I’ve chosen Acrylics as my media this week as it’s been a while since I’ve done any painting with them. Years ago that’s all I used for painting as it is the most versatile paint you can get. It comes in many forms, the cheapest you can get is watery and comes from craft shops in small bottles, which is fine for craft activities and okay to start with but student grade or above is much more versatile and it comes in tubes and tubs in every hue imaginable, each costs as little as £2. You can also get acrylic spray paint, marker pens or paint sticks but so far I’ve not come across refillable ones.
The really nice thing about acrylics is that it’s a very forgiving medium in that you can paint over mistakes repeatedly or paint over old works as many famous artists have done when funds are short. Lighter hues on darker colours take a bit more effort but it is possible especially if it is thickly applied or why not use household emulsion first for large areas. Acrylics dry far quicker than oil paints taking a matter of minutes if thinly applied or about half an hour or so when it’s it’s a bit thicker.
While wet most things can be cleaned with just water in case of spillages and splatters. If left, as it dries as a plastic, you can scrape or scrub at stains. You can also warm dried acrylic to soften it so that it will peel it off hard surfaces if formed a thick lump. I find it quite satisfying peeling off my palette when it’s caked in acrylics but not all artists bother. The peelings themselves can be interesting.
Above is a picture of a cheap and cheerful basic set of artists brushes with examples of some of the marks you can make to get you started but really just about any type of brush except one is fine for acrylics. I would avoid using sable watercolour brushes or any brush made with fine natural hairs because they’re not cheap and it’s best not to risk ruining them by clogging them up with acrylics. Nylon and hogs hair bristles are perfect for acrylics, but you can also use toothbrushes, a nail brush, decorating brushes, scrubbing brushes, scourers, sponges, cloths, string, scrunched up paper among many other things to apply paint with.