Tutorial – Layering acrylic paint colors


paper, pencil, acrylic paint in primary colors (red, yellow, and blue), paint brushes, cup of water, paper towels


Layer 1

Draw a square on the paper with the pencil

drawing square

Use the pencil to separate the square into three sections

drawing inside square

For this technique, you can use the paint straight out of the tube

red paint

Add a small amount of paint to a wet brush.  You can always add more paint or more water.

paint on brush

Paint each section with the colors red, yellow, and bluepainting inside box

Now the waiting part.  Wait until the paint is completely dry.  This should take 15-30 minutes, but successive layers will take longer to dry.  Use this time to get some errands done, play video games, or whatever you want.

red yellow blue

Layer 2

Turn the paper around 90 degrees and divide the square again into 3 sections

drawing lines

Paint over each section with the colors red, yellow, and blue.  Use a thin (watered down) layer with visible brushstrokes.

painting red

painting yellow

painting  blue

Observe your completed second layer and allow to dry completely

003 (2)

Note that when yellow and red are layered, they appear orange.  When red and blue are layered, they appear purple.  When yellow and blue are layered, they appear green.

Layer 3

Now turn the paper another 90 degrees and divide each 3rd into three sections

004 (2)Paint each section red, yellow, and blue.  Repeat for all 3 sections.

007 (3)

008 (2)Here you get multi-dimensional color:

010 (2)012 (2)011 (2)Layer 4

Once layer 3 dries completely, turn the page another 90 degrees and repeat the same procedure as above

008 (3)

009 (2)

010 (3)

011 (3)

Here’s the finished product:

014 (3)

What did you notice about the way acrylic paint colors interact when layered?


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