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Lesson Details

Hi, it’s Ethan here and in this lesson, I’m going to show you a super simple and easy acrylic painting technique that you can use to create really cool abstract effects like these:

acrylic painting abstract effects 1

acrylic painting abstract effects 2

acrylic painting abstract effects 3

And this technique is so simple, anyone can do it. Even if you never painted before!

Traditional Method of Mixing Acrylic Colors

This technique has to do with how we mix our painting. Now the traditional method of mixing paint is to mix them on the palette and then apply it to the canvas.

This method will give you a result that looks something like this:

acrylic painting abstract effects 4

This is a perfectly fine way to mix paint. But just by making a small twist to this procedure, we can create something that is very visually striking.

Here’s what I mean…

A New Way To Mix Colors

This time, instead of mixing the paint on the palette, we are going to mix them directly on the canvas. I use yellow and blue (in equal proportions) and mixed them on the canvas to create this:

acrylic painting abstract effects 5

As you can see, we have a drastically different effect.

A quick tip when you are using this method is to not put too much pressure on your brush strokes. We don’t want to paint to over-mix so that they can say somewhat separate and create a dynamic look.

You can get very creative with this technique. You can experiment with mixing different colors, using different brush patterns, or even mixing three different colors!

In the next example, I mixed yellow, white, and a little bit of blue to create this:

acrylic painting abstract effects 6

I like to lay the paint on very thick because it adds an extra dimension of interest to the painting. You get this 3D effect where the colors are popping out of the page.

When playing with this technique, ideas there’s to jump out at you left and right. The pattern above can be used as a design for an abstract painting, an interesting peacock feather, or anything you’d like.

Experimenting With Acrylic Mediums

And you don’t even have to be limited to mixing paint. In the next example, I mixed some blue paint with a lot of acrylic glazing medium to create this:

acrylic painting abstract effects thumbnail

In case you don’t know what glazing mediums are, they are basically a substance you add to your acrylic paint to make it more transparent. Acrylic medium are basically acrylic paint, but without the color pigments.

As you can see, the medium caused the paint to be much more fluid and spreads more easily. This creates a very light and dynamic look.

Here’s a picture so you can compare these different paint batches side-by-side:

acrylic painting abstract effects 8

The cool thing about this technique is that it’s super simple to do. But when you show the results to someone who doesn’t know how it was done, it looks like a really complicated painting technique and they think you’re really good, so that’s a nice bonus 🙂

So, play around with this technique and see what you come up with.

In next week’s lesson, I’m going to show you how to use this very same technique to create a cool abstract painting that you’ll be proud to hang up on your wall.

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Well, thank you so much for visiting and until next time, happy painting!