Acrylic Paint Information

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Artists acrylic paint is a synthetic media which became widely available in the early 1960s. The paint is made by mixing pigment and acrylic binder with water, forming a permanent clear film when dry.

Acrylics are a very versatile paint which can be used for a variety of painting techniques and projects where durability and flexibility are needed. It is therefore often a preferred medium by artists who wish to experiment with texture and surfaces.

Artist acrylics also have the advantage of drying very quickly. They can be mixed and thinned with water, but become waterproof once dry, enabling the artist to apply many layers of paint in a relatively short space of time.

Acrylic paint can be used with a variety of painting techniques, including impasto and knife painting. They can be used directly from the tube or thinned with water and used as a wash. Some artists mix acrylics with retarders which will slow down the drying time and allow them to use the paint as they would with oil.

Over the years acrylics do not yellow, crack, or change

Acrylics can be used for painting on canvas, paper, boards, panels and most other prepared surfaces. As they are a very versatile medium, they are perfect for both beginners and professional artists.

Acrylic paints are ideal as an underpaint for Oil Paints (Because of the fast drying). They are also ideal for underpainting pastels. The large range of Acrylic Paint Mediums allow artists considerably more versatility in style than other paints.

Acrylics are available in both student and professional paints and can be used with a variety of painting techniques, including impasto and knife painting.

There are many different brands of acrylic paint and each artist will have their own preferences based upon available colours, strength and consistency.

Professional Paint
The most expensive acrylic paints (for professionals) will have a high consistency of pigments, similar to that of oil paint.The colours will be much more vibrant and last longer than the student range.

Student Paint
Cheaper sets of acrylics (student paint) will have a lower quality of pigments. The pigments also tend to be inferior in lightfastness and the paint often consists of a high amount of filler or extender.

When buying paint you may also want to look at what permanence the colours have. This is the pigments lasting power and are normally displayed on the tube.

Even if you find the professional paints to be considerable more expensive that student paints, it is always advisable to invest in a couple of the more expensive paints rather than many of the cheap ones.

For beginners, buying the primary colours (red, yellow and blue) plus black and white should be enough to start a basic palette.