Acrylic Paint

The art material that I researched was acrylic paints. In today's world paint is one important subject to talk about and most importantly when it comes to health risks and environmental impact.  When manufacturing this material it may consist a small amount of ammonia and formaldehyde that may cause eye, nose and throat irritation and some people may have allergic reactions. But, throughout the decades this medium have improved a lot such as its quality, quantity and helping to reduce its environmental impact.


Compared to water and oil paints, the use of acrylic paint is a relatively a modern medium for artistic expression. Unlike oil and watercolor paints, Acrylic paint has just emerged during the last past century. Oil medium extends far back in Western history and watercolor emerged during the Renaissance Era. Acrylic paints might not be and old medium but it offers its own characteristics and properties such as durability, immediacy and versatility which some painters may find it useful to approach new concept and artistic creativity. Even though Acrylic compounds started to be synthesized in the mid 19th century it was till the first half of the 20th century were early experimentation began with the Acrylic medium. Mexican muralists David Alfaro Siqueiros was one artist that began experimenting with this medium. He founded a workshop in New York City where he experimented with the latest synthetics and methods of application, which many of this were used in his painting Echo of Scream (1937). By the late 1940s an early version of acrylic paints were offered by Leonard Bocour and Sam Golden under the name of Magna. This type of paints were mineral spirit-based paints rather than water-based and Many known artists at the time experimented with this medium. By the mid 1950s, the first Acrylic paints were introduced commercially on the marked.


The environmental impact of this material is an issue today not only for the environment but also for the people who uses this medium a lot because it can cause health risk problems. For example, Acrylic paints that are made of water-based emulsions are made of synthetic acrylic resins, pigments and other additives, such as ammonia and formaldehyde preservative and when the chemicals are release during drying it can cause respiratory irritation and allergies. So, companies are trying reduce the environmental impact of its products. By reducing the Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in paints it improve indoor air quality and the gases emitted. This has been beneficial for the user since the paints produces less odor, has a clean air formula and durability.


Their manufacturing method it's difficult but the following method makes it easier to produce when using pre made acrylic. This method can easily be altered to make different paint qualities and characteristics from thin ink to think textural construction paints. When mixing the proportion of pigment to binder it changes from 40% to 60%. Sometimes it needs more pigment but if overdone this will result in a reduction of adhesion and durability giving a low quality product.


Although Acrylic paints has not been around for long compared to oil and water paints the material had a big influence during the development of the 20th century art movements. Since the material offers diversity of creativity, industries today its still improving on its methods of creating this material and trying to make it more sustainable for the environment.




Work Sited

“Safety Training.” University og North Texas. N.p., n.d. Web. 6Feb. 2014


"Acrylic Paint and Art History." Acrylic Paint and Art History. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Feb. 2014.


"How To Make Acrylic Artist's Paint by Tony Johansen." How To Make Acrylic Artist's Paint by Tony Johansen. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Feb. 2014.