• Riddhi Malhotra

Top 5 Mistakes in Acrylic Painting

Updated: Sep 30



I have been painting in acrylics for over 6 years now, and being self taught, I've learnt through making mistakes and experimenting to learn new techniques. I wanna talk about very practical mistakes I've seen beginner acrylic painters make, which I used to as well.


1. Not Using Enough Layers:

The best thing about acrylic paints is how much more vibrant you can make a painting by working in layers. On an average, each of my paintings is made of at least 10-15 layers.


It's important to identify and separate your paints into transparent paints and opaque paints. For example, Phthalo Blue is a transparent paint. Titanium White is opaque. Putting layers of transparent paints on top of opaque layers (also known as glazing) gives a new life and dimension to your painting.




2. Not Waiting For Layers To Dry:

While it is important to work in layers, it is also important to wait for each layer to completely dry before putting in the next one. It doesn't take too much time, as acrylic paints dry fairly quickly, but it is necessary. I therefore keep a hairdryer in my studio because I hate waiting! If you don't wait for layers to dry, your brush will pull off the earlier layer, and leave the paint broken in places. Like the one shown in the picture here. So MAKE SURE YOU WAIT before putting in the next layer.


3. Using Too Much Water:

With too much water, acrylic paints become runny and difficult to use. Also, the pigment gets so diluted that it hardly even covers the canvas. Be liberal with the amount of paints you use. If you like working with watery colours, try watercolours, you'll love them! Getting the right consistency of acrylics takes time and practice. You'll get the right mix of not-too-thin and not-too-thick as you keep painting!




4. Not Using Good Quality Supplies:

By using sub-standard material, you make art so much harder for yourself than it has to be. I always give the example of me learning to play the guitar. The first guitar I learnt on was SO bad, that it made learning and playing so difficult, that I almost gave up. So I strongly recommend lesser number of supplies, but using artist grade ones. To give you a head start, you can get high quality Brustro artist grade acrylic paints at 10% off HERE, just enter the code RIDDHI10 on checkout.


5. Leaving Paint Brushes in Water:


I've had to say goodbye to so many of my good brushes just because I felt too lazy to clean them up, and the next day they were a plasticky stiff mess. Good brushes don't come cheap! And it's very important to take care of them. No matter how tired you are, make sure you clean your brushes with water, or a mild soap and put them to dry every night. And never EVER leave brushes in water. That makes the brushes absolutely unusable.



Hopefully this was helpful to you guys, and you know what to watch out for! There are more mistakes I made that I can think of, which I'll probably put down in another blog post.


Let me know if this is something that interests you. And don't forget to leave your comments / suggestions / mistakes you made that you want to share down in the comments :)


Love

Riddhi.

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