5 Books That Will Help You Improve Your Acrylic Painting


Are you a painter who works with acrylic or is interested in starting? Acrylic is a paint that can be used in various ways and can help you create intriguing effects with vibrant colours. If you know how to use it right, it can provide endless inspiration for your subjects and techniques.

Here are 5 books that will help you improve your acrylic painting:

1. Painting in Acrylics: The Indispensable Guide

Painting in Acrylics: The Indispensable Guide by realist painter Lorena Kloosterboer, an artist “known for her exceptional technical skill” will take artists through the basics and progresses to advanced techniques and continues on to the ins and outs of professional practice.

The technical secrets of a professional painter for the best results and more room for creativity.

The topics include:

  • About Acrylic Paint — Types of acrylics, comparative advantages, how to read a paint label, using mediums and additives, gesso and varnish
  • Materials and Equipment — Art supply shopping, palettes, masking, special effects tools, brushes, knives and shapers, airbrush, supports, surface preparation, the studio
  • The Foundation — Color theory, mixing colors, size and dimensions, order of work, using references, transferring images, painting whites, grays and blacks
  • Techniques — Underpainting, washes, wet in wet, adding salt and alcohol, blending, dry brush and scumbling, pouring, masking and stenciling, grisaille, glazing, impasto, sgraffito, spattering, sponging, stamping, decalcomania, airbrushing
  • Surface and Form — Still life, wood, glass, metals, fabric, paper, flowers and leaves, portrait, skin, hair, animals, feathers, landscape, water, clouds, shrubs and trees, stone and brick
  • Be a Pro — Ethical behavior, competitions/exhibits, art community, consistency, painting titles, keeping records, recording your work, framing, shipping, reproductions, social media, tuition.

A navigator sidebar refers readers to related sections for more information or problem solving. Appendices include a list of recommended brands and where to buy them, a glossary of art terms, how to fix common problems, and health and safety.

2. Acrylic Painting Step-By-Step

Take things one step at a time with Acrylic Painting Step-By-Step where three artists – Wendy Jelbert, David Hyde, and Carole Massey – will help you explore the tools, techniques, and more.

In this practical and inspiring guide for all acrylics enthusiasts—from beginners to experienced artists—helpful advice abounds, covering core principals, such as shopping for materials, which brushes are appropriate for acrylic paint, buying and using a palette knife, and selecting a preparation surface. … Wendy Jelbert explains the basics of painting with acrylics and gives advice on useful techniques and their effects. David Hyde explores landscape painting, from composing landscapes and choosing colors to creating depth and painting different seasons. Carole Massey, an expert on flowers, offers valuable advice on composition, drawing the image, creating accurate flower colors, and capturing tone. Ten easy to follow step-by-step demonstrations—complemented by color photographs and helpful instructions—offer inspirational paintings for painters to both admire and engage.

3. Acrylics Unleashed

In Acrylics Unleashed, artist Glyn Macey helps artists improve their acrylic painting skills by walking readers “through 9 complete demonstration paintings, each of which contains 18-44 detailed steps with images.”

It will help you to learn to “use your acrylic paints in unusual, creative and surprising ways…”

A complete guide to using acrylic paints creatively, by an exciting and talented new author.

4. Painting with Acrylics

Painting with Acrylics will allows artists to explore the medium with author Arnold Lowrey, an artist and instructor, who has been painting in a variety of media for over 25 years including painting seascapes. still life, landscapes, portraits and abstracts.

Arnold Lowrey presents a lively, inspirational introduction to acrylics which illustrates the versatility and beauty of this wonderful medium.

5. Acrylic Painting For Dummies

If you want a book that breaks it down to the basics and explains things in an easy-to-understand format then you can’t go wrong with Acrylic Painting For Dummies.

Create gorgeous paintings with this fun and easy guide to acrylics!

Always wanted to paint with acrylics? This easy-to-follow, full color guide gives you expert instruction and simple exercises in acrylic painting techniques and styles. The step-by-step projects let you practice your skill and stir your imagination — and give you the foundation to create similar projects with your own subjects and surfaces!

  • Get your feet (and brushes) wet — assemble your materials, prepare your surfaces, and sort out additives and enhancers
  • Try out basic acrylic techniques — work with brush strokes, control and thin your paint, experiment with textures, and use stencils
  • Practice design and composition principles — mix and use color, balance elements, make changes, and pull your painting together
  • Imitate several kinds of styles — use acrylic paint to mimic the effects of watercolor and oil paints
  • Build your repertoire — explore texture and dimension, work with glass, rocks, bricks, metalwork, and more

Open the book and find:

  • Clear step-by-step instructions with illustrations
  • A variety of projects and styles to suit all tastes
  • Quick tricks and techniques to get started painting right away
  • Lots of colorful paintings to inspire creativity
  • Helpful hints for improving your drawing skills
  • Full-scale projects at the end of most chapters
  • Exercises to jump-start your artistic passion