Acrylic Painting for Beginners Step-by-Step

Updated on December 30, 2017
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Robie is an artist who believes in the power of positive thinking. She loves sharing art tips and bringing people joy through her paintings.

How to Paint With Acrylics

To start an acrylic painting you need basically two things:

- Painting supplies

- Ideas for what to paint

Acrylic painting for beginners- all you need to know to get started-   The content of this article is copyrighted by Robie Benve
Acrylic painting for beginners- all you need to know to get started- The content of this article is copyrighted by Robie Benve | Source

Acrylic Painting Supplies

Gather your painting supplies in a well-lit area.
You’ll need:

  • Acrylic Paint. Get the best quality paint you can afford. Aim for artist quality, not student quality. The student quality hues have more fillers, and respond less efficiently to color and media mixing.
    You don’t need many colors; a limited palette of basic colors is great for starters. To begin with a very limited palette, you can buy single tubes and make your own primary color combination. If you want a pre-made set, the Liquitex 4 Color Mixing set It has a good choice of tubes: Quinacridone Crimson, Yellow Medium Azo, Phthalo Blue (Green Shade), and Titanium White. - more details below. Black can always be obtained by mixing the three primary colors together.
  • Brushes of different shapes and sizes. The rule of thumb for brushes is to use big brushes for big areas and loose painting style, and use small brushes for small areas and details.
  • Painting support: canvas, paper, board, etc. Acrylic paint works on many kinds of surfaces. If you buy pre-primed canvas, make sure it’s primed with acrylic gesso.
    A canvas primed for oil painting is not suitable. Acrylics don’t stick on oily surfaces, and would peel off with time.

An Example of Limited Color Palette From Trusted Brands.

From left: Cadmium Yellow Medium, Naphtol Red, Phthalo Green (blue shade) Ultramarine Blue, Titanium White. You can stop here. I like to add Raw Sienna and Burnt Umber.
From left: Cadmium Yellow Medium, Naphtol Red, Phthalo Green (blue shade) Ultramarine Blue, Titanium White. You can stop here. I like to add Raw Sienna and Burnt Umber. | Source
  • Water. Get a big jug of water to rinse the brushes when you switch from one color to another. Better yet, you should have two containers of water: one to rinse brushes from the paint, and one with clean water to use to dilute paint and moisten brushes when needed. (Read Tips for Cleaning Acrylic Paint Brushes for more information.)
  • Cloth rag or paper towel. To dab brushes after rinsing, correct mistakes, etc.
  • Easel. It’s beneficial to keep your support at an angle that is quite perpendicular to your vision. This helps a lot with perspective and proportions. To keep your canvas or board inclined, you can use a stand up easel or a table top one. Easels come in different shapes and prices. You can get a table top easel for less than $10.

Tip: Do Pay Attention to the Quality of Materials, Especially Paint

The quality of the materials you use is is crucial. There are student quality canvasses, brushes, and paints. Then there are professional ones.

The student grade supplies are cheaper, butgthey can make your work harder.

Cheap canvasses don't seem to grip the paint as well as more expensive ones.

Student quality has a smaller percentage of pigment in the acrylic binder, and the additions of fillers. It’s hard to see the difference until you start painting with it, then it becomes clear. The paint is behaving in a less efficient and more challenging way. When in doubt go for the professional quality, or you may waste time and energy fighting to obtain the results you aim for.

The rule of thumbs is: get the best tools you can afford. For paint, Golden is a great brand, and so is Liquitex. Pay attention to the lables, avoid paints that say "student" or "studio". Go for "artist" quality. For example, Liquitex Basics is student quality, Liquitex Heavy Body is artist quality.

There is no substitute for practice. The more acquainted you are with the acrylic medium... the easier it is to express your ideas with more professionalism.

— Joseph Orr

"Painting is damned difficult - you always think you've got it, but you haven't." Paul Cezanne

How long have you been painting with acrylics?

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Best Light for Painting

The old masters like Leonardo and Botticelli set up their studio in a room with tall windows that would get a Northern light, because that’s the less direct light, it remains pretty stable throughout the day, and it would not alter colors with its warmth or hue.

If you can’t have a nice Northern window in your painting area, or if you need to paint when it’s dark outside, make sure that your artificial lighting has a neutral light scope. Compact fluorescent lights (CFL) are good for this.

Arrange your light source and your canvas so that the light is higher than the canvas, and it’s not coming from behind you. This is to avoid disturbing reflections on the painting surface, and having your shadow cast on the painting surface.

 "Towards the Light" Acrylic on Canvas, by © Robie Benve, all rights reserved.
"Towards the Light" Acrylic on Canvas, by © Robie Benve, all rights reserved. | Source

Decide Your Painting’s Focus

What do you want to paint? What are you trying to represent? Maybe it’s a landscape, but what is it about that landscape that inspired you to paint it? Its light? Its calm? Its liveliness?

Before you get started decide what you are trying to represent in your painting and plan the composition of your painting around it. If you work from a photograph, there is no reason to be 100% faithful to the photo layout and/or colors.

You can alter sizes, positions, and colors of things to suit your artistic goal. You can edit some trees out, add some others, and move a home or a bridge to make your compositionmore balanced.

The quick drying time and incredible flexibility of acrylics allow for 'almost' foolproof experimentation.

— Corrine Loomis-Dietz

Plan Your Layout: It Will Save You From Troubles Later On

You can paint different colors from what you see, in order to stick with a specific color scheme.

Before you jump into your painting, make some preliminary sketches to use as reference. The rule of thirds can help you decide how to plan the layout of your painting and where to place your focal point.

The temptation to start painting right away is huge, but if you jump right into the drawing and painting on your canvas, you may find yourself stuck with a weak painting that needs improvement and you don't know how to "save" it. In many cases this is a sign of poor composition and value structure.

Some planning using value sketches can make a huge difference.

Start Drawing on a Tinted Canvas

I used to draw first and then apply a tinted background for my painting. The problem with that is that the paint smudges your drawing, and it makes details hard to see.

I learned to tint the canvas first, and then draw my layout. It’s much easier this way.

You can pick any ground color that complements your composition. When in doubt, I usually paint a diluted base of yellow ochre on the whole canvas. It provides the painting a vibrant undertone, and it helps to get over the artist’s block in front of a white canvas.

Paint the Middle Values First

When you are happy with your composition, fill the rough shape of the focal point of your painting with the middle value for that object.

Than move to another object or shape adjacent your focal point and paint its rough shape with the middle value.

Keep working around the whole composition blocking in all the shapes and objects. Don’t bother about shadows and highlights at this stage.

Here's some guidance on different brushstroke options to help you.

Value Scale
Value Scale | Source

Adding Details to Your Painting

Once you have blocked off all the shapes in your composition, step back and take a look. Does it make sense? Did you choose good colors for each object?

Then go back and make the needed changes to colors. When you are happy with the colors, is the time to start filling in more details: smaller shapes, and different values. Start with the lighter values, then move to the darker ones.

Paint the shadows. Shadows should be of a cooler color than the rest of the object, they are never black.

Paint the Highlights Last

Last thing you need to do is to add the highlights. Highlights don’t have to be white; they can be a very light value of the main color of the object.

Step back often and look at your painting from a distance. This will help you see the direction your painting is going, evaluate your values and areas that need tweaking or improvement.

"Rich Peonies", 10"x10" Acrylic on Canvas by ©Robie Benve Art, all rights reserved
"Rich Peonies", 10"x10" Acrylic on Canvas by ©Robie Benve Art, all rights reserved | Source

Tell a Story on Canvas

Throughout the all process, keep your focal point in mind. What were you trying to achieve? Does it come through to the viewer?

The goal should not be to represent something, but to tell a story, to convey feelings. To remind yourself of the story that you are trying to depict, it’s a good idea to decide on a title that summarizes it from the beginning, and keep it in mind, or write it in front of you.

Painting is like music, harmony and rhythm are very important
Painting is like music, harmony and rhythm are very important | Source

Keep Painting Fun, No Matter What

One of the main challenges for beginner artists is that the painting does not come out looking like what you had in your head. How our imagination envisions the final piece is often very different from the results on canvas.

It’s okay for the painting to take a different turn during execution, and come out different. It takes a lot of practice to be able to plan knowing exactly how to render a certain effect.

Don’t get discouraged, keep painting and don’t forget the most important thing: in painting and art making the fun is in the journey, not the destination.

Enjoy every step of it, even the mistakes, because they teach you a lot.

A Good Small Set of Paint

If you decide you want to start with a very limited palette, you may try the Liquitex 4 Color Mixing set. It has: Quinacridone Crimson, Yellow Medium Azo, Phthalo Blue (Green Shade), and Titanium White.

Note of caution: every time you use phtalo, either blue or green, be aware that it's a very strong pigment. A small amount goes a long way. I avoided phthalo for many years, because it can really mess you up, but now I grew to love it. When used in small quantities, it's an amazingly flexible color, very useful in many color mixes. I rarely used pure, right out of the tube.

© 2012 Robie Benve

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    • Robie Benve profile image
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      Robie Benve 12 days ago from Ohio

      Hi Karen, for bigger canvases I like to start with brushes meant for wall painting. I got a few at a home improvement store, a set of 1, 1.5, and 2 inches. I also got a few from the dollar store, not too bad. Paint can be applied with all kinds of tool. Brushes are the most popular. As long as you find a tool (or brush) that makes the mark you need at hat time, you are fine. Cheaper brushes sometimes are awesome, other times they shed or the bristle "bush up" and lose their shape. But anything goes, really. In general, I like to use a brush much bigger than what I would have picked up at first. Especially in the beginning stages of a painting, or for bigger canvases. Towards the end I add details with smaller brushes. Also, big brushes and big canvases need a lot of paint. Mix twice the amount you think you'll need, and use it all. :) I hope this helps.

    • Robie Benve profile image
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      Robie Benve 12 days ago from Ohio

      Hi Barbara, paint can be applied with any tool. Brushes are the most popular. Some people use their fingers, others, palette knives, some people even old credit cards or toothbrushes. The bottom line is, as long as you find a tool (brush) that makes the mark you need at that time, you are fine. Cheaper brushes sometimes are awesome, other times they shed or the bristles spread out and lose their shape. But anything goes, really. In general, I like to use a brush much bigger than what I would have picked up at first. Especially in the beginning stages of a painting, it's size 10 or bigger. Towards the end I add details with smaller brushes. I hope this helps.

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      Karen 13 days ago

      What 3 or 4 brushes would you recommend for large canvas 3-4 ft acrylic painting? Is there a set that you like?

      Thanks for your help.

    • profile image

      Barbara Hood 13 days ago

      My problem seems to be finding the right brushes to use on what....never know what size to use...I mostly paint scenery....not much on faces. I have painted animals, barns, churches, birds and lots of flowers.....can you help me?

    • Robie Benve profile image
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      Robie Benve 3 weeks ago from Ohio

      Hi Sandy, since you like to draw, I would suggest looking at painting as drawing with color. Use you knowledge of dark and light when you apply color. Squint and mix colors of the right value, that simplifies things. For more articles with tips for beginners, click on my profile and peruse my writings, there are probably a few that you may find interesting. Thanks a lot for taking the time to read and leave a comment. Have fun with your new art set!

    • profile image

      Sandy Halpern 3 weeks ago

      Hi I love to draw so my hubby got me an art set. I am new to painting and don’t know the first thing about it. I was wondering if you could give me some advice for a beginner. Thanks

    • Robie Benve profile image
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      Robie Benve 3 weeks ago from Ohio

      Hi Juana, I don't know how old you are, but there is not "too old" in art. You are who you are, and your work magically reflects that, and also it changes with you as you keep practicing. Painting is a fascinating journey, where every traveler has different skills, different experiences, and different personality. There is no right or wrong, as long as we enjoy the journey. Happy Panting!

    • Robie Benve profile image
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      Robie Benve 3 weeks ago from Ohio

      That's wonderful Jay! What a great and fun way to break the ice and start painting again! Thanks for sharing and keep it up. May those be just the beginning, with many more paintings to come.

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      Juana Wooldridge 3 weeks ago

      I am so excited to start!!! IHope I am Not to old

    • profile image

      Jay 3 weeks ago

      I just started painting again after years of nothing. I did an X-Mas variation of Starry Night (with a snowman in the foreground!) and an Elf on the Shelf for my son in law and set the elf up like he did it. Even signed it "Elf". I thought I'd do terribly, and while the end result wasn't what I'd hoped for, the kids absolutely LOVED them. I read this article beforehand and it reminded me why I wanted to do this to begin with-FUN. I'll try the materials you recommended and keep practicing. Thanks.

    • Robie Benve profile image
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      Robie Benve 7 weeks ago from Ohio

      Hi Nawal, I wrote an article with some tips on how to get over an artistic burnout, maybe you can find some tips in there that will help you get started.

      https://hubpages.com/art/be-the-ceo-of-your-art-bu...

      Good luck to you :)

    • profile image

      Nawal 7 weeks ago

      I have a need to get started but always something stop me need help to get out of my mood

    • Robie Benve profile image
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      Robie Benve 7 weeks ago from Ohio

      Hi Ehis, I call painting my "free" mental therapy, who does not need some every once in a while? Glad to hear you are getting started, I would say jump into it. The good thing with acrylics is that you can paint over and change everything is you don't like the results. Have no fear. Pain on. Watch some you tube video for some free instructions. You can also borrow video from a library, if you have one nearby. Happy painting!!

    • profile image

      Ehis 7 weeks ago

      Well I've been trying to get so many things off my head I think painting would help me do that but my biggest problem is that I don't know where to start from and I really need a teacher to help me aim this thinking. I've learnt somethings now the position of your light painting supplies and all that

    • Robie Benve profile image
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      Robie Benve 2 months ago from Ohio

      Hi Eileen, thanks for stopping by and leaving your feedback. Happy painting and good luck finding the perfect lighting solution for your needs. :)

    • profile image

      Eileen 2 months ago

      This was so helpful! I’ve been painting with acrylics for almost 2 years and have trouble with the lighting. I don’t have a northern window for light, but I can work around that and now know not to have the light behind me!!

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      Diana Adkins 2 months ago

      Thank you. This is the first thing I have read about acrylic painting and it is very easy to understand and encouraging.

    • Robie Benve profile image
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      Robie Benve 5 months ago from Ohio

      Hi Sharry, the internet can be a great source of inspiration for an artist, but you are right, you need to be careful and use copyright-free photos. There are several sites that provide them, check them out. Here are a few: Wikimedia Commons, Morgue File, Flickr Creative Commons. pay attention to the different kind of licenses and what they allow you to do. There are also facebook groups that share free photos for artists to use, you'd have to ask to join the group (one is called Photos for Artists). And of course you can always use your own photos or somebidy else's, with permission.

      I hope this helps. Happy painting!!

    • profile image

      Sharry 5 months ago

      Robie, I started discovering an ability to paint with Paint Nite. For the next three years I've used images that appealed to me that I've found on the internet as my guides and I'm getting much better. But, now I need to be careful I'm not accused of copying someone else's work. And now I don't know where to begin, and I feel stymied because I haven't yet found "my" style. Any thoughts or suggestions? Thanks!

    • Robie Benve profile image
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      Robie Benve 6 months ago from Ohio

      Hi Sarah, that's it: prctice is the key word. The more you paint the more you learn. The more you learn the more you (and probably others too) are going to like yout paintings. Keep those brushes moving. :)

    • profile image

      Sarah 6 months ago

      Thank you for your tips and words of encouragement. I am just beginning. Hmm, must practice, practice, practice.

    • Robie Benve profile image
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      Robie Benve 9 months ago from Ohio

      Awesome Lynnie, keep on painting and have as much fun as you can.That's the best way to go, I think. Every painting we do teaches us something; every painting we start has the potential of being our best one yet. And if turns out not so good, oh well, let's start another one, or paint over. It's a wonderful journey no matter what. :)

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      Lynnie 9 months ago

      I have no talent but I love to paint with acrylics canvases are inexpensive in bulk packs and make you feel professional it is so much fun - thanks for the tips !

    • profile image

      Dr Salma Mohsin 9 months ago

      I have done a lot of paintings in oil and water colour.Never tried my hand on acrylic.Your tips and suggestions for a beginner in acrylic are very useful and to the point.

      Thanks Robie

    • Robie Benve profile image
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      Robie Benve 9 months ago from Ohio

      Hi Jody, you are very welcome, it's great to hear that something I write sharing my passion for painting is inspiring to another artist. Thanks a lot for your comment. Happy Painting!

    • Robie Benve profile image
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      Robie Benve 9 months ago from Ohio

      Hi Varun, I saw your pencil portraits, you are very talented! Have fun experimenting with acrylics, I bet you can do amazing things with them!

    • profile image

      Judy Burchett 9 months ago

      I'm trying to figure out a few styles of painting. Your article has given me away to focus on my vision. Thanks for the advice on that.

      Judy Burchett

      Harrisonburg, Virginia

    • Varun N Rao profile image

      Varun N Rao 9 months ago from Bengaluru

      Hi Robie, that's a wonderful and a very useful article. I am a portrait artist primarily working with pencils but off late, I am working with Acrylics on canvas and kind off struggling a bit with my approach. Your article has given me some direction I was looking for and will build up more on it. Do go through my profile... www.facebook.com/vartoonss when you have time. I will keep following your blogs for more. Thanks again!

    • Robie Benve profile image
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      Robie Benve 10 months ago from Ohio

      Hi Katie, keeping it simple is the key, even if you don't have a hand problem. : ) I love that you are learning as much as you can while you can't use your hand, you'll be ready for success when the time comes, hopefully very soon.

      I sent you an email with some useful links. Thanks a lot for reading and your comment! : )

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      Katie.mason10@aol.com 10 months ago

      Ive wanted to paint on canvas forever but just haven't but always in the back of my mind. I've all kinds of creative things through my life time I love it from simple coloring to jewelry

      I'm 69 years old. My hands are giving me different problems now. Recently surgery on my right hand for trigger release of middle finger and trigger thumb. February 20th I was at the ER had cellulitis. My hand swelled to twice its size.

      It turned out to be Staph infection. I've never had any thing hurt so bad. It's been a ordeal. But doing much better now. God is good! I kept my hand and fingers.

      During recovery I've been watching on YouTube painting videos. I've decided on one and that's Clive5Art from Wales in UK

      In the past I had been on Pinterest and saved all different articles of which one is yours.

      I've just started reading this. I know Practice is So Important. Right now I'm handicapped since I'm right handed.

      But want to learn "How ".

      To keep it simple.

      I've been obtaining various items for my wanting to paint. I've chosen Acrylic painting.

      Looking forward too learn much more from your site and you

      Katie and Sheldon

      Williamsburg, Virginia

    • Robie Benve profile image
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      Robie Benve 10 months ago from Ohio

      Yay Mona, that's the attitude I love! Start doodling, sketching, painting, do the things you love, no worries about the final results. The important thing is the process, the fun, and the learning from our own mistakes. :)

    • Jason mackenzie profile image

      Jason Mackenzie 10 months ago from Perth WA 6000

      Very informative article - an encouraging too!! I appreciate the time you have spent in researching the information and the positive tone with which you have presented even the most difficult concepts.

    • Robie Benve profile image
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      Robie Benve 11 months ago from Ohio

      Hello Khan, I have seen some artwork with calligraphy on canvas, both Asian and Arabic, and I love it. I have never tried including fancy calligraphy in my paintings, only some basic text when needed, but it can surely be done. I can't really give you any decent tips on how to paint calligraphy, but it sounds like a wonderful thing to learn. Good luck to you, and happy painting! :)

    • Robie Benve profile image
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      Robie Benve 11 months ago from Ohio

      Hi Julie, you comment is very encouraging and made my day! It is truly as you said. It's ok to make mistakes. There would be no masterworks if the great painters didn't accept to make mistakes and then moved on, and kept painting. :) Being creative, and having fun while doing it, that's what it's all about. Happy painting!

    • profile image

      Julie s 11 months ago

      I've read other articles on beginning painting with acrylics and they were more "clinical" in their approach. Your article suggests that it's okay to try and to make mistakes. To create a feeling, tell a story and aim for that. Excellent article for a beginner like me. Thank you.

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      Rosi. A 12 months ago

      Thanks for all tips.

    • Robie Benve profile image
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      Robie Benve 12 months ago from Ohio

      You are very welcome Vinca Voda. :)

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      Jan Bushey 12 months ago

      I have been trying to learn to paint. Not easy, I have taken lesson from different teacher with different styles. I don't seem to be good at any of them. But I won't give up. Thanks for your help

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      Vinca Voda 12 months ago

      Thank you so much!

    • profile image

      Tina Whethers 13 months ago

      Thanks for tips

    • Robie Benve profile image
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      Robie Benve 14 months ago from Ohio

      Thanks a lot Magicfive! Receiving some positive feedback never gets old. :) ;)

    • MAGICFIVE profile image

      MAGICFIVE 15 months ago from New York

      Great ideas! I love your artwork - mostly your use of white and "light."

    • profile image

      leonard 16 months ago

      i am a retired 65 year old farmer in the Philippines and was given a bunch of stuff for Acrylliic painting and I don't know what to do with it. I am so happy I found your blog. I don't know how I got to your website and i should say not very computer saavy and am afraid if but I am afraid if shutdown my computer, i can not get your website back.

      just in case here is my email add lzg2k9@gmail.com and maybe give me some tips. Thank you.

    • Robie Benve profile image
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      Robie Benve 16 months ago from Ohio

      Hi Inga, that's right , getting the painting supplies is only the beginning, then there is the "and now what?" stage. Glad to be of help! :) I hope your make great use of those supplies by paintings squared miles of canvas and enjoying every minute of it! Best wishes :)

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      Inga 16 months ago

      Thank you for the checklist. I just picked up supplies on a whim from our local dollar store and brought them home wondering what the hell was I thinking. Your article really helped me to focus on the next steps.

    • profile image

      Eduardo 19 months ago

      Excelente el artículo, de esta manera podremos pintar mejor nuestros cuadros...muchas gracias y bendiciones...

    • Robie Benve profile image
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      Robie Benve 23 months ago from Ohio

      Hello Rae, thanks a lot for your kind words and comments! Happy you found the article helpful. Blessings to you too, and Happy Painting!

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      Rae 23 months ago

      This is perfect! You're a great teacher. Thanks for taking the time to break painting down in this way -- it makes perfect sense and is so helpful! God Bless!

    • Robie Benve profile image
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      Robie Benve 23 months ago from Ohio

      Great! That's exactly how I started: with a beginners' set received for Christmas, including an easel. How wonderful! Enjoy! :)

    • Meisjunk profile image

      Jennifer Kessner 23 months ago from Pennsylvania

      I've always wanted to learn to paint! For this Christmas, I was given a beginners set, and then I found an easel for $15! This article is great, thanks so much!

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 2 years ago from East Coast, United States

      I used to paint with acrylics but have not done so for way too long. Just trying to get back into it, I really appreciated this article.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      You're very welcome Robie. It sounds like fun.

    • Robie Benve profile image
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      Robie Benve 2 years ago from Ohio

      Hi Kristen, glad you found the hub informative! Thanks a lot!

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Great hub, Robie. This was very informative on how to get starters with easy steps from prep to doing the painting.

    • Robie Benve profile image
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      Robie Benve 2 years ago from Ohio

      Hi Scribenet, I found that doing the first layer of shape-painting using mid values helped me quite a bit. I usually leave the lightest highlights for the last fancy touches, I learned that less is better for strong highlights. You are right, looking for the perfect reference photo is very important. A good starting composition is the needed foundation for a good painting. Once you find one you like, dive in and have fun! Happy painting!

    • Scribenet profile image

      Scribenet 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I like the idea of doing the shapes in the middle values of the final acrylic colors and then detailing with the shadows and highlights. I think I will start looking for a composition with colors that appeal to me. I am going to have to go through all the photos I have taken!

    • Robie Benve profile image
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      Robie Benve 2 years ago from Ohio

      Hello Jonas, painting daily is a wonderful way to improve one's skills. One way to start is to create a painting challenge for yourself, like 30 paintings in 30 days. There is one going on every September, check the blog of artist Leslie Saeta, she organizes a 30 paintings in 30 days challenge every year. The fact that thousands of painters participate really gives me the incentinve and commitment to paint daily, you may want to check that out. Thanks a lot for your feedback and Happy Painting!

    • Jonas Rodrigo profile image

      Jonas Rodrigo 2 years ago

      I resolved to myself a while back to make painting a daily habit, but I've never really gotten around to doing it. Thank you for this very useful hub. Cheers!

    • Robie Benve profile image
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      Robie Benve 2 years ago from Ohio

      Hi Sebrina, I call them happy accidents: when you make a mistake ad you have the chance to use your creativity to turn it into something else and make it work. Art is full of happy accidents. :) Thanks for stopping by!

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      Sebrina 2 years ago

      Love the advice but I can NEVER draw out my paintings and this bothers me. If I make a mistake I'll just make it into something else.

    • Robie Benve profile image
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      Robie Benve 2 years ago from Ohio

      Great to hear you enjoyed and found my hub useful, Gclightning! Happy painting!

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      Gclightning 2 years ago

      Awesome!☺️ totally useful

    • Robie Benve profile image
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      Robie Benve 2 years ago from Ohio

      That's great Sal Enmad, have fun with your painting! Glad you found my info helpful. :)

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      Sal enmad 2 years ago

      thanks for tips just starting to paint with acrylics . So really helpful

    • Robie Benve profile image
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      Robie Benve 2 years ago from Ohio

      Yes MonkeyShine, acrylics are kind of in the middle between watercolors and oils, hope you like them when you try, you can do all kind of art with acrylics. thanks!

    • MonkeyShine75 profile image

      Mara Alexander 2 years ago from Los Angeles, California

      So kewl, this is a great. I've used water colors which I didn't like, and oil that I did like, but its too expensive. This should be just right. Thank you for sharing

      I voted it up

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      Jacobb9205 2 years ago

      No problem, I did :)

    • Robie Benve profile image
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      Robie Benve 2 years ago from Ohio

      Hi jacob9205, thanks a lot for reading and I'm very happy you liked the content. Happy painting!

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      Jacobb9205 2 years ago

      Wow great guide and suggestions, thank you!

    • Robie Benve profile image
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      Robie Benve 3 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks for stopping by amazaving! Happy hubbing to you!

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      Amazaving 3 years ago

      I hadn't thought of a lot of this before. I'm glad I stopped to take a look!

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      Robie Benve 3 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks deepthiveera for your nice comment! I'm happy you find my hub useful for those who want to learn acrylic painting, that means I must have done something right because that was exactly the direction I tried to go. Thanks! :)))

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      Robie Benve 3 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks a lot for your supportive comment deborahmorrison1!! Big hugs to you!

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      deepthiveera 3 years ago from Cumbum, Tamil Nadu, India

      Very nice Hub! It could be really a great guide for those who want to learn this Acrylic painting. Model paintings look great that may induce any one learn this kind of art. Thanks a lot for this useful and interesting Hub! Best wishes Robie Benve!

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      Deborah Morrison 3 years ago from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

      Clear, useful, step by step tips for beginners on how to paint with acrylic. Well organized hub, and the fabulous pictures add that special touch.

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      Robie Benve 3 years ago from Ohio

      A painting set for Christmas, just the kind of gift I LOVE ML Morgan! That's wonderful and I am thrilled that you are going to use my hub as reference to get started. Cheers to a happy and long artistic journey! :)

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      M L Morgan 3 years ago

      Thanks for sharing your info, I just bought my daughter a set of acrylics for Christmas. I will be using this info to get us started :)

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      Robie Benve 3 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks a lot Melissa for your wonderful comment! I'm happy to hear that you found my hub so helpful, and you are right even experienced painters can learn a thing or two every day, I know I can't ever run out of things to learn! That's part of what keeps painting fun though. :) Thank you and happy painting!

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      Melissa Sewell 3 years ago from North Carolina

      This is an awesome Hub! I have been painting with acrylics for years and this would have helped me out a lot when I began. Shoot, who am I kidding? It still helped me out. This definitely teaches even the most experienced painters how to get back to their roots. Start fresh with new ideas. Great job! :)

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      Robie Benve 3 years ago from Ohio

      Hi LADINardi, try it out, since when I started toning the canvas before I start painting or drawing I can't do without! :) Thanks for stopping by and your feedback. :)

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      Robie Benve 3 years ago from Ohio

      Hi Andy, I cover the paint with plastic too, after spaying some water on it to keep it wet. It works for a while, but if you want to keep it fresh for days you should try refrigerator or freezer (or outdoors in winter). Thanks for your feedback! :)

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      L.A. DiNardi 3 years ago from New Hampshire

      I never though of painting the canvas before I draw, or paint! This is great! Thank you for such a great article.

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      Andy Morris 3 years ago

      Great tips on how to get started, I've never frozen my paints. I just cover them with plastic wrap and the stay fresh a long time.

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      Robie Benve 3 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks a lot eilval. Happy painting!

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      Robie Benve 3 years ago from Ohio

      Excellent suggestion Maggie42! Though I personally don't like putting paint in the freezer with food, I've heard of artists that freeze both oil and acrylic paint, and it stays "fresh" between sections. I've actually been considering to buy a small freezer for my studio to be used only for paint and such.

      I need to add this to the article text, don't I? :) Thanks!

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      Eileen 3 years ago from Western Cape , South Africa

      Interesting hub and great suggestions !

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      Maggie42 3 years ago

      When I used to paint with oils we used to put the paints in the freezer between classes it stops you wasting paint as well as trying to remix the perfect colour. I haven't tried with acrylics but I can't see why it wouldn't work. Put a sheet of baking paper around your paint palate so you can easily detach it for freezing. I didn't see it mentioned so I thought I'd share.

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      Robie Benve 3 years ago from Ohio

      Hi aesta1, the way your painting surface is primed can make a huge difference. I like it smoother rather than textured or coarse, but the main thing for acrylics is that it can't be greasy.

      Thanks a lot for your comment. :)

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      Robie Benve 3 years ago from Ohio

      Hi Tricia, fantasy portraits sound like the perfect subject to paint with acrylic paints, I'd love to see them :)

      I recently have started painting very colorful portraits with acrylics and love it! They dry quickly so colors don't get muddy, and as you said I can use them thin as watercolors or thick like oils. Great medium!

      Thanks a lot for your comment :)

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      Mary Norton 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I started acrylic last year but did not progress much. I primed my canvas but I was not sure that I was doing the right thing. Your distinction between oil and acrylic canvas is useful.

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      Tricia Deed 3 years ago from Orlando, Florida

      I like painting fantasy portraits with acrylic paints. The acrylics are great when you wish to stay away from the toxic fumes found in oils. With a few changes one can paint and have a finished product look like watercolor, acrylic, and oils. I find acrylics much more versatile.

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      Robie Benve 3 years ago from Ohio

      Hi Connie, thanks for stopping by! Have a fun and creative day! :)

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      Connie's House 3 years ago from The Wild, Wild West, Arizona

      I agree, keeping it fun is one of the most important aspects of painting!! Thanks for sharing!

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      Robie Benve 3 years ago from Ohio

      Hi torrilynn, acrylic painting did not exist before the 70s, so if you are studying the classic masters they did not have it available. I wonder if they would have used it if it was created already? :) Thanks for you comment and vote!

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      torrilynn 3 years ago

      I'm currently taking a Humanities class, where we have started off learning about art. So far I've learned mostly about oil paintings. I've never heard of acrylic paintings before. I guess you learn something new everyday. thanks for this hub. voted up.

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      Veenoo 3 years ago from India

      Acrylics gives a good start to beginners. Great hub and really helpful.

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      Samantha Adams 3 years ago from Auburn, GA

      Great article! Very informative.

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      Robie Benve 4 years ago from Ohio

      Starstream, That's the toughest challenge with acrylics: mixing a large amount of color and keeping it workable. A few things that I do to keep acrylics moist are:

      - spray water on them

      - cover the colors I am not using with an upside-down plastic cup

      - store extra paint (for large amounts of color) in an empty lotion container with lid.

      Or the alternative would be switching to Golden Open, the acrylic paint with longer drying time.

      I hope this helps. Happy painting! :)

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      Dreamer at heart 4 years ago from Northern California

      I enjoyed reading your tips about keeping the design in mind. I am having troubles keeping my acrylic paints usable for a longer time once I mix them on the palette. Any tips for that?

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      Robie Benve 4 years ago from Ohio

      Virginia Lynn, how exciting! It makes me feel very proud to know that my hub inspired you to paint. :)