All You Need to Know About Mixing Acrylic Paint
By: Ed McGreggor
Acrylic paint is favored by artists who have the ability to work fast. The reason for this is because acrylics dry fast. It is therefore important to understand the science of mixing acrylic paint. When you use oil paint it takes hours and even days for the paint to dry. Acrylics can dry almost straight away. When you use acrylics you can use it from the tube. If you want the paint to be thinner then simply add a little water. Water can be used as a medium because acrylics are water based.
Mixing acrylic paint correctly can mean the difference in the success of your work.
When beginning mixing acrylic paint, to conserve your acrylics it is advisable to release tiny amounts onto your palette. It is a good idea to use a plastic palette for acrylics. This will enable you to spray water over the palette and acrylics to keep it moist. A simple every day spray bottle will do. Another good alternative is to use a palette called 'stay wet'. The acrylic paint is placed on wax coated paper. This paper is put over damp watercolor paper. Doing it this way may be awkward for the painter because there is no thumb hole.
After mixing acrylic paint you must keep damp cloths on hand to wipe your brushes. You wipe the brushes after you rinse them. Wiping with a damp cloth will stop water channeling down the ferrule on your work. If water does this it will leave splotches. Acrylics mixed with water can be used in exactly the same way as watercolors. It will also make acrylic painting suitable for air brushing. However, if you want a better flow of paint but don't want to compromise color strength then choose some other medium instead of water.
Anything that is going to take extra time is a hazard when acrylic painting. This is because it gives the paint time to dry before you are finished with your task. One such task is the blending of colors. The only way to counteract this is by working as quickly as you can, using dampened paper and your spray bottle. Any painter using acrylics must work confidently and it also saves time if the painter plans beforehand. On the other hand, there are painters who like the idea of using quick drying paint. They say it elevates their creative process and they are left with a painting that could be regarded as spontaneous.
Those painters who plan before they start painting will know exactly where and when they want to produce edges that are sharp. An effective and cheap way of doing this is to use masking tape. One of the benefits of acrylic painting is you can use masking tape and it will not ruin a layer of paint that is already on the board or canvas. If you want to be left with a sharp line that is even then the edges of the masking tape must be firmly pasted. Do not paint acrylic too densely over the edges. If the acrylic is too thick there won't be an even line when the masking tape is lifted.
Many artists use either oil or acrylic painting to produce their work. Acrylics are more economical and it is a way for art enthusiasts to afford a great piece of art work as opposed to oil paintings that are a lot more expensive to paint and to buy.
Though acrylic is a cheaper paint option, you can produce extraordinary art once you've mastered the correct method for mixing acrylic paint.
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