Painting has been a central form of fine arts since the beginning of time. If this sounds a little extreme, let me explain. Before we even began calling art “art” cavemen were finger-painting on walls using crushed up pigment, though that’s not what they called it. They probably had some kind of guttural sound they made to refer to it, but that’s another post.
This extremely basic example is actually very similar to what we paint with today. A very, very basic example, but acrylic and other paints are pigment mixed with a binder – something that essentially makes it spreadable.
Surprisingly, acrylic paint has only been in use since the 1940’s. Since then, though, we have learned many of it’s characteristics and uses. Some of acrylic paints main attributes are listed below.
- Water Soluble. To remove acrylic paint you only need to apply water and the paint will thin out or even wipe off a canvas in some instances. This feature can make it resemble watercolors and also make clean up a lot simpler. Oils, on the other hand, require a thinner to clean or remove paint.
- Fast Drying. Depending on how quickly you paint, this can be a pro or a con. On the bright side, it doesn’t take as long as oils to harden and subsequently be hung up or sold. Unfortunately, though, this means that if you leave paint on your palette for too long then you’ve missed your window. Luckily, there are retardants that can slow it’s drying time so you can work at your own pace.
- Mixing Mediums. Acrylics can be mixed with many different mediums, such as pen and ink, charcoal or pastels, thanks to its other listed traits. Oil and acrylic can also be used on conjunction, but never mixed together. Due to their consistencies and drying times, oils can be applied on top of dried acrylic paint if you’re looking to layer the two.
For more information on acrylic paints or to learn different painting techniques, check out these Pinterest boards: