Acrylic paint is a fast-drying paint containing pigment suspension in acrylic polymer emulsion. Acrylic paints are water soluble, but become water-resistant when dry. Depending on how much the paint is diluted with water or modified with acrylic gels, media, or pastes, the finished acrylic painting can resemble a water colour or an oil painting, or have its own unique characteristics not attainable with other media.
Water-soluble artists’ acrylic paints became commercially available in the 1950s, offered by Liquitex, with modern high-viscosity paints becoming available in the early 1960s. In 1963, Rowney (now part of Daler-Rowney since 1983) was the first manufacturer to introduce an artist’s acrylic color in Europe, under the brand name Cryla.
Acrylic artist paints may be thinned with water and used as washes in the manner of watercolor paints, but the washes are not re-hydratable once dry. For this reason, acrylics do not lend themselves to color lifting techniques as dogum Arabic based watercolor paints.
Only a proper, artist-grade acrylic gesso should be used to prime canvas in preparation for painting with acrylic (however, acrylic paint can be applied to raw canvas if so desired without any negative effect or chemical reaction as would be the case with oils). It is important to avoid adding non-stable or non-archival elements to the gesso upon application. However, the viscosity of acrylic can successfully be reduced by using suitable extenders that maintain the integrity of the paint film. There are retarders to slow drying and extend workability time and flow releases to increase color-blending ability.
Artists of Uttarakhand also have been exploring to a new medium.