Acrylic artist paints are available in three packages – tubes, jars or liquid acrylics. They are water-soluble like watercolour and gouache paints. The main difference is that acrylic paints are water resistant when dry, and can only be removed mechanically – by scraping or sanding.
The acrylic paints that come in tubes are usually thick and suitable for use on absorbent and semi-absorbent surfaces. They adhere well to card, greyboard, artists canvas and untreated wood. They also work for non-absorbent surfaces like glass but are easily removed in flakes when rubbed or scraped. The cream-like consistency of the paints makes it possible to make a rough texture and use the impasto technique using artists knives and stiff brushes. They are water-soluble while they’re still wet so water can be used to thin them, to achieve an effect that’s like watercolour.
The acrylic paints that can come in jars are often liquid and self-levelling. That means, that if a brush gets saturated in paint and a droplet falls onto a surface the paint will spread out. They can be useful for getting an even layer of paint, with no visible brush marks.
This category is for acrylic paints in tubes and liquid acrylics. Also called professional acrylics, due to mostly being used for canvas artworks.
Acrylic paints dry quickly, after which they are no longer water-soluble. That is a big advantage for artists that prefer to work quickly.
Acrylic paints are popular among contemporary artists due to the endless ways to apply the paint and their ability to “stick” to practically any surface. Acrylics can also “move” on the surface, expanding and shrinking with it – keeping their integrity. Diluting acrylic paints with water allows the use of watercolour techniques, and if used directly from the tube acrylic paints resemble oil paint.
Daler Rowney, like a big part of art supplies manufacturers, has four series of acrylic paints for which there is an established world standard – ASTM (Standard Specification for Artists’ Acrylic Dispersion Paints). The Cryla acrylic paints by the British company Daler-Rowney are the highest quality acrylics available in the Slanchogled Art Stores in Sofia and Varna. They are distinguished by the pigment concentration and the consistency of colour and shape.
The series below are arranged in order of the quality of the ingredients and the lightfastness of the paint: how well the colours and the texture fare after time.
Cryla – alternate equivalents – Talens Rembrandt, Pebeo Artist Acrylics Extra Fine, Winsor & Newton Professional, Liquitex Professional
System 3 – alternate equivalents – Talens Van Gogh, Winsor and Newton Galeria
Graduate Acrylic – alternate equivalents – Talens Amsterdam, Pebeo Studio Acrylics, Liquitex Basics
Simply Acrylic – alternate equivalents – Talens Art Creation, Reeves, Maimeri Acrylic Start