This was a question I have been asked a few times, especially when a learner wants to be able to paint something specific like hair for example. Learners can get very hung up about techniques and how to learn them. Techniques need to be thought of as ways to apply or remove paint to create a visual effect, that is all they really are. Some techniques are extremely simple although at first glance you may not be able to tell how the painter achieved the effect. Some techniques are more complex and require more of a knowledge of materials.
First of all you might be wondering what is a painting technique? I thought I would explain as many of my learners get confused about what they are and what media they can be used in.
A painting technique means a way of using the paint – applying it or removing it, to create a desired visual effect. There are lots of painting techniques you can use, some are general techniques that you might use with any paint media (watercolour, acrylics or oils) and some are designed to be used with one type of media (or are more effective with this type of media).
It can be really confusing when you hear names of techniques and have no idea that they are. With this in mind I will go through the most basic ones that you might try as a beginner: