Acrylic Paints


Acrylic Paints


Acrylic colour was created to imitate the qualities of oil colour, but eliminate the problems of lengthy drying times and the need for specialist mediums and brush cleaners. It is a water-based medium which can be used as an oil colour substitute or, by diluting the colour thinly it is possible to create translucent glazes in the manner of watercolour. Unlike watercolour, however, acrylic dries quickly to a tough finish that is no longer water-soluble, so great care must be taken that brushes are cleaned promptly.

Acrylic colour can be used opaquely - in other words, a light colour is capable of covering over a darker colour, which is useful for rectifying mistakes. Like oil colour, it can be applied very thickly to create textured paintings.


Knowing how to mix colours and how much paint to use can only come with experience and experimentation. Red, Yellow, and Blue are called the Primary Colours. This means they cannot be mixed from other colours. Your set of colours can be mixed to form a comprehensive range, but remember that sometimes it may be necessary to mix 3 or even 4 colours to achieve a result.

Once you have achieved the correct colour, you must then achieve the correct tone (or shade) i.e. the strength of the colour. Remember that black is not the only way of darkening a colour. It can make colours look dirty. Try experimenting with browns and blues. They darken colours in very different ways to black. Conversely, try lightening colours with yellow or white, or a combination of the two.

Add water to the mix to thin the colour. Remember that Acrylic is capable of being used thinly like watercolour or opaquely like oil colour.

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