Friday, May 10

10 Things I've Learned About Painting

Acrylic on Canvas Panel
7 x 9 in/18 x 23 cm
Copyright 2012
As a current painter in acrylic, I am attempting to take my work to a higher level by putting into practice some of the techniques I have read about in my many books on painting.

I respect acrylic for what it is and what it does and how you use it. That is, I try to accept acrylic on its own terms with both its advantages and disadvantages.

I have gleaned several things that will help me with my acrylics, and I believe many are applicable to other painting mediums as well:

A good composition can make or break a painting, so choose it well.


Use the most limited palette you can.

Underpaint using a wash of similar color to the overall color(s) of your painting to cut the whiteness.

Loosely draw in the main elements using your paintbrush.

Block in your darkest darks and lightest lights first.

Painting a smaller painting may be a better choice as you gain experience rather than a large canvas.

Paint with the largest brush you possibly can.

Paint fast, keep it loose, and leave out the details.

Paint like no one else and learn to appreciate, if not love, your own particular style.