Acrylic paints are one of the most important developments for artists since the invention of paint tubes.
This marvel of paint technology was developed over 70 years ago and was first used as house paint.
Acrylic Paint was quickly adapted for use by artists and became commercially available as artists’ pigments.
As the new kid on the block, acrylic paint has become extremely popular with professional and hobby artists, and has cornered the market for craft paints. It has so many positive features that it’s hard to make a negative statement about this versatile paint.
Acrylic paint is the chameleon of the paint world. Just add water to create the juicy, transparent glow of watercolor. Use directly from the tube or add heavy body medium to create dimensional paintings. Thin the pigment with a lighter medium to build up glazes of paint that emulates the style of Renaissance masters’ oil paintings.
Once it dries, acrylic paint is permanent. When it’s used as watercolor, the pigment cannot be lifted from the paper. Applied to most surfaces, it clings tenaciously. If it’s used on properly primed surfaces, it can even survive exposure to the elements in the great outdoors.
Using acrylic paints is a dream for cleanup. You don’t need smelly chemicals or special products. Water and paper towels are all that’s required, so you can paint virtually anywhere. If you’re painting en plein air, just carry along a container or two of water and a roll of paper towels or cleaning rags. If water isn’t immediately available, just securely wrap your brushes in plastic wrap and wash them when you get back to running water.
Drying Time That’s Adjustable
When mixed with water, acrylic paint dries as quickly as watercolor. Painting al fresco in a thick manner, it will form a skin and dry to the touch in a short time. It becomes permanent and dries after a few hours or overnight. If extending the drying time of your paint is important, there are retardant mediums that keep the paint flowing smoothly for blending.
Multiple Mediums For Different Textures And Effects
Not only can you use a retardant to slow down the drying time, you can use a number of different mediums to change the appearance and flow of your paint. There are thickeners to give acrylics more body like that of oil paints. You can add an extender to reduce the pigment ratio for glazing. Acrylic mediums are also available in texturizers that contain acrylic granules, glass beads or even a stringy substance. Mediums are offered in clear, matte, gloss, satin finish, as well as black and white tones.
Able To Paint On Almost Anything
Acrylic Paint absorbs into any porous surface, and it holds well on countless surfaces. Its elastic nature allows it to flex if the support isn’t rigid, so it doesn’t easily crack. It also adheres to properly primed surfaces that don’t typically hold paint well.
Acrylic paint is a great way for a beginning art student to try out painting. It’s a cost effective material that allows a beginner to try a multitude of techniques without purchasing different types of paint. It can be used for crafts, as well as fine painting. Because it is non-toxic and does not require chemical additives or cleaning products, it’s a perfect paint for youngsters and people with sensitivities.
If you’re interested in trying your hand at painting, consider giving the chameleon of the paint world a chance. Chances are, you’ll be impressed and intrigued with its diversity and appeal.