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If you’re new to acrylics they can be tough to learn at first.
This fast-drying medium is not as friendly to beginners who dive in head-first. And it’s a lot different than oil painting so a guide is always helpful. But we can’t always have a teacher over our shoulder.
That’s why books are so useful. They condense expert advice into the printed word and cover a huge variety of topics.
So in this post I’ve curated my top picks for the best books on acrylic painting.
Whether you’re a complete newbie with acrylics or just looking to increase your existing skills there is plenty here to pick from.
This book covers everything on how acrylic paint works, its advantages & disadvantages, plus how to use additives to improve your workflow.
There’s even a whole chapter on the materials and supplies necessary to get started with acrylic work. So even if you’ve never touched a paintbrush before this book can help you get moving right from the beginning.
Note it does help if you’re already familiar with the fundamentals of drawing before getting into any type of painting.
But you don’t really need prior painting experience to work with acrylics.
Yes it helps, but even a newbie can get up & running with this amazing guide.
You’ll start by learning how acrylics work and why you should use them. But you’ll quickly move into more detailed topics like picking your color palette, finding the right brushes, and learning how to get into a regular workflow.
The materials you can use with acrylics vary widely with knives and sponges along with shaping tools. Naturally this book covers it all along with exercises to help you learn.
It’s a great book for beginners since it covers a lot of foundational knowledge.
But there’s also plenty of advanced techniques that Barron shares between these pages.
I don’t often see this book mentioned in painting circles but I still think it’s one of the best since you can keep coming back to it for years.
The Acrylic Artist’s Bible written by Marylin Scott offers a handy reference guide to the entire painting process.
You’ll learn about pigments, types of acrylic paints, mixing colors, blending, working with dry brush and so much more. The chapters even break up into beginner topics and more advanced techniques later in the book.
With this on your bookshelf(or in your Kindle) it’ll prove useful as a painting reference for years and years.
The best part is the contents grow with your skills making this a true bible for artists.
This is truly a unique self-teaching book for any artist diving into acrylic paints for the first time.
The book spans a total of 50 small painting exercises that you can work through and practice over the series of weeks or months. You can even go back to re-do certain lessons that you don’t feel comfortable with.
And through this process you’ll learn so much about acrylics.
This should be mandatory reading for anyone who’s never used the medium before.
Here’s one of the newer books in my list and it’s also one of the best titles for more advanced artists.
In Secrets of Acrylic by Jerry Yarnell you’ll find real-world practical advice for painting landscapes. The entire book is focused solely on landscapes so this would be perfect for traditional painters with a love of the outdoors.
Yarnell shares a lot of advice on problem solving and how to approach individual studies with an intent to learn.
You’ll also see how Yarnell solves more complex problems in his acrylic paintings.
Pretty nice book with solid advice, although very specific to landscape work.