2. Fan brushes aren't ideal for precise details or linework; their shape makes it nearly impossible to guarantee where they will leave their mark on your canvas.
Now, let's get into what fan brushes excel at!
Now, you can create a beautiful nature scene with a fan brush. If you use any of these tips, I'd love to see it! You can email me at email@example.com or tag us on Instagram @thesketchingpad.
READY FOR EVEN MORE?
Do you want to learn more art fundamentals but need help figuring out where to start? There's so much to learn it can be daunting, especially with so much information on the internet, and a lot of it uses insider language that is hard to understand as a beginner. That's why we made our Foundations Study Course! It goes into everything you need to know from the start when getting into art, from understanding how to make your art look balanced to color theory and blending in a way that anyone could easily understand all in video format. Take the next step!
When you want to get into painting, it can confusing to know where to start, especially when it comes to the medium you use! A medium is the type of material you work with, so your medium of choice could be oil paint, pastels, watercolor, etc. However, when starting your painting journey, we recommend choosing acrylic paint over any other kind. Acrylic is a water-based paint that is such a joy to work with no matter your subject matter. Let's get into why!
You can also get soft-body acrylic paint for a more seamless, blendable look, perfect for more graphic or realistic art! We use soft body for all our painting kits here at The Sketching Pad because it's easy to blend, and it's easy to fix mistakes!
CUT OUT THE GUESSWORK, GET A KIT!
Get a great look at how acrylic paint works and exactly what makes it great in a stress-free way with our canvas painting kits! You'll have everything you need to make a masterpiece.
Be sure to read the descriptions and uses for any products like these before you purchase to make sure they're suitable for what you need. If you need any guidance, we'll be happy to help, just email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to learn some tips and techniques for using your new acrylic paint? Get free access to our library of video tutorials and canvas painting tips here!
EXAMPLES OF CONTRAST IN A BLACK AND WHITE PAINTING
The example below shows the difference between high contrast and low contrast in a simple black-and-white painting. Below is an excellent example of why high contrast is important in making things clear and readable. On the high contrast side everything is highlighted where it should be and everything that is meant to be bold stands out as it should! That isn't the case on our low contrast side; it's tough to see what it is. Of course, you can still tell that it's a flower, but you might have to look closely to distinguish the details. Art needs to be clear, especially if it's something like this where it's an object; it's even more critical in a portrait where it needs to look like someone specific.
EXAMPLES OF CONTRAST IN A FULL COLOR PAINTING
In the following example, you can see high contrast versus low contrast in a full-color painting. Just like the first example, you can see just how much easier it is to tell what you're looking at in the high contrast painting; even though the color makes it a little more apparent where different objects are in the image, it's still nowhere near as pleasing to look at as the high contrast example.
HOW TO MAKE SURE YOUR ART HAS ENOUGH CONTRAST
It's easy to tell if your art has enough contrast if it's already in black and white, but what if it's in color? How on earth are you supposed to be able to tell what your color values are? It's easier than you might think! Just take a photo of your painting and edit the saturation down to zero; this will give you an exact look at the values so you know if you'll need to make any adjustments! Not that technical? Try this: when looking at your painting, identify the lightest and darkest areas. If you need help determining what those are or if the lightest and darkest areas are at all similar to each other, bump up the contrast! You can mix white with colors to lighten certain areas and darken others by mixing in black. This method can be especially helpful if you're working from a reference because you can go ahead and adjust the saturation of your reference photo too, to see if they match up!
Have you ever wondered how to clean acrylic paint out of your brushes? Look no further! First, you'll see how to clean acrylic paint brushes, and then we've included a bonus section on fixing brushes that are bent out of shape or have dried paint stuck in them! Let's get started with...
OUR FAVORITE BRUSH CLEANERS!
WANT TO START A NEW PROJECT WITH YOUR CLEAN BRUSHES?
OUR FAVORITE CLEANER FOR GETTING DRIED ACRYLIC PAINT OUT OF BRUSHES!
Is one of your favorite brushes a little bent out of shape? We have a super easy solution! Grab The Masters Brush Cleaner, a cup of water or a sink, and your bent-up brush. Let's fix it!
LEARN MORE ABOUT ACRYLIC PAINTING AND SUPPLIES!
Want to learn how to use your paint brushes in dozens of fun ways? Sign up to receive FREE access to our Acrylic Basics Video Library, where we demonstrate techniques and give painting tips!
For some people, picking colors for canvas paintings is very intuitive. For others, it can feel like a shot in the dark. Painting may not be rocket science, but there is definitely a science to what our eyes are naturally attracted to. If you don't feel confident selecting colors for your paintings, we have good news for you! There are four types of easy-to-learn color schemes that can make this process incredibly simple. All four of them are covered in our FREE How to Choose a Background Color course, as well as our comprehensive Foundations Studies course.
Today, we're going to cover the simplest of the four color schemes: complementary colors. The reason that this is the easiest color palette to create is that you are simply selecting opposite colors on a color wheel.
Now that you understand the concept, how do you use it? Let's put this into practice by showing some examples in paintings!
In this case, you would more than likely also want to adjust the background color from purple to something that will make the red stand out more. If you don't want to use green as the complement to red in this case, check out How to Choose a Background Color for other color palettes that would work well!
Below you'll see two examples of butterfly paintings that we made using our Butterfly Canvas Painting Kit. In one, the artist wanted the butterfly to be yellow, so they chose to make the flowers purple to complement the yellow. In the other, the artist chose orange for the butterfly, so blue was the natural choice!
As you can see, this is a super easy method for choosing two colors that look great together. Want to get more in-depth and advanced with your color theory skills? Check out our Foundations Studies courses, which each include around 10 video art lessons and everything you'll need to do several exercises and complete paintings!
As beloved painter Bob Ross used to say, "We don't make mistakes; we just have happy accidents." Here at The Sketching Pad, we firmly believe that to be true. Making mistakes in painting gives you a chance to learn something new. Sometimes, you learn to fix your mistake and reset. Sometimes, you like what you accidentally did more than you liked what you intended to do!
We use acrylic paint for all of our canvas painting kits here at The Sketching Pad, because it's a fantastic paint for beginning canvas painters. There are a lot of reasons to love acrylic paint. It dries quickly, goes on smoothly, and is easy to clean up.
In most cases, just let the accident dry, and paint right over it with the correct color! If you try to fix it while it's still wet, you're just going to keep smearing your painting until it's a muddy mess. But letting it dry or drying it with a hair dryer will mean you can add another corrective layer of paint - no smudges involved!
It really is that simple! Always let mistakes dry completely before trying to cover them, and when necessary, use a layer of white to help cover darker colors. If you do that, there's absolutely nothing you can't fix when painting with acrylics. When you're a canvas painting beginner, you should expect to make mistakes and layer your paint until you get it exactly the way you like it. That's just part of painting! Embrace the process, and enjoy the peace of mind you get from knowing that absolutely anything can be fixed until you love your masterpiece.
WOULD IT HELP YOU TO SEE THIS PROCESS STEP-BY-STEP IN A VIDEO?
We'd love to send you access to a video for this, along with all of our other acrylic painting tips and techniques videos. Access to our video library is completely FREE!
KEEP LEARNING & KEEP CREATING!
Oftentimes, it's easy to choose WHAT you want to paint, but deciding what colors look good with it isn't quite as simple! You know you want to paint the pretty sunflowers in your garden, your family pet, or a sailboat you snapped a photo of on vacation. But when it's time to paint the background of your masterpiece, choosing just the right color feels more like a shot in the dark.
In three short videos, you'll learn...
We believe that art is for EVERYONE, not just those who were born with flawless intuition. You deserve to feel great about your paintings, whether you're a canvas painting beginner or you've been doing this for years!
Acrylic paint that's already dried can be much more difficult to remove, but that doesn't make it impossible. We've tested five different products to see what would give the best results. It'll take a little bit of elbow grease, but saving your favorite pair of jeans will be worth it!
Please note: These methods work best for articles of clothing that are non-delicate and can go in a normal wash cycle. For specialty items, get those to a dry cleaner right away! These products may damage certain fabrics.
MURPHY WOOD CLEANER
OXICLEAN STAIN REMOVER
KLEAN STRIP BRUSH CLEANER
In order to make sure it soaked in enough without drying out too quickly, we also applied the product to a cotton ball and left that on the stain for a few minutes. Because this product has strong fumes, we recommend that you wash your jeans separately from any of your other clothes. It may take two washes to get the strong solvent smell out.
NAIL POLISH REMOVER
After washing your items, you want to check the stain before you put the clothing into the dryer. If the stain is still there and you dry it, you'll set it into the fabric even worse. Still see a little paint residue? Try the process again, and then rewash.
AND THE WINNER IS...
Are you ready to see which product worked best for removing acrylic paint from clothes?
Murphy Wood Cleaner removed the paint almost without a trace! This product is 99% naturally derived, so that makes it a great option for a cleaner that works well without the harsh chemicals contained in the other products. For that reason, we're calling this one the winner!
Klean Strip Brush Cleaner also did a great job removing the majority of the acrylic paint from clothes. Because it is such a harsh solvent with strong fumes, this one is in second place. When the results are the same, we'd always recommend the more natural alternative.
OxiClean Stain Spray removed some of the paint, but as you can see above, a good bit of it is still there. This product works really well when you're able to spray it on when the paint is still wet, but when you're trying to remove acrylic paint that has dried, it doesn't quite do the trick.
Nail polish remover smeared the paint into the fibers of the jeans, making it impossible to get the rest of the way out. We wouldn't recommend this option!
Dawn Ultra didn't do much to remove the stains at all. Again, this product is awesome for greasy stains, but when it comes to the hard plastic stains of acrylic paint, it isn't the way to go.
The next time you're painting canvases and spill some acrylic paint on your jeans or favorite top, you'll be prepared! Whenever possible, rinse the clothing out and throw it into the washer before it has a chance to dry. But when you don't see the stain until the paint is dried, you now know exactly how to remove acrylic paint from clothes!
WANT MORE CANVAS PAINTING TIPS AND TRICKS?
Get free access to our library of video tutorials and canvas painting tips!
For many people, painting is fun and relaxing, but drawing is stressful and difficult. Of course, there are sketching naturals out there, but most acrylic painting beginners struggle when it comes to drawing. The skills required to do a nice painting are much quicker and easier to pick up than the skills required to do a sketch that is correctly sized and proportioned.
Pro Tip: If your canvas is larger than you can print on your home printer, simply take the file to a print shop, and they'll be happy to print a larger version for you!
WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE THIS TECHNIQUE IN ACTION?
We would be happy to email you a free video to make this technique even clearer! You'll also receive access to a whole library of canvas painting tips and video tutorials.
So many people want to paint, but they think that they can't because they weren't born with the artistic talent that other people have. If that describes you, we have good news!
Painting is a skill that can be learned, one simple technique at a time. Acrylic painting is not a skill that is only for those lucky enough to be born with talent. With the right tools and a few simple techniques, anyone can create something that makes them proud. Acrylic painting is perfect for beginners.
Let's cover three super simple techniques that'll take your paintings up a notch!
For a sky, we recommend side-to-side strokes, switching from one color to another without rinsing your brush in between. If you notice a lot of canvas texture showing, put more paint on your brush. If your painting starts to look muddy, simply finish the section you are on, let it dry, and come back to it with another layer, where you can make any adjustments you like!
These three paintings will give you the perfect opportunity to practice this skill!
Here are three paintings that utilize this type of background!
Want to see these blending techniques in action? Sign up to receive FREE access to our Acrylic Basics Video Library, where we demonstrate techniques and give painting tips!
If your colors overlap and blend as you go, you're doing it right! If you see a lot of the canvas showing through between your dabs of color, keep layering. You'll be amazed at how gorgeous your trees will be and how quickly they will come together!
Practice your stippling with these three paintings!
If some of your sky color mixes with your white for your clouds, let it! All this will do is add to the texture. Perfectly bright, white clouds with no color in them will look less realistic, so embrace the blending!
The Sketching Pad has been helping people just like you have fun and stress-free painting experiences for over a decade. Whether we're helping people create masterpieces in person in our studio, or we're guiding people who are painting at home through our painting kits and video tutorials, we are passionate about helping people see that everyone can be an artist with the right tools and guidance!
This FREE Acrylic Painting Guide includes:
This FREE course includes...