Can You Make Watercolor Paint From Acrylic?

Working in watercolor is a lot of fun. It creates beautiful paint washes that are enjoyable to brush onto the paper. But watercolor can be a challenging medium to master. Because of its transparency, it is easy for an artist to lose track of it.

Overworking is a major problem. Watercolor lightens as it dries, becoming pale and fading in appearance.

Can you make watercolor paint from acrylic? Yes, you can make watercolor paint by using acrylics. It will give your painting a brighter and fresher look. It is preferred to use acrylics as watercolors if you want to achieve brighter finishes.

Sometimes, when we finish our watercolor painting, we feel very happy with the results, the colors look bright giving the painting a fresh and neat look when it is wet. When the watercolors dry, they make the painting look pale and non-attractive.

What Are Acrylic Paints?

Acrylic paint that is water-based is made up of pigment crystals suspended in an acrylic polymer emulsion. Any acrylic paint has three major components: pigment, binder, and vehicle

Can You Make Watercolor Paint From Acrylic?
  • Pigments are granular solids that are responsible for the appearance of paint. They’re milled to a fine powder and don’t dissolve; instead, they stay trapped in the ink. Native, inorganic, mineral, and synthetic pigments are all possible. They have little to no preference for the atmosphere they’re used in.
  • Binder is the agent that holds ink in place until the color has dried. Acrylic paint’s binder is acrylic rubber, which forms a film until the water has evaporated.
  • Vehicle is the portion of the paint that contains the pigment and binder. Water is the vehicle for water-based acrylic, and it forms a silicone emulsion when mixed with the binder. The paint dries as the water in the device evaporates or absorbs, leaving a solid transparent polymer film full of embedded colored pigment particles.

How To Make Watercolors With Acrylic Effects

Acrylic paint may be thinned with water to achieve the perfect clarity for use on watercolor paper or other absorbent paper. If you’re working on a different surface, such as paper, you shouldn’t use more than 25% water to thin the paint using an acrylic medium to render a mixture that is very translucent.

The explanation for this is those acrylic molecules in a film layer dry in a honeycomb pattern. If there is a lot of water, the pattern will be disrupted, and they will flake off of the canvas or board support. They can even flake off of some slick help, such as a bristol board.

Can You Make Watercolor Paint From Acrylic?

Acrylic paint is not the same as watercolor paint. Watercolor paint is made up of pigment mixed with a binder like honey or gum Arabic. Acrylic paint is a lot more synthetic than oil paint. While it is extremely flexible, you must value its qualities and conditions in order to achieve the desired results.

Acrylics and watercolors are both distinguished by the brushes that you may choose to use for each medium. I wouldn’t use my pricey sable brushes with acrylics, for example. They’re notorious for causing bristle breakage, particularly if you don’t clean them thoroughly after each painting session.

Benefits Of Using Acrylic Paints As Watercolors

Instead of using watercolors, I began using acrylics as a substitute. Acrylic behaves much like conventional watercolor paints when diluted with water into a translucent bath. However, there are a few distinctions between them that make me very happy.

To begin with, each color wash will dry true to color. They don’t dry as light as watercolor counterparts. The colors are almost as vibrant when dry as they are when wet. There will be no more surprises as the lunch hour progresses.

Secondly, you can use several layers of translucent washes to create a muddy effect in your acrylic painting. It becomes permanent by allowing the washed area to dry and set. If you apply another wash of color over it, it won’t rehydrate. The colors will be kept white as a result of this.

Difference Between Watercolors And Acrylics

Both the mediums are water soluble but there are a few differences such as

Difference Watercolor Acrylics
NATURE Normally, they are organic. A plastic binder is used in some cases. Color dye, a binder such as natural gum arabic or synthetic glycol, and a binder such as natural gum arabic or synthetic glycol are the main ingredients of these paints. Acrylics are man-made materials. Acrylic paste, a binder, and a dye are used to create them.
PACKAGING They come in tubes and pans They come in tubes, bottles and jars.  
USAGE Can be used on paper, watercolor paper, watercolor canvas. Can be used on wood, paper and any type of canvas.  
CONVERSION  Cannot be used as acrylics Can be used as watercolors
LIGHT VS. DARK Used from light to dark They dry lighter. Used from dark to light. They dry darker
TRANSPARENCY Watercolors are designed to be translucent to a large extent. When working in watercolor, you want the color to be vivid and clear. They range from transparent, semi-transparent to opaque. They are not intended to be used exclusively as a transparent medium even though they are available in clear, semi-transparent, and opaque varieties.
PRIMING You don’t need to prime the surface before using watercolors. While working with acrylic, it’s common to prime the backgrounds.
PRICE DIFFERENCE Watercolors are more expensive comparatively. Acrylic colors are cheaper comparatively. 
EASY TO USE As compared to acrylics they are difficult to use. They are easy to use comparatively.
LASTING TIME Less than acrylics More than watercolors

Final Verdict

It is preferred to use acrylics as watercolors if you want to achieve brighter finishes but you should know that you should not add more than the required amount of water in acrylics or else you would ruin your colors.