Acrylic Painting Beginners – 5 Keys to Successful Start

Check out these 5 main keys to the successful start for all the Acrylic Painting Beginners.

Check out these 5 main keys to the successful start for all the Acrylic Painting Beginners. I want to dedicate this article to all the Acrylic Painting Beginners.

No matter if you are 12, 20 or 50 years old, no matter if you are in art school, or never held a brush in your hand, if you want to paint, you should do it! And you CAN do it! So leave all the hesitation behind and learn what do you need to succeed!

Every professional was once a beginner

Being an acrylic painting beginner is super exciting, but not easy. It seems like there are so many things you need to know, so many skills to obtain, so many materials to get. And there is so much information available.... Where to start?

Even though painting is a creative process, it is still nice to know what you are doing... Which is why I want to share these 5 main keys to the successful start that are beneficial for all the acrylic painting beginners.

1. Learn the Theory

Check out these 5 main keys to the successful start for all the Acrylic Painting Beginners. You can't become famous composer without knowing musical notation. You can't be a successful programmer without knowing at least one programming language in excellence.

Just like in any field of study, painting has a lot of theory hiding behind the scene. It doesn't matter how talented you are, it's very important to take some time just to study the basics. This is going to be a foundation for your future success.

I recommend you to begin with Color Theory, Composition, Perspective, and Light and Shadow + aerial perspective. After that, focus on anatomy, if you are planning to paint humans.

1. When it comes to color theory, my all time recommendation is the "The Elements of Color: A Treatise on the Color System" by Johannes Itten. This book is a Bible for ANY artist or colorist! It's the most detailed color theory guide that had changed my vision of color as a visual instrument.

2. There are many different resources teaching about composition for the artist. First of all, you need to learn about the "Rule of Thirds", "The Golden Rectangle", "The Rule of Odds", "Leading lines", "Lines of Sight", and "Point of View".

3. Perspective is essentially the art of creating depths in your painting. The great source about is "Perspective for Artists" by Rex Vicat Cole - all the necessary theory with lots of exercises.

4. Mastering the light and shadow in art is very important if you want your painting to stand out. There are many great books, my favorite one is "Light for Visual Artists" by Richard Yot.

It doesn’t matter what is your medium – this knowledge will bring your painting to the next level.

2. Get to know your Art Supplies

Check out these 5 main keys to the successful start for all the Acrylic Painting Beginners. When you begin your creative journey, you need to get some art supplies like paints, brushes, and painting support. It all makes sense, however, art shopping could be super overwhelming because of the variety of materials available.

I have a great post that covers all the necessary Acrylic Painting Supplies for Beginners, so definitely take some time to check it out.

But the paint comes first, so here is the breakdown of everything you need to know about acrylic paint before the shopping: Acrylic Paint Definition and FeaturesAcrylic Paint Colors - Basic PaletteStudent vs Artist Grade Acrylic Paint, Acrylic Paint Body: Heavy, Soft, Ink.

It is also very important to set up your Workspace and make it as comfortable and as effective as possible.

3. Practice

Check out these 5 main keys to the successful start for all the Acrylic Painting Beginners. This seems to be fairly obvious, however, not everybody realizes how important it is to practice regularly and consistently.
It's the same as training your muscles - just from knowing HOW to work out you will not get a fit body, you actually HAVE TO exercise to achieve results.

Remember:  Success – is only 5% of talent and 95% of hard work…  

So, practice, practice, practice!

A lot of the people think that painting skill is some sort of innate ability, or you have to study it from the early childhood, otherwise, it's too late and you will never succeed. But the truth is that it's all about desire, creativity, studying, and consistent practice.

4. Learn from Masters

Check out these 5 main keys to the successful start for all the Acrylic Painting Beginners.

Always try to learn from the best!

And by learning I don't mean copying. Nowadays there are thousands of videos on Youtube of artists showing their painting process. And this is great for getting new ideas and for practice, but... Many beginners start to copy what they see without analyzing the process. However, you are not actually learning from just replicating someone else's painting!

Weel, the ability to replicate is also very important, but you have to be smart about it. To be a successful artist you have to know the techniques, you have to know HOW to paint, HOW to choose colors, HOW to think through the composition, and many other "hows". And you are never going to learn this just from copying other's people artworks.

That is why I urge you to learn from real artists, that are showing not only the painting process but explaining what are they doing and why.

I know, going to art school is expensive and not always convenient, which is why you can check out other option like online courses or part-time painting/drawing lessons. And if you still decide to learn from the Youtube videoes, just try to find channels that are consistent and have a lot of explanations.

5. Don't compare yourself to the others

Check out these 5 main keys to the successful start for all the Acrylic Painting Beginners. You should never compare your skills or your artworks to the others. I know, sometimes it's hard to, but

The Only Person You Need To Be Better Than Is The Person You Were Yesterday.

And it's not only related to acrylic painting beginners but to pretty much anyone and anything. A self-criticism is a good tool, but it shouldn't suppress your dreams. Love yourself and become a little better every day.

It doesn't matter what is your level right now. And it doesn't matter how old you are. As long as painting brings you the joy, you can develop your skills, your art is going to look better and better, helping you to express your feelings and emotions. And one day you are will be selling your paintings if that's what your goal is.

Never give up!

In conclusion, to all the Acrylic Painting Beginners 

Check out these 5 main keys to the successful start for all the Acrylic Painting Beginners.

The only thing that makes a difference between dreams and goals is action. So act, create, enjoy yourself and a beautiful world of art!

Let me know, what is your creative path? 🙂 I would love to hear about it.

Please, let me know if you have any question, and make sure to stay posted for updates and new posts on different painting materials and techniques!



12 thoughts on “Acrylic Painting Beginners – 5 Keys to Successful Start

  1. Celeste says:

    Great article and you’ve inspired me to actually get off my butt and start painting. I’m not very good at drawing or painting but I do love to create. I guess it’s not about how it looks but how painting makes you feel. However, I will definitely learn the theory first as you suggested and take it from there. Great and inspiriting article. Thanks again.

    • Olga says:

      Thank you Celeste, I’m glad I brought some inspiration to your life! :)))

      The process of creation is a joy on its own, but when you start to see some results and improvements – it feels amazing!

  2. Nico Rocha says:

    Being someone who doesn’t have a skill in writing, this makes me want to start and begin trying Acrylic Painting because your tone here really sounds convincing and somehow encourages us newbies to give it a try and not be scared of the outcome. Even though that my painting from the start will not be as good, maybe I can take it as motivation to do better and just use it now as a platform to draw what I feel or sort of a way to release stress. I will take note of everything you said in your article and hope that I can continue painting consistently in order to get better.

    • Olga says:

      I’m glad I’ve encouraged you to try acrylic painting! :))) You are absolutely right – first of all it’s about how you feel in the process, and only after we worry about the results! Even if you think that you are not very good right now, the more you practice, the better you draw/paint – simple as that!

      Good luck!

  3. Rob S. says:

    I recently retired and want to take up painting. I like the recommendations about beginning with color theory, composition, and lighting. Learning painting is like anything else as far as practice makes perfect. I have to learn all the materials and how to paint what I like. I’ll learn from the experts and develop a style of my own.

    • Olga says:

      Hi Rob! This sounds like a great plan 🙂

      You are absolutely right – practice is all it takes, so good luck depeloping this amazing hobby!

  4. Danny says:

    Hi, thanks for this great post and a lot of great recommendations. I enjoy painting as a hobby myself, and I’ve been lucky enough to be able to make a bit of money on the side too. I would have to say that one of the most important tips I received was to focus on not what your brain thinks it sees, but what you really see when you are copying either from a photograph or real life. Often we have preconceived notions of how something should look, so we don’t notice the differences between this idea and the actual reality, which is often quite unusual and unique once we really study it!

    • Olga says:

      Hi Danny, thanks a lot for your comment. You are absolutely right, it’s very important to look at things through the “eyes of the artist” to see them the way they really are.

      My favorite exercise to practice this is to turn the reference picture upside down, it gives a brand new vision of shapes and objects.

  5. Jill says:

    What an accomplishment. This is a simply stunning post from beginning to end. 
    So fresh and colorful with heaps of great advice which is well written. 
    I have a set of acrylic paints in a drawer and after reading this post am most tempted to get them out and give the acrylic painting a try. 
    I also like the fact that you are so welcoming and encouraging. 
    I’m so sharing this on my Pinterest lol! 
    As an Artist myself, I would definitely recommend this site to like-minded people
    Well done!

    • Olga says:

      Hi Jill, you just made my day with this cheering comment and such a nice feedback! Thank you! 🙂

      Definitely pull acrylics out of your drawer and give those bad guys a try! Painting is so much fun, and when you know what you are doing it’s even better))) 

  6. Richard says:

    I consider myself to be a good artist – I have been painting for the last forty years. I am open to new styles and will try any new technique. I do believe that anybody who wants to paint – can do so. 
    These guideline you provide here are exactly right and this is what I recommend to my students – Study and Practice!

    Unfortunately, there is no shortcut, no matter how talented you are – you need to learn and invest your time in your skills.

    Great job Olga! 

    • Olga says:

      Hi Richard! Thank you so much for stopping by and checking my website, I really appreciate your feedback! 

      You are absolutely right – we need to invest our time in our skills and ourselves, as it’s the most rewarding investment.

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