A German chemist, Dr. Otto Rohm invented acrylic resin. After some time, this invention was used by Bocour Artists Colors, Inc., and they launched a range of acrylic paints which came in a turpentine solution, that could be used as an oil painting medium. After this, experimentation in acrylic paint by various artists began. After this there was further development in these paints, which attracted other famous painters. Now, we have acrylic paints which can be mixed with oils as well as with water.
Composition of the Paint
These paints are made from a polyethylene-based plastic, which dries off to a permanent, durable state. A pigment is suspended in an acrylic polymer emulsion, and we get various acrylic paint colors. This process is used to make a thick paste. These are basically plastic paints, which come in thick, paste-like form that are available mostly in tubes. Or you can also get it into a thin form, or mix the thick ones to thin them.
There are many additives added to acrylic paint, so that different type of paint is obtained. Some additive makes the paint thicker, thinner, or even slow down its drying time. This is especially useful, because this paint tends to dry off fast. And once it has dried off it is difficult to get rid of it. However, there are certain ways to remove it. For example, alcohol can be used to lift off some fresh paint films.
Other additives can even change the transparency of this paint. Certain additives change the way the paint looks. It can also be mixed with water, but maximum 30% of water should be used to thin acrylic paint, otherwise it can make the paint unusable. Mixing it with water adds a soft look and can be used to try out water color effects. But, as it dries off quickly, one needs to work quickly. Also, cover the workspace well, because once the paint dries off it is difficult to remove it.
You can buy acrylic tubes of some basic shades. Make sure you take out only a bit of the paint at a time as it tends to dry away fast. Keep blotting your brushes after you are done rinsing them. This prevents water drops from falling on the surface and making it blotchy. You can mix it with white to make it opaque or with little water to get a transparent effect.
Here are more techniques. To remove the watercolor glaze from a painting, you can use a slightly wet cloth. For transparent glazes, work in thin layers, as a heavy layer will produce more glossy surface. To increase your work time, dampen the paper and then use acrylic colors on it. To create sharp edges you can use masking tape on existing dry paint layer. This will help you achieve a clean line.
Apart from using it on canvas, it can also be used on fabric and wood. They can also be used for painting walls. Though, acrylic paints are non-toxic and can be given to children for painting purposes, it should not be used on skin. For body or face painting one should only use FDA-approved colors.