How to Know if Acrylic Paints are Right for You - Learning to Paint

Every artist has their own likes and dislikes. Most artist have a chosen medium that they prefer to use. You should experiment and try a variety so you know which ones suit your likes and dislikes. I have listed pros and cons for acrylic paint.

Acrylics are easily diluted with water. Unlike oil paints, which need thinners and sometimes solvents. This makes clean up easier because you can use simply soap and water.

Acrylics dry fast. Acrylic paint dries within minutes. If you donít want that fast of drying time, simple add a paint retarder to slow the dry time. Oil paint actually goes through a chemical reaction which in effect takes weeks or months to ďdryĒ.

Blending with acrylics can be done through layering due to the fast dry time. Painting lighter colors upon darker creates highlights.

There is almost nothing that you canít paint on with acrylic paint. You can paint on canvases, paper, wood, metal, walls, cloth, or plastic.

When acrylic paint dries, it is easy to add layers on top of layers. This is nice if you are trying to cover something that you are not happy with or just trying to create a darker, deeper effect.

There are no odor or harmful fumes with acrylic paint. Acrylics are totally safe to use without ventilation, unlike oil paint. Like all good things, acrylics do have their cons.

Acrylic do dry quickly. For some artist they find that blending is difficult. If you are an oil painter, you would have to learn new blending techniques if you were to use acrylic paint.

Since acrylic paint is water soluble and has a fast dry time, itís very important to constantly keep your paint palette and brushes wet. Dry paint on brushes can ruin them.

There are several other disadvantage to the fast dry time with acrylics. I have had to put several tubes of paint in ziplock bags because the paint on the end of the tube dried up. Do not forget to replace the tops!

One of the fasted way to ruin clothes is to get acrylic paint on them. When you paint make sure to use an apron or other old clothes. Unless you notice and remove the stain immediately, you will ruin clothes that come in contact with acrylic paint. Go ahead and experiment with acrylic paint. In my opinion, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Which every medium you choose, have fun and enjoy learning to paint.

Julie Shoemaker is an avid painter and hobbyist who regularly gives paintings as gifts to family and friends. To read more articles like the one here, and to see more free art tips, tricks and techniques and free step by step lessons