She Learned This the Hard Way | Acrylic Painting Advice

Boy, are we lucky! For today’s post, Nathalie Kalbach is here to give you three tips for acrylic painting. These aren’t just any tips–this is information she wished she had when she first began learning acrylic painting techniques. Now a professional artist, Nathalie has four brand new Acrylic Painting Workshop DVDs that are part of an exclusive collection, along with two of her stencils and a download about acrylic mediums and grounds from The Artist’s Magazine.

Keep scrolling to also discover easy ways to protect your art journal, preserve your colors, and to be reminded of one of the key points of mixed-media art (see #3!).

Oh, one more thing–please like the Cloth Paper Scissors Facebook page if you haven’t yet. There you’ll discover bonus contests with prizes like acrylic paint and brushes that you can add to your stash. I’m announcing one there today, so don’t miss it!

Acrylic Painting Techniques | Nathalie Kalbach,
Textured acrylic painting by Nathalie Kalbach

3 Things I Learned the Hard Way by Nathalie Kalbach

Acrylic Painting Techniques | Nathalie Kalbach,
Abstract acrylic painting demonstrating texture, by Nathalie Kalbach (PIN THIS!)

1. Avoid Glossy Texture and Effect Mediums in Your Art Journal
I love to test all kinds of art supplies, and I love to try them out in my art journal first. I wish I had known that glossy textures and glossy effect mediums are not good to use in an art journal. They make the pages stick together and sometimes tear if you try to pull them apart. My tip: If you realize later that you have a glossy and sticky surface in your art journal, layer some wax-coated paper in between the pages to prevent them from sticking together.

2. Acrylic Paint Doesn’t Equal Acrylic Paint
When I started painting on canvases, I refused to spend a huge amount of money on artist-grade acrylic paints. I thought it was an unnecessary expense. I have since learned the hard way that some craft paints fade quickly in daylight. This will turn a once-bright canvas into a ghostly image of itself. I recommend slowly collecting some of the basic and primary colors of artist-grade paint and mixing your own colors to make the most of them. Use them for your special work. Then use craft paints in your art journal, which isn’t exposed to sunlight all the time, or for practice pieces.

3. Just Because I Say It, Doesn’t Mean It Is So
It took me a while to realize that we all have different ways to approach using art materials and supplies. Often there’s no right or wrong; what works for me doesn’t have to work for you. I’ve found the trick is to be open to see how other people use certain materials, especially if it’s different from what I learned. If I find it intriguing, I’ll try their way at least once. Occasionally it changes my perspective and leads to something very exciting that I wouldn’t have thought about doing. Other times it just confirms my own technique. Still, learning different approaches to using materials is always eye opening. ~Nathalie

Nathalie has plenty to offer with this Colorful Acrylic Painting kit (click here to order your collection). Improve your mixed-media art backgrounds, create new textures, learn about mediums, and more. With this expert instruction, you won’t have to learn acrylics the hard way. 😉

Happy painting,


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Blog, Mixed-Media Painting Techniques, Mixed-Media Techniques

One thought on “She Learned This the Hard Way | Acrylic Painting Advice

  1. I would add one more thing I have learned the hard way: if you are using a spiral bound journal, remove pages before starting working in it! Its far easier to do that at the beginning if you plan on using texture, than trying to repair it in the middle of a piece covered in paint that refuses to dry!


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