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Introduction to Acrylic Painting
If you see a painting in stores today, there’s a good chance that it was made using acrylic paint. This type of paint is one of the newest on the market, but it quickly became one of the most popular because of how affordable, flexible, and quick drying it is. It’s so flexible that skilled artists can capture the look and feel of oil or watercolour painting using acrylic. If you want to know about modern art, then you need to know something about acrylic paint.
The Development of Acrylic Painting
Acrylic paint came out of the revolution in synthetic chemicals that happened in the 20th century. For most of history, the paint had to be made using chemicals taking from natural sources like plants and minerals. But as chemistry developed new synthetic polymers were created that could achieve beautiful results at low prices. The predecessors of modern acrylic paint were developed in 1934, but it wouldn’t be until the 1950s that acrylic paint came onto the market. Still, those first paint products sold by companies like Liquitex were still water soluble. The modern formula wouldn’t truly emerge onto the scene until the company; Rowney released acrylic paints for artists under a line called “Cryla.”
Standard Techniques Used in Acrylic Painting Artworks
As previously mentioned, one of the great things about acrylic paints is that it can be used to recreate the look of other paint types. Painters who water down acrylics can achieve a colour that is very similar to watercolours. Often painters will use this process to create thin layers of “glaze” that allow for a look that seems to glow. By layering thick globs of acrylic paint, it’s also possible to achieve textures that were once only possible using oil paints. The main difference between more traditional paints and acrylics is that acrylic paint dries quickly and is relatively inflexible once it has been laid down. Watercolor can be rehydrated with a little bit of water but acrylics can’t. This means that acrylic paintings can be harder to alter using traditional techniques, but it’s still easy to lay on new layers if adjustments are deemed necessary.
Basic Ingredients of the Acrylic Paint
Two main ingredients make up every acrylic paint, a pigment, and a binder. The pigment is the chemical that gives the paint its colour while the binder holds the paint together and helps it to stick to the surface it is applied to. Most paints use this recipe, what sets acrylic paint apart is the use of synthetic resin binder. Every manufacturer uses different recipes to create paints that vary in look, feel and durability. Higher quality paint requires higher quality ingredients, hence the wide-ranging price points for different acrylic paints.
Some of the Famous Acrylic Painters
Because acrylic paint is a fairly new development in the art industry, it has mostly been used by more modern artists. Some of these artists include Jean-Michel Basquiat, Mark Rothko, Roy Lichtenstein, and Andy Warhol. Acrylics can be used to capture the look and feel of the old masters, but artists who want a more traditional feel tend to stick to more traditional mediums. This is why acrylic paint is most commonly associated with more modern and experimental artists.