Material & Techniques

Acrylic Ink is a fast-drying fluid colour consisting of super-fine pigments suspended in a watery acrylic emulsion. The emulsion dries into a water-resistant film that is permanent. The dried film does not smudge or bleed when layered or rewetted.

Acrylic ink uses artist-quality lightfast pigments that do not fade or shift over time; they come in a range of opacities. Acrylic ink is non-clogging and can be used in an airbrush and with dip pens. The ink can be used with other water-based media and is suitable for mixed media work, printing, and stamping. Acrylic ink adheres to a variety of surfaces, such as canvas, board, wood, fabric, and paper.

Watercolour paint consists of finely ground powdered pigments suspended in a water-soluble binder. Water is mixed with the paint during application. When water evaporates, the binder fixes the pigments to the surface, usually paper. The binder is made up of gum (e.g., gum arabic or dextrin), glucose, glycerine, brightener, fillers, and wetting agents. Glucose and glycerine slow drying time and make the pigments easier to dissolve. Brightener enhances colour and textures. Fillers give body and assist with adhesion to surfaces.

Dried watercolour paint is not water-resistant nor permanent; it bleeds and lifts when layered or rewetted. Workable fixative may be used sparingly to secure under layers, but this method is not without controversy.

Watercolours are sold in blocks or tubes. The paint can be applied wet-on-wet and wet-on-dry for different effects. Watercolour transparency is unsurpassed by any other media. Also, the whites in oils and acrylics are created by adding opaque white paint while the whites in watercolours are mostly achieved by exposing the white of the paper. Watercolour paint adheres to many other surfaces apart from paper such as certain plastic, vellum, leather, fabric, and specially primed canvas.

Traditional oil paint consists of pigment particles (colour) suspended in a drying oil (binder) that hardens into a tough film when exposed to air. Some common drying oils are linseed, poppy, safflower, and walnut. Linseed oil is preferred for its ease of use and versatility; however, it’s susceptible to yellowing. The drying time of oil paint varies from colour to colour. Thin layers of paint touch-dry anything between 12 hours to a week.

Alkyd oil paint contains an alkyd resin made from modified oils. When dry, the alkyd resin forms a tough film. Thin layers of paint touch-dry within 24 hours. Alkyd oil paint can be mixed with linseed oil to slow drying time and be thinned with alkyd mediums and solvents.

Water-mixable oil paint, which has the same vibrant, rich, and lustrous colours as traditional oil paint, contains an emulsifier that mixes with water. Thin layers of paint diluted with water touch-dry within 10 minutes. Water-mixable oil paint can be used with traditional oils, but it will lose its water-soluble quality.