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A Quick Guide to Acrylic Painting

Acrylic Painting can be a little bit tricky, as it tends to dry quickly

That is one of the strongest limitations of acrylics, but it's also a significant strength.

Using acrylics is quicker than painting with oils.

You don't have to wait more than half an hour for the paint to dry.

And once the acrylic paint is dry, it becomes impermeable (water resistant), and this allows you to paint over the first layer without disturbing the colors.

When you paint with oils, you have to wait for colors to dry before you can apply another layer.

But fast-drying also has disadvantages: you have to use the paint quickly, as your palette and your brushes will dry, and the resin is sometimes extremely difficult to remove.

You can remove acrylic paint with turpentine, white spirits, ammonia, or rubbing alcohol.

To avoid having to do this, you have to keep your brushes submerged in water.

That is sometimes very frustrating for some artists who are used to having up to four brushes in their hands at any given time, and having to dip their brushes in water can interrupt their creative process.

Because acrylics are water-soluble, you can dilute them. When thin, acrylics tend to behave like water colors.

When thick, they resemble oils (with some limitations, as some of the acrylic colors are not as rich as oils).

When used as watercolors, artists have the advantage of certainty of color: when dry they resemble the originally desired color.

Watercolors on the other hand, dry lighter. Beginners can find watercolors a bit unpredictable because of that.

In terms of permanency, acrylics seem to be more stable than oils.

Oil painting tends to turn yellow with age, whilst acrylic paints seem to resist time. They do not change (at least since they were made commercially available in the 1940s).

When you using paper, you should stretch it first, or it will buckle.

And, of course, you can use a canvas. But make sure it accepts oils and acrylics.

Articles On Acrylic Painting:

Rokeby Venus, by Velazquez


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