As if acrylic paint isn't cool enough already, modifying it with different mediums makes it positively magic. Just by mixing your medium of choice into your base paint, you can make your paint thicker, thinner, shinier, textured and even change how long it takes to dry. The first step: understanding the basic types.
Whether you're painting from a reference photo or working en plein air at your favorite park, creating landscapes has got to be one of the most relaxing and inspiring forms of painting. And the more different subjects you tackle, the more your skill set will grow.
Outdoor watercolor painting is something I recommend to all of my students. When you're out in nature feeling the air and watching the light change right in front of your eyes, you can bring more than just an image of a landscape to your paintings; you can bring a sense of atmosphere and emotion.
Watercolor painting isn't just about where you put your paint, but also where you don’t. Leaving some white space on your paper gives your paintings contrast, creates highlights and puts the snow on those mountaintops.
So many acrylic paints, so little time! If you ever wandered the aisles of an art-supply store feeling half-excited, half-overwhelmed, we feel you. You just need a little guidance. So here's a quick lesson on the main types of acrylics out there and what each can do for you.
A pet portrait is an excellent way to honor your fur baby, BFF (best feathered friend) or other beloved critter. Painting one is easier than it may look; in fact, you might be surprised to learn that capturing a pet’s likeness on canvas actually uses many of the same techniques as painting any portrait.
So you're comfy with the watercolor basics, and now you're looking around for something to paint. We've gotchu. These fave projects range from sweetly simple to ahhh-mazing, and we love every single one. Time to wet your brushes!
You thought you'd mastered the tree back in preschool — a brown rectangle topped with a big blob of green. But once you traded in those tubs of tempura for tubes of acrylic, you learned the humbling truth: Trees are actually pretty tricky to paint well, especially if you're going for a bit more realism.
You were in kindergarten when you learned to mix blue and yellow to make green — and you nailed it! Yet somehow mixing watercolors to create just the right shade still seems hard. How exactly do you get the right color and consistency and not end up with a big puddle of mud?
It's pretty much impossible to paint animals without knowing how to paint fur. True, not every species has fur, but if you want to paint animals that look real, at some point you'll need to deal with the fur factor.
Acrylic and watercolor might seem to live in two completely different universes. After all, the two mediums result in dramatically different looks. Acrylics deliver a flat, opaque, almost plastic-like finish. Watercolors, on the other hand, create a luminous look, full of tonal variations, depending on the amount of water used.
When you're painting a landscape or a seascape, keep your eye on the sky. Sunny, stormy, cloudless or hazy, the sky can play a supporting role in your composition, or it can be the most riveting element.
What's with all the different words for color? There's hue, tint, tone and shade — not to mention color. It gets confusing. But here's the deal: Each of these terms has its own specific meaning, and once you get a handle on that, everything gets much easier.
Taking a journey to anywhere can jump-start your creativity. But that's not all a trip can do. It can also help you edit your watercolor supplies as you pack. The payoff: a lightweight, portable kit that lets you paint as well on the go as you do at home.
One of the best parts of winter is watching falling snow. (Sorry California, you're stuck with this all year round.) So wouldn't it be wonderful to be able to capture that magic in watercolors? Of course it would. Here's how to do it.
Water is endlessly inspiring to artists. There's something deeply compelling about its ever-changing nature, whether in a still, reflective pond or a rushing stream. But water is also one of the most difficult things to paint realistically in acrylic.
Sometimes when you're working with acrylic, you want your paint to have a more liquid effect (like if you're painting a water scene). Diluting acrylic paint in water isn't necessarily the path: if you dilute beyond 50 percent, the paint won't cover your substrate evenly or adhere well. That's just frustration waiting to happen.
You already know red plus yellow equals orange, yellow plus blue equals green, and blue plus red equals purple. But did you know those combos are only a tiny fraction of the millions of colors you can create just by mixing primary colors?
People who've never used acrylic paint before think it's a tough medium to master. It's anything but. In fact, it's one of the more accessible methods of painting for beginners. Supplies are minimal and the method is easy when you break it down.
You've decided to take up acrylic painting, have your supplies all ready to go, and are totally psyched to sit down and get started. But then it hits you smack in the face: A blank canvas can be a little scary. Yup, painter's block is totally a thing. The good news? You can get through it with help from our six prompts below.
Oil paint brushes might look skinny, but they definitely punch above their weight. Those brushes are the most important tools in your art arsenal, so take the time to find the right ones for you. You won't be swiping right on every brush you try, but once you figure out which ones you love using, the happiness factor goes way up.
In 2013, an evening spent playing with art supplies changed the course of my life. I was recently divorced, recovering from four years of surgeries and a long hospital stay for a MRSA infection. My beautiful children had both flown far from the nest for exciting new lives in Texas and Ukraine.
Green is definitely Mother Nature’s favorite color. Every tree, bush, and flower stem comes in its own unique shade ... all of which perfectly coexist. Now try to recreate all of that in a watercolor painting, and you might be the one turning green!
Watercolor pencils look like regular colored pencils, and you pretty much use them the same way... with one exception. When you add water to your drawing, something incredible happens: you've suddenly got watercolor art.
The eyes always have it — and with good reason. When we meet someone, we notice the eyes first. When we speak to other people, we look into their eyes. Eyes draw us in and tell us what we need to know about a person.
'Tis the season to wear all the sweaters, eat all the carbs and remember just how stunning a winter landscape can be. So whip out those watercolor paints. When you're done with the fun and easy project below, you'll have a pine forest worthy of a wintry reverie.
If you've ever painted a room or had a manicure, you already know what it means to prime a surface. Adding primer to a wall, applying a base coat to your fingernails before the polish goes on, prepping a canvas before you paint: It's all pretty much the same concept.
Buying art supplies is about personal preference, creative goals, the technical requirements of your medium — and cash. Sometimes, a good amount of cash. Materials can get pricey, and you don't want to waste money on stuff you don't need. But whether you paint in watercolors or oils, are a beginner or pro, there are certain supplies you definitely want. Here are seven essentials.