Frequently Asked Questions
Here is a list of the most common questions. To find your question, try doing “control F” on your keyboard. If your question is unanswered here, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
Common Questions about acrylic painting
Does acrylic paint stain?
Acrylic paint will stain clothing items. You might be able to use a stain remover right away but most likely the color will not come out of clothing. If acrylic paint gets on your hands/ hair it will come off with soap and water. Also, acrylic paint may stain unfinished surfaces so make sure you protect your work space.
Do I have to use an easel?
Using an easel gives you good perspective on your work, however, you don’t have to use an easel. You can lay your canvas flat. Just make sure you take a step back and look at your painting every once in awhile.
Is acrylic paint water based?
Yes! You can add water to acrylics to thin them out and even use them like water colors.
How long does it take for the paint to dry?
Drying times vary depending on the humidity level in the room, how much water has been added to the paint, how thick the paint is applied to the canvas, etc. Therefore, it is hard to say how long a painting will take to dry. Since these tutorials are more along the lines of a “paint party” painting, they typically will dry within a few hours.
Is there a way to speed up drying time?
Yes! Use a hair dryer if you would like your painting to completely dry between layers. You can also use a fan or just wave the canvas around to let the air dry it.
Do you add any mediums to your paint?
I don’t. There are products out there that you can add to the paint to decrease drying times, increase thickness, decrease thickness or basically anything you can think of! I don’t specialize in any extra mediums.
Do I need to seal my painting?
You don’t need to seal a painting but if you want to, you can get a varnish that has various sheen levels and apply it over your painting.
Do I have to prime my canvas?
Most likely the canvas you bought already has “gesso” on it. In fact, if it is a bright white color, it is pre-gessoed! That means the acrylic paint won’t soak into the canvas at all and you are good to go. No prep needed, just paint right on the canvas!
Common Questions about this Website
I’m brand new! How does all this work?
Welcome! I always say, pick a painting that you like and then go for it! You’ll be surprise at what you can do, especially if you’ve never painted before. If it looks like something that you may need to draw, chances are there will be a “printable” to go with it so you can trace it onto the canvas. In my tutorials, I list materials needed, step by step process pictures with detailed directions and a video. You take as much time as needed to learn how to do the painting! Then if you fall in love with painting too, you can follow me on Facebook, Pinterest or Email to stay up to date with all my blog posts and new tutorials! You can also read up on supplies to start with and basic acrylic painting techniques.
Do you host paint parties/ can I book a party?
No I do not. You may utilize this website to have your own personal paint party at home 🙂 If you would like to learn how to DIY a paint party, you can see my post here about that!
Are these for kids?
This website is intended for adults. However, you can most certainly use these tutorials for your kids! Most are easy enough that kids can do with guidance. I do have a few paintings that are especially intended to be kid friendly but with adult guidance. I always recommend 100% that you supervise your child when utilizing this website and when using art materials.
Can I print your tutorial?
Yes you may. You can print the entire tutorial like you print a recipe or any website. Just right click your mouse and click “print”. If you do decide to print, please only use my tutorial privately and never use them for profit (see copyright questions below). If you are a public school teacher and distributing the tutorial, please make sure to give credit to this website.
Do you sell DVDs?
No but that is a cool idea! As of now I’m only in an online format.
Am I able to play your videos on the TV so I can watch from there?
Yes, maybe – depending on the technology you have. A lot of people express this interest. I have a video library here on this website where you can utilize those to “cast” onto the TV. If you need immediate assistance with this, message me on the Facebook Page. Basically you need some type of device (like a chrome cast, Wii, Xbox, etc.) that can “cast” what is on your phone, tablet or laptop to the TV.
How long will the paintings take me to do?
Depending on the complexity, the paintings should take anywhere from 2-3 hours to complete. If you’re painting on a smaller 8 x 10 canvas, then I’d say about an hour. Most (and I say most because I’m not always consistent with this) tutorials will state somewhere how long the painting should take you.
How often do you make new painting tutorials?
One painting per week is always the goal but sometimes it’s every other week depending on life! 🙂 I’m a super busy mama with three very young kids so it’s not always easy to upload a new tutorial each week. Lately I’ve been uploading new ones every weekend.
What is the easiest painting on this website?
You can look at the list that I recommend for kids (but they are actually for all ages). Also, these tutorials are easy and could be great “first paintings”: American Flag, Cat and Moon, Owl and Moon, and Bear Silhouette Moon.
Do you take requests?
You can send me your request and I really do love hearing all your ideas! However, my workload is high, especially around holidays! I will add your ideas to my list and try to honor them as much as possible.
Questions about Supplies
Do you sell supplies for paint parties?
No I do not. I provide recommendations of where you can get supplies and list all those with links to Amazon, Michael’s and other retailers. See my supply page here.
What brushes do you use?
I use Royal & Langnickel Zen Brushes. You can get these at Michael’s, Blick, Amazon and a few other Art Retailers. A good starter set is this one on Amazon. However, if you’re just starting out and want an economical option, you can get any variety pack of brushes! Look for a pack that says synthetic and something that has a variety of flat brushes & round brushes (especially tiny rounds).
What size brushes do you use most often?
- 3/4″ Flat Wash Brush
- #4 Bright
- #12 Bright
- #4 Round
- #10/0 Liner
- Fan Brush
What paint do you use?
I use Student Grade acrylic paint. If you want a good starter set, I highly recommend this one! It’s the 48 piece Liquitex BASICS set and it includes all the colors you may need (besides maybe a few but you’ll be able to get by).
There’s a few other brands I use throughout this website and they are also economical student grade paints as well: Decoart Americana Premium, Artist’s Loft. Some 2017 and early 2018 tutorials were done with Apple Barrel Craft paints. You can use craft paints too, see below about craft paints. As of 2019, I have officially settled with using Liquitex BASICS exclusively.
Can I convert colors across brands?
Yes, kind of, sort of 😉 I created a page for this here. Note that colors won’t convert 100% across brands but you can get a close impression of the color. This may be helpful if you’re doing a DIY party and want to get the Apple Barrel Craft paints. If you ever need help with a color, you can message me directly on the Facebook page.
Can I use craft paint?
Yes. Craft paint is acrylic paint (unless it says otherwise on the bottle). I like it because it flows nicely and dries fast. I think craft paint is friendly for the absolute beginner or families and kids. It does fine as a paint party paint because you can get it at a great price! There are a few cons of using craft paint. You may have to apply multiple coats, it is full of “fillers” and I find it hard to blend together (like if you’re trying to shade something). My favorite craft paint to use is the Apple Barrel Craft Paints!
What canvases do you use?
I like to get 11″ x 14″ stretched canvases. You may see a few older tutorials done on the 16″ x 20″ or 8″ x 10″ thrown into the mix. I like getting the Artist Loft Bulk Packs at Michaels (BEST deal out there)! I also get this 11″x14″ bulk pack at Amazon when needing to shop on Amazon.com. Note that any of my paintings can be done on any size canvas. You are not restricted to the size!
Can I paint on a different size canvas or object?
Yes! You can paint on any size, material, object, etc.! You can paint on rocks, walls, wood, paper… If you’re using a traceable, you may need to adjust the scale of the print-out using Adobe PDF print settings. I give instructions for this here. Keep in mind that proportions change when you use a different size canvas. A 16 x 20 and an 8 x 10 is equal proportions. However, 11 x 14 is not equal proportion to 16 x 20. You can still paint on any size you’d like but you may need to stretch the design, shrink the design or fill in some blank areas.
How do I clean my brushes?
Check your brush manufacturer for special instructions. My recommendation is to look into getting a good brush cleaner like this one. Thoroughly clean your brushes with mild soap and water after each cleaning session. Try not to use hot water because that tends to melt some of the glue that attaches the brush parts (ahem I know this from experience haha). Also make sure your bristles are pointing up when they are being stored. Try to dry them before storing so the water does not seep down into the wood of the handle.
Can I paint over a painting that I messed up on ?
Yes! I do it a lot. Use white acrylic paint or black paint. You can also use gesso (the preferred way). Or you can use a matte acrylic paint color so the surface won’t be shiny. For black canvas paintings, I actually like painting over with the Apple Barrel because it gives a matte finish. I recently bought this Artist Loft Gesso from Michaels and I love it and use it specifically for painting over.
What Other Supplies do you use?
I have an Amazon storefront where I list all the supplies that I use and recommend for this type of painting. You can find that here. To name a few other supplies: foam pouncers, medium, paint pens, etc.
Do I have to get the supplies you use?
Nope! While many prefer to get the exact supplies I use as a means to understand the tutorial better, it is certainly not required. You can get your favorite brand of paint and brushes if it’s different from what I use. You can even use different size brushes.
Can I finish my paintings with a varnish sealer?
Yes! I usually don’t varnish paintings unless I’m planning on selling something or gifting a painting to someone. I use this brand of acrylic sealer in the satin finish. The semi gloss and satin finish will make colors look more richer and deeper!
Questions about Social Media
Are you on Instagram?
I’m working on it! If you want to tag me, use #traciekiernan or #stepbysteppainting
Are you on YouTube?
Yes but I’m not that active on there so you may not be able to see all my stuff. My channel is here.
Do you have a Facebook Group?
At this time I only have a Facebook Page. There is an area that you can post a public comment and/or photo. Click on the “community tab” on the Facebook page. A Facebook “Group” is something I may be exploring in the future.
I uploaded my “tried it” on Pinterest but you haven’t seen it yet.
As of now I don’t have the means to check all my pin “tried it” uploads anymore 🙁 I don’t get notifications when someone comments or uploads a picture on a Pin. Occasionally I’ll click around and look at the art and try to comment but there’s just so many! If you really want me to see it, please upload on our Facebook Page instead and I will get a notification!
How do I show you my painting?
Can I contact you?
How will I know when there’s a new one?
Subscribe to my emailing list! Or check back often 🙂 Also you can follow me on Pinterest and Facebook. At the bottom of this page there is also a “subscribe to this blog” area where you can enter your email.
Copyright common questions
I get a lot of questions about using my tutorials in various settings. As a rule of thumb, as long as you aren’t making a profit and/or a business out of my art, then you are okay to use the tutorials. This is mostly in regards to paint studios and mobile paint party businesses. If you are interested in licensing my designs for your profitable paint party business, please contact me directly and we can work out a “win-win” plan so you can use the designs for a small monthly fee. Selling your art in a private sale is okay. Just make sure you give credit to myself as the original artist.
Can I use your tutorial in my school classroom?
Yes! If you are a public school art teacher, volunteer, non-profit teacher, etc. then use of these tutorials is okay and encouraged!
Can I give my painting as a gift or donation?
Yes! Gifting and donating is fine.
Can I sell my painting?
Yes! You can “privately” sell individual paintings you’ve created from utilizing this website! I ask that if you are selling, that you provide an attribution on the back of the painting and/or on your online listing to give credit to this website or myself (Inspired from https://stepbysteppainting.net, Original Art by Tracie Kiernan). Please do not use my original photographs of my paintings on your online listing.
Can I use your tutorial for my DIY paint night?
Yes! DIY Paint Nights are encouraged. However, if you are in the business of doing paint parties, you will need to get a license agreement. See below.
Do you license to Paint Party Businesses and Mobile Paint Nights?
Yes! I do have a private licensing program. I understand the need to outsource new designs for your business because it takes a lot of time to create all these lessons. You can contact me directly here about terms and pricing or send me a quick message on Facebook.
Can I put your design on a mug or t-shirt?
Yes and no. If you did your own painting then I don’t see the problem with you putting it on an object and giving it as a gift or making a “one time private sale”. However, it is against my policy to put my designs on such objects to be used for your profitable business (like Zazzle, Amazon and any other “drop ship” companies).
Can I post your image on social media?
Yes! That is how I have grown my website, with the help of social media! So do post my images. Do post the paintings you’ve done! Do share my tutorials EVERYWHERE! BUT please, please, please provide a link!!!!
I’m a non-profit, can I use your tutorials for a class?
Non-profit use is typically okay as long as any funds generated go back to the organization. I understand a lot of events like this may need to cover the costs of the materials so therefore you charge. Please contact me for permission of use if you are planning on publishing my exact images in either online, print or public format so I am aware of this image use. I also LOVE to hear about your events and would be willing to share them on the FB Page! So please let me know 🙂
What about a fundraiser?
I’m typically okay with this if it’s for a church, a school, a fire department, charity, etc. If you are planning on posting my images online or in a public format, please contact me to let me know! I love to hear about how you’re using my art for charity!
Do you have a policy for bloggers wanting to do a round up post?
You’re welcome to use my images as long as you provide a link back. Using my images without a link is strictly prohibited. Please do not copy and paste my entire post without permission.
Technical Related Questions
There’s a glitch or a link is broken!
Contact me here and if it’s something more urgent (like the site is down), contact me on my Facebook Page for a more immediate response. There was a site wide update done at the end of December 2018 and, while I have done a lot of testing, there may be something off so please let me know. You can also comment on a post if something isn’t working.
I have feedback or something else to ask but it’s not listed here.
Contact me here. You can also comment on a post and I will get a notification right away 🙂
There is a video that is not working
Let me know! You can post a comment on the post where the video isn’t working and I will try to fix the glitch.