Acrylic paint, which is a kind of quick drying paint, is actually a pigment suspended in an emulsion of acrylic polymer. Its most unique characteristic is that you can dilute it with a variety of fluids like water, gels, or pastes to give create a painting that resembles an oil or water color painting.
These colors are very widely used because of their quick drying quality and because of their availability in a wide variety of colors.
Oil paints require the addition of a solvent, such as linseed oil or turpentine, to thin the paint so that it can be used on a painting. Acrylic paints on the other hand are made of pigments that are combined with acrylic resin and mineral oils.
This does not happen in the case of paintings in which acrylic colors have been used. Before using oil paints, it is necessary to prime the canvas with a thin wash of paint to prevent the canvas from cracking. The use of a primer with acrylic colors is not necessary and they can be directly applied on the canvas.
There are four basic ways in which you can mix these colors. The first is by mixing two or three colors on your palette with the help of a brush to get the color of your choice. This shade or hue of color on your palette can directly be used for painting on your canvas.
This method allows you to experiment and play around with different colors and their proportions to arrive at a color which is exactly to your liking. For example if you are want the color green by mixing the acrylic colors blue and yellow then there you can mix them in such a way that you get a blue dominated or yellow dominated green.
Another technique is called glazing or tinting. This technique is done by applying a thin glaze of one color on the canvas and allowing it to dry. Now, a layer of another color is painted over the first color.
Both the acrylic paints merge giving a different hue. Although the end result may not be as uniform as when you use a palette to mix colors in. This method can be used for painting subtle variations like a sunset or the shimmering water on a lake.
One more technique that is widely used is to simultaneously apply both the colors in approximately the same area to attain a different color. This can be done by applying the colors directly on the canvas with the help of two brushes in rapid strokes or short flat strokes.
The last method is to use a thin layer of both colors side by side on the canvas and blending them together. This acrylic painting technique is very difficult as the acrylic pains dry quite fast and it requires a great deal of skill.
Although traditionally, oil paint was widely used, the use of acrylic colors has experienced a sudden rise over the past few years.