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Acrylic Paint: Origin And Making

by Maria Haider 07 Oct 2021

In the world of arts, various types of paint are available, and an artist has the liberty to choose any paint according to their interest. The most common types of paints are oil paint, watercolor, and acrylic paint. The beginners usually pick up acrylic paints because it is a user-friendly medium and easy to handle. This article focuses on the origin, making, and characteristics of acrylic paint. First, let’s see how acrylic paints became popular in the art scene and who used it first in history.

Girl Painting with Acrylic Paints

History Of Acrylic Paints

The first painters that used acrylic paint were known to be momentous in the history of Mexican Muralists. Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, and José Clemente Orozco were the first ones who experimented with acrylic paint. This is because they were very impressed with the durability of the acrylic paint. Because of this, artists and companies alike began to produce Politec Acrylic Artists' Colors in Mexico in 1953. They supplied water-based acrylics to many Mexicans who played a part in promoting mural painting. Other than muralists, abstract expressionists also transitioned from oil paints to acrylic paints. Abstract expressionists were American painter’s members who invented diverse styles and methods of abstract art. Acrylic paint gained popularity after 1950, and they were commercially available in various qualities and brands.

Vintage Paintings made with Acrylic Paints

Suggested Read: Types of Oil Paint Brushes

Composition Of Acrylic Paint

Acrylic paints are readily available from any art and stationery shop. But to add to your information, we will quickly tell you what two basic ingredients used to make acrylic paints are. One is pigment, and the other is a binding agent.


There are mainly two types of pigments available; dry pigment and aqua-dispersion. The dry pigment needs to be grinded in powder form and then mixed with water or alcohol to make it paste. 

On the other hand, aqua-dispersion is available in paste form. so this form of acrylic paint needs to be mixed with water to achieve the proper viscosity. 

Different Pigment Colors

Binding Agent

As it is obvious by the name, the binding agent provides the binding quality to the acrylic paint. A binding agent is a transparent gum-like fluid. It gives the paint a certain thickness to be lifted by the brush and then helps fix the colors on the canvas.

Polymer Pellets used as Binding Agents

Characteristics Of Acrylic Paints

Following are the main characteristics of a good quality acrylic paint.

  • Acrylic paints have the quality that they dry quickly. They require 10-12 minutes of total drying time if the layer is thin. If it is thick, it takes a little longer.
  • They do not need expensive additional solvents to clean them up. You can easily clean with water when the paint is wet.
  • This paint comes in a wide range of textures and formats.
  • They stick to paper, canvas, wood, cloth, concrete, brick, and Masonite. If you want to do acrylic paint on a spongy surface, you need to make sure you grease it with gesso or use a primer. If the surface is non-spongy, like metal or glass, only use a basic primer to prep up the surface. 
  • They have a low odor as compared to oil paints, and they have no fumes. These paints are non-flammable.

Artist Mixing Up Different Acrylic Paints

Also Read: Importance Of Stationery Items In Our Life

Ending Thoughts

If you are a beginner and want to know about which paint to choose and why choose acrylic paint? This article will help you understand what acrylic paint is and why we should opt for this option. Acrylic paint is said to be a user-friendly type of paint and the way of usage is adaptable for a beginner to use. Furthermore, this article looks at the types of paints available in the world of art.

Image Source: Shutterstock

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