People ask me why I paint in acrylics; the simple answer is that it the best and most advanced paint we have at present. The old masters painted in oils they tell me very quickly, that's because they never had acrylics, I tell them. I was told recently that posh people get migraine, everybody else get headaches, I think a bit of this mentality comes to the fore with exclusive oil painters.
Oil paints have linseed oil in them, when this dries it turns from a liquid into a solid state, eventually forming an entirely different chemical compound to what it started out as. Acrylic starts as plastic and even when dry, remains the same as it was, plastic with no chemical change taking place.
Acrylic has its own unique qualities. In heavy impasto applications it does not crack or peel, because being plastic it is remarkably flexible. A painting may be tightly rolled without it cracking, placed in a tube; it can be safely stored or transported. Acrylic allows for thin glazes to be applied, one glaze over the next, because of its rapid drying time, varnish may be sprayed, or brushed over completed areas at any time, for the same reason. There is not the constant annoyance, as in oil painting, of waiting for long periods of drying. These characteristics allow the artist a spontaneous approach to painting that other medium can not match.
I have given you this information with one purpose in mind, and that is to assure you that you are not buying an inferior product because the artist use acrylic paint. I believe the opposite to be true. Now let me tell you what I don't like about acrylic and what it won't do.
If you have any intention of painting outdoors using acrylic, expect the worst, as this is essentially a studio medium, drying time is just too rapid. Plein Air Painting soon becomes Plein Comfort Painting inside, what a perfect excuse, I just love it.
New or good clothing near this paint is a disaster waiting to happen, once dry, the mark remains for the life time of the item and beyond. The garment can be old faded and falling apart, the stain however, will be perfect. The adhesive qualities of this paint are tremendous, even when watered down. Magical marks appear on walls floor and even ceiling.
In the hands of the devil-may-care artist there is bound to be a high mortality rate on good brushes. You only forget to clean them once.