Acrylic paint

My first acquaintance with acrylic paint was when a few years ago I received a box with many tubes of Daler Rowney System 3. I did a little work with it and liked it, but watercolour got the upper hand. Now I work with watercolour, acrylic and oil colours.

What exactly is acrylic paint?

Acrylic colours or polymer paints are quick-drying paints consisting of a colouring pigment with a binder of synthetic polymer resin from the acrylic group that is water mixable.

The basis of acrylic colours is an acrylic resin dispersion of minuscule particles of acrylate dissolved in water. This dispersion looks like a milky liquid but dries clear through the evaporation of the water, with the particles settling on the ground in a flexible layer. Once dry, the binder layer is transparent and shows the natural pigment colour. Acrylic colours can be thinned with water and are waterproof once dry. The drying process is irreversible.

During drying the colour of acrylic colours becomes a little darker and there is a considerable loss of volume due to evaporation.

The composition of acrylic colours is quite complex. I will not go into this any further....

Over the years a large number of special painting media have been developed for acrylic colours. These media make all manner of glazing and impasto techniques possible.


The pigment concentration in acrylic colours is usually lower than in oil colours due to the many additives: half of the paint mass consists of water or solvent. As a result, the colours appear less saturated and it is more difficult to apply opaque details. In general, the cheaper "study paints" have less (and cheaper) pigment, as a result of which it is more difficult to achieve opaque coverage.

Acrylic colours can be used as a ground for oil paintings, but not vice versa.


For some people, the advantage of acrylic paint is that it dries very quickly, so that it is easy to lay layers on top of each other; light over dark is perfectly possible (if you use good quality paint). Brushes do need to be cleaned quickly due to the short drying time of the paint. It is a matter of keeping your brushes moist while working. I do not use expensive brushes for my acrylic paintings for that reason. There are solvents for cleaning brushes, but they have a "smell" of course, and it is not really healthy. Paint stains on clothing are very difficult or even impossible to remove after curing.


Acrylic colours can be applied to any medium as long as it is not greasy. There are types of paper on the market that have been specially developed for Acrylic, here too it is advisable to stretch the paper. Furthermore, you can paint on canvas, wood, metal and even on concrete and stone.


My first work in acrylic, an ode to Vincent.

My first introduction to acrylics was this Daler Rowney system 3. I received a number of tubes and made a few works with them. The tubes were already quite old but apparently still in good condition. System 3 Acrylic is a study quality acrylic paint from Daler Rowney. Made on the basis of pure acrylic resin and with a relatively high concentration of pigment of the best quality that guarantees light fastness. System 3 acrylic paint dries in a few minutes and has an almost uniform satin 'eggshell' finish for all colours. Ideal for painting exterior walls, and suitable for both professionals and amateurs. The paint can be used straight from the tube or thinned with water for glazing. System 3 acrylic paint is available in 54 colours, including 10 fluorescent and metallic colours. The fluorescent colours do not score particularly well in terms of light fastness *, the other colours get *** or ****. 16 colours are monopigments, the rest are combinations of two or more pigments. All colours are available in 75ml tubes, 250ml or 500ml bottles. 11 colours are available in 2.25L pots. Translated with (free version)

After I got to know Sennelier through watercolours I also wanted to get to know their acrylics. When I was looking at their range they came up with Abstract acrylic paint. Not in tubes, but in malleable bags on which all kinds of accessories can be screwed to offer even more possibilities of working with their paints. When I bought this paint I immediately noticed that Senelier puts the sun in their paint...Beautiful deep colours that are still very warm after drying, a good flow of the paint and can be mixed very well. I find this affordable paint a real asset in my studio. This paint is a very good form of study paint that has no equal.

Abstract original, 12 m 60 colours, heavy body (retains traces of the tool) very good hiding power, very good pigmentation, mutually mixable and suitable for various grounds. This paint is also available in a matt version (35 colours) and there are fluorescent and iridescent colours in the range.