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Common mistakes to avoid when starting out with acrylic paint

You may have read my previous articles on acrylic painting for beginners, and you've decided to give it a go, congratulations! However, it's easy to make small mistakes when you start painting with acrylics, the kind of things that can spoil the fun of painting. It is therefore important to understand how to avoid these mistakes in order to create successful paintings and keep your momentum going.


Palette de peinture

Using an excessive amount of medium: how to avoid runs and surfaces that are too smooth

Reminder: Do not hesitate to consult my articles on mediums if you haven't already!

Using an excessive amount of medium when painting acrylics can cause many problems such as runs, surfaces that are too smooth and even drying problems. Medium is an additive used to improve the flow and workability of acrylic paint, but it is important not to use too much of it as it can cause paint balance problems.


To avoid drips and too smooth surfaces, it is important to start by using a small amount of medium and to add gradually until you obtain the desired consistency. It is also important to mix the medium well with the paint to avoid creating separate layers of medium and paint which can cause drips.


Not mixing colors enough: how to avoid color stripes and too pure colors

When you start painting with acrylics, it is easy to make the mistake of not mixing the colors enough. This can lead to bands of color in your paintwork and colors that look too pure and artificial. To avoid these errors, it is important to take the time to mix the colors well on your palette before applying them to the support.


It's also important not to use too many different colors in one painting, as this can make the painting confusing and difficult to look at. It is better to choose a small number of base colors and mix them to create new shades. It is also important to mix the colors directly on the support rather than on the palette to avoid color stripes. It is recommended to familiarize yourself with the basic principles of chromatics to better understand how colors can be mixed and used together. You can find my article on blends here.


tâches de peinture

Applying too many coats of paint: how to avoid excessively thick surfaces and “peeling” effects

Applying too many coats of paint can lead to overly thick surfaces that can take a long time to dry, as well as unpleasant "peeling" effects. To avoid these mistakes, it's important to start with one or two thin coats of paint and wait for each coat to dry before applying the next.

It is important to note that acrylic dries quickly, so it is important to work quickly, but take the time to spread the paint evenly over the support to avoid excess. It is also important not to add too much medium which can make the paint too fluid and cause runs. It is recommended to use quality brushes for a better distribution of the paint on the support, and to work in several thin layers rather than a single thick layer to avoid orange peel effects.


Not using enough thinner: how to avoid too thick colors and drying problems

Not using enough thinner can lead to overly thick colors that can be difficult to spread on the substrate, as well as drying issues such as coats that don't dry evenly or surfaces that take too long to dry. To avoid these errors, it is important to use an appropriate thinner for acrylic paint, and I am talking here either of a medium close by or just water.

It is important to note that the use of thinner may vary depending on the viscosity of the acrylic paint used, the painting technique used and the effect desired. It is therefore important to start with a small amount of thinner and add gradually until you reach the desired consistency. It is also recommended to mix the thinner well with the paint to avoid separate coats of thinner and paint which can cause drying problems.


Palette et peinture acrylique blanche

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