3.2 Acrylic Techniques

The following is an example of a technique page we did in class.  This one is, quite frankly, hard to do anywhere but in the class where techniques can be demonstrated an the materials are available.

The students measured out 11 boxes 2″ wide by 3″ long.  Here are the techniques we covered:

Flat:  Applying paint in a smooth, even, consistent layer.  What most people think of first when it comes to painting.

Impasto:  A thick application of paint wherein the paint actually stands up off the surface of the paper.  The paint frequently looks like it has bubbled and/or retains the marks of the paintbrush.  Often used as a textural effect.

Blot:  Using a paper towel (or similar material) to lift up wet paint.  Can be used for correction of a mistake but can also be used as a textural effect.

Dry Brush:  Applying paint very thinly with a mostly dry brush.  This creates a textural effect.

Thick and Thin Lines:  Marks made by alternating the use of the the width or the edge of the brush.  The goal is to see how one brush can create a variety of marks just by changing pressure and orientation.

Double-Loaded Brush:  loading 1/2 of the brush with one color and the other 1/2 with a different color and then painting.  This creates a mix of different colors being created at the same time without getting a true blend.  Best used as a textural effect.

Glaze:  Applying a thin, watery layer of paint over an already dried, opaque layer of paint. The goal is to see the original color through the covering color.

Layered:  Painting a thick, opaque layer of paint (in stripes or sections) over an already dried, opaque layer of paint.  The goal here is to see the covering power of acrylic paint.

Sgraphitto:  Using a blunt instrument (like the back of your brush) to carve or write into wet paint.  A way to create linear marks, edges, and textures in paint.

Gradation:  blending black to white in an even, smooth, fading manner.

Blended Color:  blending two different colors (like red and yellow) into each other in an even, smooth, fading manner.

Acrylic Technique


Additionally, the students are to complete a series of color and values scales.  They measured out 4 rows of 7 boxes, each box was 1″ by 1″.  The scales were as follows”

Value Scale:  a row of boxes going from white through black to gray.  Each step should look like a steady, measured progression from the previous one.

Monochromatic Scale:  Similar to a value scale, but now with  a color.  In the example below we can see where the student went from white, to light blues, to true blue, to dark blues, and finally to black.

AcrylicValueScalesAnalogous Scale:  now the students should create a scale of colors ranging through three related colors found next to each other on the color wheel.  In the example below the student chose yellow, green and blue.  In between these colors are mixtures:  yellow to yellow-green to green-yellow to green… etc.

Complimentary Scale:  Now the scale ranges from two colors that are opposite of each other on the color wheel.  In the example below the student chose orange and blue.  The boxes between these two are mixtures of these two colors.Colorscales