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Art Hacks and Tips

Updated: Jun 5, 2022

Whether you've just picked out your first paint brush, or you're a career artist with years of experience, I've compiled a list of some of my favorite painting hacks and tips to make it easier and more enjoyable for you, so let's get started!

When I paint, the first thing I want to do is get all of the canvas covered, so no naked canvas patches peak through when I'm finished.

Is acrylic paint waterproof? Yes, but only after it dries. So, to start a painting (if you're using acrylic) I like to lightly spray the canvas with water which lubricates the surface and makes it easier to spread paint all over the canvas and helps the paint cover the edges of the fiber weaves.

The next thing I do is

apply a coat of white paint to the canvas. I use a glossy white paint, and when it dries, I find that it really helps the next paint applications go further and move smoother across the surface.

My favorite brush to use when I'm trying to cover a moderate surface area as quickly as possible, is a 1 1/2 inch wide brush to do the job. It isn't so big that it holds on to a ton of paint, but it isn't so small that it takes forever to cover the surface.

One of the most fun hacks I can offer you is bubble wrap. Apply paint to the bubble side of the wrap and stamp it onto your canvas to give it a patch of little circles, neatly lined up. This adds an interesting texture to your art and can be done about 2 times in a row with one paint application. I like to do this in the early stages of a painting to add some depth and interest to the background layer.

Let me introduce you to the palette knife. This is one of my favorite tools in my painting arsenal. Squirt some paint directly onto the canvas and smear it around with this palette knife for a wild and messy look. Another tip, is you can use this tool to scrape off wet paint to add a distressed look to your painting.

On the subject of palette knives, I like to use this flat tip knife to add little line embellishments to my pieces.

Another way I like to add interest and texture to my art, is by adding dots. You can do this with cotton swabs, nail stylus' or with my personal favorite, the end of a small paint brush.

Sometimes as an artist, I need to be creative, not only with my art but with what I use to make my art. Using a lip balm cap is great for adding a circular texture to your art. If you add enough of these circles, the effect almost looks like scales in your painting. Quite luxurious.

Last on this list, but certainly not least for my hacks, is this rubber wedge. In fact, this tool should be one of the first ones

you add to your collection. You can apply paint with it, but it is much better at scraping off wet paint, leaving uniform lines trailing behind it. I like to use this in circular fashions and the effect is pretty dramatic.

There you have it, some hacks and tips I've found throughout my years of painting. If you have any hacks you'd like to share, please tell us in the comment section below!

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