Painting is a journey. From the first time you pick up a brush to learning more about color theory and blending, after some time, you can eventually work your way up to mastering more difficult acrylic painting techniques.
After becoming familiar with the basics of brushing and blending, you might want to try some of these advanced acrylic painting techniques to elevate your artwork.
Advanced Acrylic Painting Techniques to Try
While there are an endless amount of more challenging acrylic painting techniques and applications, this handful of advanced acrylic painting techniques are commonly utilized by more experienced artists and can be perfected through practice.
As the name suggests, this technique involves applying three to four colors close to each other with a dry brush or palette knife and randomly blending some of the colors together. This is considered one of the more challenging acrylic painting techniques because it requires a keen eye for color, planning, and experience using a palette knife or dry brush correctly.
The smudging technique is ideal for creating both texture and a color gradient when executed correctly. You may see many advanced acrylic painting ideas require this technique to create realistic, textured landscapes, such as oceans or leaves.
One of the most advanced acrylic painting techniques is modifying the paint’s consistency to meet your artistic needs. Acrylic is an incredibly versatile medium that can be applied in thick layers to create texture or, in this case, be applied lightly to create a thin, translucent hue.
The washing technique allows artists to elicit a softness in their acrylics that resembles watercolor. It involves diluting your paint with a sufficient amount of water to create a translucent wash. This is considered a high-level acrylic painting technique because it’s important to not over-dilute your paint and you must be able to work quickly because it dries fast and sets permanently.
3. Alla Prima (Wet on Wet)
Alla prima is also called the wet on wet technique and, as it sounds, is the technique of applying layers of paint on top of wet layers. The painting, or section of the painting should be finished before the first application of paint dries, meaning you need to work quickly and precisely.
This advanced acrylic painting technique can create amazing gestural and textural results because it makes the colors swirl together effortlessly. To master this difficult acrylic painting technique, you may want to start by blocking in colors or underdrawing so you can work quickly as you increase the thickness of paint as you apply more layers. And always keep in mind that the thickest and lightest highlights should be applied last for this method!
Another one of our favorite advanced acrylic painting techniques is sgraffito. This technique involves scratching into wet paint, effectively revealing colors from the layers beneath. This is a great way to build texture and create patterns. You can use the end of a brush or palette knife to create these scratches.
Of course, this advanced acrylic painting method requires a lot of forethought and oftentimes creating a toned underpainting for the best results.
Speaking of underpainting, this is another one of the most common advanced acrylic painting techniques used amongst the masters. Essentially, this method involves creating a layer of paint thinned with water evenly over the surface you are going to paint. This toned ground is also known as imprimatura and it works best with transparent earth colors. More advanced applications of this technique also include layering colors in glazes or opaque layers to create more depth and distinction between hues.
This is one of the most popular advanced acrylic painting ideas, so you’ve likely seen a video or two on this technique. And while there are some fairly easy ways to execute the pouring method with acrylic paint and cups, it is considered one of the more advanced acrylic painting techniques to master. As you can see here, there are many different ways to execute the pouring method. Some are more basic, while more advanced techniques require additional tools and time.
Ready to master some of these advanced acrylic painting techniques yourself? When it comes time to stock your artistic toolkit, make sure to turn to Nova Color. Our selection of artist-grade acrylic paint and additional supplies are ideal for practicing these high-level acrylic painting techniques and more.
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