How To Blend Acrylic Paint Effectively On Canvas

If you’re starting to learn how to paint with acrylics, we’ll show you some tips in this tutorial. Painters love to use acrylic paint because of its versatility. In fact, you can use it to paint with different techniques.

One specific method of working with acrylic paint is learning how to blend it with other colors. This allows you to create various textures and expands your color palette. This way, you can also achieve that certain color you are aiming for.

You can learn how to mix two different hues and make them transition smoothly. Here are some techniques on how to blend acrylic paint and apply it to your own artwork.

 What You’ll Need:

  • Acrylic paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Canvas
  • Water
  • Glazing liquid

Techniques on How to Blend Acrylic Colors Blending acrylic paints are fun and easy to learn. Just follow any of these methods.

1. Wet-on-Wet

The first thing you need to do is to wet your canvas using a damp paintbrush. Your paintbrush should have just the right amount of wetness and it should not be soaking wet. There are different ways to use this method.

For instance, if you want to create a blended background, paint the whole canvas using your damp brush. You can also use that same brush to paint your base color. A wet canvas is easier to work with compared to a dry canvas. However, you need to work fast before the canvas dries.

To begin blending, select a different color and use sweeping strokes on your painted canvas. Use the same brush to achieve the blended effect. You can brush horizontally or whatever stroke you are comfortable with.

If you have no idea how to color blend but would like to create a warm sunset color mix, you can start with a darker red-orange tone on top and a lighter yellow shade on the bottom to achieve a smooth transition. Again, you have to work quickly before the paint fully dries. Once the paint dries, you can appreciate the effect of the blended sky.

2. Wet-on-Dry

For this technique, use a base coat to paint over the canvas and allow it to completely dry. Pick a dark color to start with and brush using horizontal strokes. Once the paint dries, select a lighter shade to go on top.

For example, if you want to create a deep blue sky, use a dark or navy blue color as your base. Then use a light blue tone as your blending color. When you’re blending the colors, use the lighter color to paint a thin line on the area of the canvas where you want to blend the lightest.

You can use the same paintbrush for blending. Another option is to use another brush to continue blending the light blue color but dip in water first to make it damp. Once the paint dries, you’ll have a dark to light gradient effect on your canvas.

3. Acrylic Glazing Liquid

Select a basecoat color for your painting. Paint your canvas and let it dry completely. An acrylic glazing liquid dries slower compared to the standard acrylic paint.

This allows you to work more carefully on your artwork and give you more time to blend your colors evenly. The downside to using this method is that once the liquid dries, you won’t be able to paint over it. If you need to add more blending, you have to wait until it completely dries.

To use a glazing liquid, all you need to do is to apply a small amount of paint on your brush and add an acrylic glazing liquid over it. Use a back and forth brush stroke when applying your acrylic glazed paint on top of your base coat. You can keep on using several colors and glazing liquid until you achieve the desired effect you want. Once the paint dries, you’ll see the blended effect.

The Right Paint Brush

When you’re using a blending technique to paint your artwork, having the right set of tools is also important. Blending is all about mixing the colors on your canvas. Of course, nobody wants to end up with a bleeding paint on their canvas.

  • Blending Brush – A blending brush is generally a good idea. Your brush should be soft. When using this tool, the tip is to brush lightly on your canvas. Light strokes leave a diffused effect on your canvas.
  • Just don’t forget to wet your brush. A damp brush allows you to blend more efficiently.

  • Fan Brush – Fan brushes are very useful in blending smaller areas. You can also use a makeup brush because the bristles are very soft. Use a light feather stroke to blend your colors in order to get a detailed effect on your canvas.
  • A natural haired brush provides a smooth blend while synthetic bristles are more suitable for texturized effects. Synthetic hairs are usually made from polyester or nylon.

    This type of brush works well with acrylic paints especially blending because they can sit in water without getting damaged, unlike natural hairs. Plus, it is easier to clean. Always use a sturdy brush to avoid the paint clumping in the hair.

  • Fan Gogh Brush – Compared to a regular fan brush, this tool is designed with more bristles. However, the hairs on the brush are a bit coarse.
  •  Filbert Brush - A flat shaped or an oval-shaped brush with medium to long bristles is a good choice for blending. You can use it to create soft and rounded edges. This is great for detailing your artwork.
  • A flat brush technically covers more areas than a round brush and is appropriate for long strokes. You can use it for larger canvas or for painting bigger areas. The tip of the brush is great for creating delicate lines and applying touches.

Why Blending Is Fun

Now that you have a general idea on how to blend acrylic paint on canvas, it’s time to get the right tools. Pick a good quality acrylic paint and determine the most suitable brush for your artwork. I suggest you invest in different types of brushes so that you always have the option to change and add variety to your painting.

Blending colors is a fun way to express and challenge your creativity. You can start practicing on a smaller canvas before you take on a bigger project. Don’t forget to experiment with colors. After all, mixing and matching is one of the best ways to learn.

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