Throughout my life as an artist, I have used practically every medium available. After using #2 pencils throughout my teens, I naturally took to oil painting in my twenties and thirties. Painting family and celebrity subjects on large canvases in the same classic style of many young artists of today, my ability with the medium of oil flowed as though I was a painter from another lifetime. However, I disliked the slow-drying property of the medium. I also disliked that my paintings looked like so many others I had seen.
After moving on from oil to colored pencil, charcoal, watercolor and gouache, I eventually found my niche with acrylic about a dozen years ago. Learning to use it did not come easy for me, and I am still making new discoveries about it.
For the longest time, I used it in mixed media with colored pencil, liking the results well enough, but longing for the purity of a single medium. I did not know how to render flesh tones in acrylics until I decided that its versatility to mimic watercolor would not only match my subject matter, but might give me some proficiency in this area.
Sales of my work began to increase as my confidence in using acrylic increased. Many patrons initially asked if my paintings were done in watercolor. They were surprised whenever I told them it was acrylic.
I like using acrylic because it is versatile and easy to clean up after a painting session. I like that it can be mixed with water to perform in the manner of watercolor, or mixed with white acrylic paint to look like gouache. I like that it can be used thinly and layered multiple times to give a final lush finish with light shining through. I like that it is a good companion in mixed media, particularly in some of the acrylic and collage pieces that I occasionally create for a change of pace.
There are so many other reasons to enjoy using acrylics. If you haven't tried them yet, give yourself a treat and do so.