View Full Version : the question of classification of acrylic-watercolor

jerry lucey
09-09-2004, 09:56 AM
I know, this question was raised before, but it still seems confusing. I consider my work as watercolor, although I like to make clear it is using acrylic in a watercolor style. What I keep wondering is watercolor a proper classification or should Acrylic-Watercolor be a class unto itself. ...Perhaps what we as artists do not need is another class, with all the societies, etc. that go along. Any thoughts our there.........jerry

09-09-2004, 12:41 PM
Hey, jerry you refered me from yahoo groups but I was unable to give you credit for the referral, because I didn't know your id. Anyways I think it should be Acrylics, just because you use in in a different way doesn't change the medium. For example if you added lighter fluid to oils and set it on fire :evil: when you were done to turn it into charcoal, would it be oil or charcoal? not that that would actually work. :D

09-09-2004, 01:23 PM
The classification of all water medium is the binder of the pigment to the working surface. The rock paintings of the cave man used urine, and blood as a binder wonder what classification of water medium that would fall under? :confused:


Richard Saylor
09-09-2004, 02:41 PM
Jerry, I think it still should be considered an acrylic painting, just as an acrylic painting resembling an oil is not classified as an oil painting. Also, wouldn't it be weird if an acrylic painting which was partly like a watercolor and partly like an oil painting were to be classified as mixed media?

09-09-2004, 02:50 PM
Jerry, when I work in watercolors I work very heavy adding glaze upon glaze until I get the depth I want in a piece. That it sometimes comes out looking like acrylics that does not make it acrylics it is still watercolor.

09-09-2004, 02:50 PM
Reply from the geek:*Technically* the difference is the binder. Acrylic has acrylic polymer emulsion as the binder. See http://www.liquitex.com/aboutliquitex/whatisacrylicpaintOld.cfm. Watercolour has gum arabic as the binder. See http://www.handprint.com/HP/WCL/pigmt1.html#pigmentratio. Both can be thinned with water but water is not the binder nor the medium for that matter, when it comes to acrylics it's just a thinner. Like turpentine is to oils, where a medium is a combination of oil and thinner not just thinner. Same with acrylics, medium is an acrylic polymer emulsion or that and water. But not just water.

Now, to answer the rest of your question... different art societies and groups may or may not allow cross-over of acrylics and watercolour. It will be stated in the entry requirements. For example, the big watercolour competition here in the UK (Sunday Times Watercolour Competition run by Parker Harris) accepts acrylics too. Many oil painting competitions also accept acrylics! It's a testament to the versatility of our medium. :)