Advanced Painting With Acrylics

These books can enhance your knowledge and skills for Advanced Acrylic Painting.

A student once said to me, "I guess I'm advanced, but I don't feel advanced."

I assured him that in art, the term "advanced" usually refers to a student having gone through a certain series of learning experiences and demonstrating that they had mastered them. "But, there's a lot I don't know," he replied. I assured him that at age 75, I felt the same way.

In art, as in life, learning is endless. We change as we grow and our needs to know grow and change with us. The reason why I split classes up into three sections of Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced is because there are skills and techniques learned in "beginning" that assist in learning "intermediate" and there are skills and techniques in "intermediate" that assist development in "advanced."

To be sure, "advanced" is the time when students seek to find their own personal way. They have, in their artistic arsenal, enough knowledge about skills, techniques and materials to start investigating what they are interested in working on.

For example, if you know about the types of acrylic paint, the brushes and canvases on the market, you know what you want to use. You can choose flow-type over heavy bodied paints. You can buy sizes of canvases you like and you have a feeling for the brushes that fit what you want to express.

It is time to investigate what you want to do. This requires a review of previous work and a close personal scrutiny as to the direction you want to take in acrylic painting.

Here is a print out checklist I give my students to start that inner dialogue and to begin moving towards personal development in painting.  I encourage them to write the answers next to the questions and to examine or re-examine their responses on a weekly basis.

What do you like to paint?

How do you like to paint?

What is rewarding for you in painting?

What new materials and/or ideas do you want to try?

What really interests you (not what you think you should be interested in.)

Where do you see yourself in a year from now?

What do you truly want to accomplish between now and then?

Here are some videos that may help you make those decisions.

Three videos I created show in depth (I know they are long) how a painting can be developed. I did not want to speed them up, because I think it is important how much time can be spent on art making. There are three videos all together that show that development.

In this fast-moving digital age we expect everything to happen instantly. Sometimes, to discover yourself and what you want to create, you have to take a deep breath, slow down and read what is in your inner mind.

Another area I think advanced students should research (if they haven't already) is abstract painting.

Yes, painting very personally without recognizable images has been viable since the early 20th century, and this kind of painting is America's legacy, because so many European painters under the threat of war came here. A new culture was born and has been thriving ever since.

I like working in abstract, expressionist ways and over seek to inspire my students to investigate this exciting and inspirational way of painting with acrylics

And here are some wonderful books on the subject of abstract painting...

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Real Feedback

Hello Lois....In your introductory e-mail you asked about who I am. I'm retired. As I watched my triplet grandchildren drawing and creating fine looking artwork, I got to thinking about how much I had enjoyed drawing when I was about their age. My recollection is that I was pretty good but in truth probably not as good as my aging memory recalls. I do know, though, that I enjoyed it very much. So one day I sat down with paper and pencil to sketch a masterpiece only to find that all the talent I had as a teenager had been lost somewhere on my journey to senior citizenship. The desire, if not the ability, was there so I began searching the net for drawing lessons. I was surprised to find sites that actually provided free lessons. (I fully expected to pay for lessons) I was most impressed with your site so here I am....hoping to reawaken a long suppressed interest in the art of drawing.

Darrell Larson


Thanks Lois,

I really enjoy your classes. It has really helped me improve my skill with various materials. Also, I love your voice on the videos...very relaxing.

Gena Smith


As you know I was scared to put a brush to a canvas. You said keep paintin and I did and now I do much better. How do you like the trees?

Allen G. New Port Richie, FL

The art world has a large and very rich collection of self-portraits that will inspire you! Here are some of my favorites:

Frieda Khalo self-portrait

Van Gogh self portrait

Rembrandt self portrait

Monet self portrait