When we talk about acrylic paint,we can’t not thinking to modern art. The deployment of acrylic colours indeed has changed the way of painting and gave a new impetus to the art world. Strange destiny if you think that acrylic colours there were not intended to the wise artist hands,but they were created in the early twentieth century and they were used only in industrial field,in particular in tanning industry.The pharmacist and german chemist Otto Rohm, would never have thought that his invention would have changed contemporany art, with the rise of a new kind of painting:the famous “murales”! The first artist who realized of the potential of acrylic paint was mexican David Alfaro Siquerios,painter of social realism who started to try acrylic paint on the walls.
Art historians place the birth of acrylic paint around 1950s,when industries started to make colours for artists on a large scale.
Acrylic colours inspired many famous artists like Jackson Pollock who experienced them with tecniques pouring ,making up action painting of which he was the main exponent. Abstractism and Andy Warhol’s Pop Art perhaps would be different or would never have been born.
After these brief, but essential hints of history,let’s focus on the reason of article: how to start with acrylic colours? First of all let’s start to understand what are the main features of acrylics.
The first and main feature is its amazing drying speed that makes them perfect for hectic times of modern society.We need to remember though,that this feature doesn’t allow to the painter to paint wet on wet as it happens in oil paint. Saying that we list the other main features that distinguish acrylic paint:
- Easy application
- Good quality price ratio
- Translucent colours
- High resistent to light and atmospheric agents
Great versatility to use in different supports like paper,cardboard,wood,masonite and wall as well,in fact you can paint really everywhere with acrylic colours.
Beginners at basic level need just three colours to start,primary colours indeed,Magenta,Cyan Blue,Primary Yellow and of course White in addition. Practise just with these three magic colours,then you can start to extend the palette.You will need even a brushes set both round and flat. Remember please to buy brushes with hard bristels and soft ones because the first ones are used to paint with diluite colours whereas the second ones are perfect for dense colours.
Diluition is really simple and you can do it with water in the right quantity,it’s up to you adapt it to your needs.
I suggest to the beginners which face for the first time acrylic paint to start with simple support like paper and cardboard,but even poplar plywood and then move to canvas board,canvassed panel and at the end, after a little experience, you could paint on canvas.
I can give you another useful advice: you should clean brushes as soon as you have fished the work,don’t wait too many minutes because acrylic paint is indissoluble and it’s really hard to clean up brushes from it.
I can advice a ideal palette for the painter at intermediate level, as follows:
- Cyan Blue
- Primary Yellow
- Red Vermilion
- Ultramarine Blue
- Yellow Ochre
- Burnt Sienna
- Cadmium Yellow
- Cobalt Blue
- Burnt Umber We cannot forget Titanium White and even White for mixes; with these colours you could create wonderful modern paintings very resistent over time.Don’t forget that fantasy of artist has no limits so keep on with experiments without tiring and you should try always to develop your art. Acrylic colours have a huge range of medium and auxiliary products that stimulate the imagination and the desire to experiment of every artist; in the future i’ll have to write several posts about auxiliary products that mobilize the flourishing market of acrylic paint,but for the moment i greet you hoping that this article can be useful to the readers and i wish you,as always ,good painting!