The colors in acrylic paintings are often flat and dull. Adding more paint is not the solution for creating vibrant colors with acrylics. Some artists might think they could make bright colors by mixing white paint with other colors. Doing so can make light colors, but adding too much white could make the color look faded.
Here are some tricks that will help you achieve vibrant acrylic paintings. The good news is that there are ways to make your acrylic paintings more vibrant, and in this post, we will share tips on making acrylic paintings bright and vibrant. So no matter of what acrylic painting techniques you use, your canvas painting colors will be bold.
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Why Are Acrylic Paintings Dull?
When acrylic paint is wet, it reflects light. However, once dried, the reflection of light from your painting lessens, causing the color to look dull.
Matte paints like acrylic are duller and less vibrant than oils and other mediums. Oil paints are richer because oils have a higher oil to pigment ratio, making them more luminous.
Here are some quick tips that will make your acrylic painting more lively.
Add A Gloss Medium To Your Paint
Using gloss medium in your acrylic paint can help brighten up the colors of your paintings. However, a glossy finish can add a glare to the painting when light hits the shiny paint.
Popular Gloss Medium For Acrylics:
Golden Acrylic Glazing Liquid is a slow-drying acrylic medium designed for artist acrylic paints and indoor interior paints to create a fantastic mixture of color glazes.
Gloss Gell Medium by Artist Loft is a quick-drying gloss gel that mixes well with Golden Acrylic paints and mediums. Add gloss, transparency, and texture to your paintings by adding this gell to your acrylic paints.
Liquitex Gloss Gell Medium increases the brilliance of acrylic paints without changing the thickness of the paint when used with high-quality acrylics.
Use Artist Grade Acrylics
Use the highest quality acrylic paint possible for your painting. Most artist-grade acrylic paints come with a higher pigment to binder ratio than student-grade paints, making them brighter and more vibrant.
Student-grade acrylics are good for practice but will not give you the same results as artist grades. Student-grade acrylics are less expensive because they do not contain as much pigment or lower quality pigment to lower the cost of production.
For the best results, the highest quality brand of paint for your artwork.
Good paint brands for art:
Liquitex Heavey Body Artist Acrylics is an artist-grade acrylic with a higher pigment to binder ratio than student grades, making it brighter and more vibrant.
Golden Heavey Body Acrylic Paints is a favorite among artists for its high pigment to binder ratio. They offer a wide range of different colors suitable for most projects.
Galeria Acrylic paint from Winsor & Newton is a high-quality acrylic that produces professional results and is perfect for painters on a budget. The Galeria acrylic collection has various colors, ranging from subtle rosy undertones to vibrant punchy primary colors. The paint’s fluidity and consistency allow the artist to use and combine it easily while maintaining its shape and brush strokes.
There are two types of pigments used for acrylics.
Traditional pigments like burnt umber, yellow oxide, red oxide, burnt sienna, and cadmium red light are made from minerals from the earth. The quality of the minerals will determine the color vibrance.
Organic pigments are manufactured in a lab and are more brilliant than traditional pigments. Examples of organic pigments are phthalo blue, phthalo green, Hansa yellow medium, and dioxazine purple.
Experiment with both pigments to see what works best for your painting.
A technique used by many artists is to create an underpainting before adding the final layers of color to their paintings. An underpainting is a monochrome painting of the entire composition. Depending on your desired effect, underpainting can be done in light or dark tones.
An underpainting can make your acrylic painting brighter and more vibrant. However, this technique is not for everyone and should only be used by artists who know how to do it properly.
A good practice would be to start with a white background. Cover the entire canvas with titanium white and let dry before painting your subject matter.
Mixing White Paint
Mixing white paint with other colors will lighten the tone of the color. However, if you use too much white paint, it will lessen the vibrance of the color.
Mixing Black Paint
Adding black to a different color will darken the value but adding too much black will also lessen the vibrance of the original color. Use black and white paint sparingly if you want to create a painting with vibrant colors. Remember that when you mix black or white paint with a different color, there will be less pigment, so the color will not be as vibrant.
Lighter Colors Next To Darker Colors
Using a lighter color next to a darker color will make the lighter color appear brighter. The same applies to using dark colors next to lighter colors. The darker shade will appear darker. Artists’ most significant problem is not learning how to accent their detailed work with different shades.
Warm Colors And Cool Colors
Adding cool colors next to warm colors will make the warmer colors more vibrant.
For example, the background of a landscape painting is often softer and mutated. Artists use cooler colors in the background and warmer colors for the focal point to create depth.
The Color Wheel
Selecting color opposites on the color wheel can make your colors more vibrant. Using analogous colors (colors next to each other on the color wheel) will mute and tone down your palette.
Examples of color opposites:
Red – green
blue – orange
yellow – purple
Acrylic Paint Colors That Go Together
There are a variety of colors you can use when crafting with acrylic paint. To select colors that complement each other, consider using a color wheel.
Traditional color schemes like monochromatic, analogous, and complementary colors are excellent for working with acrylic paint. You can also use a triadic color scheme, which uses three evenly spaced colors on the color wheel.
If you’re looking for specific colors, try matching your paint colors to the seasons. For example, warm tones like orange and yellow are perfect for autumn, while cool tones like blue and green evoke the feelings of winter.
No matter what colors you choose, have fun creating something beautiful.
How To Make Acrylic Paint Transparent
Acrylic paint is a versatile medium that can be used to create a variety of effects. One popular technique is to make the paint transparent, achieving a striking ethereal look.
To do this, you must use a medium known as a flow improver. Flow improver is a clear liquid that helps to thin the paint and make it more fluid. Add a few drops of flow improver to your paint and mix well with a palette knife. You may need to experiment with the paint to flow improver ratio until you achieve the desired consistency.
Once you have mixed the paint, apply it to your surface in thin layers, and build up the opacity gradually to avoid any stark color changes.
Acrylic Paints Dry Darker
Acrylic paint is a versatile and widely used medium, but it can be tricky to work with. One common issue is that acrylic dries darker than it appears when wet. This can be frustrating for artists trying to achieve a specific color.
There are a few things that can cause this problem.
First, remember that all paint will appear lighter when wet. This is because the water creates a reflective surface, making the color brighter.
Second, acrylics contain a white pigment called titanium dioxide. This pigment can cause the paint to dry slightly darker than expected.
Finally, consider the type of surface you are painting on. A dark surface will absorb light, making the paint appear darker.
To avoid these issues, it is essential to test your colors before you begin painting. Make sure to allow the wet paint to dry before making judgments about the final color.
With a bit of practice, you can get accurate colors with acrylic paint.
Acrylic Paint Brushes
Acrylic paint is popular for artists of all levels thanks to its vibrant colors and versatile consistency. But it would be best to have the right tools to get the most out of this medium. Regarding acrylic paint brushes, a few different types can be used, each with its own advantages.
One type of brush that works well with acrylics is the filbert brush. This brush has a rounded tip perfect for smooth, even strokes. Another type of brush that is commonly used for acrylic painting is the flat brush. Flat brushes create broad strokes and fine lines, making them ideal for detailed work. Finally, round brushes are often used for painting tight areas or small details.
With so many different types of brushes available, choosing the right one for your needs can be hard. However, by understanding the different strengths of each type of brush, you can select the perfect tool for your next acrylic painting project.
What’s The Best Acrylic Paint
Choosing the right acrylic paint can be daunting, as there are countless brands and types on the market. Some factors to consider are opacity, drying time, and color selection.
One highly rated option is Liquitex Basics, which offers a wide range of pigments with good coverage at an affordable price.
Another popular choice is Golden High Flow, known for its vibrant colors and fluid consistency, which lend itself well to pouring and glazing techniques.
At the higher end of the spectrum is Golden Heavy Body, praised for its thick texture and excellent color retention. Ultimately, the best acrylic paint will vary depending on the project and personal preference.
Experimenting with different brands and types may lead you to discover your new favorite.
Acrylic Paint Ideas
If you’re starting with acrylic paint, one idea is, to begin with, still-life subjects. These include fruits, flowers, and household objects like vases or teacups. This allows for easy reference and practice with blending and layering colors.
Another idea is to create textures using brushes, palette knives, and even tissue paper or foil. You can also try copying a favorite image or photo for color mixing and composition practice.
For more ideas read 50+ Painting Ideas That Will Inspire You To Paint
Pouring paint art is becoming very popular.
Overall, the possibilities with acrylic paint are endless – have fun trying out new ideas and techniques.
Acrylic Painting Tutorials
Countless tutorials are available online to improve your acrylic painting skills. However, not all of them are created equal.
One highly-recommended resource is “Virtual Art Academy,” which offers free video lessons and in-depth courses for a fee. Their lessons go beyond just teaching techniques – they also cover composition, color theory, and other principles of art.
Another popular option is Skillshare. If you’ve always wanted to try painting but never knew where to start, Skillshare’s online acrylic painting classes may be just what you need. In addition to learning about color mixing and brush techniques, students also have the opportunity to receive feedback and guidance from experienced artists. And with classes ranging from beginner to advanced levels, there is something for everyone.
No matter which tutorial you choose, practicing regularly will be vital in developing your skills as an acrylic painter.
Final Thoughts On Making Acrylic Paintings More Vibrant
Acrylics are not as vibrant as oils or watercolors. The key to painting with acrylics is experimenting and looking at the results under various lighting.
The best way to achieve vibrant acrylic paintings is by using professional artist quality paint and color theory for your compositions.
Adding a gloss varnish or glaze will make your acrylic paintings more vibrant but experiment with them before using them with your finished artwork.
Be careful when mixing colors can create muddy or beautiful colors.