Paint an acrylic painting by following this simple step by step guide. Acrylics are a relatively new fine-art medium. They became commercially available in the 1950s. The quick drying, plastic-polymer based paint may be seen as transitional between watercolor and oils. You can use acrylics to mimic the look of either. Brush strokes painted in acrylic don’t hold their texture as well as oils and acrylics tend to flatten as they dry. Acrylics dry with a shiny plastic finish. The versatile paints also clean up easily with water.
Draw your composition onto your canvas or painting support in pencil or use a small pointed brush and thinned out paint. Get a thick sheet of glass or a white enameled butcher's tray for a palette. Scrape the palette clean of dried paint between working sessions. Squirt the paint from the tubes onto the palette and mix up your colors with a palette knife. You can also mix pure colors together on the paper or canvas, but you have to act fast as acrylics dry very quickly.
Paint quickly with acrylics as they dry surprisingly fast. Wash your brushes and knives anytime you're not using them. Take advantage of the strength and purity of the acrylic pigments. Use bright, fully saturated colors to punch up your painting. Work out a color scheme as you paint. Try to make all the colors relate to each other for a unified overall effect. Paint in the detailed focal points and add the accented highlights to finish your painting.