Friday, 11 September 2015

The Advantages of Acrylic Paints

Blog 36

Out of Control, Mixed Media, 12" x 12"

Last week, I told you about the history of acrylic painting which is pretty short because acrylic paints are only available commercially since the 1950s. Today, I would like to share with you why so many modern painters got interested in the new medium.

Acrylic paints have been used by many modern painters who like their fast drying time, their durability, even sheen, and versatility. Depending on your painting style and the different type of acrylic paints, gels and pastes you incorporate in your painting, you can create thin transparent pieces that look like watercolours works or pieces that look like oil paintings due to their thick layers of paints. Acrylic paints and mediums are also great to create mixed media artworks with three dimensional effects. Last but not least, they can be thinned and cleaned up with water.

Acrylic paint can be applied to almost all non-greasy slightly rough surfaces. If the surface is too shiny and smooth, the paint can easily be peeled off. Therefore, if you want to paint on shiny metal or plastic, you need to rough the surface up with a bit of sandpaper. A base coat is optional.

Improvements to the quality if the paints have made the experience of working with acrylic paints not only fun but make it possible for the artist to create artworks of high quality. Brilliant colours and high light fastness guarantee a high standard of quality.

Acrylic paints are very forgiving with regard to the applications: you can have thin layers on top of thick layers without running the risk that your paint will crack. However, if you want a cracked surface you can work with a medium called crackle paste. You can even decide whether you prefer a glossy, matte, or semi-gloss finish. The fast drying time make them the perfect medium for easy re-working and layering. The acrylic paints are still evolving. To avoid the use of toxic materials, fugitive colours, or expensive pigments, many companies offer hues of traditional colours. A hue in this context means that the original pigment has been replaced by safer or cheaper alternatives. New colours and mediums have been created like the iridescent acrylic paints, acrylic enamels and a large variety of innovative acrylic gels, and pastes.
Next week, I will finish my blogs about acrylic paints with a look at the myths that surround working with this exciting medium.

If you would like to find out whether painting with acrylic paint is for you, I invite you to subscribe to my monthly newsletter at As a bonus you will receive my free ebook “I Am Ready To Paint But Where Do I Start?”. You could also book a private workshop with me for yourself or for a group of friends.

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