New artists looking to hone in on their creative skills are usually directed to acrylic painting. Made with plastic, this fast-drying medium offers control over consistency and texture. Acrylic painting is also more affordable compared to other mediums such as oil painting and watercolors.
Beginners only need a handful of simple tools to get started: a canvas, large cup of water, paint brush, and of course acrylic paints in a few standard colors. Paint sets are a great resource for beginners because they take all the guesswork out of choosing colors. After many years of experience, Marcula Stauffer shares four simple tips for beginners.
1. Prepare the Canvas
Cover the white canvas with an opaque, toned ground color. This will help to reduce glare while bringing out desirable undertones that match your landscape. Marcula Stauffer recommends using Yellow Orche, a color found in many acrylic paint sets. This technique is useful for beginners when judging tones, a difficult task to an untrained eye. Against a pure white background, colors can appear much darker than they really are.
2. Use a Large Brush
Beginners usually reach for a small brush believing it will keep mistakes small and create a more detailed painting. Most are very surprised to hear that great artists typically use large brushes to quickly fill their canvas. Marcula Stauffer tells new artists to not be discouraged, as acrylic paints dry quickly and work best in many layers, meaning it’s easy to cover mistakes and build upon your foundation.
3. Practice Blending
This tricky skill takes time and plenty of practice, but the end result can take your painting to the next level. There are many popular blending techniques which range from using a palette to blending right on the painting itself. Marcula Stauffer recommends trying multiple blending techniques before choosing the most comfortable method to practice.
4. Don’t Overthink
For perfectionists, this tip will be the most difficult to master! Clear your mind and set up your station in a relaxing atmosphere. It’s easy to get caught up in small details, but they can hold you back from looking at the big picture. Marcula Stauffer believes in taking breaks to approach the painting with a fresh set of eyes. Most people don’t observe art from mere inches away, so it’s perfectly okay to have inconsistencies. The beauty of artwork is in the eye of the beholder, or more accurately, the eye of its creator.