I want to create a painting in acrylic using the pencil drawing attached as reference.
Is this a good idea, or is it better to start painting in the drawing to improve my skill?

And how would I start painting it in with acrylic paint?

enter image description here

  • 2
    Welcome! Can you clarify what you need help with -- a literal "where" on the image, or do you mean selecting colors, or do you mean a more general question about using acrylics? Are you painting over your sketch or using it as a reference? The more details you can provide, the better answers you will get! Please edit and we can then reopen.
    – Erica
    Commented Nov 6, 2019 at 16:20
  • Tank you very much. Is it good like this?: To start Acrilic painting i want to use the drawing as a reference or is it better to start painting over the drawing . What is best for a beginner how wants to expand
    – ClMend
    Commented Nov 6, 2019 at 17:25
  • I Will start painting the drawing sparetly
    – ClMend
    Commented Nov 17, 2019 at 22:53

3 Answers 3


As Flora stated, if you try to put acrylic on top of the graphite drawing, the graphite is going to smear into the paint, and it is to have streaks of graphite into the paint. Causing it to not have a solid color. Also as well, depending on what paper it is, it can become wrinkled or start seeping through the back of the paper. Unless you have paper specifically for acrylic paint. Canvas, wood boards, or acrylic paper would be a good start.

Starting in acrylic, want to start with lighter colors as the base, and add more layers continually on top of the under layers. Also recommended to have a base coat as the first layer. So it gives the acrylic something to stick to. The fun thing about acrylic paint is that it is super easy to cover up with other colors. Can even cover up darker colors with lighter colors. It dries super fast, so it doesn't take much time to add lots of layers.

  • better start with new painting in Acrillic.
    – ClMend
    Commented Apr 5, 2020 at 12:45

I would personally paint it separately from the original drawing, for a few reasons:

  1. I find that if I paint over pencil using acrylics, either the pencil lines become completely obscured by the paint such that I can no longer see fine details (such as shading), or for thinner/lighter colored paints (such as yellow), the graphite mixes in with the paint and muddles it.
  2. Plus, you may want to paint on a surface that is more suitable for painting on than drawing paper, such as heavier-weight paper (mixed media or watercolor paper), canvas board, canvas, etc.
  3. This would also allow you to keep your reference image separate from the painting, in case you change your mind with how you decide to paint the image.

What I would recommend doing is to very lightly draw just the general outlines of the image onto another paper/canvas/board for painting. If you have a kneaded eraser, it would work really well for lifting some of the excess graphite so that it leaves just the slightest trace of the line behind. (If not, use a good eraser to very gently remove some of the graphite, without smudging.) Then begin painting in the medium shades, then shadows, small details, and highlights.

Hope this helps! If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

  • 3
    What about using a projector to project the pencil drawing onto the canvas as a guide?
    – fixer1234
    Commented Nov 7, 2019 at 22:10
  • 2
    That could work, since it also helps take care of any scaling issues (if they wanted to change the size of the image for the painting). I personally don't often use a projector because (1) I don't have one at my disposal (back when I was a student, I did...), and (2) my arms get tired from holding them up at an awkward angle, but if it's just to draw the outlines/guidelines for a painting, that could work quite well :)
    – Flora Su
    Commented Nov 8, 2019 at 23:04

The question was changed/edited after my answer below..... "I think there is no "where" point to start on it, each artist as his own way to paint it, there are obviously some academic rules to think on, but try to think of art like a form of freedom and expression, not strictly rules to chain your creativity. Acrilycs dry quickly so you can go over and over to make adjustments and refine your work.You could start thinking of painting dark then lightness, or inverse it, that could help a bit."

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