Modern synthetic paint that combines some of the properties of oils and watercolour. Most are water-based, although some are oil compatible, using turpentine as a thinner. When it became available to artists in America around 1936 it was the first new painting medium in centuries and has become a serious rival to oil paint because of its versatility. Acrylic paints can be used on nearly any surface. The water-based nature of acrylic paint allows for easy application and rapid drying time: acrylic paint dries in a matter of minutes, as opposed to the many months required for oil-based paints. Once the paint has been applied to a surface, the water evaporates, leaving behind the synthetic resin (and pigment), which is no longer water-soluble. Visually, acrylic-based paints can appear to be very similar to oil-based paints, but they cannot rival the rich, translucent nature of oils.