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Painting with Acrylics

In the past, and certainly for all the great masters of painting, the most popular material has been oil paints. For centuries, they were actually one of the only choices. This was especially troublesome to painters who were allergic to the oils. Since the advent of acrylics, which would more accurately be called “polymer colors,” those with allergies to oil-based paints have had another option.

In the 1950s, acrylic paints became more widely popular for several reasons. They have a much quicker drying time than oils, which makes it possible for an artist to produce a larger number of works more quickly. They are water-soluble- which means you don’t need a special thinner or cleanser to clean your brushes- and non-toxic. The colors are also easily mixed, and once dry they are water-resistant. Acrylic paint materials are also very widely available.

The first step in beginning to learn how to paint with acrylics is to buy a paint set. Acrylic paints usually come in sets of 12, 24, and 48 colors. Base your decision on how much mixing of color you expect to do. Besides the primary colors of red, blue, and yellow, you will also need white, black, brown, green, orange, and purple. These basic colors will help you mix whatever shade you desire.

Next, you must decide what to use as the base of your painting: canvas, wood, metal, stone, clay, cardboard, or paper. Canvas, of course, is the most commonly used, followed by wood panels. Make sure they have already been primed, or you will need to prime them yourself with a coating of gesso, which can be found in the same section as the paints.

Acrylic paint is applied with brushes or a palette knife. Buy brushes that are especially meant for acrylic paints, including a good mix of natural and synthetic bristled brushes. Brush care is important. You can wipe your brushes and hands on a clean cloth during use, but be sure to clean them thoroughly with cold water when finished. You will also need a palette on which to mix your paints. There are wooden and plastic palettes, but if you don’t feel like cleaning up each time, paper palettes are excellent, as you just rip off the top sheet when you’re through with your paints.

When you are set up to paint, the best way to actually produce a painting is to put the brush to the canvas and practice. You may not create the most beautiful piece on your first try, but it is your own work. Just remember, as with anything else in life, practice makes perfect!

IzMaglow.com is home to the German artist Iz Maglow as well as a wealth of information on painting with acrylics and
tips about
painting.  Visit IzMaglow.com to see contemporary fine art painting and for artist materials.

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About the Author:
IzMaglow.com is home to the German artist Iz Maglow as well as a wealth of information on painting with acrylics and tips about painting. Visit IzMaglow.com to see contemporary fine art painting and for artist materials.
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