Intro to Acrylic Painting

This video demonstrates important acrylic painting techniques in order to create a still life painting from beginning to end.

14 min. video

Techniques covered in the video include palette knives, choosing acrylic colors, using a palette knife, mediums that can be added to the acrylic paint, acrylic varnishes, painting details, and much more. 

Demo led by Teaching Artist Alex Rowe.

Lauryn Painting MFA banner
abstract acrylic painting supplies


Work by Ruth Lee

One of the many challenges I encountered while working on this piece was mixing the right colors I wanted, and properly shading areas of both shadow and different tone altogether. I found it was extremely easy to end up wasting a whole bunch of paint trying to mix a small swatch for just one small area of the painting, because you keep adding and adding paint and mixing it in and realize later that you have a giant lump on your palette that you won’t even use. 

Additionally, I learned the hard way not to let brushes soak in my water container for too long (and completely dry them on a towel before diving into paint again), because when painting larger swaths of color, I began to realize that even a tiny bit of water turned my paint into a wash and killed the thick opacity of color I wanted. 

Ruth Lee

I experimented with many compositions before choosing a final setup. The objects were placed on a silk cloth, which I moved around to create folds that would be interesting to paint. Next, I made a preliminary observational sketch with pencil on a wood canvas, and then began mixing colors. A challenge I faced during this time was knowing which colors were most important to the piece – I wanted to cover as much surface area in as little time as possible. 

Then, I would be able to focus on details later as opposed to starting with detail work (which is a habit I have). After covering most of the canvas, I started to correct mistakes and work on details. At this point, I worked mostly from a photograph that I took of the piece because I got hungry and had to use some of the food for a meal! 

Julie Sharpe

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