ACRYLIC: ACRYLIC PAINT TIPS

CREATE A FAMILY OF COLORS. A Color Palette

Once you’ve mixed a color for a key component in your painting, create a “family” of tones around it. For instance, say you’ve created a perfect blue for the vase of flowers you want to paint. Create another version of that blue color with a little bit of yellow added, another version with a little bit of red, etc. This will help you create the shadows and highlights in various parts of the painting with a natural color progression. It will look more natural than adding a blot of red paint to the surface!

MAKE A BASIC SKIN TONE USING PRIMARY COLORS.

The secret to making a great skin tone base? Combine all of the primary colors. The easy, fail-proof method described in this post offers a fantastic way for beginners to attain skin tones of all sorts starting from one simple color mixture.

ADD A TOUCH OF GREEN OR BLUE COLOR TO SKIN TONES

Adding a touch of green or blue to a skin tone might make it sound like you’re painting an alien portrait, but have faith! A tiny (tiny!) touch of blue or green paint added to a skin tone can add depth and complexity to the color, making it look more realistic. Really study the skin tone you’re trying to match to see if this might be a valuable tip for you.

DON’T USE BLACK TO DARKEN COLORS

Now I know I teach you during the color wheel to use black, it's quicker. BUT, if you're having trouble achieving the effect you are looking for or your color looks murky try this old-fashioned hack. Black paint tends to make colors muddy and murky, so it’s best used in compositions where this effect will work to your advantage. To create a darker color that’s still vibrant, try adding brown or dark blue. While this might seem unusual, the painted effect will be more vibrant and natural looking. For example, look at the yellow mixtures above. On the far left, you see yellow paint straight out of the tube. The mixture in the middle combined yellow and brown, creating a pleasing burnt mustard color. On the far right, I mixed yellow with black — not the deep amber tone I was going for.

ADD WHITE TO REINFORCE COLORS.

If you’ve painted with different colors of acrylic paint, you may have noticed that some colors are more opaque than others. Adding a touch of white paint to any color will add opacity in addition to making it a more well-rounded color. Above, the red paint on the left is straight out of the tube, while the one on the right has a bit of white added.

MAKE BLUES DEEPER WITH…RED?

The secret to making deep blue oceans, luminous skies and vibrant blue blossoms? A touch of red paint. The swatch on the right, above, has just a bit of red mixed in. The trick is not to add too much — otherwise, your beautiful blue will become a deep purple. But a small amount of red can add a richness to blues that keeps them from feeling too flat.

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