7 Acrylic Painting Techniques On Canvas

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Are you thinking about attending or hosting a paint and sip party? If so, you may be wondering what you are going to learn.

These parties are a great way for people to come together, enjoy a few glasses of wine, and create their masterpieces by following along with an art instructor.

Throughout the class, you will be learning various painting techniques. These techniques will vary based on the skill levels of the guests attending.

Obviously, there are many painting techniques, and they can’t all be taught in a single sip class. But, there are some acrylic painting techniques for beginners you can learn, and you will have loads of fun at the same time.

But first,

What Is Acrylic Paint?

Acrylic paint is a type of water-based paint that is made up of pigment particles suspended in an acrylic polymer emulsion.

Unlike oil paint, which requires solvents for thinning and cleaning, acrylic paint can be easily diluted and cleaned up with water.

Acrylic is known for its versatility, quick drying time, and ability to create vibrant and long-lasting artworks. This type of paint is available in a wide range of colors, finishes, and viscosities, allowing artists to explore various techniques and styles.

Let’s take a look at some of the techniques I tend to teach most often at beginner paint and sip parties.

Painting Techniques with Acrylic Paints You Can Try

While you can’t learn everything in one night, there are many acrylic paint techniques you can learn at a paint party. The following are the techniques I tend to teach most often.

#1. Dry Brushing

With dry brushing, you won’t be using water. You will apply paint right from the palette to the canvas.

This is a great way to get a lot of texture into a painting. There will be uneven strokes for unique coverage, and the strokes can be thick or thin.

For uneven coverage, I recommend using older brushes. Try using a variety of brushes on practice canvases and see what each gives you.

For this technique, you simply load the brush with paint and start painting. You can also combine this technique with wet brushing and layering, which I am also going to discuss.

#2. Stippling

I like to use this technique when painting landscapes. Stippling is ideal for painting trees and some flowers, and it is a good technique for beginners to learn.

You will need to use a round brush, with all of the bristles even. You can use wet or dry brushing for this. I like to use a bit of water, but not too much in order to create texture.

Dip the brush into the paint, and then tap it all over the canvas, wherever you want leaves, flowers, etc. to appear.

#3. Washing

If you want your painting to have a watercolor-like background, washing is a great way to achieve this. It involves really watering down your paint, a lot.

Generally, you will want to have about a 50/50 ratio of water and paint. This is going to make the acrylic paint almost like watercolor paint.

This is going to give a faint colored background, and then you can begin painting the rest of the design. Keep in mind that acrylic paint dries quickly, especially when it is thinned out like this. I tend to use this technique for more advanced students who are used to using acrylics and watercolors.

#4. Flicking

Let’s say you are doing a nighttime scene with the sky as a background. How do you paint in the stars?

Well, you could do what I did at first, which is to take a white marker (or even a liquid paper marker) and dot on each individual star. Or, you could try flicking.

This involves watering down the paint and loading the brush. Then, you simply tap the brush handle with another brush, causing the paint to flick onto the canvas.

Another way to do this is by using a toothbrush. In this case, you will flick the brush bristles yourself, so expect your fingers to get a bit dirty.

#5. Dabbing

I love dabbing. It is a great way to add more texture to a painting and make it appear more like an oil painting.

Dabbing involves using a sponge or a towel. You dip the sponge or paper towel into the paint and then dab it onto the canvas. The texture can be smooth or textured, depending on how much paint you use and how many layers you paint.

This is a great technique to use when painting ocean scenes because it is ideal for painting crashing waves.

Check my guide on more acrylic paint ideas that you can implement this dabbing technique.

#6. Detailing

Beginners won’t likely be doing a lot of detailing, but it is something I like to discuss at paint and sip classes. There are going to be times when a painting has some fine details, and this technique will be necessary.

You will need to really thin out the acrylic paint for detailing. Use a synthetic brush for this technique. The size will depend on the details. Generally, I like to use liner brushes for this technique.

Make sure that you use a light touch for details. These details should be the last step in the painting process, once the rest of the paint has dried.

#7. Palette Knife Painting

Generally, a palette knife is used for mixing colors. But, if the painting involves a mountain scene, using a palette knife is a great way to paint the mountains.

You can also use a palette knife to create textures and thick layers. All you need to do is apply the paint to the palette knife and then scrape the knife across the canvas.

The strokes will be uneven, which is exactly what you need for painting snow-capped mountains. You can learn more about different types of brush strokes in painting.

Final Thoughts

These are just a few of the techniques I teach at beginner paint and sip classes. They are among the easiest techniques, so my students can easily learn how to apply them to their artwork.

So, if you are going to be taking your first art class at a painting party, expect to learn these and other acrylic paint styles. The more you learn, the better your paintings are going to be.

One thing to keep in mind is that even though each student at a paint and sip party is going to be doing the same painting, every painting is going to be different. I always encourage students to choose their color palettes, so each painting is unique.

Check my guide on using watercolor pencils for sip and paint classes.

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*image by wirestock_creators/depositphotos