top of page

Acrylic Painting

Basics of Acrylic Paint

Whether you’re new to acrylics or advanced in this medium, knowing how acrylics mix and mingle with other art materials is critical for painting success.

Can you intermix oils and water-based acrylics?

No—they’re chemically incompatible.

Can you paint oils over acrylics?
Yes, but the painting’s layers may become unstable. The oils may not adhere adequately to the acrylic beneath. Also, the oils and acrylics will respond differently to environmental conditions such as humidity and temperature, which could cause the layers to separate.

Can you use traditional oil-painting techniques with acrylics?
Acrylics dry faster than oil paint, so you may need to change your painting techniques. Wet-into-wet techniques (wet paint applied to or blended with wet paint) are more difficult with acrylics, but scumbling and drybrush techniques are easier.

Can you use traditional watercolor techniques with acrylics?
Most traditional watercolor techniques can be used with acrylics since both media are relatively quick-drying. Just as watercolors of the same name by different manufacturers produce different staining or granulating effects, acrylic colors will differ from traditional watercolors. Also, unlike watercolors, acrylics can’t be re-hydrated once dry.

Are acrylics less permanent than oils?
Acrylic paint seems to be just as permanent as oil paint. Acrylics are chemically stable when cured, but, as with all paint media, they’re only as permanent as the surface they’re painted on.

bottom of page