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New to acrylic painting - help appreciated/needed!!

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  • New to acrylic painting - help appreciated/needed!!

    Good evening all,

    I'm hoping that some of you may be able to help me in a new venture.

    Up until recently my main craft has been cardmaking, however over the years I have also taken up latch-hook work, crochet, sketching/drawing and candlemaking with hubby.

    Over the last couple of months I have been getting more involved with my sketching and drawing and have now decided to 'try my hand' at painting and have chosen acrylic paints for this... so far I've spent a fortune on an easle, various brushes and acrylic paints and different size canvasses.

    Up until now I have only painted one small picture which was a painted copy of one of my drawings... a very simple design but for a first attempt I was fairly happy with it, however I simply painted the acrylics directly onto canvas.. end of story.

    My confusion now lies with the different 'accessories' (sorry, can't think of the right word) which I've heard about which can be used with acrylics, such as Gesso and I am now wondering whether this is something that I should be using or if it's an 'optional extra' for acrylic painting?

    If it makes any difference, my artwork is very varied from scenery to people and animals... I don't know if this will affect what I need to use?

    Also, if anyone can recommend any hints, tips or products that I need to be using it would be very much appreciated as I haven't really done any painting (other than the walls in our house) since school so am very much a beginner.

    Hope this post makes sense and I haven't rambled on too much!!

    Thanks for any help you may be able to offer

    Laura xx

  • #2
    If you cover the canvas with Gesso first it helps the paint move easier, particularly good if you want to blend colours for backgrounds etc and in scenes, also make water look better as you can pull the colour softly with a large brush.

    check out Bob Ross for some ideas


    • #3
      Thanks for that Caroline, I'll have a read through that site

      Gesso sounds like something to invest in!!


      • #4
        Hi there!

        There are lots of different mediums you can use with acrylic paint. However it sounds as if you have more than enough to get started so my advice is - just GO FOR IT!!!

        Have a look at my Acrylic painting section on my website for some ideas:

        click on the 'Acrylic Painting' heading to the left of the page.


        Leona xx
        Teaching Art & Craft to Adults & Children for over 12 years

        FREE Live Art Tutorials - Wednesdays 7pm - HERE: Youtube
        Join our Online Art Academy


        • #5
          HI, white Matt Emulsion Paint is good for painting on canvasses.
          ... its cheap too...apply 2 coats tho before you start your final art work..

          Have fun.


          • #6

            There's loads of different bits and pieces you can play with in acrylics. I'm particularly enjoying playing with 3d effects and shimmering colours at the moment. I think to be honest though you should play with all the things you have first - get comfortable painting in acrylics generally so you know how they work and how you work best with them. once you have an idea of the basic acrylics properties then you can play with all the accessories and understand which ones work best for you. I love acrylics as they let me paint over and over again and produce some stunning colours!

            Good luck!


            buy online:


            • #7

              When I was a scenic artist I used emulsion paint, it dries darker but for large scale work was ideal because of cost. The canvas was always underpainted usually in earthy tones and the paint was not applied neat but watered down slightly so it soaked into the canvas.
              My favourite paints are Lascaux flow acrylics, you can use them straight from the tube or watered down, the colours are fantastic, however they are very expensive.
              If you want to experiment before you go to any expense, emulsion paint is a great idea and provided you don't lay it on too thick will last about ten years I believe.
              Chris W.
              Gemstone Jewellery and Gifts


              • #8
                Thanks for all the great replies... as yet I've not had much chance to 'play around' with all of the Christmas crafts we need to get done, but I'm hoping that once things settle down then I'll be able to allocate some time to see what I can come up with. Thanks everyone


                • #9
                  I think just playing around is fun. I've recently done some acrylic art by lightly sketching out a design, slapping on acrylic as I saw fit and then messing around with fine pen on top of it when it was dry. I don't think you need different accessories but you could try them out if you wanted, there might be some that give a particular effect you are looking for.


                  • #10
                    i found the best thing to do was to get small canvas boards - they're £1.50 for 3 from hobbycraft or similar - and they're already primed. i never prime anything myself, or varnish it afterwards, i just make sure to get good paint and use any old primed canvas (dunelm mill are excellent for this, and the deliver online)

                    i started painting, but moved to card making as it's hard to shift paintings at craft fairs, but cards fly out if they're cheap enough.

                    painting is fantastic, i wish you all the best with it. there's nothing like it
                    My Blog - feel free to have a look