Introduction to Acrylics

Find out more about the art of acryclics

Steph (2020) by Peter DavisPaintings in Hospitals

Acrylic paint is an incredibly versatile medium. Diluted with water or fluid retarder, it can give the feeling of watercolour. Thicken it with a texture gel and it can resemble the viscosity of oil paint.

Lauren Grostate, Senior Staff Nurse at the Royal Marsden Hospital (2020) by Nancy O'ConnorPaintings in Hospitals

It is water-based, non-toxic and isn’t smelly like traditional oils. You don’t need thinners or chemical solvents either and your brushes just need to be cleaned in water afterwards.

Four Angels (2020) by Barbara BrittonPaintings in Hospitals

One of the things I love about painting in this medium is that it dries very quickly, which means you can start working on your next layer (often called glazes) straight away.

Dr. Richard (2020) by Hannah Gordon-TellerPaintings in Hospitals

It also gives you the control to explore your tones and colours without worrying about your portrait going muddy.

Four Angels (2020) by Barbara BrittonPaintings in Hospitals

These days, it’s considered a professional medium just as much as oils, and acrylic portraits can be regularly seen in The Royal Society of  Portrait Painters’ exhibitions and on the walls of the National Portrait Gallery.

For me, acrylic is easy going, unpretentious and low-maintenance,  which is probably why it’s my kind of paint.

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