The Basics of Acrylic Painting for Beginners

Acrylic is considered a versatile painting medium and can be applied using different tools besides brushes. It’s also cheaper and less messy than oil as well because it dries quickly and is odorless.

History of Acrylic Painting
Unlike watercolor and oil, acrylic is a more recent medium manufactured in the 1940s. Most of the acrylic paint then were polymer-based and were used as house paint. Artists noticed its versatility as a medium and it gained popularity when the quick-drying type was introduced.

Most artists today consider that acrylic is still in its infancy stage because manufacturers continuously develop acrylic with different pigments and artists still experiment on the medium.

Acrylic can mimic the effects of other medium and it can also be mixed with other types of artwork. Some of the most famous acrylic paintings were made by Andy Warhol, Mark Rothko, and Bridget Riley.

Materials for Acrylic Painting
There are so many choices in art shops in Singapore when it comes to art supplies that you feel like you’re missing out on something if you don’t try all the products. But don’t worry, you will need only a few basic items when you’re a beginner. When you have mastered the basic techniques in acrylic, then you can try the expensive brands next time.

You will need the following for acrylic painting:

• Ten basic colors (ivory black, titanium white, burnt sienna, cadmium yellow, dioxazine purple, cadmium orange, phthalo blue, cadmium red, phthalo green, and alizarin crimson)
• Stiff-bristled brushes for the acrylic paint and soft-bristled brushes for watercolor effects (don’t forget to get a medium filbert)
• Supports for acrylic (such as paper and canvas)
• Disposable or plastic palettes
• Two jars with clean water (one for mixing and one for washing brushes)
• Cloth and paper towels

When selecting the paint, start with student-grade paints that come in bottles for easier handling and storage, but you could also try paints in tubes if you’re more confident in using them.

Basic Techniques for Beginners
You must learn the following techniques in application before painting your first subject.

• Washing. Apply paint diluted with water on a paper using a wet brush to create a watercolor effect.
• Dry Brush. Apply undiluted paint on a paper using a dry brush to suggest movement and texture.
• Stippling. This is the use of dots to create an image. You can apply paint either through dry brush or washing.
• Dabbing. Apply paint on the paper or canvas using paper towel or a sponge.
• Flicking. Flick paint onto a surface using a slightly wet brush to create a splatter.
• Detailing. Add details using a fine brush.
• Use of a Palette Knife. Scrape off a bit of paint and apply in on the canvas as if you’re spreading jam on a bread.

When you’re ready to paint a subject, start by sketching the image first then painting over it. When mixing colors, you can use the palette knife or mix the colors on the palette before painting on the canvas.

Places to Visit for Affordable Art

Owning an original piece of artwork doesn’t have to expensive. It can be very affordable if you just know where to look. So many people in Singapore, even those who are not so artistically inclined, wish to own at least one original oil painting, but believes they cannot because they assume it’s just far out of their price range.


However, what these people don’t know is that they can already purchase a one-of-a-kind oil painting by locals for just a fraction of the cost of artworks by world-famous artists. By this, you don’t only acquire an equally beautiful abstract art piece, but support your community as well.

If you don’t know where to start searching, here are some suggestions to start with.

1. Online Shops

Though online like in Singapore may not be the most suitable place to look for original artworks, it can be a good source of information for paintings exhibited in different galleries and museums. Try searching the name of the art gallery you wish to visit and find out whose works are presented as of the moment.

2. Local Art Galleries

Most state, cities, and areas have several art galleries, so try checking out these places first before considering overseas options. If searching for landscape artworks, don’t just limit your options to paintings, but check out other options that incorporate works of crafters and artisans as well. Singapore galleries generally offer a wide selection of artworks and usually display works of several artists at a time.

3. College Art Departments

Colleges that offer art-related courses usually run an art gallery to exhibit works of their students. If they’re not hosting an exhibit as of the moment, they sure know the nearby locations with current displays, so try asking them. Many art teachers are local artists themselves, so colleges can be an interesting spot to pursue.


4. Frame Shops

Apart from the framing services they offer, some frame shops also offer arts for sale. Depending on the frame sizes they offer, they may only exhibit very limited number of oil painting pieces, or may only showcase the works of one artist at a time. Even if they’re not currently hosting an art exhibit, they can be a good source of information. Frame shops have worked with various local artists and, thus, can give you details about the best places to visit and artists to contact.

5. Art Guilds

Most areas have at least one art guild or co-op, where local artists come together to plan for art-related events like art fairs and festivals. Check out their own art gallery or ask for upcoming art openings. Try searching online or check yellow pages listing to find out what’s available in your locality.

Those mentioned are just a few ideas to consider when searching for contemporary art pieces, so be creative and don’t limit yourself to those places only. Libraries, art and craft festivals, and art boutiques are all excellent avenues to check out. The more local establishments you visit, the better chances you have of discovering original, unique, and affordable works of art created by an artist who could possibly be your neighbor.

affordable fair art