buy or make up a reservoir palette.  A reservoir palette has a damp reservoir and a paper palette for the paint.  This keeps the paints damp and stops them from drying out.  It is a good economy measure.  The Acrylic Painting Course tells you how to make up your own.
6. Get into the habit of placing the colour in the same position on the palette every time you paint.  This will save time looking for a particular colour while painting.
7. Do not use acrylic paints over oil paints.  Oil paints, and any surfaces that are oily or waxy, will repel the water in the acrylic paints, and the paint will not stick to the surface.
8. Thin coats of acrylic paint can be used to give a watercolour look to a picture.  The thin layers will have the transparent quality of watercolours.
9. Applying acrylic paints thickly will give a textural oil painting look.  Use the paint thickly in the foreground of a picture for texture and to give depth to the finished painting.
10. Acrylic mediums can be used to extend the different effects that can be achieved with these paints.  For example - glaze medium can help to produce a watercolour effect.  Glaze mediums are available in both gloss and matt finishes which will give different results to the final picture.  There are also gel mediums and texture paste which will give extra body to the paint for three dimensional effects.

To find out about a step-by-step painting course visit my eBay shop Learn and Do and check out The Acrylic Painting Course.  This four part painting course shows every stage to painting 12 pictures - landscapes, seascape, still life, portrait and more,

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