Drawing and painting have been inseparable parts of human beings since time immemorial. In prehistoric times, an early man painted on cave walls, and it has been going on since. From painting pictures of gods and goddesses to all life forms and of course, abstract paintings have been part and parcel of our growing up. From painting with hands and fingers to using tree barks and branches, to of course the modern-day brushes, painting has evolved immensely. Likewise, the mediums of painting to choose from have also progressed from simple watercolours and pencil colours to the use of camel acrylic paint, oils, fresco, gouache and many more. One can choose any medium as long as it is satisfying and precise.
Acrylic paints have gained immense popularity in recent times, though they were introduced long back in the 1950s. Although other mediums are equally challenging and comprehensive, use of acrylics has revolutionized the world of art. One can paint and draw as per one’s wish or choice. There is no worry of transparent streaks showing up, the painting base getting moist and thus damaged, or waiting for the oil painting to dry, like in watercolour paintings and oil paintings, respectively. Painting with acrylics allowed new freedom to the painters and they explore and exploit it to the maximum. These paints are multifarious and are easily available at reasonable costs. Acrylic paints are very convenient to use and can be evenly spread using a brush and also dry up fast. Most intermediate and new painters like to use acrylic painters for the reasons mentioned hereunder:
- Quick to work: Acrylic paints are quick to work as they mix and match and are easy to dry up. This is perfect from the perspective of colouring in layers. A painting will become very attractive as you draw various layers using acrylics and let them dry up rapidly. Since they dry up speedily, they do not mix and merge into other colours, thereby saving the time and energy to repaint. Although they can be repainted, they tend to become dull over time, if repainting is done frequently. A dab of water, acting as a retarder, is used to spread the colour quickly and to make it look neat.
- Avoid too much paint on your palette: Since acrylic colours come in tubes, it is very convenient to use them and take out the required amount of colour as and when required. One can squeeze the tube and take out more colour instead of putting too much colour on the colour palette in one go. Since they can dry up fast and subsequently harden, which leads to wastage of colour, it is prudent to take out only as much colour as you have to use immediately. Just in case, you wish to keep the colour on the palette overnight, you may use an air-tight bag or moist the palette to keep it from drying.
- Choice of Pallette: The choice of the palette also holds importance as it decides the appropriate use of colours as well as mixing for the right shade. The palette, which includes both top and bottom palettes and can be sealed tight, is highly recommended for all acrylics, oil paints and alcohol-based inks.
- Blend carefully: it is of utmost importance that the colour blending is done effectively. It contributes to the efficacy of the colours as otherwise, they may create bubbles which may reflect on the canvas once dry.
- Washable with water: Acrylics are easily washable with water, unlike oil paints which need turpentine oil. It makes them a preferred mode of colouring and creating outstanding works of art. A little soap and water can clean up the brushes and the paint on the painter’s hands.
- Opaque colours don’t need a medium: Another noteworthy feature of acrylics is that they do not need a medium when opaque colours are used. A smart trick is to use titanium white to convert any colour into its opaque form thereby giving the transparent effect.
- Choice of a paintbrush: Acrylics can be excellent to use with all eight main types of brushes. However, much can be achieved with less too. It is recommended that the following five brushes are the most suitable for acrylic painting: Round 1, and 6 and Flat 6, 8, and 12.
Acrylic colours are user-friendly and easily usable by children and adults alike. Some more handy tips for using acrylic colours expertly are
- Experiment with mixing: You may blend and mix colours to bring out new shades in your drawing. Acrylics are great to use when mixing and matching have to be done. To achieve this, do not use the paint straight out of your tubes or bottles. The freedom to add different colours to achieve new tones and experiment with newer shades is an eminent feature of acrylics.
- Experiment with painting method: For a painter, it is a delight to be able to use different mediums and colours effectively. This experimentation is a distinguished feature of acrylic colours.
- Speed up the drying process: Using a hair dryer is a tip which always works. Since acrylics dry up quite quickly, a hand dryer may be used to further speed up this process.
- Clean up the brushes: Clean up your brushes thoroughly. Take out all the colours stuck in them to keep them soft and reusable. The bristles of the brush may get spoilt, if not cleaned in time.
- Paint freely: A successful painter paints with a free spirit. It means that there is no need to bother about any mistakes or follies. Everything in art and painting is right, nothing is wrong.
- Take professional help: These days various painting tutorials are available online for your reference. Pick up anyone to understand the basics of this form of art.
It is imperative to choose the medium and the colour type correctly to enjoy painting. Even if used professionally, using a painting colour set and brushes, the journey of painting a picture must be fun. Whether it is a professional purpose or a personal one, painting using acrylic colours must bring a sense of satisfaction and contentment. As they say, when worrying or painting a picture, know when to stop!