This page about how to paint with acrylics is for the beginner who wants to learn to paint, or someone who's simply looking to brush up on their skills.
There are many ways to learn painting with acrylics. Here we're focusing on tole and decorative painting instructions.
We like to think of it as the art of making functional and non-functional objects more beautiful.
You'll find lots of information here for what you need to know to set up and get started. Painless lessons on how to paint with acrylics.
Decorative painting is best learned by taking classes with a good teacher. This allows you to observe, ask questions, and have techniques demonstrated right before your eyes.
We encourage you to take lessons with as many different teachers as possible. You'll be amazed at the unique tips and techniques you'll learn from each one.
FOR THE RIGHT-HANDED PAINTER
FOR THE LEFT-HANDED PAINTER
OK, you've assembled your supplies.
Let's get you set up. Find a spot with good lighting. Most of us when we first start just use the kitchen or dining room.
Once you've got a spot, it's a good idea to establish a set-up routine.
· Fill your water container with cold water. Hot water causes paint to dry in the brush hairs ruining your brushes.
· Keep your paints fresh while working with them by setting up a "wet palette" area on your dry palette.
Dampen a double sheet of paper towel folded into a narrow strip. Flatten it out across the top of your dry palette. This gives you a moist area to hold paint puddles.
· You need a blotter for removing excess water and paint. A double sheet of paper towel folded into quarters works nicely.
· Are you left or right handed?
Keep your supplies just off to the side of your dominant hand....palette paper, water container, blotter, and brushes will be the closest. Remaining supplies kept handy as needed.
Learning how to paint with acrylics for decorative painters usually means starting out by painting on wood.
So, let's keep it simple. You'll start by painting the wood rather than staining the it.
Your new mantra is SAND, TACK, SEAL, SAND, TACK.
Besides learning how to paint with acrylics, you're learning a new wood trade, it seems!
These steps are really important though.
To prepare your surface...
It's time to basecoat your surface. This differs from basecoating the design itself which is discussed further down.
Apply smoothly on the surface following the grain direction. Avoid ridges by feathering out the paint.
Each coat needs to dry completely before the next application.
Because the paint dries quickly, it's best to apply it as smoothly and quickly as possible, without worrying about covering in one coat.
Are you wondering why you need to trace your pattern onto tracing paper? Good question. The answer is ... you'll need to replace your pattern at various times to add more details as you paint. The semi-transparency of tracing paper allows you to line your design up correctly.
Isn't it great? You can learn how to paint with acrylics and not need to know how to draw.
To trace out your pattern ...
To transfer your pattern to the surface ...
Still working with the floral theme, you'll need to basecoat the leaves and flower petals. The instructions provided by your teacher or pattern will tell you what colors to use.
The beauty of how to paint with acrylics using decorative painting methods is that it is so step-by-step.
As you can see, how to paint with acrylics is quite involved!
Whew! That's quite a bit of information you need to know before you actually get to paint a design.