Acrylics is a fast drying paint containing pigment suspension in an acrylic polymer emulsion and is essentially plastic in nature. Acrylic paints can be diluted with water, but become water-resistant when dry. The product was developed and first commercially available in the 1950s. Generally oil paint has a higher pigment load than acrylic paint. As linseed oil has a smaller molecule than acrylic, oil paint is able to absorb substantially more pigment.
The rapid drying time can be a disadvantage when one wants to develop and blend a painting, but can be a blessing when the artist wants to establish the painting quickly. An advantage offered by acrylic paints compared to oil paints is that acrylic is very useful in mixed media, allowing use of soft pastels, charcoal, pen, etc. on top of the dried acrylic painted surface.