Acrylic paint for now is the newest one. It was invented in 1940s and quickly became popular between painters of all styles because of its advantages over oil paint.
Types of acrylic paints
Acrylic resin, a material paint is made of, was discovered by Otto Rohm, a German chemist. The first manufacturer to start producing acrylic paints for artists was Rowney: in 1963 they started producing a paint named Cryla.
The development of the manufacturing allowed to improve this medium. Now there are several types of paints, each of them is dedicated to particular goal:
- heavy body acrylics — a thick paint used mostly for applications of impasto technique;
- craft acrylics are used on different to canvas mediums (wood, glass, stone etc.);
- interactive acrylics allow an artist to rewet them when some improvements are needed;
- acrylic gouache — just like classic one but water-resistant;
- exterior acrylics which can withdraw water and ultraviolet.
Artists experiment and combine paints and use them in different painting techniques.
Advantages of the medium
The main advantage of acrylic paint over the oil is that is dries much more faster while some museum curators think that oil paint may take up to 50 years to completely dry. This is a very versatile paint that can be used for almost all types of fine art. It gives artist freedom to use it on different ways — for example, to create a thin and light lines or apply thick layers.
The paints are available in all possible colours and shades — no need to experiment with mixing colours any more. Unlike the watercolour, this paint doesn't fade and artworks can be displayed without precautions. It also doesn't crack what sometimes happens with oil. However, oil still stays as the most popular paint, maybe because of a little too shiny look of acrylics.
The first artists to start using this paint were Kenneth Noland, Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman and Roy Lichtenstien. The development of a paint in 1950-60s attracted other artists: Andy Warhol, Robert Motherwell, Bridget Riley and David Hockney. It was especially popular between Pop-Art artists.
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