Oil Painting & Acrylic Painting Tips and Tricks for Beginners This Summer

by Cass Art

Summer is in the air and so is the artistic ideal of plein air painting (painting outdoors). Don a hat and paint in the garden. Take your easel and set it up in a meadow. Pack your paint sets and brushes with you on your holiday and capture the light on the swimming pool in a way that would make David Hockney proud.

Whatever your summer plans, it's definitely the time to start painting, because the Cass Art Sale is now on so you can stock up on your art materials for up to 70% off. The Daler Rowney Simply Canvas, perfect for both oil and acrylic painting, is available now for up to 65% off, and with summer approaching, the world is your blank canvas.


oil painting

Don't use water when painting with oils
You can’t mix oil paint with water because they repel one another, so instead of painting with water you should use a solvent like Turpentine or Zest It.  You should also clean your brushes with solvent and not water.

Breathe that fresh air
Make sure you paint in a well ventilated area because the solvents you use will give off fumes – or at least open a window whilst you work.

Slow over fast
Always follow the “slow over fast rule” when oil painting. This means you must make sure the last layer of paint will dry quicker than the following layer, to prevent the paint from cracking.

oil painting techniques

Mix it up
Try mixing your oil colours with a palette knife instead of a brush; this will stop your brushes from clogging with paint and will also give you a cleaner application of colour.

Choose your brushes wisely
Use hog brushes because they are durable so can withstand the use of solvents used in oil painting. 

Explore the world of painting mediums
You can use a medium or oil to mix with your oil paint, to adapt the consistency, drying time and finish of your painting. The Winsor & Newton Artists’ Painting Medium is a good all-rounder, and Refined Linseed Oil and Liquin are great for beginners; the first will slow the drying time, whilst the latter will speed it up.


How to paint with acrylics

Choose your set
It’s good idea to invest in a set of acrylic paints, because that way you’ll get a range of different colours which you can explore and experiment with. 

Use water
Dilute the paint with water and make sure you keep your brushes moist at all times, because otherwise the acrylic can dry and ruin your brushes.

Be mindful of smudging
Acrylic paint is rather quick to dry; a thin layer will be completely dry after 15 minutes, but a very thick layer could take a few hours so just be careful not to smudge the paint if it is still wet.

Paint with acrylics for beginners 

Think about priming
You can paint with acrylics onto most surfaces, but if you want your work to last a lifetime it’s best to apply your paint to a primed surface. All our canvases are pre-primed and you can paint straight onto them for excellent results.

Keep it clean
Once dry, acrylic paint will stain your clothes, so make sure you wear an apron or something you don’t mind getting messy – or react quickly and remove it whilst it’s still wet.

Explore your options
Acrylic paint is very versatile and is available in different forms including tubes, spray paint, ink and paint markers. There aren’t many rules when it comes to applying it – so just experiment and have fun!

Feeling inspired?

Shop the Cass Art Sale, online and in-store, for up to 70% off your art materials and start exploring the possibilities of painting with oils and acrylic paint this summer.

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