Acrylic paints have been around for as long as I can remember, and that’s a long time, trust me. I love them. For a start, they don’t smell, unlike oil paint that needs an assortment of other noxious chemicals to make them work. Plus they do not take days to dry.
You can use acrylics like watercolor paints, a thin translucent wash that holds its color, even in direct sunlight. You can also use it thick with a palette knife on canvas.
I have even applied it to canvas using a syringe and long, thin, metal tube, a little like a hypodermic needle but without the sharp angled end. This was used to paint rivers of lava on a painting I did a few years back of Kilauea erupting at night that was spread over three canvasses.
It really is quite tactile although I’m not sure about oily fingers reaching out to see what it feels like. But it does give you a general idea as to what is possible when you let your imagination flow with nature, and paint.
Many artists who are unwilling to try this new medium, the die-hard users of oil paint, will turn their noses up at them referring to them as “poor man’s oils.” Yet, looking at the price of some of these paints, the poorer among other artists use basic watercolor blocks.
Some people, like my wife, are allergic to the fumes given off by oil paint, the smell of raw linseed oil, turpentine, etc. But then, did you know that raw linseed oil is also a fire hazard when used with a cloth? The cloth will, after several minutes, combust and burst into flames. The chemicals you need in order to use oil paints and to clean up afterward are also serious health hazard.
Archaeologists working with a team of scientists trying to establish how the body of Tutankhamun was burnt while sealed in its sarcophagus, found that bandages used to wrap the body that were then covered in linseed oil began to heat up and combust. The lack of oxygen, once the fire had started, caused a wick effect on the corpse. So, yes, linseed oil on a rag…?
This is perhaps one of the many reasons why people prefer acrylic paint to that of oil-based paint. Just don’t get it on your clothes or drop your brush on the carpet. Once you do that… it’s basically there for good.
Have fun with your paints. If you have any questions then direct them to me and I will attempt to answer them for you.
PS: Acrylic paints are not for children unless they are far removed from furniture, carpets, clothing, pets or anything else that is either living or is something that you want to use over or keep paint free. Acrylic paints are also toxic and not meant for the mouths of inquiring hands that are attached to children. You should seek urgent medical help if your child ingests the paint. Always read the label and save yourself a trip to the hospital.