Are you interested in painting but do not know where to begin? Painting is a skill that you can use to express your emotions and ideas. Whether you want to take it up as a hobby or for commercial purposes, it is an exciting venture.

Now that you are ready to start, you need some inspiration, acrylic paint, and a working surface. As a beginner, starting to paint may prove to be a challenging task. Do not worry; this article will give you comprehensive information on how to paint like a pro. We shall delve into the various acrylic painting techniques that will blow your mind and turn you into a self-made artist.

How To Paint With Acrylics

It is essential to understand what acrylics are before we proceed. Acrylics are paints which dry very fast, and which you can apply on various working surfaces. Apart from being versatile, they are also vibrant which offers you a variety of options. This article offers the readers easy acrylic paintings step by step that is applicable on different work surfaces. However, we have various paint application techniques that beginners can use.

Best Painting Brushes For Acrylics And Paint Application Techniques

Painting requires a good quality brush to complete the task. There are various types of paint brushes for acrylic painting. In this case, you can either use the stiff bristles or the synthetic brushes because these are the basic brushes for acrylic painting. The choice of your brush depends on the results you want to achieve. However, the best brushes for acrylic painting on canvas are those that have long handles. Hence, as a beginner, it is vital for you to know the best painting brushes for acrylics.

The following are some paint brush techniques that you can apply in your artwork.


This technique incorporates pouring water into the paint to achieve a particular effect. As a beginner, it is essential for you to know how to make an acrylic wash. First, you mix a small amount of water to dilute the paint. This is also known as thinning, which creates a translucent wash. Then, dip your brush into the wash and apply it on the canvas or the working surface that you are using. Wash your brush thoroughly before you can try with a different color. As much as it emulates the watercolors, acrylics are long-lasting.


You can paint an easy stippling art by adding many dots on the paper following a pattern that you want. To achieve the best results, use a stiff brush and do not moisten it with water. You need to hold your brush in an upright position while tapping the bristles onto the working surface. Depending on the consistency you want, you can either use an old or a new brush for diverse results.

Splatter Paint Techniques

Are you feeling uninspired? Do you want to learn how to splatter paint on canvas? Then, you can try out this technique. It is not only easy, but it can also be fun and messy. Before you know how to splatter acrylic paint, it is essential to identify the kind of effect and texture that you desire to get in the end. For instance, a dry brush produces very tiny dots, and a moist brush blends the splatters. It involves dipping your brush in the paint and using a bit of energy to spray it onto the working surface. Also, you can use this technique to create abstract images such as the night sky with stars. However, you can cover up some parts if you want to control the splatter on the canvas.

Dabbing for dummies

This technique uses a soft material to apply the paint on the canvas. Apart from the stiff brush, you can also use a small sponge, paper towel, or a piece of cloth. Dab slowly on the working surface with a specific color. The result is a unique texture that no one can duplicate.

Palette Knife Techniques

As a beginner, it is easy to learn how to paint with a palette knife with acrylics. It is as simple as icing your cake; in this case, you are scraping off some paint and applying it on the canvas.  Knife painting techniques elevate your work since it can be a symbol of professionalism. You can use various methods to achieve different textures. For instance, you can use either the tip to create dots or the edge of the blade to get lines.

Detailed Paintings

Some paintings require sharp and accurate details. Thus, you need to use a small and smooth brush to bring out all the keen details. Detailed painting involves precision since you cannot afford to make an error. A perfect example is when you have to draw an eye without messing your work surface.

Building a Painting

As we have mentioned earlier, painting is a skill that you can nurture if you have the inspiration and determination. As a beginner, there are techniques which you can use to build a painting. It involves preparing your work surface before the actual painting. As you continue learning, you will perfect your skills and become a better artist.

The following are some methods you can apply under this technique


This technique involves painting the first layer before embarking on the final artwork. You can choose an under paint color that will contrast with the color on the final canvas. The essence of this technique is to help you bring out tonal variations and effects in the art dimensions.

Acrylic glazing techniques

Do you want your painting to come to life? Glazing will create a realistic artwork that not only adds light but also brings out a shiny effect in your painting. If you want to achieve this, you have to dilute your paint and apply thin strokes.

Layered Paint Technique

As the name suggests, this method involves layers of paint on a work surface. You need to apply layered acrylic paint starting from the lowermost canvas to the top. However, it is important to ensure that your initial work has sufficient blocks of watery colors. As you continue working, refine your colors gradually to achieve the desired artwork.

Paint in blocks of color

As a beginner, this method is among the best since it is simple and does not require a set of rules. First, you need to draw or identify the image that you want to paint. Then, trace it while you separate each shape in the image with the color you intend to use. After tracing, you can now paint the shapes in various color blocks to achieve an artistic pattern.

Mixing Acrylic paint

This technique involves mixing different colors of the paint to get various shades. It is quite easy especially when you master the art of mixing, but for a beginner, it may be challenging. There are several ways in which you can mix acrylic paint. As mentioned earlier, mixing acrylic paint with water achieves a translucent effect on the painting. However, you need to mix it in moderation. Also, you can choose to partially mix two different colors before you start working on the artwork to obtain different hues. Another method that can help you is to create colors with the same tones and variations. It is possible to achieve refined distinctions in your artwork thereby making it captivating.

Acrylic Painting ideas

Ultimately, painting requires creativity by experimenting with the different techniques we have outlined above. Therefore, as a beginner, do not feel intimidated by professionalism or experience because one day you will eventually get there. You can derive your ideas from nature, other paintings, or objects in your day to day life. It is vital to open your mind to the beauty that is around you because inspiration comes unexpectedly. Also, be unique and experiment on the various techniques by blending them to come up with a masterpiece. Eventually, with determination and practice, you will find your style as an artist.