Artist paint means all those various kinds of paints which are used by professional artists for their painting purposes. It may be watercolor, oil, acrylic, pastels, encaustic or any other kind of paint. Artists down the ages have chosen various mediums of self-expression. Every artist has his own choice of paints with which he is comfortable to work.
All paints are made with a combination of two things- binder and pigment. The binder gives the paint its consistency while the pigments are meant for giving the paint its color. The pigments are same generally in all kinds of paint but the binders are different with each type of paint. There are different types of binder available in the market. Oil paints are the oldest type of artist paints used in the world. The oil paints commonly use poppy oil, linseed oil or safflower as a binder. These special types of oils are of a richer consistency and give a shining effect to the paintings. The most important feature of oil paints is that they take a longer time to dry. Nowadays, even water-soluble oil paints are available which do not require solvents. They are bound with refined oils.
The second most popular artist paints are watercolors. Watercolors are presently bounded with gum Arabic, glycerin or honey. All these binders become very fluid when water is added to them. These binders remain transparent even after they get dried up. Gouache is one of the contemporary developments to watercolor. Gouache uses the same kind of binders like watercolors but the binders are opaque unlike in watercolors.
Acrylics are the recent addition to the section of artist paints which have gained tremendous popularity in recent years. These paints use an acrylic polymer as the binder. Acrylic paints dry up very fast and are water-resistant after being dry. Acrylic paints are very versatile and easy to use.