Finishing the paintings
Finishing the paintings

The Best Finishing Techniques in Painting

Painting is a brilliantly expressive and rewarding hobby, but it has one big drawback: Painting takes more work than most people realize. The more detail you want in your painting, the greater the investment of time and effort will be. There is a basic way to make a finish look good. It requires knowledge and an understanding of the finishing techniques involved, but it is still easy enough for any beginner to master.

The other techniques, however, will require a lot of practice as well as a lot of patience to master. There is no guarantee that you will be able to master them without struggling in the beginning. And even after you have mastered them, they may not give you the look that you want. They might require a lot of work, too.

What you will learn?

In this article, you will find the best finishing techniques for any style of painting, from realistic paintings to abstract works. You will see the techniques in action and learn how to apply them.

There is a lot of information here, and it can be a bit overwhelming at first. Make yourself a reference guide by copying the list below and covering each section with a separate sheet of paper. After you have finished reading the article, go back through it and highlight any areas that you want to explore. Then, spread out all your sheets of paper and learn about each finishing technique in one sitting. If you are looking for the best online course at the lowest price, you may start here.

The Best Finishing Techniques:

Finishing techniques
Finishing techniques, (Image credit: Jelleke Vanooteghem)

1. Brushing Back the Highlight Colors:

The highlight colors on a painting are the most important part of the painting. Still, they are often the part that looks the least realistic. This is because they are the brightest colors in your painting. This is also why they are often the first parts of your painting to be touched up.

Brushing them back adds light and life to an otherwise flat painting, and it gives you a clean, smooth look at a small cost of time. It doesn’t take long to master the technique, either.

2. Blending Light Colors:

This is a simple technique, but it can make a big difference to your painting’s realism. Use a small brush to mix different shades of paint together. Start with dark colors and add progressively lighter ones. Overlap the two shades in random spots on your painting, not just in the middle of places. The color you get will change depending on how you arrange your strokes. If you are struggling then you may consider trying the best online course.

3. Blending Dark Colors:

The same technique works with dark colors. Use small brushes to mix the colors together in different spots, not just in the middle of areas where they already meet. Again, you don’t have to be exact.

The Finishing techniques
The Finishing techniques, (Image credit:  Victoria Bilsborough)

4. Lifting Out Highlights:

If you have put a lot of time and effort into the highlights on your painting, you probably don’t want to lose those edges. If they look too harsh, however, use a wet brush to gently blend them back into the surrounding darkness. When you do this, it is best to have your paper dampened so that it doesn’t disintegrate. This can be done by spraying it with water or wiping some water on with a cloth. It is also important not to overdo this technique. A little goes a long way.

5. Washing Out Blended Surfaces:

This is a good technique to use when you have a painting that has risen above the canvas. It is also the best technique for getting rid of the white underpainting that comes with watercolors. Use warm water and make sure it is not too wet or it will dissolve your paint. Use a large brush and make sure you cover an area big enough to hold all of your paint. The professional guideline may help you to speed up the whole process. Now for the best price available.

6. The Mirrors Method

The first technique is more complicated than the others. It is also the most efficient and productive method, though not the easiest to master. It combines two techniques: masking and underpainting. Masking is a technique of selectively covering areas of the painting with a piece of paper or thick paint. Underpainting is a technique of covering the bare wood with dry paint, which acts as a protective coating from scratches.

7. The Advance-Retreat Method

The advance-retreat method is simpler than the mirrors method, but it produces a less dramatic and more subtle look. It creates a “soft” finish that is best for glassy surfaces, smooth stone, and skin.

8. The Pounce Method

The pounce method is an accurate way to paint. It gives the painting a three-dimensional look with the illusion of depth. However, this technique has its limitations: it can’t handle fine details and it doesn’t look good on metallic surfaces. Use the ultimate chance for being better in painting.

9. The Basic Flat Finished Painting

This is the most common finish, and it is very simple. It gives an even, smooth surface that has a flat appearance. You can expect this type of finish to last under normal handling conditions for about 15 years or more if properly varnished.

10. The Basic Eggshell Finished Painting

The eggshell finish is not as durable as the flat, but it looks more natural and realistic. This type of finish is also easier to apply than a flat, but it takes longer to dry.

Best finishing techniques
Best finishing techniques, (Image credit: Jonathan Borba)

Here are the basic steps for each finishing technique:

  1. Set up a work area. Clean it thoroughly and then prepare a surface to dry the painting.
  2. Prep the painting surface. Preparing the surface is important so that you can get perfect results when you seal the painting.
  3. Apply a sealer coat.
  4. Chose the right technique to apply underpainting (if you are using one).
  5. Use the right technique to apply glazes.
  6. Make work any other effects you want, such as dry brushing or wet-on-wet painting.
  7. Apply a varnish.
  8. Let each coat dry before moving on to the next one.


In this article, we went over the top finishing techniques. You can use them to make your paintings look realistic and more professional. They are also a great starting point for experimenting with different finishing techniques in the future. It is important to remember that there is no “one” correct way of applying paint to a canvas, and there are as many different ways of doing this as there are artists. What looks best for one person may not look great on another.

It is recommended that you try one of these finishing techniques before you put time and effort into other techniques. They have been proven to work well for many artists, so you may find that they give your painting the look you are looking for. The only way to know how your painting will end up after these techniques are applied is to try them out yourself. Give yourself plenty of time, though, since these procedures take longer than they do on other paintings.

In order to become a successful painter, it’s important to learn the basics of painting and to practice these techniques regularly. By following these tips, you can create paintings that are both beautiful and professional-looking. So get out your paints and brushes, and start painting! There are even more professional tips, for details visit the complete course. No model for pose? Try the nude models by using the only online virtual pose software.

Thank you for reading! I hope this article has been helpful.  Happy Painting! 

Art Like Business

Title Image, (Image credit: Birmingham Museums Trust)

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