Acrylic paint is made from pigment mixed together with an acrylic polymer to form a relatively thick paint emulsion. Acrylic art is a plastic paint. It is a new entrant to the art scene when compared to other art paints – it was first used in the 1950s. But despite its late introduction, acrylic has certain distinct qualities that make it the preferred choice for a number of artists.
Some artists prefer acrylic art work because of the ‘oil painting’ finish that acrylic paint provides. To achieve this glossy feel, the acrylic paint used must be thick and not overly diluted with water.
But thin acrylic artwork also has its benefits – if you are looking to develop a painting that mimics water colours you can thin the paint by adding a third part water to every whole part of paint. Other than water, there are additional additives that can be added to the paint to make it thinner or thicker.
Additives can also be used to increase the paints transparency and reduce the speed of drying. The need to reduce speed is because acrylic paint dries relatively fast once applied. Depending on the thickness and additives used, the paint may take from just a few minutes to a maximum of a day to dry – this is a short time when compared to oil based paints which can take up to a week to completely dry.
The acrylic art used on canvas surface dries in the shortest time making it suitable for artists who prefer to do their work quickly. This quality however can also be a downside because it is difficult to blend different colours on the canvas since the first colour will already have started drying by the time the next colour is applied.
In addition, the paint binds well to a wide range of surfaces. This versatility makes it possible to have acrylic art work not just on canvas but also on glass surfaces as well as ceramic items such as pots. There is a special type of acrylic supplies that can be used on clothes.
Certain types of acrylic paint can be used to paint the outside of the home. The type of acrylic for exteriors depends on the nature of the wall surface – for instance, the acrylic paint you use on a wooden surface will be different from the one you use on a concrete one.
Acrylic work art can be preserved for a long time due to its ability to resist the elements (especially water) once it dries. This compares well with other paints such as oil paints which can start to wrinkle or turn yellow as the painting ages and is oxidized.
If you are a paint work beginner considering venturing into acrylic art work, start with simple paintings to help you practice the painting techniques required when using acrylic paint. As you master the texture of different types of acrylic paints, you can move on to more elaborate pieces.