Posted on: 30 November 2020
Acrylics can be a challenging medium, especially since acrylics dry much faster than oils. This makes wet-into-wet blending even more challenging to achieve a smooth look and avoid the harsh edges that occur with wet-into-dry blending. There are various techniques you can use to improve your blending and create your next masterpiece.
Buy The Right Canvas
No matter how good your techniques are, if you have the wrong foundation, you will not achieve the desired results. For smooth blending, start with a smooth canvas. Some manufacturers make ultra-smooth canvases, which means less of the tooth of the canvas will show through your final artwork. If you cannot afford better canvases or already have canvases you need to use, there are ways to achieve a smoother surface. Try applying several coats of gesso. You will need to allow each layer to dry and sand the surface between the layers. The amount of sanding you need will require experimentation. You want a fairly smooth surface, but you will need some tooth to hold onto the paint. Two or three layers of gesso should be fine. Be sure to use gesso made for acrylics.
Don't Fear Water
There is a misconception that adding water to acrylics will cause underbinding and your paint will flake off. Although you do not want to add so much water that you make your paint runny and look more like watercolor, adding some water can help you achieve the wet-into-wet look you desire. Try dipping your brush into water and experimenting with the amount of water you add to your acrylics. Another advantage of using water to thin your paint is that it helps the paint dry slower, which is a bonus when trying to achieve wet-into-wet blending. Another way to use water is to mist your canvas periodically to keep the paint on the canvas wet and suitable for blending. When misting your canvas, you need tools that will spray a fine mist of water and not create heavy droplets. You can use an inexpensive airbrush kit, but fine-mist sprayers are another option.
Choose The Appropriate Paint
There are many types of acrylic paint, and they serve different purposes. For wet-into-wet techniques, you will want an acrylic paint that is considered soft-body. Heavy-body paints are more for impasto work, such as work where you want brush strokes to show or when you will be using a palette knife. Since paint can be expensive, the best way to try different paints is to start with an acrylic paint kit. Many paint manufacturers will make kits that contain several mixing colors for you to try. If you must buy paints individually, just buy the primary colors plus black and white. This is good enough for you to mix many colors and see if the paint works for your techniques.
Learning wet-into-wet techniques in acrylics can make your finished piece look much like oil paint. Although you will need practice to become proficient in wet-into-wet blending, following these tips will make the learning curve less challenging.Share