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Acrylic Paint - Artists Acrylic Paints

Acrylic Painting Supplies by Winsor & Newton and Daler Rowney.

Artists Acrylic Paints were first developed in the 1950s and have become recognised as possibly the most valuable innovation in paint technology. Their growth in popularity can primarily be associated with their versatility and convenience. Liked by many artists for their quick-drying properties and brilliance of colour, acrylics can also be used to produce great results when either watercolour painting or oil painting techniques are employed.

Artists Acrylics and Student Acrylics - The Main Differences

Artists Acrylic Paints are manufactured with higher quality pigments which are selected for their intensity of colour, colour-fastness and mixing properties. They also contain a higher proportion of resin solids compared with the student varieties.

Student grade acrylic paints are often made with a blend of pigments as opposed to the pure pigments found in artists acrylics. Student acrylics also contain a lower concentration of pigments and a higher level of fillers.

Using Acrylic Paints - Tips for Beginners

Keeping the Acrylic Paint Workable
Because acrylic paint dries rapidly only squeeze a small amount of paint out of the tube. If a traditional Pallet is being used a Palette Wetting Spray can be useful for keeping the paint moist by occasionally spraying it with a fine mist of fluid acrylic resin. Alternatively, a Stay Wet Palette may be used which keeps the paint workable as it sits on a membrane paper which is on top of dampened reservoir paper.

Thick or thin application of Paint
If a thick application acrylic paint is used, direct from the tube or mixed with a small amount of water, an opaque impasto effect can be achieved - which is similar to oils.

By mixing the paint with water, a translucent effect can be produced - similar to using watercolours. Acrylic paint is permanent after it has dried, unlike watercolours, and it can be painted over without it blending into the layer of paint below. The colours of each successive was will optically blend with previous washes.

Masking Fluid
Just as with watercolours, Masking Fluid can be used with acrylic paint washes to mask out areas where you don't want the paint to be applied. The dried masking fluid can then be rubbed off allowing you to paint on the exposed surface below.

Blotting Your Brushes
A jar of water and piece of cloth or kitchen roll can be useful for blotting your brushes. After rinsing your brush, blotting it will prevent wet blotches being made on the paper by water which is held in the bristles.

Painting Hard Edges
Masking tape can be used to paint hard edges over an existing dried layer of paint. When the tape is removed it will leave the layer below intact. To make sure you get a clean line when removing the tape, don't apply the acrylic paint too thickly.

Blending Acrylic Paints
Because Acrylic paint dries quickly if you wish to blend colours you will have to work very quickly. If you have chosen paper as your surface, dampen it with a fine spray of water to increase the amount of time that the paint will remain workable.