Mixing Different Mediums and Techniques in Painting

As a painter, you must have a thorough working knowledge of different mediums and painting techniques. This knowledge is essential not only to your commercial success but also to your ability to express your artistic vision. Here’s an overview of what you should know about mixing various mediums and using different techniques.

Introduction to Acrylics

Acrylic paints have a rich and fascinating history. The first acrylic resin was crafted by German chemist, Dr. Otto Röhm who originally intended it to be used for industrial applications. Many potent and popular painters have used acrylic paints in their artistry throughout history. From David Alfaro Siqueiros to Andy Warhol have turned to acrylics to bring their artistic visions to the world.

Acrylic Painting Techniques

The techniques you use have a direct impact on how your painting will turn out when using acrylics. Different techniques can be used to produce various effects. For the most part, the Old Masters knew best. Here are some of the most useful and interesting techniques.

The Splattering Technique

The flick of your brush can create a unique splatter that conveys a valuable artistic element, emotion. When you flick your brush you can harness the energy that you have at that moment and channel it into a feeling. That feeling will be projected into your piece as it splatters unto the canvas.

Try tapping into different emotions and see how they affect the outline of the splatter. An angry flick of the brush will make a different splatter than one that is careful, deliberate, and methodical.


Like Watercolors? You’ll Love the Washing Technique

Washing is a technique in which the paint is mixed with water to produce a translucent effect that mimics watercolor paints. While diluting your paints might sound counterintuitive, it can actually make for some very pleasing effects on the canvas. Don’t be afraid to experiment with it.



Another useful technique you can use with acrylic paints is called dabbing. As the name suggests, you simply dab lightly on the canvas. When employing the dabbing technique, you should use either a brush with stiff bristles or a paper towel. It is important that you apply only the lightest bit of pressure when dabbing.

Dabbing is a great way to weave small deliberate accents of color into your painting. Claude Monet, one of the greatest painters in the history of the craft often used dabbing to experiment with the worlds of light and color. He successfully brought those two worlds together with this technique.


The Palette Knife

Among the most unique techniques in acrylic painting, is the use of the palette knife. Artists who use a palette knife are often more advanced. This is a powerful technique that can produce spectacular effects for those who have either the skill or the will to possess it.

You can use the palette knife technique to create sweeping layers of texture that enrich your painting and give it more substance.

This technique can be exercised by using a palette knife or a painter’s edge.



Now that you know more about the techniques that you can use when painting with acrylics, it’s time to introduce you to some mediums. The medium you choose will have a dramatic effect on the look and feel of your painting.

Matte and Gloss Acrylics

Two acrylic mediums that you should know about are matte and gloss. Acrylic paint is glossy by nature. A glossy acrylic medium can be useful when you want to make your painting more luminous and reflective.


Matte paint is comparatively much flatter and is a smart choice when you want to tone down the natural glossiness and shine of acrylic paint.

Texture Gels for Acrylics

Artists use texture gels to create distinct textures on the canvas. These textures range from sands and stucco to glass beads. While there is a wide variety of texture gels available for purchase, you can make your own if you so desire. A simple texture gel can be made by mixing in materials like sawdust and sand.

Using Modeling Paste with Acrylics

If you want to add 3-dimensional elements or make a collage. Modeling enables a bolder use of texturing. As a creative artist, you’ll likely find many exciting applications for this medium.

Most modeling paste is white after drying. It can be painted over and adjusted as needed to create the effect you want.

Unleash Your Imagination

You now have a rudimentary knowledge of acrylic mediums and techniques and are ready to start painting! Let your imagination run wild, never limit yourself. Take your best ideas and put them to the canvas. Whether you use the abstract powers of the splattering technique or the precision of the palette knife you are an artist, and you are free.

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How Artwork Influences Purchase Decisions

Art has been successfully used to influence emotions and minds for centuries. Visual expression of all types has the ability to impact how we think. Whether you’re visiting a museum or simply staring at an advertisement, art can be a powerful tool in shaping desire.

The Role of Art in Business

The role of art extends itself across all different businesses. From high priced original paintings to the pop art of Andy Warhol’s generation, the power of visual interpretation can be found in offices and grocery stores alike.

One of the most obvious areas in business depicting art’s impact on consumerism is advertising. By using several different visual techniques, art can shape the importance of a product in anyone’s life.

How Does Art Impact Consumerism?

Color, lines, and the suggestion of something unobtainable have all been known to create human want and desire. Since consumerism is based around making people want what somebody else has, art is highly valuable in the process.

What is Color Psychology?

Color psychology is the study of different hues and how they influence human behavior. One study found that people in management positions can effectively use color to increase or decrease appetite. Researchers also found that approximately 90% of immediate judgments made about services or products can potentially be based exclusively on color.

Using color to create emotion may seem straight forward. In some fast-food restaurants, specific colors are used with the intention of getting their customers in and out as fast as possible. Although yellow may make some people happy, it doesn’t necessarily make all people feel happy. Depending on the culture, people in other countries may feel differently about art when it is used for business or marketing.

The Power of Suggestion

Shapes and lines are used just as much as color to sway consumers. In addition to print advertising and paintings, furniture has shaped how we feel about a room or even the people in it. The amount of space given to an area can make somebody feel more or less comfortable.

Office decor has become a lucrative business for interior designers. Every detail inside a room can create a larger story. Conducting a meeting in a room with sloping lounge chairs and floral curtains may have a different feel to it than one with a marble conference table or several mahogany bookcases. Depending on the goals of the individual business, the design of its overall look can greatly impact its success.

Texturing Art

The texture of a piece of art can tell us what to identify with. For instance, car advertisements may depict a different kind of ride when using printed photographs or illustrations. A rocky terrain may suggest what type of driver would choose a Jeep over the smooth road of a luxury convertible. Subtle differences in landscape can project a desired personality into the subconscious.

How Does Art Impact the Corporate World?

The design and artwork in a workplace have the ability to calm employees with stressful jobs. Many workplaces that require a high amount of concentration for long periods of time can feel dreary or tense. By using art in the right way, employees can actually feel more relaxed while working throughout the day.

Creative Young Woman in WorkshopPaintings of nature scenes can actually lower levels of anger when used in certain settings. For places of business that have a high rate of turnover, art can lead to better work performance, calmer employees, and a less hostile environment.

On a social level, art can spark discussions among colleagues. Art does not have to be controversial to be provocative. Many people feel intense emotions after seeing shapes and colors that don’t necessarily represent a concrete object or landscape. By bonding over the feelings that art can represent, people are more likely to feel closer to one another.

Corporate art buyers often specialize in finding artwork for specific types of environments. In this way, they can match the right tone and mood to what the owner of the space wants to convey.


How to Choose the Right Art

Art is as versatile as personality. Depending on the type of business, art can influence people in a variety of different ways. There is no wrong way to create, buy, or share art, however, the setting does matter.

For highly intense settings, artwork that shows people performing caring acts for each other can actually reduce angry responses. Impressionist paintings are frequently used for their calming effect. Branding, on the other hand, usually requires bright and bold colors that are used to excite the brain rather than relax.

Art has been specifically designed and chosen to sway the emotions of others. This can be a calculated decision based on the artist’s goals or it can come from a deeper subconscious part of the brain. By mixing the two together, an artist spends his time in both business and psychology.

Art Consultant at Work

What Does an Art Consultant do?

Some people buy art simply because they like it. Others buy art because they are collectors, or they may want a piece because it’s is done by a famous artist. Some people buy art as an investment.

An art consultant, like a consultant in any other field, is someone who advises you on art. They have education, knowledge appreciation for art and they also may help or conduct the transaction of buying art for you.

Where Do They Work?

Hiring an art consultant is hiring someone who can educate you on art. They help individuals and corporations alike. A good art consultant will know about the masters, what artwork of theirs may be coming up for sale and how much the piece is expected to sell for.

They also know all about new artists, who to keep an eye on, who is making waves in the art scene and whether they are worth the investment. Someone new in the art scene may be getting a lot of attention. When that happens, there is a rush to buy their work.

The consultant will know where to get these sought-after pieces. They may attend auctions, go to gallery openings or know the artists personally. They can help you negotiate the transaction for a piece of art you want.

Individuals and Groups

Art consults also work for bigger companies and corporations. Perhaps they are commissioned to find some interesting artwork for a new law firm or a hospital. They will be able to make sure the pieces are within their budget, appropriate for the setting and to make sure it is going to be a worthwhile investment.

Someone might prefer the old Dutch masters, or maybe they like a newer contemporary artist. The consultant goes out ahead to make arrangements for meetings, showings and negotiations.

Vast Knowledge

Art consultants will have a minimum of a bachelor of arts degree. Couple that with daily learning about art, artists and the world of art, they can tell you everything you need to know, and somethings you didn’t.

There is also a strong liaison relationship with the consultant, the buyer, and the artists or the gallery, or both. Often, established buyers have exclusive access to certain works, as consultants help buyers establish them in the art community.

It can be very difficult for individuals or a group to purchase art pieces that are highly desirable. Many galleries may only sell to people they already know, someone connected to the consultant or a high profile buyer, like a celebrity of some kind.

Hanging Artwork

Hiring a Consultant

If you are new to buying art or art collection, you need to talk to a consultant. You can’t just go into a gallery and buy something off the wall that you like. That may be the case in some smaller, local galleries, but almost always, there will be a consultant involved to make the transaction go smoothly.

They get paid by receiving a regular fee if they are someone you often use or they get a percentage of the sale of the artwork. They do the bidding at auctions, meet the artists for you and offer sound advice on those artists and they can introduce you to other people who work in the market.

When a consultant buys the artwork for you, they are often offered a small discount from the gallery. So, in essence, you are not paying them for their consultation. They sell you the art for the asking price and receive their payment that way. You don’t actually pay more for art when you buy through a consultant.

Whether you are buying one piece or looking to buy several pieces, the consultant will do all the work for you. They know where to go, how to find great work within your budget and who to talk to about it.

The Consultant Works for You

When you hire a consultant for advice or buying art, they are looking for the pieces that suit your tastes and needs, not theirs. Because they know so much about art, they are able to remove themselves from whether they personally like it or not and find what you are looking for.

They look at your space and ask about what types of works you want. You can go to galleries together and let them know the style, colors and themes you like best. They will use that information to find you the best pieces within your budget.

Why People Buy Art

Why Do People Buy Art?

There are plenty of reasons why people buy art. Owning a nice piece of art can not only enhance the room where you put it but it can be a nice investment, as well.

Sometimes people just buy something because they need to cover up a mark on their wall or a need to decorate their new office.

Why Do We Buy Art?

1. Emotional Attachment

People buy art because they like it. They see a painting or a sculpture and are moved by it emotionally. It could evoke a deep, happy memory, it might remind them of a place they have been or they just really like how it looks visually.

It could be the colors they like or a combination of the colors. We often look at art and are transported back to a place in our childhood or a happier time in our lives.

Sometimes the scene the artwork represents is familiar and comforting. It might remind you of your Grandmother’s house, visits to the lake or a place you used to live many years ago.

People who buy art for the love of the piece often don’t care about the price. That can also mean that they see a copy of something they like at the local framing shop for $20 and buy it simply because they like it.

2. Support Local Artists

People will also often buy a piece of artwork to support a local artist, be it a stranger or a friend or family member. This can happen frequently if the artist is having a local showing of their work.

People don’t always buy the art for themselves. They may buy it and then pass it on as a gift for a friend or loved one. They could pass it on to a charity as a donation like a hospital or some other non-profit organization.

It’s a lovely gesture and by displaying the local artist’s work in your home or office, you will encourage conversation and interest about the artist to other people who see it. It’s a great way to get a nice piece of artwork and support your local community.

3. As An Investment

People love to buy art as a great way to make money. They often have no emotional attachment to the piece, only a certainty that it will increase in value.

People investing in art as an investment may also love the piece. It could be an investment they plan on handing down through their family as an inheritable asset.

This is done when a famous piece goes to auction, a new artist is getting a lot of attention or there is a sudden peak in a certain artist’s work. It can often happen if a certain celebrated artist passes on.

4. For The Clout

Imagine the envy of all your friends when they see that Picasso or Rembrandt print on your wall. Often, the name and reputation of a famous artist are enough for people to buy it, regardless of whether they actually like it or not.

These are often purchased by people who can afford the piece without worry. It might be an investment, also, but often, it’s all about the bragging rights about owning a certain piece that matters most.

They will often have the piece on display so everyone will be able to see it. Many times, people will know very little about the piece itself, only that the artist is famous and they want to have it.

5. Collectors

There are art loves who like to collect art for the sake of completing their collection. It can be from a local artist they appreciate or famous pieces that surface and come on the auction market.

There may a desire to own certain pieces because of the period they were done in, the artist, themself or simply because the collector likes the work. Sometime people will display it, often time, they will donate it to a museum.

Art For Art’s Sake

Whatever your motivation, art will continue to be made, loved and purchased. The old maters will continue to resurface and be sold again and again, all for more money.

Investing in any art at whatever level is always welcome. Sharing beautiful things with yourself, your friends and loved ones makes life a little more bearable. Investing in a local artist makes their life more bearable, as well.

There is no accounting for taste, so buy what you like. If you like it and it moves you, there is more than enough motivation to buy a piece of artwork to love.

Abstract Art Works

When Does and Doesn't Abstract Art Work?

If you are looking for some interesting art pieces for your home or office, abstract art can be a fantastic addition. However, there will be times when it is not a great fit, either.

Artwork in a room should either be the focal point or an enhancement to the room’s decor. While it will always be your own personal taste, there are a few things to consider before using abstract art pieces.

Abstract Art At Home

It’s your home and you should decorate it however you see fit. But abstract art, as painting, as sculpture or any other medium, can take up a lot of space and attention.

If you choose something like a painting that has a lot going on, it’s a good idea to have the rest of your decor minimal. Plain, solid colors will keep the room flowing and ‘quiet’.

It will also depend on where you are placing it. You don’t want a piece that represents violence or mayhem in a room meant for relaxing and calm. Likewise, if you are decorating a man cave, you don’t likely want fluffy bunnies or calming pastels.

Abstract Art At Work

A nice piece of abstract art can really pull your office together. It can also say a lot about its inhabitants. Keep in mind, however, that certain pieces might not work.

If you are someone meant to command respect and trust, the artwork can say a lot about that. Again, violence and destruction depicted in your office can be very off-putting for people and give them the wrong idea.

Certain, very busy pieces can look great but be a great distraction for clients or guests in your office. If you need to have people really listen and understand what you are telling them, don’t distract them with loud or busy artwork.

Other Factors

Of course, none of this means you shouldn’t buy the piece of art you like. It just means you need to find the right space to hang it. If you work from home, hang whatever you like, as you are likely the only one who will see it.

But artwork depicted with heavy religious overtones or anything else that may be considered inappropriate, like overt sexual nature or something anyone could deem racist or insulting can do damage to your career.

The Choice is Yours

Again, it is up to you and if you like the piece, buy it. But understand there may be things in the piece that you don’t see and others may interpret as offensive or demeaning.

Supporting your local artists should always be encouraged and your taste is your taste. It is important to consider who will be seeing the pieces and how they may react or interpret them.

Often, the title of the piece may not resemble what you see. That is the beauty and the disadvantage of abstract art. Different people can see beauty and horror in the same piece. One may love it, as you do, and one may hate it and make judgments on you, based on their own interpretation.

But buy it anyhow