Acrylic Painting Techniques – Acrylics Can Look Like Watercolor & Oil Paintings – Tips and Benefits

Acrylic paint is a versatile medium that allows artists to create pieces that look like they were painted with watercolors, oils, and/or acrylics.
Watercolor Look
Acrylic paint is usually more opaque than watercolors. However, mediums can be added to it to achieve the same type of look. You can mix a glazing medium, floating medium, or a varnish directly with the paint, or paint the medium on the surface first and then paint on top of it, to achieve a watercolor look. Acrylic paint that comes in bottles is thinner than the paste like paint that comes in tubes. The bottled paint will take less medium to achieve a watercolor look.
Oil Painting Look
To achieve more of an oil painting look, you can purchase the thicker acrylic paint that comes in tubes, and/or add a texture medium to it to give it more of an oil impasto look. One of the biggest differences in making paintings with acrylic paints that look like oil paintings though, is the drying time. Oils take so long to dry and one can go back and blend in another color at a much later time. Acrylics, however, dry rather quickly, so blending must be done rather quickly, compared to oils. Adding extenders prolongs the drying time and does give some more workability time to the paint. Another method is to paint a base coat with the acrylic paint first; this gives a more solid color to blend on top of. Once the base coat has dried, then re-wet the base coat with the same color, then add in your blending color. One way to blend is to place two different colors side by side, right on the brush.
Some benefits of painting with acrylic paint is that most brands are rated non-toxic, and they only require soap and water clean up. Acrylic paintings are more permanent than watercolors, dry faster than oils; and can be matted and framed behind glass, or framed within an open air frame.