Acrylic Painting is the chosen medium of paintiing of the 21 st century. This fast drying paint contains pigment suspended in an acrylic polymer emulsion. Acrylic paints can be conveniently diluted with water, but become water-resistant when dry. The versatility of the paint is such that depending on how much the paint is diluted (with water), the finished acrylic painting can resemble a watercolor or an oil painting.
History of Acrylic Painting
Acrylics were first available commercially in the 1950s. The first commercially available acrylic paints were actually oil compatible. Over the years, slowly but surely acrylic has overtaken oil painting as the most popular medium of painting.
Acrylic Paints- as a medium
Acrylics dry faster than any other paints, this makes them a more feasible option than oil paints. In fact Acrylic Paintings sometimes takes less than an hour to dry as opposed to oil painting, which comprise pigment suspended in an oil (usually linseed, or other natural oil) base, and take as long as a few months to dry (depending on the composition). Acrylic offers a commercial artist with the option of combining speed with durability without compromising on quality.To top it all acrylic Paints are remarkably cost effective too.
The naturally short drying time of most acrylic does not allow blending of colors to occur, but certain solvent-based acrylics as used for airbrush work, makes the paint fluid enough to permit blending.
The common critique of acrylic painting is that it does not havethe rich range of colors that oil painting does but this critique is fast becoming redundant as more old, natural, and often toxic, pigments are replaced with new, synthetic alternatives, and the fact that acrylic paints dry to a shiny, smooth effect—not surprising since acrylic paints are, basically, plastic.
Although the permanency of acrylics is sometimes under question its most definitely a more stable medium than oil paint. While oil paints normally turn yellow as they age, acrylic paints, do not yellow, crack, or change.