It’s frustrating that bookstores don’t carry the stock they once did. For instance, there are dozens of books available on painting with acrylics but it’s hard to know which ones might be helpful without taking a look at them first. One book I can personally recommend is Nancy Reyner’s Acrylic Revolution: New Tricks & Techniques for Working With the World's Most Versatile Medium.
I’ve learned a lot from reading this book mainly because the focus is on technique rather than eye candy. Not that I have anything against eye candy, but all too often you don’t really understand how an artist has achieved a particular effect and this is frustrating. However, it’s apparent from the get-go that Reyner has put a lot of time and care into her book because the material is easy to grasp, comprehensive and inspiring. In all, she presents 101 different techniques (plus variations) and each one is illustrated with plenty of how-to photographs.
Not all of the techniques grabbed me of course, but there are many I could see incorporating into my own work like embedding stickers into acrylics, creating atmospheric techniques with a spray bottle, and using a brayer to make gradients. Reyner also has a section on doing transfers and another on achieving a crackle effect. I liked the information on using palette knives too. Even though I’ve been working with acrylics for years, I never realized their potential until reading Reyner’s book. Now all I have to do is get off my you-know-what and actually do something with the cornucopia of ideas she shares with us.