There used to be a lot of decorative painting classes at one time, the great idea that the artist required no technical drawing skills or imagination to create a design. Just use tracing paper and graphite paper and bingo you are set. All the talent went into technique. The classrooms were equipped with hair dryers, 1500 watt monsters to speed the drying of the paint which inevitably jumped the breakers. The great advantage of acrylics is the low odor and the speed of set-up and storage after. Oil Painting has become an increasingly specialized bird. Anyway, we just received the new Grumbacher 200 ml acrylic in the Academy line and the packaging looks great. It replaces the old 90 ml tubes which were in aluminum type packaging which seems passe. We have a retail price of $6.95 which is a tight one, and a good price for Canada. Our buck is above parity but that has always been a precarious condition. The days of the 67 cent looney hang over like a bad dream, a childhood trauma. The display came in kind of mangled which is o.k. Makes it look like we have been carrying the stuff for years.
But, to claim that acrylic paint is safe to use and non-toxic is in many cases a false presumption. Although the Grumbacher is labeled non toxic, it is still made with chemicals and there are strong off-gases. The eco-experts at Earth Safe Finishes gave us the rundown several years ago. If these student or MOR grade acrylics posed zero health hazard the price would be 25% more. Kind of like this dubious food advertising claiming “all natural”.
…The history of acrylic paints is rather short and sweet. The inception of acrylics is actually the year 1901. But, it will be many years later before it becomes known and ready for commercial use.
In 1901, a noted chemist by the name of Dr. Otto Rohm developed the first synthetic acrylic resin in his German laboratory. But it was not until 1930 that DuPont brought his ideas to America for commercial production. Read More:http://www.artistcorner.us/articles/historyofacylics.html
Early experimentation with acrylic paint in artistic contexts began in the first half of the 20th century. In the 1920s and 1930s, Mexican muralists began experimenting with these synthetic mediums. As early as 1936, the Mexican social realist muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros founded and held a workshop in New York City to experiment with the latest synthetics and methods of application, many of which were used in his Echo of a Scream (1937). One notable attendee of this workshop was Jackson Pollock, who went on to use synthetic gloss enamel paints for his dripping and pouring techniques. Depression-era WPA mural artists also experimented with synthetic paints.
By the late 1940s, Leonard Bocour and Sam Golden offered an early version of acrylic paints sold under the name of Magna, which were, in fact, mineral spirit-based paints rather than water-based. Many well known artists of the time experimented with this new painting medium, including Mark Rothko, Kenneth Noland, Barrett Newman, and Roy Lichtenstien. In the 1950s, Röhm and his business partner Otto Haas introduced the first acrylic emulsion specifically designed for paint, which has become the cornerstone for all contemporary artists’ acrylic emulsions. By 1955, the first commercially available water based acrylic paints were placed on the market. Read More:http://www.art-mine.com/for-sale/paintings-submedium-acrylic/history-of-acrylic-painting