Step By Step Acrylic Painting

Are you here to learn how to paint with acrylic? Do you know what is requiring and what steps should you take? If not, you have come to the right place. Here we show step by step acrylic painting.

Acrylic paints were preferring by many artists out there. But the painting medium can also ideal for beginners if a few steps are following correctly.

The paint is easy to use, dries quickly, costs less than most paints on the market, and is easy to clean from any material surface. These reasons make it a popular painting medium. Here is an overview for those who have never worked with acrylic and want to start.

Step By Step Acrylic Painting

What are Acrylic Paints?

step by step acrylic painting

Before you start painting with acrylic paints, it can be fundamental to understand the type of media you will be working with. Understanding how acrylic paints differ from other colors available is very important.

To make a long story short, acrylic paint consists of pigments suspended in water-soluble acrylic polymer media that become water-resistant when dry.

These offer the advantage of faster drying, easier cleaning, little odor development, strong pigmentation, and this is not the case with other paints.

For example, oil-based paints take a full or longer time to dry completely, while acrylics take about 20 minutes to dry.

Even when working with acrylic paints, you can paint over the already dried paint, still looking perfect. This is not the case with oil-based paint and is why it is more preferred for beginners who at some point need to mess up and repaint the color.

What else you need to know about acrylic paints is that they look different when they are wet and dry. When dry, it is darker than when wet because of the pigments present. In addition, this painting medium does not spread like other water-based paints.

As the paint dries quickly, it becomes difficult for mixed applications. They are also water-soluble when wet but become waterproof when dry. This means that they can hardly change when dry.

So now that you know what type of paint you will work on following these steps to get started.

Step by Step Instructions for painting with acrylic

Step-1: Gather the Materials you Need

acrylic painting material

As with any other procedure, the first thing you need to do is collect and prepare the necessary tools and materials for painting with acrylic.

Many materials are requiring when painting. These materials have different price tags and can be either expensive or cheap. Beginners are advising to stick to inexpensive materials or materials for students rather than professional materials.

If you are unsure what type of materials to buy, the physical purchase process can do by asking about the particular hardware. There is not much of an impact on the quality of the material you buy. It’s only a matter of cost, but buy the professional ones if you can afford them.

Either variety will do the job perfectly, but choose substandard tools and materials if you need to practice acrylic painting before undertaking a professional job.

After you’ve practiced enough to feel more confident in your acrylic painting, you can then switch to using higher-quality products.

All in all, here are the items you need for acrylic painting.

The Color Itself

There are different brands of acrylic paint. For beginners, Golden and Liquitex are preferring. But when you can get the more commonly available brand Winsor Newton, you can get the job do. For starters, it’s best to buy around 24 or 36 color sets of your favorite brand.

If your art involves a lot of groundwork, it is recommending that you buy larger tubes of white and black paint. They can be fundamental to the mixing requirements needed when doing basic work.

You can buy acrylic paints either online or from local art stores.


You also need to make sure that you have enough painting brushes. There is no need to overload yourself with a large selection when buying a brush. While focusing too much on a wide range of brushes is a common problem for beginners and students, it should not be the case. For you, buy some good brushes, and you’ll enjoy the experience.

Brushes come in different qualities too, and buying lots of cheap brushes can mean nothing but a few high-quality and expensive brushes. The best-known brush brands include Grumbacher and Winsor Newton.

When purchasing your brushes, make sure you have enough flat, round brushes, brushes, liners, fans, and angled brushes.

When purchasing your brushes, something that is overlooking is that not all brushes are suitable for acrylic painting. So when you’re at your chosen art store, look for brushes with an acrylic sign or ask for clarification.

There is a simple technique that you can use to test the quality of the brush you are about to buy. Just take them out of their case and run your fingers over the bristles to feel them. You can also brush it with your free hand and judge the quality of the bristle. This wand can save you a few bucks because if you buy something quality, you will use it for a long time.

It is also worth considering buying something that will keep your brushes in good condition. Many brush cleaners and preservatives can use to freshen up your brushes.


While not necessary, you will need to purchase an easel for a more enjoyable acrylic painting experience. It can’t cost you too much to have a great-looking easel. For example, a good H-frame easel costs anywhere from $ 20 to $ 40. However, if you still can’t afford the price range, various social media platforms can search for a used easel. The first time you search, you will surprise by many results from people selling their used easel, but always choosing the one near you that doesn’t require shipping to keep costs down will be more preferable.

You can also check to see if a local art store near you sells used painting tools and ask them if they have an easel. I bet you won’t miss any.

Easel is good to have in your workshop as it doesn’t take up a lot of storage space.


Canvas is also another item you will need for your acrylic painting tasks. If you are a beginner, it is recommended that you purchase a pack of acrylic-approved canvas panels. Rather, it is recommended to buy cheaper canvas sets so that you don’t have to worry about practicing the material. Buying an expensive kit can limit your ability to paint.

Canvas comes either primed or not primed. You can opt for an unprimed one and prime it yourself.

Garbage Storage

Painting involves a lot of waste, and you need garbage storage. It is recommended that you keep your garbage airtight while working with flammable components.

Step-2: Set Up your Workspace

acrylic painting workspace with canvas

The next step is to set up your painting workstation. The station can be either indoors or outdoors, but it is recommended to be placed outdoors or in locations with adequate ventilation.

Cover the floor with an old rag, tarpaulin, or trash bags to prepare your workplace. Then take the canvas and place it on the easel. Take a paper towel or rag and place it near the pallet. Also, put your brushes in a sturdy mug near the palette.

The arrangement of items should be either left-handed or right-handed, according to your preference.

Well, it is like that, folks. Don’t go too far into the work area because the painting itself is more important, which is yet to be seen. It is no doubt that a perfectly equipped workplace will cost you. But when you get into this hobby, there are many things that you need to do. So, save those bucks for other works.

You can start your hobby by ensuring that the workplace you choose is well ventilated. I can’t stress enough the importance of a good workplace. Then pick up a few basics that will serve you for years. So don’t let it overwhelm you.

If you like this hobby, the setup items and your chosen as a well-prepared workplace will be used countless times, and the cost will become insignificant compared to the value they bring. Plus, they’re a solid foundation for expanding what you might want to receive in the future.

Step-3: Familiarize Yourself with Your Material

painting tube and materials on table

Now that you’ve gathered the material you need and set up a workspace, it’s time to get used to it. Practicing and experimenting with your materials can help you master the art of painting. First, start by getting a feel for what the color looks like. Test it on less valuable material and see how quickly it dries. Test it on your canvas as well and see how it works. You can also try mixing with other colors and see how it works. There are lots of trial-and-error movements that can help you master the art of acrylic painting.

There are some products that you can test out on acrylic paint and see how they play out. These products can either lengthen or change the consistency and shine of acrylic paint.

You need to know what can make the paint thicker for a more dimensional effect or turn the matte surface into a shiny surface. These are some of the arts you will use in your painting projects.

Caution is advised, acrylic paint can be diluted to different degrees with water or used directly from the tube.

 There are other recommended ways you can experiment and practice with acrylic paint. These ideas will ensure that your confidence and ability to use acrylic paint are boosted.

In Summary

  • Test all acrylic paints on canvas and get a feel for how different and how quickly it dries. Also, note their opacity and how they will look on your canvas.
  • Apply some of the modifying products to your acrylic paint and see how they affect each pattern. One substance that you can use and see how it affects the color is water.
  • In most cases, adding water to soluble paint will affect its coverage and consistency.
  • Try mixing different colors and see how they feel. For example, you can mix colors with linear gradients like black and white.

Step-4: Conceptualize your Painting

works for acrylic painting

Before turning your idea into reality, outline what you want things to look like. You first need to have a vision in your head about the things you are trying to create. So take a small pencil or charcoal and sketch out your ideas and what you want to create.

For example, if you want to paint a flower, you first need to sketch a flower. The sketch can give you an idea of ​​how to paint your flower and look perfect in the end. Also, once you have an idea of ​​what to make out of paints, you can have precise plans of what materials to use, the best type of paint, and how to proceed. In the end, you also save material waste and time.

Some more experienced artists use digital means to sketch out their ideas. So if you can afford it, you can go the same route. The advantage of digital media is that you have the freedom to experiment with different colors and see what comes out perfectly before you start painting.

For beginners, we recommend going manual as digitizing requires you to learn how to use digital painting apps.

Step-5: Time to Paint

practicing acrylic paint

At this point, all you have to do is start painting and turn your ideas into reality. The first acrylic experience can get off to a positive start if you’ve followed these guidelines. It is obvious that you are still reluctant to dive into painting with acrylic. Still, if so, we recommend starting with some basic colors before developing more sophisticated colors as your confidence increases.

Follow these basic rules for a successful and almost perfect first acrylic painting.

  • Start with medium or light tones and slowly move on to more advanced tones. The mid-tones should be large first and then darker tones added. This creates depth and makes it possible to set highlights at the end.
  • The lighter tones highlight where the light falls, while the middle tone takes responsibility for shape and form. The dark tones add fullness to help keep balance as you progress through the painting task.
  • Large shapes should come first, followed by small details. This approach ensures that you can easily go back to larger shapes and apply the fine details. It also provides the painter’s focus through the work
  • If you want to mix something, do it in the palette before it hits the canvas. Once on the canvas, it can be difficult to reverse.
  • The acrylic paint dries quickly and sprays your paint with a spray bottle. This will keep them moist and therefore give you more time.
  • Have the instinct of a true painter who always easily captures the essence of an object, whether in an abstract or painting portrait.
  • While painting does not perceive things like a normal person, but with deeper feeling and experience. This gives your painting unique handwriting and you can apply colors more freely and creatively.

Step-6: Complete and Keep Your Work

working to make a acrylic paint

After you are done painting, you need to keep up your hard work. While acrylic paint dries quickly, they hold up pretty well on their own.

If you want your varnish to last that long, you can apply an acrylic-approved varnish to your varnish. The varnish gives your painting a shiny feel. In addition, it will protect your hard work from paint peeling and scratches.

There is no doubt that you have been impressed with the result of your first acrylic paint if you are not worried because nobody was born a master. It was only the beginning of the journey, and there is still a long way to go. The success of acrylic painting depends heavily on your desire for future attempts that affect the mastering.


Whether you are a beginner or want to try your hand at acrylic painting for the first time, nothing should seem like a challenge after reading this post. We provide a step-by-step guide to ensure your first hard work is near perfect.

It’s so obvious that acrylic painting isn’t difficult, especially if you have the right tools. We highlighted what you would need to get started on your first acrylic painting task. Just get that desire, focus, and come up with something amazing.

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