Acrylic colours appeared in the mid-20th century and immediately became popular with artists, since they could be used to paint virtually anything. In addition, acrylic colours could be used on any non-greasy surface, be it cardboard, paper, glass, walls etc. All creative fantasies really are possible with the help of acrylic colours.
Advantages of acrylic colours
There are multiple advantages to using acrylic colours: they don’t crack or fade when exposed to sunlight or discolour, they are quick-drying and don’t run. What’s more, they’re odourless. While the fact that acrylic colours are quick-drying is an advantage, it does mean you need to work quickly when using them and ensure you’ve made any changes to your painting before it dries. When wet, acrylic paint can be easily wiped away with water, while once it dries, you’ll need to use a special liquid to dissolve it.
Acrylic colours: tips for use
1. Squeeze a small amount of colour onto your palette, since a large amount will dry out quickly and you will have difficulty salvaging it (you may have to use a spray).
2. You should wipe your brush clean after use, otherwise wet spots might leak onto the canvas and spoil your painting.
3. The colours are highly saturated, so for more transparent hues the paint should be mixed with water. A particular characteristic of acrylic colours is that they dry quickly and so it’s easy to layer colours over one another without it affecting the consistency or tone of the lower layer.
4. Acrylic colours are ideal for use with glazing techniques. If you want to use a specific glazing technique on your painting, you must make the upper layers transparent, applying them very lightly to the base layer. Be sure to also use sable, synthetic or bristle – hair paint brushes.
5. Acrylic colours can be used on canvas – just be sure to prime it before you begin.
6. For creating special effects, interesting hues or building up reliefs, you can use various types of acrylic texture gels and additives.