Acrylic Painting Techniques for Beginners

Alya Khemji
3 min readSep 25, 2018


Acrylics are versatile in that they are vibrant, affordable and most of all, they can be painted virtually on almost any surface. But while painting is versatile as a beginner there are certain techniques you will want to acquaint yourself with in order to be successful in the art. The techniques and tips will help you save time, money, and also avoid getting frustrated along the way. There numerous distinguished artists out there who prefer to work with acrylic paints to help display their unique works of art. Acrylics, however, require you to be experienced at it in order for you to create something that is meaningful and great. Acrylics are versatile and this is what makes it a preferred medium for both upcoming and experienced painting artists.

Here in this article, we show you some important tips and acrylic techniques for beginners in acrylic painting that can help you get along well and steadily:

Using dry brush

Applying paint on a canvas using a dry brush usually creates a strong stroke of color on the page. Your lines may be uneven as there is no water to help soften the edges but it will help give you a good painterly effect. Dry brushing as it is also called is a method of applying the color that will only partially cover a formerly dried layer of paint. It is better just to add very little paint to the brush that you have and proceed to apply it with very quick directional strokes. This way you will be able to create easy acrylic paintings that will look fabulous. Please note that this method usually works best when the acrylic artist is applying light paint over dark areas that are already dried.


In acrylic color paintings removing the paint can sometimes be equally vital as applying it. The term used to describe this technique of acrylic painting is Sgraffito. In this technique, the artist will be scratching away paint while it is still wet in order to lay bare the underpainting. It usually comes in handy when the artist wants to depict hair, grasses, and scratches etc.


Another good acrylic painting technique for the beginner artist is glazing. In glazing, the artists work by laying a coat of transparent paint over an already dry part of the painting. This technique is used to help intensify shadows as well as modulating color. In acrylic color paintings, a good example of glazing will be maybe using a light blue transparent over a dry yellow to come up with a green effect.

Paint with mediums

This is yet another good acrylic art technique that a beginner can rely on to get started effectively in the medium. It involves the use of fluids that easily be added to paint to help enhance its consistency, texture and drying time. The good thing with painting using acrylics is that there are different mediums that can help make the paint gloss or matte.