Acrylic Paintings for Sale

Learn about the acrylic medium and shop our collection of original acrylic paintings.

Acrylic Paintings for Sale

Tell me more about the acrylic painting medium!

All of the artworks below are original acrylic paintings on canvas (predominantly gallery-wrapped canvas), meaning they are ready-to-hang without a frame.

Select any artwork to learn more, or to reserve / purchase the piece.

If you are a collector local to the artist, we offer free shipping, and the artist is often able to deliver the painting in person and tell you about their inspiration. Our mission is to build local connections!

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A [Oversimplified] History of Acrylic Painting

Acrylic paint is a relatively new discovery, emerging as a significant innovation in the mid-20th century and revolutionizing the world of art. Experimented with and developed by chemical companies such as BASF in the 1930s and 1940s, the synthetic paint is a combination of pigment (colour) and an acrylic binder (a polymer emulsion) which holds the pigment in place. This synthetic paint is then, typically, mixed with water to allow for delivery of the paint to the painting surface.

Amongst the earliest users of acrylic paints were Mexican artists Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, and José Clemente Orozco, who were attracted to the durability and the rapid drying of the medium. For these advantages and many more, as described in a subsequent section, acrylics rapidly gained popularity with other artists. Through the mid-Century, several chemical companies introduced new product lines which solidified the medium as a worthy alternative to the prevailing mediums of the time.

Why Acrylics Over other Mediums?

When we ask artists what draws them most to acrylics, they often mention the quick-drying capability of the medium. This allows artists to work quickly and layer colours almost immediately, rather than waiting for base layers to dry.

Another frequently cited advantage is the medium’s versatility. Thinned with water, it allows for a loose, translucent finish which is comparable to working with watercolours. Conversely, acrylic paint can be applied in dense, visible brush strokes to create structural layers which protrude from the canvas, a technique referred to as impasto. Acrylics thus share qualities of the two dominant mediums which preceded them (watercolours and oils), giving the artist more flexibility.

Acrylics are also versatile in that they stick to almost any surface: canvas, wood, paper, and beyond. They can be painted directly on raw canvas (as per artist Eleanor Boyden), without a primer (a gesso), which the oil medium requires.

Many artists work in home studios or apartments, meaning their easels might be in close proximity to their living spaces. Relative to oils, acrylics produce fewer fumes and are thus more amenable to work from home or low-ventilation environments. Since they are water-soluble before drying, they can be easily cleaned with a wet cloth.

While many “purists” prefer more traditional painting mediums, claiming that acrylics fail to replicate their qualities, it cannot be denied that acrylics are a groundbreaking modern invention which allow artists to paint with fewer barriers.

Identifying Acrylic Paintings

While the appearance of acrylic paintings varies widely, here are some possible factors to consider when determining if a painting is acrylic:

  • Visual Appearance: acrylic paintings often exhibit a smooth, matte finish, as they dry into a non-reflective surface. They also tend to have vibrant, intense colours with sharp edges and well-defined lines. Paintings with a more translucent, mild appearance are more commonly found in mediums such as watercolour or gouache (though this can also be achieved with acrylics!).
  • Drying Time: unlike oil paints, acrylic paints dry quickly. An oily sheen or appearance of softness or wetness may indicate that that it is an oil-based medium.
  • Colour Intensity: acrylic paints tend to retain their bright, vibrant colours even after drying, while oil paints can darken slightly as they dry.
  • Flexibility and Durability: acrylic paintings typically have a flexible and durable surface that does not crack easily. Look for signs of a solid, intact surface without any visible cracks or flaking.

Artists, in their endless creativity, may employ techniques or use acrylic paint in a way that resembles other mediums. As such, identifying the medium of a painting based solely on visual cues can be difficult, even for experienced artists and arts professionals.

Are Acrylic Paints Sustainable?

We are often asked if there is a paint medium which is more environmentally sustainable than others. Unfortunately, this is not a straightforward question. Each medium has pros and cons from an environmental standpoint, and artists cannot easily switch between them as it takes years to develop skills in any single one. There are, however, more eco-friendly paint products within each medium.

One thing we can say from direct experience is that artists are incredibly inventive with reusing and giving life to materials which would otherwise be thrown aside. Little is wasted in a world where everything can be used for inspiration!

Take me to the acrylic paintings!

cecile albi artwork mocked up in interior

ArtMatch is a curated online art gallery & consultation service connecting clients seeking quality Canadian art with outstanding artists from their community.

Operating since 2015, we have supplied art for hundreds of spaces and projects, both residential and commercial. We offer flexible art consultation services and a diverse, approachable collection, working with emerging and experienced artists across a range of genres.

“This is my second time purchasing art work at ArtMatch and like the first time, it was conducted in a very professional manner, very fast delivery and most importantly, the pieces look exactly like how they are presented and described online. It is nice to support very talented local artists.”

– Shalina O.