How To Make Acrylic Look Like Oil?

If you want to make your acrylic paintings resemble the look and texture of oil paintings, there are a few techniques you can use. By employing specific painting techniques, mediums, and tools, you can achieve a realistic oil-like appearance with your acrylics. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced artist, these methods will help you create stunning and convincing oil-like effects using acrylic paints.

One technique is to use a slow-drying medium that extends the drying time of your acrylics, giving you more flexibility and a longer working time similar to that of oil paints. This allows for blending, glazing, and layering of colors, which are characteristic of oil painting techniques.

Another method is to use a heavy body or extra-thick acrylic paint. These paints have a higher viscosity and can be applied with impasto techniques, creating thick, textured brushstrokes that resemble the impasto style often seen in oil paintings.

Using a palette knife rather than a brush can also help achieve an oil-like effect with your acrylic paints. The palette knife allows for more control and can create a textured, expressive quality in your paintings. Experiment with different angles and pressure to create unique and interesting textures.

Adding a glazing medium to your acrylics can also enhance their translucency, depth, and luminosity, similar to the way oil glazes create a rich and vibrant effect. Apply thin, transparent layers of glazes to build

how to make acrylic look like oil

Utilizing Layering Techniques in Acrylic Painting to Achieve an Oil-like Effect

Acrylic painting is a versatile medium that offers a wide range of possibilities for artists. While it is known for its quick drying time and vibrant colors, some artists may find it challenging to achieve the depth and texture that is typically associated with oil paintings. However, by utilizing layering techniques, artists can create an oil-like effect in their acrylic paintings and enhance the overall quality of their artwork.

1. Building a Solid Foundation

The first step in achieving an oil-like effect in acrylic painting is to establish a solid foundation by applying multiple layers of paint. Start with a toned canvas or a layer of gesso to provide a smooth and even surface for your artwork. Then, gradually build up layers of paint, allowing each layer to dry before applying the next. This layering technique will add depth and dimension to your painting.

2. Working with Transparent and Opaque Colors

Another important aspect of achieving an oil-like effect in acrylic painting is understanding the properties of transparent and opaque colors. Transparent colors allow light to pass through, creating a luminous effect, while opaque colors provide more coverage and can be used to create texture. By strategically layering transparent and opaque colors, artists can create a sense of depth and richness in their paintings.

3. Glazing and Scumbling Techniques

Glazing and scumbling are two techniques commonly used in oil painting to create depth and texture. These techniques can also be applied in acrylic painting to achieve an oil-like effect. Glazing involves applying a thin, transparent layer of paint over a dried layer of paint, allowing the lower layers to show through. This technique can be used to create subtle color variations and luminosity. Scumbling, on the other hand, involves applying a thin, opaque layer of paint over a dried layer of paint, creating a textured effect. By incorporating these techniques into your acrylic painting, you can enhance the visual interest and realism of your artwork.

4. Using Mediums and Extenders

Acrylic mediums and extenders can be valuable tools in achieving an oil-like effect. These products can be mixed with acrylic paint to change the consistency and drying time, allowing for easier blending and extended working time. For example, a slow-drying medium can be added to acrylic paint to mimic the longer drying time of oil paint, giving artists more time to work with the paint and create smooth transitions between colors. Experimenting with different mediums and extenders can help artists find the right balance and achieve the desired effect in their acrylic paintings.

5. Embracing Texture and Impasto

Texture is an essential element in creating an oil-like effect in acrylic painting. Embracing impasto techniques, which involve applying thick layers of paint, can add texture and dimension to your artwork. Acrylic paint can be mixed with various texture mediums, such as gel or molding paste, to create raised surfaces and interesting textures. By using palette knives or brushes to apply the paint in a more expressive and textured manner, artists can achieve a similar effect to that of oil paintings.

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By utilizing layering techniques in acrylic painting, artists can achieve an oil-like effect and elevate the quality of their artwork. Building a solid foundation, working with transparent and opaque colors, incorporating glazing and scumbling techniques, using mediums and extenders, and embracing texture and impasto are all effective strategies to create depth, richness, and realism in acrylic paintings. With practice and experimentation, artists can master these techniques and create stunning artworks that rival the beauty of traditional oil paintings.

Enhancing Acrylic Paintings with Texture: Achieving Oil-like Impasto

Acrylic paint is a versatile and popular medium that offers a wide range of possibilities for artists. However, one of the challenges that artists sometimes face when working with acrylics is achieving the rich texture and depth that is often associated with oil paintings. Fortunately, there are techniques that can be used to enhance acrylic paintings with texture, giving them a more oil-like impasto effect.

1. Building up Layers

One of the key techniques for achieving texture in acrylic paintings is building up layers of paint. By layering thick applications of paint onto the canvas, artists can create texture and depth. Start by applying a thin base layer of paint and then gradually build up thicker layers on top. This will create a three-dimensional effect and mimic the impasto texture of oil paint.

2. Using Texture Mediums

Texture mediums are specifically formulated to enhance the texture and body of acrylic paint. These mediums can be mixed with acrylic paint to create a thicker consistency and provide a more tactile surface. They are available in various forms, such as gels, pastes, and modeling compounds. Experiment with different texture mediums to achieve the desired level of texture and impasto effect.

3. Mixing in Additives

Adding additives to acrylic paint can also help to increase its texture. There are various additives available, such as sand, pumice, or glass beads, which can be mixed directly into the paint. These additives will create texture and provide a gritty surface, similar to the texture found in oil paintings. Be sure to mix the additives thoroughly to ensure even distribution throughout the paint.

4. Using Palette Knife Techniques

The palette knife is a versatile tool that can be used to create texture and impasto effects in acrylic paintings. Instead of using brushes, try applying paint directly to the canvas using a palette knife. This technique allows for thicker applications of paint and can create bold, textured strokes. Experiment with different palette knife techniques to achieve the desired texture and depth in your acrylic paintings.

5. Adding Impasto Medium

Impasto medium is a gel-like substance that can be mixed with acrylic paint to increase its thickness and texture. This medium is specifically designed to replicate the impasto effect of oil paint. Mix the impasto medium with your acrylic paint to create a thick, buttery consistency that can be applied in heavy, textured layers. This technique will give your acrylic paintings a more realistic and oil-like appearance.

6. Experimenting with Tools

Don’t limit yourself to traditional paintbrushes when working with acrylics. Experiment with different tools to create texture and achieve an impasto effect. For example, try using sponges, toothbrushes, or even your fingers to apply paint to the canvas. These unconventional tools can create interesting textures and add depth to your acrylic paintings.


Enhancing acrylic paintings with texture to achieve an oil-like impasto effect is possible with the right techniques and materials. By building up layers, using texture mediums, adding additives, employing palette knife techniques, using impasto mediums, and experimenting with different tools, artists can transform their acrylic paintings into textured masterpieces. With these techniques, artists can enjoy the versatility of acrylic paint while still capturing the rich texture and depth seen in traditional oil paintings.

Utilizing Glazing Techniques in Acrylic Painting: Creating Depth and Luminosity

Acrylic painting is a versatile and popular medium among artists. With its fast-drying properties and vibrant colors, acrylic paints allow for a wide range of artistic expressions. One technique that can greatly enhance the depth and luminosity of an acrylic painting is glazing. Glazing involves applying thin, transparent layers of paint over dried layers to create complex color interactions and a sense of depth.

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Glazing in acrylic painting can be achieved using various methods and materials. Here, we will explore some effective techniques to utilize glazes and elevate your acrylic paintings to a whole new level of depth and luminosity.

1. Choosing the Right Colors

When it comes to glazing, it is important to choose the right colors. Transparent or translucent colors work best for glazing as they allow light to pass through, creating a luminous effect. Colors such as phthalo blue, quinacridone magenta, and cadmium yellow medium are excellent choices for glazing.

2. Building Layers

The key to successful glazing is building up multiple layers of transparent paint. Start with a dry base layer of paint and then apply thin glazes of color on top. Each layer adds depth and richness to the painting. Allow each layer to dry completely before applying the next one to avoid muddying the colors.

3. Varying Brushwork

Experiment with different brushwork techniques to create interesting textures and effects. Use soft brushes for smooth glazes and stiffer brushes for more textured glazes. You can also try dry brushing or scumbling techniques to add depth and texture to specific areas of your painting.

4. Blending and Feathering

When applying glazes, it is important to blend and feather the edges to create a seamless transition between colors. Use a soft, clean brush to gently blend the edges of the glazes, creating a smooth and gradual gradient. This technique helps to create a sense of depth and dimension in your painting.

5. Using Mediums and Extenders

Mediums and extenders can be added to the glazing process to modify the consistency and drying time of the paint. Glazing mediums help to thin the paint for smoother application, while extenders increase the drying time, allowing for more blending and layering.

6. Experimenting with Complementary Colors

Using complementary colors in glazing can create vibrant and eye-catching effects. Complementary colors are those that are opposite each other on the color wheel, such as blue and orange or red and green. Applying thin glazes of complementary colors over each other can create a sense of depth and luminosity.

7. Adding Highlights and Shadows

Once you have built up multiple layers of glazes, you can add highlights and shadows to further enhance the depth of your painting. Use opaque or semi-opaque colors to create contrast and bring certain areas forward or push them back.

8. Protecting Your Glazes

After you have finished glazing your painting, it is important to protect the layers. Apply a varnish or a protective coating over the painting to preserve the glazes and prevent them from being damaged.

In summary, utilizing glazing techniques in acrylic painting can greatly enhance the depth and luminosity of your artwork. By choosing the right colors, building layers, varying brushwork, blending and feathering, using mediums and extenders, experimenting with complementary colors, and adding highlights and shadows, you can create stunning effects in your acrylic paintings. So, unleash your creativity and explore the world of glazing to take your acrylic paintings to new heights!

Adding Resin to Acrylic Paintings: Achieving a Glossy, Oil-like Finish

Acrylic paintings have gained immense popularity in the art world due to their vibrancy, versatility, and quick drying nature. However, many artists and art enthusiasts desire a glossy, oil-like finish for their acrylic artworks. This is where adding resin to acrylic paintings comes into play. In this section, we will explore the process of achieving a glossy, oil-like finish by incorporating resin into acrylic paintings.

1. Understanding Resin

Resin is a synthetic material that is commonly used as a protective coating for various surfaces, including art pieces. When applied to an acrylic painting, resin creates a glossy, smooth finish that resembles the appearance of oil paintings. There are two main types of resin used in art: epoxy resin and polyurethane resin.

Epoxy resin is a popular choice among artists as it provides a highly durable, crystal-clear finish. It is self-leveling, which means it spreads evenly without leaving brush marks or uneven surfaces. Polyurethane resin, on the other hand, offers a slightly less clear finish but is more resistant to UV light and yellowing over time.

2. Preparing Your Painting

Before applying resin to your acrylic painting, it is crucial to ensure that the artwork is fully dry, cured, and free from dust or debris. Allow the painting to dry for at least 48 hours or as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Clean the surface gently using a soft brush or compressed air to remove any loose particles.

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3. Applying Resin

Prepare a clean, dust-free workspace with sufficient ventilation and covering to protect from dust or insects settling on the resin’s surface during the curing process. Follow these steps to apply resin to your acrylic painting:

  1. Mix the resin and hardener according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Use a clean, disposable container and stir gently to avoid introducing air bubbles.
  2. Pour the resin mixture onto the center of the painting’s surface.
  3. Spread the resin evenly using a foam brush or a silicone spatula. Work from the center towards the edges, ensuring full coverage of the painting.
  4. If needed, use a heat gun or a blow torch on low settings to eliminate any trapped air bubbles. Move the heat source in a sweeping motion, maintaining a safe distance from the painting.
  5. Allow the resin to cure as per the manufacturer’s instructions. This typically takes 24-48 hours.

4. Finishing Touches

Once the resin has fully cured, you can make any final adjustments or enhancements to your acrylic painting. If desired, you can sand the surface with fine-grit sandpaper to remove any imperfections or unevenness. However, be cautious not to damage the resin layer or the underlying painting.

5. Maintaining your Resin-Finished Acrylic Painting

Resin provides a durable and long-lasting finish for acrylic paintings, but proper maintenance is essential to preserve its glossy appearance. Follow these tips to care for your resin-finished artwork:

  • Avoid placing the painting in direct sunlight or near a heat source as it can cause discoloration or warping of the resin.
  • Use a soft, lint-free cloth to gently wipe away dust or fingerprints from the surface. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners.
  • Store the painting in a cool, dry place to prevent exposure to excessive humidity or extreme temperature fluctuations.


Adding resin to acrylic paintings can transform them into stunning artworks with a glossy, oil-like finish. By understanding the different types of resin, preparing the painting properly, and following the correct application process, artists can achieve professional-looking results. Remember to take proper care of resin-finished artworks to maintain their beauty and longevity.


1. How can I make acrylic paint look like oil paint?

To make acrylic paint look like oil paint, you can use mediums such as acrylic gel or slow-drying medium to extend the drying time and add texture. Working in thin layers, blending colors, and using a glazing technique can also help achieve an oil-like appearance.

2. Can I mix oil paint with acrylic paint to achieve an oil-like effect?

No, it is not recommended to mix oil paint with acrylic paint as they have different drying times and properties. However, you can layer oil paint over dried acrylic paint to create a mixed media artwork.

3. What brushes should I use to create an oil-like effect with acrylic paint?

For creating an oil-like effect with acrylic paint, you can use brushes with longer bristles and a more flexible nature. Synthetic brushes designed for acrylics or hog bristle brushes can work well for creating texture and blending colors.


In conclusion, transforming acrylic paint to mimic the appearance of oil painting requires specific techniques and materials. By implementing these methods, artists can achieve a similar richness and texture in their artwork. Mixing mediums such as gel and varnish can help blend acrylics, creating smoother brushstrokes and increasing the depth of colors. Additionally, using a slow-drying medium allows for more extended working time, enabling artists to blend and manipulate the paint like oil. Experimenting with various brushes and palette knives further adds texture and dimension to acrylic paintings, contributing to a more oil-like appearance.

Remember to practice and explore different approaches to find the techniques that work best for you. With patience and persistence, you can elevate your acrylic paintings to resemble the unique qualities of oil paintings, opening up new creative possibilities.

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