10 Mistakes Beginner Acrylic Artists Make

Acrylic is an excellent medium if you are just starting with painting. Even though there is no right or wrong way in art, your painting might not be how you want it. This is likely because you need to do something differently. This article has listed ten common mistakes that acrylic artists make as beginners and how you can learn from them.

1.  Don’t Be Afraid to Make Mistakes

Understand that mistakes are an inevitable part of learning. Making mistakes is crucial to developing your artistic skills. You can’t learn from mistakes if you never make them. In reality, it’s as easy as that. Try out different techniques, and don’t stress too much about following the rules or doing things “right” at first. Let your hair down and get to really feel your brushes and paint by making a big mess. Whatever you do, don’t read any more books or watch any more videos on the topic; it won’t help.

Those books and tutorials won’t make much sense until you engage with the medium for yourself and make some blunders. Thickening acrylic paint can look messy and seem like you need to be a blending expert, but it’s okay to make mistakes. Have a go, and familiarize yourself with the tones and mixtures. After you’ve made several of these errors, reading about how to avoid a certain pitfall in a book will make a lot more sense. Your learning will be slowed if you preoccupy yourself with achieving perfection from the outset.

2.  Mix Enough Color

Let’s say you need a certain shade of pink in your painting that is not there in your color tubes. You need to make a custom shade by mixing colors. Most beginners assume the amount of color or think mixing too much color would go to waste. But throwing away a bit of paint is way better than scraping off the last drop from your palette. Also, remixing the colors will rarely give you the same shade, especially if you are a beginner.

So, whenever you are mixing colors to make a custom shade, always take as much paint as needed and some more so that you don’t run out of it before you finish your work.

3.  Use Enough Paint on the Canvas

Another mistake beginner acrylic artists make is not using enough paint on the canvas. Some acrylic paint brands can be thicker than others; it’s important to choose the right brand as a beginner. You might think adding water to thick paint will solve your problem, but you will only have a dull and washed-out painting.

Remember, you can use water to help spread the paint easily, but not for more coverage. Use enough paint on your canvas to create the bright, vibrant painting you want.

4.  Don’t Dry Brush Everything

Just like you should not use too much water in your paint, not using enough water is also a mistake that beginners make. When you dry brush, you use a fragile amount of color on the brush. As you drag the brush across the canvas, it is nearly dry. The paint will catch the surface of your canvas, creating holes through which the base color will show. The canvas’s weave determines the quantity of these openings. Many books on acrylic painting include instructions on how to do this.

Simply said, it’s a sign of laziness. It’s a simple approach to add highlights, blend shadows, and other effects, but most of the time, it’s a big giveaway that the artist doesn’t understand how to use the medium effectively. Because acrylic dries so quickly, it can be challenging to blend. Thus we see it more frequently in acrylics than in most other mediums.

In most circumstances, wet-into-wet blending would produce a more professional-looking result, but this method allows you to transition between colors with less effort smoothly. Dry brushing has its place, but beginners often overdo it.

5.  Not Mixing Colors in the Right Way

When blending colors, you shouldn’t simply squirt one can of paint on top of another. In its place, you should pour each color onto its palette and mix them using a brush to achieve the desired hue.

You could also mess with your color combination by dragging the colors around the palette. To avoid a mess, only use a small amount of every ingredient and keep the mixing to a tight space. If you drag the paint about, it will dry quickly, and you won’t have much left to utilize.

6.  Don’t Leave Your Paintbrush In Water

After a tedious job with your painting, you might think keeping your brushes in water for the night won’t be a problem. If you want your paint brushes damaged in a matter of minutes, leave them in the cup/water well you use to rinse them. While it may seem like this will somehow soak the paint out of the brush and clean them better, you’re just fraying the tips of the bristles.

Besides, you will have dried paint crusted all over your brushes, which is frequently impossible to remove. The damage can start to occur in a handful of minutes. Instead, rinse your brushes, then lay them flat to dry.

7.  Use the Right Brush

Many painters, especially beginners, struggle with painting more freely and create broad, striking brushstrokes. Avoiding using little paintbrushes is the simplest method to achieve this. Take your biggest paintbrush and use it as long as you can.

Pick up your second largest paintbrush and repeat it when you feel you can’t do anything with it. Utilize that pattern throughout your painting, saving your tiny paintbrush for the last few strokes. This naturally aids in giving each painting a loose, painterly feel.

8.  Don’t Start off Too Large

To begin with, acrylic paint dries quickly. There are two approaches to getting a seamless background when painting on a huge scale. The first is to paint quickly, and the second is to use an airbrush to spray water. These two tasks can be very challenging for someone just starting out with acrylics.

Smaller canvases allow for more seamless blending if you drag the paint about confident with working on smaller canvases before moving on to larger ones. They’re less daunting to tackle since you can complete a single section more quickly, and you’ll be less likely to feel discouraged and give up.

As for the second issue, larger canvases are relatively inexpensive and convenient to store. Let’s be honest: you will only buy your paintings after you’ve sold a few. How do you intend to dispose of a 30 by 40-inch artwork that has proven impossible to sell and which no one in your immediate family seems eager to hang in their home?

No one, not even the most encouraging relative, wants your first painting taking up half of their wall space. Large canvases are beautiful, but you should only attempt one once you’ve mastered the medium. Start with a small-sized canvas with beginner painting ideas and then level up gradually.

9.  Mistakes with Blending

Acrylic paints that are thin dry very quickly. They could dry even more quickly if the airflow or temperature are increased. It will be challenging to blend the paint since it will harden into a layer. You will only wind up pulling the colors if you attempt to make any alterations, which would ultimately result in a large mess. The paper might even be torn.

You simply need to use your mop brush a few times while mixing wet into wet, then continue. Newer artists frequently get inspired by the results they achieve with just a few brush strokes and feel the need to add more and more. They experience one of two outcomes in the end-, an unsightly ring is produced when all the paint is forced to the boundary of the blending zone and the paint is combined into a nasty sludge. Less blending is preferable when combining wet with wet!

10. Don’t Stick to Beginner Tutorials

Beginner tutorials are excellent for getting you started, but once you’ve completed a few paintings, begin looking at more sophisticated methods and classes.  But you are only a beginner! Yes, and you will always remain a beginner if you consistently follow beginning lessons. Your work will typically

The instructors’ are better when you replicate a tutorial. This is typical and not cause for concern. The issue arises when you maintain that position. Even if your work begins better than the advanced teacher’s, if you work towards more advanced skills, it will still be far superior to what was produced for the beginner class.


At first, painting may appear difficult; mistakes are bound to happen without assistance or prior knowledge. Knowing about your mistakes and how to correct them will help you improve your painting skills and revamp your creativity.

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