Why Do Artists Use Acrylic?

Artist-grade acrylic paint became commercially available in the 1960s. In recent years, it has become a primary medium for several contemporary artists.

A relatively recent discovery in the art world, acrylic art paintings are unlike oil paints or watercolors. This versatile, vibrant, and stable medium is taking the art world by storm. As a result, there are more acrylic paint products on the market as artists take advantage of the variety of approaches that acrylic paint offers.

Are you curious about acrylic art paint? Here is our analysis of its advantages and disadvantages.

What Is Acrylic Paint?

Acrylic Art Paint Characteristics
  • The Versatility Of Acrylic Paint Makes It A Low Toxicity Medium.
The polymer is water-soluble when wet but dries to a flexible, water-repellent, durable surface that can paint over multiple times without disturbing the previous layer.
  • Acrylic Art Paint Dries Very Quickly, Which Is One Of Its Main Characteristics.
The paint dries quickly, so an artist can work in several successive layers without muddying the colors. Water spray bottles are indispensable for reducing drying times on paintings and palettes. The acrylic mediums also allow you to paint wet-on-wet if you prefer not to have this characteristic or at least would like more control. You can increase the available time for your paint by using Golden Acrylic Retarder. The Golden Open Acrylic Paints are also good, as they remain workable longer, similar to the Atelier Interactive Acrylics that remain workable longer if sprayed with water or unlocked.
  • A Variety Of Acrylic Paints Are Available
Tubes, jars, plastic squeeze bottles, and small ink bottles. Tubes are the most vicious and, like oil paint, come in various thicknesses. To prevent the paint from drying out, make sure the paint is sealed properly by using any form you choose, particularly large jars and tubes.
  • Using Acrylic Paint Like Watercolor Requires Thinning It With Water Or Other Mediums.
Acrylic paint, however, will disperse and break down if you use too much water, leaving little flecks of color behind. The liquid acrylic ink form is a medium that is very fluid if you want a medium that is fluid. In addition to glazing and thinning medium, you can also add flow medium. The paint will become thinner when this is added to it. Since this medium is made with the same plastic polymer as the paint, you can use it as much as you like.
  • There Are Many Ways To Use Acrylic Paint As Opposed To Oil Paint.
The bright colors of acrylic art paints make them stand out, but many of the colors are very similar to those of oil paint and can also be used similarly. In addition to mediums that thicken paint and retard its slowing time, some mediums allow the paint to be manipulated similarly to oil paint.

What Is The Difference Between Acrylic Paint And Other Paints?

Artists mixed the paint before the 19th century. In this way, they could control the number of fillers used and the color and thickness. Hand mixing is generally not possible with acrylic. As a result of fast drying times, surfactants, plasticizers, defoamers, and stabilizers must be combined with several polymers, plus surfactants, plasticizers, defoamers, and stabilizers. Rather than purchasing ready-to-use acrylic paints, you can modify them using acrylic mediums or water.There is also a greater selection of acrylic mediums than there is for watercolors and oils. The versatility of acrylics allows them to adhere to a wide variety of surfaces, and acrylic mediums can alter their bonding capabilities. Various materials can be painted with acrylics, including paper, canvas, and hobby models like trains, cars, and houses.

Modern Acrylic Paint Vs. Traditional Acrylic Paint

Despite acrylic art paint being relatively new in the art world, there is still what’s referred to as ‘traditional’ acrylic paint and ‘modern’ acrylic paint. Acrylic paints from brands such as Golden and Chroma do not dry as quickly and can be reactivated after drying.

Traditional Acrylic Art Paint Pros And Cons

  • Toxicity Levels

Advantages: Water-based acrylic art paint can be thinned with just water (toxic spirits are not required).

Disadvantages: Acrylic paints contain toxins similar to those found in oil paints. A ‘retarder’ used to speed up the drying process of acrylics can contain additional toxins.

  • Time It Takes To Drying

Advantages: Layers don’t require drying between painting sessions since acrylic art paint dries quickly. A painting is safe to ship within one or two days of being dry.

Disadvantages: Acrylic paints cannot accomplish the wet-in-wet technique because they dry rapidly. Consequently, acrylic art paintings tend to look harsher than oil paintings.

  • Reactivation

Advantages: Acrylics are permanent and cannot be removed once dry, unlike watercolors (water-based paints). It allows you to paint new layers on top of previous ones more easily.

Disadvantages: Paint is hard to alter or remove after it dries.

  • Durability

Advantages: Acrylic art paints have demonstrated greater flexibility than oil paints. It is not necessary to follow fat over lean rules to prevent acrylics from cracking.

Disadvantages: We cannot comment on acrylic paint’s longevity since it has only been around for 50 years.

A Guide To Modern Acrylic Art Paint

  • Toxicity Levels

Modern acrylic paints are water-based. So toxic spirits are not needed. In modern acrylic paint, there are still mild levels of toxins, but they don’t use retarders to slow down the drying process.


  • The product is versatile. Oil- and wax-free surfaces can be painted. Various materials are used, including canvas, wood, paper, rocks, glass, fabric, cardboard, metal, and plastic. A properly prepared surface can be painted with acrylic paint on almost anything.
  • The paint dries quickly. Your project will be completed faster as a result.
  • There is a water-soluble component to it. Paint thinners are unnecessary when washing brushes and hands with soap and water.
  • Children and pets are safer around it because it is less toxic.
  • The price is lower.
  • The system is flexible. Various mediums can be mixed with acrylics for different textures, adhering properties, and drying times.
  • It is a durable product. The acrylic material will not crack, peel, or turn yellow, as far as we know.
  • The colors are vibrant.
  • Drying it makes it water-repellent.

The Disadvantages

  • The color you paint with will become darker when it dries, so the color you paint is not necessarily what you’ll get.
  • The paint dries quickly, so it’s imperative that you work quickly.
  • It is hard to remove if it dries on brushes, nails, or clothing. Keep a container of water near you while you paint so you can easily clean the brushes. Wearing protective clothing is also recommended.
  • If it dries on nails or clothing, it is hard to remove.
  • Compared with other paint mediums, some art galleries and collectors consider oil painting ‘less valuable.

A Final Note

Painting with acrylics has many advantages. Others may not have occurred to me, or I haven’t mentioned them here. There are some adaptations to be made if you come from oil, pastel, or watercolor since each works differently. However, some skills transfer from one to the other, so you don’t have to start from scratch.

error: Content is protected !!