Friday, June 10, 2011

Did You Know... about Acrylic Paint.

Acrylic paint was invented in the early 1900's.  It became very popular in the 1950's and has been growing in popularity since that time.  To my knowledge, paintings done with artist grade acrylics have suffered no deterioration or breakdown over time, unlike oil paints, which if not applied correctly by known standards, can crack, yellow and degrade.

Acrylic paint offers people wishing to learn to paint, a very friendly and versatile medium for their work. Many methods of application have been discovered in the last hundred years. Acrylic paint can be applied as thin as water colours or as thick as oil impasto paint.  Various mediums, retarders, agents and varnishes are now available on the market today for the painter.

Learning how to paint can be easy and fun with acrylics, and clean up is a breeze. One advantage of acrylics is they are water-soluble while when, but when dry, they maintain a permanence that can withstand the tests of time.

Although not complete, there is a simple comparison between acrylics and oils below:



-non-toxic -no solvents, turpentines, dryers, or oil-based products required -no smell -DRIES QUICKLY waiting for the paint to set to continue
-permanent when dry -brushes can be cleaned with water 
-acrylic can be thinned with water or used like heavy impasto oil paint 
-same pigments as in oil paint but suspended in a polymer binder 
-acrylics were developed in the 50’s and after 50 years, early acrylic paintings show no sign of cracking, flaking or disintegration 
-adheres wonderfully to paper, canvas, canvas board, Masonite 
-no more expensive than oils 
-can be used WITHOUT mediums, extenders 
-elasticity - although acrylics do harden over time, they don’t seem to have the brittleness   of oils and are less prone to cracking. Canvases can easily be taken off stretchers and rolled 
-YOU ARE NOT BOUND BY “THICK OVER THIN”-”LIGHT OVER DARK” rules of painting with oils 
-with very few exceptions, acrylics are light fast and do not fade over time. 


-drying time affected greatly by temperature and humidity
-extremely difficult to remove from clothing once dry
-short drying time makes blending and molding of paint more difficult
-thick acrylic has tendency to collapse somewhat when drying and some brush stokes and marks fade
-cannot be scrapped off and painted over
-doesn’t always have “richness”
-doesn’t have the same reputation as oils  although over the last several decades it has gained enormous credibility and is now a widely used and accepted medium worldwide
-Darker colours dry slightly lighter, lighter ones slightly darker.

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