Acrylic paints are a by-product of the plastic industry and they are a wonderfully versatile medium for painting. I consider acrylics to be an ideal medium for the beginner painter because they are so easy to use.
The main characteristic of acrylic paints is the way they dry very quickly. This can be a positive feature and also a challenge depending on the type of painting you are doing. The quick drying is great for overlaying layers of colour for example, but not so good if you want to blend a sky in a very smooth graduation.
Acrylics are used with water and you can dilute them and use them as washes or use them thickly to create intense colours. Acrylic paints often come in very bright colours, making for vibrant artwork.
Acrylics dry to a robust finish and you can safely roll your work without the risk of cracking. I recommend a ‘stay wet’ palette for acrylics to keep the paints moist while you work.