1. It is less than a century old. The first type of acrylic paint to become commercially available was actually polymer-based house paint, which became available in the 1940s.
2. It was only in the 1950s that acrylics were made commercially available. After that, they took off in popularity and they’re remained a top choice for many artists ever since thanks in part to their great versatility.
3. Acrylic paint does have lots of its own characteristics, though it can easily be manipulated to resemble oil paints or watercolour paints. Many artists therefore use this type of paint as a substitute for oils or watercolours.
4. Acrylic paint consists of a pigment that’s suspended in an acrylic polymer emulsion binder. The pigment is the material that gives paint its colour and the binder is what holds the pigment together with the emulsion.
5. Painting with acrylics gives your work a sharp, clear and bold effect. It’s a good choice if you want a painting that looks really realistic.
6. Acrylic paint tends to dry quite quickly, though you can add a retarded to the paint to slow down the drying process.
7. You can easily paint layers with acrylics, as the paint’s colours are permanent. You can paint one layer on top of another and the layer that’s been painted over won’t be visible at all.
8. Acrylic paint can be applied to a huge variety of surfaces. As well as canvas, it can be applied to surfaces such as glass, wood, ceramics, plastic, fabric, metals, stones, cars, houses and even cardboard paper.
9. There are loads of different mediums and substances, such as gels, sand and rice, that you can add to acrylics to give them all sorts of different textures. Many artists like experimenting by adding different things to the paint to see what effects they produce.
10. An acrylic painting that has completely dried out does have the tendency to attract dust; once you’ve finished working on painting, you should add a layer of varnish to it in order to prevent dust gathering on it and damaging it.
11. If you’ve got lots of acrylic paint on your brushes or on your hands, all you need is soap and water to get it off.
12. One of the most famous artists to have used and experimented with acrylics is Andy Warhol, known for pioneering the ‘pop art’ concept and movement. Many of his most recognisable and influential works, including Campbell’s Soup Cans, were completed in acrylics.
13. Acrylic paint is known for producing vibrant, loud and solid colours. Paintings done in acrylic paint stand out and tend to be very eye-catching.