Skip to main content

How to Paint with Acrylics

Follow these tips to create your own personal masterpiece.


  • Step 1: Choose a surface Choose a surface for your painting. Canvas is the most common, but wood, masonite, and many others are also used.
  • Step 2: Pick your colors Choose only a few colors, mixing them for countless shades.
  • Step 3: Buy basic brushes Buy a few basic brushes: a large gesso brush to prepare canvas, a fine round brush for detailed work, and a flat inch-wide brush.
  • TIP: Splurge for better brushes. Cheap ones tend to shed hair.
  • Step 4: Prepare the canvas Prepare your surface with gesso to make it smooth. Apply an even layer and let it dry. Lightly sand and repeat until your desired smoothness is achieved.
  • Step 5: Use a medium to dilute acrylic Use a medium, such as a gel retarder or gesso primer, and water to dilute acrylic paint. It will help prevent cracking, and your painting will last longer.
  • TIP: Mediums also add texture to your acrylics.
  • Step 6: Add to your collection Add a palette knife, fan brush, and other tools to your collection to create your personal style.
  • FACT: Did you know? Medieval gesso was a mixture of plaster of paris, white lead, and red clay for color.

You Will Need

  • A painting surface
  • Acrylic paint
  • Brushes
  • Gesso
  • Fine sandpaper
  • A medium
  • A pallet knife
  • A fan brush
  • Miscellaneous tools

Popular Categories