Today the quality of acrylic colors is completely different from that forty years ago. You can achieve all the effects of an oil color, you can dilute it with water so it comes on completely transparent, or you can put it on thick so it looks like the “impastos” of famous artists.
In any case, you have got the big advantage that it dries fast. So you can put on layer after layer, whereas oil colors take a long time to dry. You may say that slow drying is an advantage, because you can change details over a longer time. But if you want that, just add some ingredients to the color and it will dry slower. In the end you have a lot more possibilities with acrylics than with any other color.
Acrylic colors can be used on any surface – paper, canvas, wood, wall. You can mix them with ingredients that make them shiny like oil colors. After ten minutes you can touch the surface, it is dry. After another ten minutes you can put new paint on top without mixing the colors
If you work on the colors, after five minutes, when they are half-dry, you can produce interesting textures with spatulas or other tools.
For beginners, acrylic colors are ideal because of their simple handling. Within three or four hours you can do a complete picture with two or three layers of color.