Oil paint and watercolor paint date back many centuries but the art of painting with acrylics does not go back even one century …
Acrylic is a modern medium for artistic expression. Acrylic paint is in demand because of its dominant bright colors and the fact that it can be used on many surfaces. Artists are also attracted to acrylics because the paints can be mixed with a large number of other media. In the beginning, acrylic resins were used in an industrial capacity. The resins were used as a paint binder for drying oils in industrial paints and lacquers.
Mexican muralists started experimenting with these synthetic mediums and their applications in the 1930s. In the 1940s, an early version of acrylic paints sold under the name of ‘Magna’ was placed on the market. Artists like Roy Lichtenstien and Mark Rothko began experimenting with the new painting medium. In the 1950s the first acrylic emulsion specifically designed for paint was introduced and the first commercially available water based acrylic paints were put on the market.
Acrylic paints hit the market right around the time pop culture and other movements like pop art and abstract expressionism made their appearance on the art scene. Acrylics proved to be an ideal medium for the new art forms that brought in hard-edged flat images.Artists like Andy Warhol and Robert Motherwell were attracted to the acrylic medium for the flexibility, mix-abilty, and varied textures of the paint. With its faster drying time, acrylic paint unleaded a new wave of creative possibilities. 20th century art movements and forms owe a lot to the influence of acrylic paint.