What Are Acrylics

Acrylic paints are a type of water-based paint that are known for their versatility and fast drying time. They are made from pigment suspended in an acrylic polymer emulsion, which creates a paint that can be thinned with water and dries to a flexible, water-resistant film. One of the biggest benefits of acrylic paints is that they can be used on a variety of surfaces, including canvas, paper, wood, and more. They are also available in a wide range of colours and consistency, making them ideal for a variety of painting styles, from impasto to washes. Additionally, acrylic paints dry quickly, allowing you to layer colours and build up your painting quickly.

Student Quality / Craft

  • Less paint coverage
  • More affordable price range
  • Greater colour shift
  • Suitable for large-scale painting and under-painting

Student quality is for art students and beginners. Student-grade paint typically has less pigment in the tube. The paint price is determined by how much pigment is in the box, so the student-grade colour is less expensive because it has less tint.

Manufacturers add extenders to compensate for less coloured pigment. These extenders do not affect the colour of the paint, but they do affect its tinting strength.

With less pigment and weaker tinting strength, you will need to use more paint to mix the colours you want and to get more opaque coverage on your canvas or panel.

Artist Quality Paints

  • Highest pigment levels
  • Varied price range
  • Widest choice of colour
  • Limited colour shift

Artist-grade paint is a higher-quality paint used by painters who have transitioned past the learning stage and know what paint they prefer.

Artist-grade paint contains more pigment than student-grade paint and also fewer extenders. This means that a tube of artist-grade paint has more coloured pigment and costs more than a tube of student-grade paint.

Also, because the pigment is more concentrated and the tinting strength is higher, you can use less paint to alter colour mixtures and get better coverage and opacity.

Different Acrylic Consistencies

Soft Body Acrylics

Soft body acrylic paints are a type of acrylic paint that are known for their creamy, more fluid consistency. They are formulated to have a consistency that falls between heavy body and fluid acrylics, making them ideal for artists who want the best of both worlds. Soft body acrylics provide the control and feel of heavy body paints while also allowing for a more fluid and intuitive painting style. They are perfect for techniques such as blending and glazing, as well as for layering and building up colour. Soft body acrylics are available in a wide range of colours and are compatible with other acrylic paints, making them a versatile and valuable option for artists of all levels.

Fluid Acrylics (I use these mostly in my work)

Fluid acrylic paints are a type of acrylic paint that are characterized by their thin, watery consistency. They are formulated to be used straight from the tube or easily thinned with water, making them ideal for artists who prefer a more fluid painting style. Fluid acrylics are perfect for techniques such as pouring, dripping, and staining, as well as for creating washes and fine details. They dry to a flexible and water-resistant film, just like regular acrylic paints. One of the biggest benefits of fluid acrylics is that they allow for quick and easy colour mixing, as well as for layering and blending. They are also available in a wide range of colours and are compatible with other acrylic paints, making them a versatile and valuable option for artists of all levels. They have a much higher pigment strength therefore you don’t lose colour as they are thinned.

Heavy Body Acrylics

Heavy body acrylics are a type of acrylic paint that are known for their thick and buttery consistency. They are formulated to mimic the texture and handling of oil paints, making them a popular choice for artists who want the benefits of acrylic paint but prefer the traditional feel of oil paints. Golden Heavy Body Acrylics are a specific brand of heavy body acrylic paints known for their high-quality pigments and buttery consistency. These paints have a thicker, more viscous consistency than regular acrylic paints, allowing for greater control and visible brush strokes. This makes them ideal for artists who prefer to work with a heavy palette knife or who want to create impasto effects in their paintings. Golden Heavy Body Acrylics come in a wide range of colours and are compatible with other acrylic paints, making them a versatile and valuable addition to any artist’s toolkit.

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