Acrylic paint

Acrylic paint is a fast-drying medium that basically consists of color pigments, an acrylic binder and a range of different additives - although the latter is not always the case. This immediately sounds like a simplification, but this is due to the fact that acrylic paints are produced in many qualities, by many manufacturers and that the different products do not always declare what all the additives in their products are.

At Stelling, we of course only make sure to have quality products that are precisely selected according to the quality and amount of pigments, that the binder works as it should - ideally this should be flexible, transparent and possess great strength - as well as products with few or no additives.

Most types of acrylic paints are water-based, but despite this, acrylic paints are water resistant after drying time and some acrylic lines achieve this property after as little as 15-20 minutes drying time. This leads to a work process where speed, flexibility, intuition and creativity are paramount.

Another completely unique characteristic of acrylic paint is that depending on how much the consistency changes through dilution with water, or completely changes via the use of media and / or gels, the more the acrylic paint acquires special properties from watercolor, gouache or oil paint, respectively.

We at Stelling therefore like to say that acrylic paint is a bit of a chameleon, but conversely, acrylic paint can also achieve completely unique properties by using gels and media that are not available in any other product.

The combination of enormous flexibility, fast drying time and a safe and easy profile makes this product one of our top sellers and we recommend everyone with a creative re-practice as well as beginners - to try their hand at this type of paint.

The story behind

The history of acrylic paint begins in Germany in the early 20th century, when Otto Röhm and his business partner Otto Haas invented and patented a sea of ​​important products. Most important of these in this respect was the development of acrylic resin and later the first “true” acrylic emulsion, ie chemical composition specifically designed for use as a paint.

Based on these advances in chemistry, acrylic paints based on mineral alcohol were developed in a short time and after further experimentation and development, water-based acrylic paints later became available.

These early acrylic paints, sold under the name latex paint, were developed for indoor and outdoor painting of houses and were intended for industrial use, but very quickly the artistic possibilities were tried and developed, which led to the sea of ​​products we have access to in day.

It is thus a fairly modern medium - at least when we compare with watercolor and oil painting, where the latter draws threads all the way back to the Renaissance.

For the same reason, acrylic paint became the banner bearer for the new art trends of the 20th century that reflected modern reality: abstract expressionism, photorealism and pop art originated or evolved in this melting pot and acrylic paint became a preferred medium for many practitioners who quickly learned to appreciate its unique features.



“Artist” is each manufacturer's most exclusive and most expensive quality of acrylic paint. The quality is characterized by extremely high reliability - both in terms of stability and durability - as well as how colorfast it is. In addition, Artist series contain an enormously high amount of color pigments and some absolutely amazing binders.

This gives a very powerful effect, which is why you will often "dampen" your Artist acrylic paint through dilution with water and / or a medium and mix it with other colors, but you also have the opportunity to create works with an explosion of dynamic and intense colors by using the product directly from the bucket or tube.

Another benefit of Artist is that you do not have to worry when mixing two or more colors. This helps to separate the Artist quality from Studio, where certain very expensive pigments are replaced by cheaper and so-called “hues”, in Danish shades, are created. These look like the desired pigment well enough, but can give altered result while mixing colors.

In the Artist series, the products will typically be priced according to how expensive the individual color pigment may be. Therefore, you will often see certain yellow, red and blue colors be a lot more expensive than, for example, earth tones as well as white and black.


“Studio”, or “student” as it is also sometimes known, is a cheaper classification than “Artist” and the general wisdom is that these are affordable alternatives can be used during the preparation of study works and / or in learning situations where need to throw a lot of acrylic paint on a canvas in a hurry and it will be too expensive to use Artist.

Even though it is a cheaper product with fewer pigments and a less good binder, you can easily use these series for your finished works - also as a professional artist. It's just important to be aware that this is a different quality than Artist.

As is the case with the "big brother", not all pigments are born equal. You will therefore sometimes find that products in the Studio series have a different amount of color pigment in them and that selected colors are not available in Studio quality at all, as the pigments are simply too expensive for a more affordable series. These exotic or rare color pigments are replaced by cheaper alternatives - so-called hues, which are similar to confusion, but which in some cases have changed properties due to the changed composition.


Acrylic paint comes in many varieties, so you can always find a product that suits exactly your needs. In Stelling's large selection you can find:

Heavy Body, which as the name implies has a thicker consistency and which is well suited for the impasto technique or other situations where the paint may "stand up" on the canvas and show individual brushstrokes and / or the use of a palette knife.
"Medium viscosity", known by names such as Soft Body, Fluid and High Flow, which retains the same high pigment number from Heavy Body, but comes in a more liquid version. These are particularly suitable for use in airbrushes.
Open, a type of acrylic paint developed by GOLDEN that possesses qualities from the oil paint. You will therefore be able to work with the same color for much longer periods than a traditional acrylic paint.
Iridescent, pearl and interference series have their pigments mixed with mica or even bronze powder, creating unique and very beautiful effects where the color can reflect light, shine like freshly minted coins or change completely; depending on whether it is painted over white or black.

Special features

The greatest strength and best characteristic of acrylic paint is its flexibility. We have already described how it can be diluted, added to media or gels and thus "imitate" other media, used to repaint anything - even outdoors - or even mixed freely with other media, but that is not all.

With its water resistance, acrylic paint is suitable as an underlying layer in a multi-media project - what is popularly called mixed media. Now that we are on this topic, it should also be mentioned that you can easily mix sand, rice or other material for your acrylic paint. This textured paint is used, among other things, to create lifelike environments in the figure and model hobby.

Technically, you also have a wealth of options. From the most advanced and technically extremely demanding to the more intuitive and beginner-friendly such as drybrushing (dry brush on a dry canvas), finger paint that is exactly what you think it is or "pouring", where special acrylic paint such as GOLDENS Fluid line or paint added Pouring Medium is poured in addition to your project from a container, thereby creating fascinating, unique and organic effects.

And again, these would mean that you have to spend for these processes. It is only your imagination that sets the limit.

Why choose acrylic paint over oil paint

The immediate advantage is the short drying time. This enables greater productivity on the individual project, as there is no unnecessary waiting time while the paint must have time to dry. Conversely, the short drying time also means that you can not easily work with, for example, a wet-on-wet technique.

If you are considering switching from oil paint or just want to be able to work longer with the same color, then you have the option to extend the drying time by using a retarder or by choosing a product from an Open series such as this one from Golden.

Another strength of acrylic paint is that it lasts longer and does not turn yellow. In addition, acrylic paint possesses a much higher natural elasticity, which in practice means that you do not have to worry about cracking or how "fat" or "lean" a given color is. Read more about “fat-over-lean” in our section on oil paints here.

If you paint with oil, it is necessary to cover the painted surface with a primer so that the oil paint does not seep through and rot. With acrylic paint, this is not necessary unless you are working on wood or other materials that absorb a lot of liquid or are enormously porous. In Stelling, however, as a general rule, we always recommend that you make use of a primer - especially if you paint on surfaces other than a traditional canvas. See, for example, these delicious geese from GOLDEN and Vallejo, which are particularly suitable for this purpose.

Finally, it should be mentioned that far down the road, you can just use water to dilute the paint. This also applies to the subsequent cleaning of brushes and work area, which is done in a snap with hot water and a little soap. If the acrylic paint has dried completely in - for example on your palette - it can be easily and effortlessly scraped off with a knife.

Therefore, we recommend acrylic paint over oil paint for you who are climate conscious, suffer from allergies, work at home or just want to be able to sit at the kitchen table and work without having to worry about the use of solvents or other toxic chemicals.

Why choose acrylic paint over watercolor paint

When it comes to the difference between acrylic paint and watercolor, attention will quickly be turned to opacity versus transparency as well as reactivation of watercolor to the water resistance of acrylic.

Compared to the first difference, we have already described how acrylic paint can be made incredibly liquid and used to create watercolor-like effects, but in its “straight-out-of-the-bucket” mode, the average acrylic paint will have much higher opacity and far less transparency than a given watercolor color. In practice, this means that you can build your project “layer-on-layer” by using acrylic paint with a particularly high opacity without having to worry about the visibility of the underlying layer of paint. This property is enhanced by several thin layers of paint on top of each other.

The latter difference is more a matter of particular qualities of each medium than an actual advantage in choosing one over the other.

If you work with watercolor, you probably already know that a work can be reactivated with water and that you can even use this property as an eraser. This is certainly not the case for acrylic paints, which can then be repainted over and over again without you having to fear that the underlying layer of paint will suddenly “come to life”, be smeared or mixed.

A really smart solution to this question is of course to use both media - a technique called mixed media and as described above is another of the many strengths of acrylic paint.

1271 products

1271 products