top of page


Acrylic Paints - Beginner basic need to knows prt 1

What makes acrylic paint so fun and interesting to use is the wealth of ways you can adapt it. They come in different consistencies and finishes and there are a whole host of mediums that can change the drying times, opacity, texture … in fact there is so much it could just blow your mind.

It maybe an understatement but do beware of the really cheap paints. Some years ago, I needed a dark red background for a canvas I was going to try out. Nothing special. Thinking I’d save a few bob, I bought a couple of tubes from the local discount store. What harm would it do? It would all eventually be covered by the good stuff.

Needless to say it was a false economy. The red continuously bled through the subject I had painted on top, even after several coats.

However, there are a handful of really excellent brands out there with top notch acrylics for professionals. Having said that, there is also a plethora of student quality acrylics which are budget friendly and pretty much do the same job as the pricey stuff. For example, I still have a couple of paintings on the wall from some 30 years ago. They haven’t discoloured, faded, shrunk or pealed. But for the dust, they look just as fresh as the day they were painted.

Before getting started, these are the very basic need to knows:

1. Acrylics are water soluble.

2. They are for use on absorbent surfaces only.

3. Primers are useful to either aid grip paint to the surface and/or stop the paint absorbing too much into the canvas or wood.

4. Remember to mix with a bit of water to help grip to the surface and when creating detail, unless using for palette knife or impasto work

5. They can dry quite quickly.

6. Once dry they won’t wet up again.

7. After it drys, it can be painted over for correcting or layering without smudging the under layer.

8. Since it dries quick and can't re-wet then it stands to reason your brushes will be ruined forever if they don't get rinsed regularly and washed thoroughly with soapy water.


bottom of page