Acrylic Painting Starter Kit
7 mins read

Acrylic Painting Starter Kit

Learn fundamental skills for acrylic painting with materials, resources and programming from Plano Public Library.

Plano Public Library offers everything you need to learn a new skill, develop a new hobby, and pursue a new career. This month’s Starter Kit gathers a collection of resources to get you started painting color into your life. Explore the art form of painting with acrylics by checking out online courses and library materials today!

Did You Know?

Plano Public Library’s plethora of Early Learning programs include artistic opportunities for little ones! Exploring the world with the color and texture of paint improves cognitive development and fine motor skills. Process art celebrates the creation process and focuses on learning skills while creating. Keep an eye out for these popular Early Learning programs this summer:

Baby Picasso (0-18 months)

Did you know doing artwork with your baby is good for their motor and cognitive development? Explore the benefits of doing art with your child! Wear clothing that is paint and mess friendly.

Mini Monet (18-36 months)

Calling all toddler artists! Explore the benefits of doing art activities with your toddler to encourage their motor and cognitive development. Wear clothing that is paint and mess friendly.

Art Start (3-5 years)

Stories to inspire your little artist followed by a different hands-on activity each week. Things may get messy! Smocks and materials provided.


Playing with Paints: Acrylics by Courtney Burden: Break the rules and explore acrylic paint in a free and fun way. This book encourages you to get over the fear of the blank canvas and the anxiety over the outcome so you can focus on the process of painting and the pure joy of creating. Whether you’re a novice who doesn’t know how to get started or a classical painter looking to try something new, you will benefit from the activities in this book, which range from quick, messy and expressive exercises to relaxing and meditative paintings. | Book |

Paint Lab: 52 Exercises Inspired by Artists, Materials, Time, Place, and Method by Deborah Forman: Paint Lab is packed with unique and experimental techniques and ideas in painting. This hands-on book is organized into 52 units, which may, but don’t need to be explored on a weekly basis. The labs can be worked on in any order, so that you can flip around to learn a new mixed-media technique or be inspired by a particular painting theme or application. The underlying message of this book is that, as an artist, you should learn and gain expertise through experimentation and play. There is no right or wrong result, rather you will find new forms of expression in your work and gain confidence in your skills. | Book |

Acrylic: Do More Art by Rita Isaac: Get creative with acrylic, the world’s most versatile paint. Packed with over 40 essential techniques and creative ideas, this practical guide reveals how to get the most out of acrylic paint, in all its forms. With easy-to-follow instructions and examples by some of the best artists working today, ACRYLIC is guaranteed to inspire, whatever your ability. | Book |


Acrylics by Alix Wood: Rich colors, elaborate textures, and expressive brush strokes make painting with acrylics an adventure. This introduction to acrylics gives beginning artists the fundamentals they will need to master this lively art form. Creative projects teach artists important skills while they make masterpieces of their own. | Book |

Paint It: the Art of Acrylics, Oils, Pastels, and Watercolors by Mari Bolte: Any master starts at the beginning. Dip your brush into oil, acrylic, and watercolor paints, and sharpen your pastels. Develop essential techniques that will propel your art from scribbles to masterpieces.. | Book |

Online Materials
The Great Courses via Kanopy

How to Paint – Practice painting in the company of an award-winning artist and professor. Not only will you learn how to select tools and apply techniques, but you’ll develop the visual skills and muscle memory that make painting an infinitely adaptable form of artistic expression. These 24 lessons feature hands-on demonstrations that bring the art school experience into your own home.

Plano Public Library Program Recordings

Color Theory – An object does not have inherent color, instead its surface reflects some colors and absorbs others. Therefore, when you see a color, you are seeing what is reflected. Seeing color is dependent on how your brain perceives it. To test out how your brain (not just your eyes) sees color, let’s do an experiment with an afterimage optical illusion!

Creative Coloring in Adobe Photoshop Workshop – Learn how to bring illustrations and comics to life with fun and easy techniques that go beyond the paintbrush tool. In this class we will look at advanced layer options and color adjustment settings to create added effects to a colored illustration.

LinkedIn Learning

Painting Foundations: Acrylic – Using acrylics is the simplest and most effective way for an absolute beginner to learn how to paint successfully. Acrylics can be used in thin layers like watercolors, or in thicker, more opaque applications of paint, like oil paint. Acrylics dry quickly and can be diluted and cleaned with water, making them simple to use, odorless, and accessible to all. In this course, Will Kemp takes you on a journey that will unleash your inner artist, providing an introduction to the materials and techniques used in acrylic painting.

Painting and Developing a Composition – In these videos, Mary Jane creates thumbnail sketches to conceptualize the layout and chooses the thumbnail that best communicates the message. She then translates that thumbnail into a larger sketch and uses color and texture to pull together a composition suitable for showing to a client or using as the basis for a final painting or illustration. These lessons show how an artist works on her feet, and puts concepts such as the rules of thirds, negative space, and drawing from reference materials into a real-world context.

Learning Digital Painting – Never painted digitally before? You don’t need a lot of special equipment to get started, just some creative ideas, a computer, and the right software. John Derry will help you learn the rest: mixing paint, working with layers and brushes, using color creatively, and sketching. He also covers uniquely digital techniques, such as dipping a paintbrush into a photograph or painting with cloning. Even if you’ve never picked up a conventional paintbrush, the techniques in this course will help you start creating your own unique works of art.

We hope this resource list is beneficial to your personal and professional goals. View other Starter Kit blog posts to explore more ways to enrich your life. You can find all of this and more at your local Plano Public Library

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