"What Will it Be, Acrylic or Watercolor?"

Essay by JAB197College, UndergraduateA, November 2003

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Most people that have ever painted a painting, even if it was grade school know that watercolor paint is fairly unique. One kind of paint in particular that differs from watercolor, would be the acrylic based paints used by many professionals. No matter what type of paint is used, the final product has the potential to become a beautiful painting. Although watercolor and acrylic are both paints, they each have a distinct texture and process that helps the artist display their vision into the image.

Acrylic is a paint often used by amateur and professional painters. Acrylic is a plastic based paint that is usually applied onto a canvas but it can also be used on other surfaces as well. As with any kind of paint, a brush is the most common way to apply acrylic onto the canvas or paper. Stiff textured brushes are meant to be used with an acrylic medium because of its thick consistency.

This medium can be mixed with water to make a less opaque mixture but it is not required. When acrylic paint is wet it can be easily mixed with other colors.

Once the paint is dry, it is no longer useable and cannot be washed away. Considering that it is opaque, acrylic paint can be applied right over the dried paint to create another image, without the base color interfering. When acrylic dries onto clothing, it will be stuck there forever. Although the color might fade; there is no use in trying to scrub it off. Since acrylic is not water based paint, it cannot be diluted with water. Although acrylic does not require the use of water, it is a necessity that watercolor paint be applied with water.

Watercolor paint must be mixed with water in order to loosen the paint...