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.

5 Tips to Help a Clouded Mind from Grief


I've just been thinking about this topic a lot lately of the lack of clarity from the result of grief of losing somebody, and I've been talking to a lot of people, and what I've noticed this common pattern of is people having a lot of thoughts around their loss, and there are so many thoughts, they're overwhelming. And those thoughts really don't go anywhere, except they get shoved down deep into your brain probably, or somewhere into your psyche, but what happens is they just keep building up, building up, building up, and that's where you develop anxiety and a lot of that kind of stuff. But I thought I'd just share three easy creative ways to get those thoughts and those feelings out of you because they have to come out somehow, right? Otherwise, it's a pressure cooker.

Full transcript below:

1. Write in a Journal

So the first one would just be writing, and I think a lot of you probably start writing, or maybe you do it once after someone passes away, but then you get too busy and you're like, "Ah," you get out of the habit. So I'd encourage you to go pick up your notebook, start writing, get those thoughts out about the person you lost, about how you're feeling, about what you're angry about, what you're sad about, the things that you're missing out on, things like that.

2. Pencil Drawing

The second one would be to go get a sheet of printer paper or just some kind of paper around the house, and get a pencil and just start drawing, drawing literally how you're feeling. It could be a picture, it could be a symbol, it could be anything like that, but literally, just start drawing. So, that creative practice is a lot of what I do, and it's helpful just to feel something. You're feeling those emotions in some way, and it's transferring to this. It could be a crude drawing, who cares? You could tear it up and throw it away afterward. It's not for anybody, it's for you. But anyway, it's something to help.

3. Painting

The third one would be, of course, painting, if you have any kind of paints around the house or you live by an art store, but I mean, painting is my preferred method because it's so tactile and you can just push paint around a canvas, you can pick the colors you want, you can just do whatever you're feeling, but again, it's just something to get those emotions out.

4. Take a Walk

I'll add another one in, and that's just taking a walk. I think we really underestimate the value of taking a walk around the block, even if it's 10 minutes, whatever it is, five minutes, whatever you have, but a lot of us spend way too much time on Netflix, and things like that, and that's time you could spend alone to yourself doing somewhere around the block.

5. Have a Good Cry

And then I'll throw in one more too, and that's just going and crying somewhere. I've done this many times myself. I had to learn how to do it after my brother passed, but that's also a good way just to process those raw emotions in a way where you don't want anyone watching you do that, that's fine. I'm not a big fan of that either. But I go where I feel the safest to do that, so go in a closet, or wherever that is, in your car, and just let it out.


But I think that the key point is that doing any of those things, or a combination of them, I've found to be pretty helpful in just processing that emotion, versus getting stuck in that busyness cycle, and then you keep making excuses for yourself, and before you know it, just everything's difficult to deal with, and you're a ticking time bomb at that point. Something's going to snap. You're just going to be angry at everything.

So, these are all things you could do, really accessible. They don't take very long and just do it more often than once. Do it, try to make some kind of practice out of it, even once a week to start. But anyway, I hope this is helpful. Yeah, I just wanted to share my thoughts here. So, thanks.

How to Handle the Death Anniversary of a Loved One



Hey, this is Preston Zeller. I am just going to probably ramble here a bit about anticipating the anniversary of when you lost somebody. I think there's something about getting closer to that day that makes a lot of us restless. So I have my brother's three-year anniversary of him passing away coming up tomorrow. And this week's been kind of weird, for sure. A bit like thinking about what I want to do to remember him and what my family's going to do.

And so I just thought I'd share what we're going to do, and then also some other ideas. Because I see a lot where, it's coming up ... especially the first year. That one-year anniversary, where it's just really, a year marks this pivotal point of that very early period, right? Where you're just in such distress and feeling all these crazy emotions from grief and trying to figure out what it all means for you still.

And so three years out, one thing that we've decided to do is ... my brother's favorite food was pizza. Like a lot of people. Who doesn't like pizza? But he definitely enjoyed it some more than others. And so we grew up making homemade pizza. So that's what we're going to do. We're making homemade pizza. I got some really good slow-rise dough in the fridge. And so yeah, that's one thing we're going to enjoy. We don't all get to be together physically, but we're going to do that.

Opportunity to Be Better

But instead of the day, maybe being this ominous, fortuitous ... or foreboding, I should say, day. I do think it's an opportunity to reflect on, how have I been living my life? How do I want to live my life? Because the reality is, your person's not coming back. And that's a really hard thing to swallow for, I think a lot of us. Maybe you're still in this denial phase. Or maybe you are just still embracing all of the downward-feeling thoughts and emotions versus embracing the joy and the happiness that you can have. And certainly, I hope you don't feel guilty about feeling any kind of joy or having a laugh. That's another thing that I think can often be weighing down on someone is like, I'm not allowed to feel happy. It's like, yeah, you are. Laughter and crying are, are releases of emotion. And so, why wouldn't you embrace that?

But the way I've looked at it over the years, for sure, is that I want to live a life that my brother can't live. I want to live doubly, right? Not that I'm going to these extremes, but I'm also that much more, not going to let anything hold me back. And I think it's a disservice in a way, to the person that you lost, to let that death hold you back. And to some degree, I think we can feel guilty for trying to live an abundant life, because we want to continue to hold on to the pain and the misery that it has caused us, especially in the early days. And somehow letting that go means you're going to forget about that person.

But I think it's quite the opposite. By just embracing the actuality of them being gone, you're more so using that as a way to honor them and that they're not there, and living your life in a way that is going to be fruitful. That's going to produce something of value. And what is that value? It could be just being a good person to your family, to your friends. It could be some kind of aspirations you have, and going and pursuing those. But whatever it is, using this anniversary of your loss to move into that mode, I think is super important. And I do believe the sooner we do that, the sooner you can move into this mode where you're, again, using this loss as something to be ... to motivate you. And to bring a bright spot amidst the darkness.

Turn Grief into Greatness

And there's a saying that I came up with, but it's just, to turn grief into greatness. And I think we do have a bit of a responsibility to do that versus just staying in those early days of the shock and the sadness. There will be that, for sure. There is sadness, but it doesn't have to all be sad. It doesn't have to all be depressing. It doesn't have to all be something bad. It could be something that really works in your favor, in a way. And again, using this anniversary day ... if you had music you listened to with that person. If you had certain games you played. Certainly food, that's a really big one. And doing that with family and friends. But being communal about it.

And remember that no one just leaves behind one person. I think in the US it's, they leave behind an average of five people, five close relationships. So that was in a report I read somewhere recently. So there are other people I think who want to share this with you may be more than you know or realize. Seek those people out. And even if just other grieving people who you've connected with, go do that. And I think you'll be better off for it.

And, yeah. Anyways, I hope this was helpful. If you have any comments, leave them below. I'd love to hear from you and just see what you have to say. So have a good day.