Whether you’re just starting to dip your brush in the world of acrylic paint or are a seasoned artist, it’s always important to refresh your knowledge on the basics. This includes choosing the right brushes and knowing the difference between stroke techniques.
Read on to learn more about the brush stroke techniques for acrylics that you should know before starting your next creative project.
Brushes to Use For Acrylic Paint
When it comes to choosing the right brush for acrylic paint on canvas, you’ll want one that’s synthetic, stiff, and durable. Of course, you can use other brushes depending on the material you’re painting on. Synthetic brushes are simply a good place to start and come in a number of shapes to help you achieve different acrylic painting techniques.
There are eight main types of acrylic brush shapes to choose from.
- Round Brush should be used with thinned paint to cover large surfaces
- Pointed Round Brush is best for detail work
- Flat Brush is versatile for creating different textures
- Bright Brush can be used for controlled strokes and thicker applications
- Filbert Brush is perfect for blending
- Angular Flat Brush is versatile for covering large areas and filling small corners
- Fan Brush is great for dry brushing and creating texture
- Detail Round Brush should be used for fine line work and details
Acrylic Brush Techniques To Try
With the right paintbrush in hand, it’s time to try these acrylic painting brush techniques. You may only use a few of these techniques when painting portraits or try them all for a unique piece of art.
Painting with a dry brush is a great skill for achieving coarse, irregular strokes of color to capture natural textures. There are many step-by-step guides for mastering this dry brush technique with acrylic paint. But essentially, you will need to load a dry brush with a small amount of paint and lightly apply it to your canvas.
The dried paint will look feathery and transparent, almost like wood grain or grass. Painting a dry brush technique is best achieved with a stiff bristle brush.
This acrylic paint brush stroke technique involves adding two colors to your brush without mixing them. Once you apply them to your canvas, they beautifully blend, especially if you use a flat or angle brush.
You can also triple load your brush with three colors to create stunning sunsets and dynamic seascapes.
To learn how to control small amounts of paint on your canvas, try dabbing. Using a round brush, simply paint your acrylic from the tip of your brush onto your canvas to create as many or few dots of color as you need.
This acrylic brush technique can be used to outline things like flowers or to set up colors for blending.
This brush technique for acrylic painting first involves mixing your paint with water (or another medium) to thin it. Then, use a flat brush and a sweeping motion to completely cover your desired area on your canvas. Make sure to utilize horizontal, vertical, and diagonal strokes to ensure the wash goes on in a smooth, cohesive layer.
This technique can give your painting more intensity while adding longevity to your artwork.
This fairly simple technique can help blend colors or create more texture on your canvas. As the name suggests, it involves overlapping your brush strokes in two different directions. You can go for the classic vertical or horizontal cross-hatching, or complete this technique with “X” strokes which tend to be more dynamic.
Any brush can be used to achieve this acrylic paint technique.
This brushing technique for acrylic painting is similar to a flat wash. However, you’re not making a mix but rather dipping your brush in water to dilute your paint and create a fading effect. This is a great way to blend colors on canvas and to thin paint that’s already been applied. Of course, you need to work relatively quickly to get this effect before the paint dries.
Finally, we can’t forget about this fun technique that is enjoyable for artists of any age to try. Using a stiff brush or even unconventional materials like a toothbrush, apply your paint and then flick your brush to make it splatter on your canvas.
This unique method is perfect for abstract art or capturing things like a starry sky or field of flowers without fine detail.
When you’re ready to try these acrylic painting techniques for yourself, make sure to shop our collection of acrylic paint to help you get started.