Acrylic paints dry quickly, which is both an advantage and a disadvantage.
The advantage of a fast drying time is that you can apply many layers of paint in a short amount of time. Artists can very effectively use glazing and layering techniques when using acrylics. The layers of paint bind to one another very well because of their good adhesive qualities.
Another advantage is their water-solubility, as this allows for easier cleanup and reduces the need to use chemicals that may create harmful fumes.
The disadvantage to paints drying quickly is that there's a shorter time in which an artist can manipulate the paint once it's applied. Acrylic paints dry quickly because they're waterbased. The time it takes for water to evaporate is how long it takes for these paints to dry. However, there are several acrylic mediums (retarders) that can slow drying time.
Something else to note: When acrylics dry, their color becomes slightly darker.
Blick offers many books and DVDs to help you get started with acrylics. Visit our Books and Media – Acrylics page to see our selection.
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