Painting with Acrylics

by Marcia Burtt

updated 10/22/16

Here is a brief description of how I use acrylic paints.

Acrylics dry fast and thin, enabling me to continually repaint areas without losing freshness. When my first thin wash works, I can leave it alone and enjoy almost the brilliance of watercolor. If, as usually happens, I want to rework or adjust shapes, I am able to paint over the dry layer immediately.

I’ve been a landscape painter for over 30 years and am still crazy about acrylics. In order to adapt to the special requirements of painting on location, I’ve devised a simple paint-and-time-saving system for taking acrylics into the open air—and, in fact, I use this system in the studio.

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Painting for Beginners

by Marcia Burtt

Painting for Beginners

Great news! If you’ve never made a painting before you won’t be hampered by all the “dos and don’ts” that confuse and constrict people who have studied art.


  1. No one but you can make a painting just like yours.
  2. Don’t worry about what anyone else would say or do.
  3. If something bothers you about your painting, change it.

Art is the one activity in which you make the rules. Because they are quick drying and opaque, acrylic paints do not demand planning. Changing your mind constantly is not a problem and in fact can add to the spontaneity and freshness of the end product. Continue reading