Acrylic is a type of paint made from pigment suspended in an acrylic polymer emulsion. These are thus higher in viscosity than other paints such as watercolor, oil paints, and so on. They are water-soluble and become water-resistant upon drying, thereby making them a fun and useful supply for painting. While they have their own unique characteristics, they can resemble a watercolor or oil painting depending on the amount of dilution done with water while painting.
Features of Acrylic Paints
While there are numerous mediums of painting available such as watercolors, gouache, oil paints, acrylic, and so on, each has their own features. If you are new to painting or are thinking of trying your hands in acrylic painting but are not aware of the characteristics of acrylics, then here are the major aspects of acrylics for your consideration:
#1. Quality Grades:
Acrylic paints come in two different grades of quality- artist acrylics and student acrylics. The artist quality has the property to resist chemical reactions when exposed to water, oxygen, and UV rays. This feature makes professional-grade acrylic have more medium manipulation, most pigment and reduces the color shift that happens after drying when different colors are mixed to paint.
The student acrylics, on the other hand, although quite similar, but have a lower pigment concentration and less expensive formulas. They are also available in restricted color options. The mixed hues may also not have the characteristics as full-strength colors. This is thus a budget-friendly option for beginners to start with acrylic paint.
Although acrylics generally have a high viscosity and are quite thicker than watercolor and oil paints, different types of acrylics have different levels of thickness. Thus, while heavy body acrylics have a buttery consistency, fluid acrylics are thinner and used for detailing or dry-brush work. There are also some acrylics mediums that can be mixed with paint for a customized consistency level you want while painting. This makes acrylic a highly versatile medium for painting.
#3. Dries Fast:
Acrylic dries quickly, thereby saving the time spent in waiting for the area to dry before the area next to it can be painted with a different color. Thus, the chance of merging of adjacent colors is reduced and is a great feature for fast painters. Although this can be a disadvantage if you want to achieve a blending effect, you may extend the drying time by spraying the area with an acrylic polymer or a stay-wet pallet.
#4. Crack Resistant:
Acrylic is crack resistant owing to its thermoplastic property, which provides it flexibility in warm temperatures. While this is a useful property, the paint may become soft and shoddy in warm temperature.
Acrylic is also known for its durable nature provided by its lightfast quality, which protects it from fading with time. The tough finishing of the medium further adds to its sturdiness. These features enable one to keep their artwork unframed as opposed to oil paintings, which need a glass protection, as the paint tends to remain soft for years.
All these features and characteristics of acrylic paints make it a great medium for painting. They are available in different forms such as tubes, jars, small in bottles, and so on, which one can get from any nearby art and craft store. According to the budget and expertise, you can invest in a type of acrylic paint and experiment with different techniques and styles of acrylic painting. You can also choose any suitable surface for painting with acrylics such as canvas, wood, or watercolor paper and experiment until you find your comfort zone.
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