Acrylic paint
Acrylic paint is fast drying paint
Paint is any liquid, liquefiable, or mastic composition which after application to a substrate in a thin layer is converted to an opaque solid film. One may also consider the digital mimicry thereof...

 containing pigment suspension in acrylic polymer emulsion
An emulsion is a mixture of two or more liquids that are normally immiscible . Emulsions are part of a more general class of two-phase systems of matter called colloids. Although the terms colloid and emulsion are sometimes used interchangeably, emulsion is used when both the dispersed and the...

. Acrylic paints can be diluted with water, but become water-resistant when dry. Depending on how much the paint is diluted (with water) or modified with acrylic gels, media, or pastes, the finished acrylic painting can resemble a watercolor
Watercolor painting
Watercolor or watercolour , also aquarelle from French, is a painting method. A watercolor is the medium or the resulting artwork in which the paints are made of pigments suspended in a water-soluble vehicle...

 or an oil painting
Oil painting
Oil painting is the process of painting with pigments that are bound with a medium of drying oil—especially in early modern Europe, linseed oil. Often an oil such as linseed was boiled with a resin such as pine resin or even frankincense; these were called 'varnishes' and were prized for their body...

, or have its own unique characteristics not attainable with other media.
The first acrylic paint was invented by Leonard Bocour
Leonard Bocour
Leonard Bocour was born on March 18, 1910 in New York City, and he died September 6, 1993. Around 1933 he formed the New York City based company Bocour Artists Colors. He was the co-developer along with Sam Golden of Magna paint in the late 1940s. From 1952 until 1970 he and Sam Golden were...

 and Sam Golden
Sam Golden
Sam Golden started his paintmaking career in 1936 at Bocour Artist Colors with his uncle Leonard Bocour. In 1947 he developed Magna paint, the world's first artist acrylic paint. He returned from retirement in 1980 to found Golden Artist Colors Inc...

 between 1946 and 1949 under the brand Magna paint
Magna paint
Magna is the brand name of an acrylic resin paint, developed by Leonard Bocour and sold by Bocour Artist Colors, Inc. in 1947. It is very different from modern acrylic paint, as it is composed of pigments ground in an acrylic resin brought into emulsion through the use of solvents. Bocour Artist...