Watercolor VS Acrylic Painting

Views: 57     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2019-06-30      Origin: Site

Watercolor VS Acrylic Painting

Don't be fooled by the title of this article, my goal is not to say which is better, but to point out the similarities and differences I know between the two. It should be "Watercolor and Acrylic Painting".

The Similarity of Watercolor and Acrylic Painting

Watercolor and acrylic resins are both relatively inexpensive media. Nowadays, there are no artist watercolor paint sets that are cheap, but these mediums are much cheaper, such as oil paints.

The main similarity between acrylic and watercolor is that they are both water-soluble pigments. This means that they can be diluted with water, and brushes can be washed with water during painting. Because of this, neither acrylics nor watercolors require the use of harsh chemicals, it is very safe for your children to play with.

watercolor painting

Differences of Watercolor and Acrylic Painting


The histories of the two media are very different. Although not as popular or as prestigious as oil painting, watercolor has been around since ancient times. Acrylic resins did not appear until the 1950s.


Acrylic pigments are very forgiving and perfect for learning. So when you start painting, it's a good medium. Acrylic dries quickly and hides well because it is opaque. You go from dark colors to light colors. When you apply color to any dry area of your painting, even the darkest color will show the true color. If wet, paint is perfectly mixed on the canvas, rather than premixed on the watercolor palette.

Watercolor can be more challenging. With watercolor, you can create different layers of color as you paint, but you work in a different order than with acrylic. Liquid watercolor paint is translucent and unlike acrylic, you can't cover up your mistakes. If you want to preserve light areas, then you must plan ahead in your painting. In class, I teach tips on how to keep paper blank and how to "fix" some overly saturated color areas. Watercolor painting is a patient process. The key is time, which comes with experience and lots of painting. Once you learn the balance of how much water to use, it will completely take your painting to a higher level and allow you to build real colors.


While most watercolor paintings are done on paper, acrylic paintings are often done on canvas. Canvas for acrylic painting seems to be of little use except for practice.

Acrylic painting

Some Advice 

I suggest learning acrylic painting first and discovering some principles of painting that will help you learn watercolor. Watercolor painting is more intelligent than acrylic painting. I would certainly like to see people take a few classes in acrylic painting and then establish a comfortable relationship with watercolors.

As spring and summer approach, you may want to take your paintings outside. If so, watercolor is the perfect medium. Watercolor is a minimalist medium, because you only need the colors of your travel suit, a complete brush to a very narrow point, a great 140-pound bond watercolor paper, and a bottle of water spray. If you're painting watercolors outside and your paint is dry, you can dip your ferret brush in water and re-wet the paint or paper. You can even bring dry watercolors back to life by adding water, depending on what paint you use. Outdoor acrylic painting is more challenging. Acrylic paint is actually a plastic that dries faster because of sunlight and temperature.

If you are interested in painting, hope this article can be helpful for you. Hangzhou Medo Import and Export Co., Ltd. is a professional art material manufacturer, who producing artist watercolor paint sets,  professional stretched canvas for painting, artist quality acrylic paint and various paintbrushes for beginners with best quality and reasonable price. 





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