Header that says Elise's Easel.


Picture I drew of piggybanks in a homeless man's shelter.
An acrylic piece I made of piggybanks in a homeless man's shelter.

A New Realm

Using paint is a big step because you are now utilizing a brush instead of your own hands. You will need to purchase a variety of new materials, so be prepared to spend some money.

Picture I drew of my dad and I.
An acrylic piece I made of my dad and I.

Buying Paint

When buying paint, it is critical that you focus on quality. Cheaper paints tend to dry poorly and will compromise the quality of your pieces. I suggest to splurge a little when purchasing paint. You will be able to tell by the price on a bottle of paint whether it is of high quality or not. Usually, the better brands are sold as separates.

Buying Brushes

Brushes can be bought separately or in sets. As a starter, you will want to buy a variety of brushes. The best brushes are sturdy enough that they will not fall flat when they touch the surface you are painting on. Whether you are buying a set of brushes or buying brushes separately, make sure that you purchase at least three varying thicknesses.

Because acrylic paint dries so quickly, it is important to keep a cup of water handy while painting and to put your brushes in that cup when you are not using them. This way, the paint will not dry to the bristols of your brush. Whenever you are done painting, make sure to wash each of your brushes. A special liquid is sold at art stores to clean brushes, but water can work just as well if the cleaning is done thoroughly.

Picture I drew of swans.
An acrylic piece I made of swans.


Utilizing paint means that you need to be more selective with your choice of surfaces. If the paper you use is too thin, it will curl up at the ends. If you want to use paper, use paper that specifically says “wet media” or vellum paper. Otherwise, you can use a canvas. Canvas rolls or canvas boards are the alternatives you can choose from when painting with acrylics. Canvas boards are basically the cheaper version of canvas rolls, but are also much more practical.

Experimenting with Techniques

When starting out using paint, it is essential to experiment with techniques. Paints are much different than pastels or charcoal in that they are quite difficult to blend. Additionally, acrylic paints dry very fast. The advantage of paint, however, is that even if you make a mistake, you can always go over it. Good paint is not opaque and will always cover a previous layer of paint.

Here is a simple video on how to blend acrylic paint colors. This video focuses on blending red into yellow.