The Acrylic Painter

The Acrylic Painter

Tools and Techniques for the Most Versatile Medium

About the Book

A complete course on acrylic painting for beginners and experienced artists that covers classic approaches and new innovations 

Embraced for versatility, quick-drying properties, and non-toxicity, no medium offers a wider range of effects forcreating highly expressive art than acrylics. With its flexibility and ease of use, acrylic paint is a must-try for painters—no matter your skill level.

Here noted artist and School of Visual Arts instructor James Van Patten draws from years of experience to show you how to use acrylics to achieve a variety of results—from watercolor-like transparency and the flatness of tempera and gouache to the buttery quality of oils. He presents an insider’s look at the most up-to-date tools, materials, and techniques used by top painters in the medium to produce highly expressive art. 

Van Patten offers guidance on materials, processes, balance, and composition, and focuses on effectively using color in painting. Replete with detailed step-by-step technical demonstrations and a catalog of inspiring works by notable past and contemporary artists, as well as the author himself and his students, The Acrylic Painter provides a complete, classic art instruction manual for painters of all abilities in one of today’s most popular types of paint.
Read more

Praise for The Acrylic Painter

"This beautifully illustrated and clearly written book is destined to become the Bible for acrylic painters. Based on a lifetime of experience as a painter, Van Patten walks the reader through the various properties of competing brands and products of acrylic paint, brushes, additives and supports.  He describes and demonstrates a wide variety of techniques including blending, layering, feathering, rewetting, glazing, stippling, wet-into-wet and much more besides.  Van Patten also discusses a broad swath of artistic endeavors ranging from hyper-real rendering to painterly abstraction.  He introduces basic color theory and shows how knowledge of it can be used in practical situations.  Along the way the book is peppered with tips on studio practice, demonstrations, analysis of paintings, solutions for framing  and a great deal of sheer enthusiasm for both the medium and the art of painting in general. It's hard to imagine a book that could be more useful, practical, informative and inspiring for an acrylic painter."
—JOHN PARKS, painter and faculty member at the School of Visual Arts in New York, author of Universal Principles of Art

“ James Van Patten shares his world of painterly know-how as a masterchef communicates a lifetime of kitchen savvy. This book is redolent withthe taste of color, the sound of paint, the smell of canvas . . . and repletewith visual spectacle. It’s easy to consume, just follow the recipes.”
—MARILYNN GELFMAN KARP, author of In Flagrante Collecto, professor of art at New York University

“James Van Patten is an innovative and gifted technical painter whobrings decades of insight into the making of this book.”
—JAMES KIRK and MARK R. SMITH, artists and educators
Read more

About the Author

James Van Patten
James Van Patten is a native of Seattle, Washington, where he graduated from the University of Washington in 1965 with a BA in art education with an emphasis on painting. He completed his MFA in 1968 in Painting with minors in both Art History and Printmaking from Michigan State University. He has taught painting (as well as other studio classes), and lectured in art history at the university level in the ensuing years on both coasts and in the Midwest. Presently, he is a professor of painting at the School of Visual Arts in New York, NY. There he has taught the only course in acrylic techniques offered by SVA for over twenty years. He’s spent bulk of his career in the studio as a practicing artist, working primarily in acrylic paint on large-scale landscape paintings. OK Harris, New York, NY represented him exclusively for over thirty years, and for over a decade the Plus One Gallery of London has shown his work exclusively in England. His work is featured in collections throughout the United States and Europe. More by James Van Patten
Decorative Carat