In the early 1930’s a German chemical company known as BASF developed a fast drying paint called Acrylic. Artists are known for being creative and finding new ways to change things over time. Specialists in art took what already existed to create a new paint and modified its chemicals which would later result of Acrylic paint. Although Oil paint and Acrylic may seem similar the new way of paint dry’s faster than oils hardening the paint while retaining its flexibility and durability. The rapid drying time means that it cannot be manipulated for long periods of time as oil paint can and it dries out quickly on the palette. Acrylic paint can have its advantages however it all depends on the artists’ style of work that may find disadvantages as well.
Acrylic paint is formed by dispersing ground pigment into an acrylic binder. The binder consists of an emulsion of very fine resin particles suspended in water that gives the paint its handling and durability characteristics. The binder coats the pigment particles and once the water evaporates the resin particles fuse together in place, forming a tough yet flexible permanent water resistant paint.
A benefit from using Acrylic paint is that it can be mixed with other dry art materials. Oil paint can be used on top of acrylic paint. Many artists do their initial work using acrylic paint and then finish their work using oil paint since it takes longer to dry. However, while it is possible to use acrylic paint over dry oil paint it is recommended to not do so as the different drying characteristics of the two medias may cause the paint to peel off or crack over time.