Join Will Kemp for an in-depth discussion in this video The versatility of acrylics, part of Painting Foundations: Acrylic.
- Acrylics can be painted thinly like watercolors or in thick impasto techniques to create texture and movement. The color palette can be vivid and luminous or muted and subtle. But by far, the best thing about them when you're first learning about painting is that they dry really quickly, so we can paint over any mistakes, start and finish a painting in an hour, wash up just with water, and they're practically odorless. As a professional artist, I'm often asked what materials do I use, and it's actually very few, but they're a really well chosen, select few materials.
Because especially with acrylics, when you get into the art store there's a whole mass of different paint colors, different mediums and gels you could use, and it's very easy to become overwhelmed. I want to teach you techniques using very simple materials so you can learn the foundations of painting really easily. As a general rule, heavy-body acrylic paint is the most common you'll see in the art store, and it comes in artist quality, student quality, and hobby-grade paint.
The main difference between them is the cheaper the product, the more filler is added in the manufacturing stage, so it's got less pigment, so less quality. Throughout this course I'll be painting with artist-quality acrylics. They're slightly more expensive than student-quality paints but they've got a better opacity to them and a little will go a long way. So they're a good investment in your actual quality of the paintings that you'll be able to create. Sometimes you'll see fluid acrylic colors or ones that can be used in an airbrush, but when you're first starting, you don't really need to worry about those.
We'll just start with the heavy-body paint and I'll look at the fluid paints later on in the course. I've found by keeping your materials to a minimum, you'll concentrate more on the painting. You also learn so many of the fundamentals of how painting works.
In this course, Will Kemp takes you on a journey that will unleash your inner artist, providing an introduction to the materials and techniques used in acrylic painting.
The course follows a progressive sequence, covering beginner and advanced acrylic painting methods, from underpainting and glazing to impasto and textural effects. It also addresses setup and materials, color mixing and pigment choice, brush-handling and palette-knife techniques, as well as gels and mediums.
By the end of the course you'll have a final still-life project you can hang with pride, and a solid foundation of painting knowledge, making the transition into more challenging subjects or mediums much easier.
- Choosing a brush, palette, and canvas
- Altering acrylic paint with water and other mediums
- Blocking in and underpainting
- Adding glazes
- Choosing pigments
- Understanding basic color theory
- Creating texture
- Signing and protecting your work