Acrylic paint: ease of use and toxicity

Acrylic remains the ideal paint for painting abstract pictures. Easy to use, it can be used to create a variety of effects. It can be used with all kinds of equipment and is easy to clean. But by the way, is it toxic?

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Composition: what is acrylic paint?

The first paintings date back to the 1930s. These are synthetic paints used mainly in the automotive and construction industries. Then, in 1949, the printing industry innovated in America by introducing a new type of paint: acrylic paint, diluted with turpentine. Highly odorous, irritating and toxic, it is nevertheless appreciated by many artists for its advantages and ease of use.

Today’s water-thinned version was popularized by the Liquitex brand around 1963: this new acrylic paint is a big hit!

What is acrylic paint made of?

Acrylic paint is the result of a fairly simple mix that produces stunning results!

  • pigment : this is the element that gives color to acrylic paint, whether it’s of natural origin (quite rare these days), mineral or synthetic.
  • the binder: this is an emulsion that combines a synthetic resin (polymer) with water, which structures it in paste form. On contact with air, the whole thing sets and dries.

So it’s ready to use on the market, in a variety of packaging and under a variety of brand names. You can also make your own DIY acrylic paint!

Different acrylic paints: which to choose?

The choice of acrylic paint is always a very personal one, depending on what you want and what you’re used to. Generally speaking, the different types of acrylic paint are classified according to their quality (and therefore their price!).

Study paintings

They can also be called school paintings. They belong to the entry-level range, but are nevertheless ideal for acrylic painting .

The quality is certainly nothing exceptional, with colors that are less dense, less full-bodied and quite translucent. But to get the hang of it – or rather the brush – the price is affordable and it’s at a lower cost that you can experiment without fear of “wasting” product and money.

Fine acrylic paint

In terms of value for money, the range of fine acrylic paints is an excellent compromise. Well opaque, the pigmentation is of good quality with a brilliant color rendering at a reasonable cost. This range is the darling of all amateur artists as well as professional painters. Of course, it all depends on the quality of the product on offer: don’t hesitate to turn to tried-and-tested brands.

Extra-fine acrylic

Top quality, luminous pigments: this acrylic paint range is the grail for painters! Classified in series, these paintings are also available at different prices. The quality of this range offers greater resistance over time, with colors that are less affected by the effects of the environment (light, climate, etc.).

Types of acrylic paint

Acrylic paint also offers different textures that make it more or less opaque.

Fluid body paint

It’s a paint with a liquid texture, fluid as its name suggests. This format obviously doesn’t allow for thick paintwork. Body fluid paint, on the other hand, is perfect for painting dripping effects, for example, without losing opacity or color vibrancy.

Soft body paint: the classic paint

This is the first paint version between fluid body and soft body acrylic: it remains the most pleasant to use. Its viscosity is medium, meaning it has superb covering power without being too viscous or difficult to work with. It’s the paint of choice, the simplest and easiest to use, whatever your “level” or creative desires.

Heavy body: paint for working with thickness

Her name gives her away! Heavy-body acrylic paint has the ideal texture for thick painting. This is the paint of choice for working with relief and creating movement. If you’d like to try your hand at “alla prima” techniques, painting with a knife, this type of paint is perfect. That said, you can also achieve a different texture with mediums.

  • to dilute acrylic paint: water remains the element of choice. Alternatively, there are a number of thinning agents that can liquefy acrylic paint.
  • to thicken acrylics: modeling paste or mortar are your best allies for creating movement, paint shapes and reliefs to give thickness to your paintings, without losing color intensity.

The different brands: which acrylic paint to choose?

The range is wide. The variety is immense. Many manufacturers offer acrylic paint tubes. Some offer more or less varied shades, but the most important thing is to choose the one that best suits the experience you want to have. Whether paste or liquid, pot or tube, choose the brand that suits you best. But my advice is still to choose a tried-and-tested brand of acrylic paint. You’ll find the quality you need to get the job done right, and the results to match your investment.

Is acrylic paint toxic?

Obviously, this is a legitimate question, and one we all ask ourselves when using paints, solvents or any other chemical product. You always have a little on your hands. We often paint for several hours at a time in an enclosed space.

Overall, good paint brands offer a guarantee of quality. The products used in acrylic paint are carefully selected to ensure they are not harmful to health. Quality, non-toxic acrylic paints carry a label, visible on their packaging: you’ll find the ACMI logo. It goes without saying that acrylic paint is non-toxic when used in accordance with good practice: it is not edible and should not be used on the skin, for example…

And if you’re using acrylic spray paint, remember to protect yourself against fumes and particles by wearing a mask and goggles, and ventilating the room.

Pack offert : Techniques, matériel & guide

Pour vous lancer dans la peinture abstraite dans de bonnes conditions, je vous offre ce pack comprenant mon guide du matériel, un cours de peinture abstraite et une avalanche de conseils !

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