By Sharon Teal-Coray
There are so many brands on the market it is hard to tell which one to buy!
Some are in tubes some in bottles but what makes them different and how do we tell a good one from a bad one?
Let’s start by looking at the different brands on the market.
Plaid Folk Art
Winsor & Newton
Soft Body Professional Quality
Soft Body Artist Color, previously referred to as Medium Viscosity, was the original Liquitex acrylic formulation first made in 1956. An extremely versatile artist paint, creamy and smooth with a concentrated pigment load producing intense, pure color. The creamy smooth, pre-filtered consistency ensures good coverage, even-leveling and superb results in a variety of applications and techniques.
94 Professional Color Spectrum
Heavy cream consistency
Extremely versatile formulation for most fine art and decorative art techniques
Retains little or no brush marks
Ideal for flat, large area coverage and fine line detail
Professional grade colors for decorative painters are also available
Available in tubes and jars
Heavy Body Artist Color
Heavy Body Artist Color, previously referred to as High Viscosity, has a thick consistency for traditional art techniques using brushes or knives, as well as for experimental, mixed media, collage and printmaking applications. Impasto applications retain crisp brush stroke and knife marks. Good surface drag provides excellent handling and blending characteristics with increased open-working time. High pigment load produces rich, brilliant, permanent color.
100 Professional Color Spectrum
Exceptionally smooth, thick buttery consistency
Retains brush strokes and palette knife marks
Great for thick/impasto applications and painting techniques
Flexible when dry; thick films remain free of cracks and chips
Super Heavy Body Acrylics
Super Heavy Body is a line of highly pigmented, clean, brilliant colors with superior shape retention and unique “gutsy” handling, which is a new innovative product introduced to the Liquitex range in early 2004. Excellent for ‘textural’ and ‘sculptural’ applications with very low shrinkage from wet-to-dry. Highly pigmented, producing clean color mixing with outstanding clarity and brilliance. Formulated to dry within a uniform satin sheen range. This enhances visual clarity of the finished painting, provides a non-plastic look and eliminates glare. Little or no wet-to-dry value shift allows for more accurate color mixing. Increased open time for easier blending.
27 Professional Color Spectrum
Extra thick body with high surface drag (rheology), comparable to fine oils
Superior shape retention: holds super high peaks, knife marks and brush strokes
Flexible when dry, allowing built-up surfaces to remain free of cracks and chips
Excellent for impasto (thick), ‘textural’ and ‘sculptural’ painting techniques
Satin finish, no “plastic look”
Very low shrinkage
Vibrant colors straight out of the container
Slow drying time, allows more working (open) time
Heavy Body Acrylic Colors
The original line of Golden Artist Acrylics is known for its exceptionally smooth, thick buttery consistency. It contains the largest assortment of unique pure pigments in a 100% acrylic emulsion vehicle available to the professional artist. These colors offer excellent permanency and lightfastness. There are no fillers, extenders, opacifiers, toners, or dyes added.
Each Heavy Body color is formulated differently depending on the nature of the pigment. Colors that tolerate higher pigment "loads" dry to a more opaque, matte finish. Colors that are more reactive and do not accept high pigment loading dry to a glossy finish and tend to be more transparent. Heavy Body colors contain no additives, such as matting agents, therefore the gloss of each color will be different.
Fluid Acrylic Colors
Fluid Acrylics are highly intense, permanent acrylic colors with a consistency similar to heavy cream. Produced from lightfast pigments, not dyes, they offer very strong colors with very thin consistencies. No fillers or extenders are added and the pigment load is comparable to Golden Heavy Body Acrylics.
Unlike mixtures of heavy-bodied paints and water which produce weak color and films by dilution, Fluid Acrylics contain high pigment levels suspended in an acrylic polymer vehicle. The result offers fine dispersion, high tinting strength, durability, flexibility and good adhesion. Fluid Acrylics are ideal for spraying, brushing, staining, and can be mixed with other Golden Products. . Excellent for fabric application.
These acrylics are a slow-drying formulation with a slightly softer consistency than Golden Heavy Body paints. The increased working time of these colors expands their range to include more traditional techniques once only possible with oils.
Because OPEN Acrylics dry slowly, painters who cover their palettes or use sealed containers have been able to use the same colors for weeks, reducing the amount of paint wasted and preserving color mixtures for future use.
OPEN Acrylics resist skinning on the palette during long painting sessions and when painting outdoors. Thin applications of paint tack-up, allowing additional layers to be applied and blended. Thicker applications may be worked for hours, however paint over 1/16" thick will dry EXTREMELY slowly
Blend OPEN with regular GOLDEN Acrylics and Gel Mediums for any application where faster drying is desirable. The drying time of OPEN Acrylics decreases when painting over absorbent surfaces and increases over sealed and non-porous surfaces
Unique, relaxed working properties
GOLDEN OPEN Acrylics have a remarkably relaxed working property that facilitates blending, softening, shading, glazing and fine detail. The unique characteristics of OPEN Acrylics allow them to be used with natural fiber brushes and for a range of techniques including portraiture, plein air painting, monoprinting ,and screenprinting.
Grumbacher's Academy Acrylics are ideal for the art student, offering near professional quality at a uniform and affordable price. Unlike many of the so-called "budget" brands, Grumbacher uses genuine and pure pigments, such as pure cadmiums, to produce Academy Acrylics
The Academy Acrylic is formulated to yield true masstones, strong tints, a durable paint film and excellent manipulative properties. They are made with genuine pigments, including pure cadmiums (not found in many similar student lines of acrylic paint) and have maximum consistency, batch to batch, assuring that students can easily achieve the right color mixtures without frustration or waste.
Acrylic artists have never before had the opportunity to blend and adjust their paintings wet-in-wet within a time frame they can control, but this advantage involves new processes that need to be learned and followed.
One of the attractions of acrylics has always been speed. Therefore, it is important that in extending working time the ability to do things quickly is not lost, particularly for artists who have developed successful techniques for overcoming the problems of fast drying paints. Otherwise in choosing Interactive you would burden yourself with new, slow processes to learn and lose the techniques you have already mastered to your satisfaction.
Unlike traditional acrylics, all 75 of these “interactive” colors do not suddenly form a skin. Interactive changes the painting process, giving you plenty of time to blend and rework and giving you more creative freedom. The patent-pending formulation allows even touch-dry paint to be reworked or ragged-off to blend or reveal layers. Archival quality and lightfast, the intense colors dry to a satin-like finish without a plastic look or feel and minimal color shift.
The Unique Benefits of Interactive
Allows reblending and reworking all day. In dry conditions you will need to replace water being lost through evaporation by spraying with water from time to time.
75 colours are intense without a plastic look or feel.
Paint has a smooth, buttery consistency that dries satin.
Loses moisture gradually allowing an artist to control the drying process.
Wet-in-Wet painting can be altered, considered or developed in the artists’ own time rather than being dictated by fast-drying paint.
Wet-over-Dry painting can be easily integrated.
Unresolved areas of a painting can be reworked and not just overpainted.
Excellent for silkscreen, lino block and monotype printing processes.
Minimal colour shift as paint dries.
Americana is an all-purpose, premium quality acrylic paint used for decorative painting, home decor, and general craft painting projects. Americana is water-based, non-toxic and has a matte finish that can be varnished to create various sheens. This paint can be used on almost any surface.
Its versatility is unmatched; it can be used by the most talented artist on canvas or by a beginner for the simplest furniture or craft projects.
Features and Advantages:
Highly pigmented Excellent coverage in one coat Smooth and creamy Rich, true colors Color consistency bottle to bottle Highest quality control Non-toxic Blends easily Consistent viscosity Durable finish Intermixable Best lightfast pigments Soap and water clean-up while wet
DecoArt Traditions Artist Acrylic is a new generation resin-based medium bodied acrylic that can perform as an acrylic, watercolor, or oil paint. DecoArt Traditions paints utilize the highest quality, lightfast, pure pigments available today. This state-of-the-art paint line is ideal for many surfaces, including wood, canvas, metal, leather, ceramic bisque, papier mache, plaster or drywall.
Plaid Folk Art
Until the introduction of FolkArt, decorative painters had very limited choices in paint other than expensive oils or all-purpose craft paint. Since the early 1980s, Plaid has worked closely with Master Decorative Artists to formulate a paint that features the working characteristics of oils, plus the convenience of acrylics and the appeal of pre-mixed colors.
Its launch in 1983 was just the tip of the iceberg. Over the years, FolkArt has evolved into a comprehensive program for all levels of decorative painters and includes paints, mediums, books and "how to" programs.
FolkArt® Acrylic Colors
Designed especially for decorative painters, the pigmentation and consistency of FolkArt allow the artist to accomplish the desired results for any style of strokework. It can be used to achieve transparent washes or blend like oils. No matter what kind of projects you're creating, with more than 250 colors, you are sure to find the shade you're looking for. There are even metallic and gem colors for special effects. The colors are constantly reviewed and updated to keep up with decorating trends.
Matisse Structure Formula acrylics are manufactured in Australia by Matisse Derivan, a company founded in 1964. Matisse is an artist's quality acrylic, supported by a range of mediums. Matisse structure paint has a soft, buttery consistency that will hold brushmarks if used undiluted, or straight from the tube. Like any acrylic paint it can be diluted (with water and/or medium) to be used as a glaze, for painting without brushmarks, or to use watercolor-type techniques. To increase the impasto effect, you'd mix it with impasto or texture medium.
This is their is finest quality acrylic range and represents a breakthrough in acrylic colour technology.
By combining world-beating colour making experience with the latest developments in resin technology winsor Newton have taken 'brilliance' to a new level. And that's not all. Not only are the colours brilliant when wet but they remain as bright when dry - so what you see is what you get.
The new acrylic range represents a significant breakthrough in achieving colour brilliance and much, much more.Our research showed that this is the most important characteristic to an acrylic artist.
Consequently, in the development of Artists' Acrylics, we have used our world-beating colour making experience to ensure an unrivalled brilliance and depth of colour in the range.
Brilliance does not mean the colours are garish. It is about clarity and purity of colour and this should be evident when the colour is applied straight from the tube as well as in the thinnest of films. Even the earths, blacks and whites should be clean and not dull. Brilliance can be defined as the richness, intensity and depth of the colour.
While the previous range of Artists Acrylic Colour led the way in brilliance, the new Artists' Acrylics are unrivalled in their brilliance thanks to a combination of the following:
A new revolutionary transparent binder
Single, highest quality pigments
High pigment strength
Winsor Newton offers:
Unrivalled Colour Brilliance
No Colour Shift from Wet to Dry
Longer Working Time
Unique New Colours
Highest Quality Single Pigments
The Experience of colour making
Permanence & Lightfastness
Versatility & Durability of Paint Film
Opacity & Covering Power
Luxuriously Thick & Buttery Consistency
Unrivalled Colour Brilliance
These have longer working time (up to half an hour
Galeria Acrylic Colour
is a high quality acrylic which delivers professional results and is ideal for artists who want good quality colour at an affordable price.
All of the 59 colours in the Galeria acrylic range offer a wide spectrum of pigment characteristics to choose from as well as excellent brilliance of colour, strong brush stroke retention, clean colour mixing and high permanence.
Galeria has a smooth, free-flowing consistency making it easy for the artist to use and mix, whilst maintaining its body and retaining brush marks.
As Galeria is an economical medium it is ideal for use on large-scale works such as scenery, theatre sets or murals. With its fast drying time, Galeria is suitable for works indoors or outdoors.
Galeria offers a bright spectrum of colours and with their quick drying properties your craft activities will not take you long
Fluid Acrylic Paint
An exciting fusion of Da Vinci's most distinguished watercolor hues and those colors traditionally found on acrylic palettes. This color range of 48 professional fluid acrylic promises to awe those who appreciate pigment strength and vibrancy. Try them on a variety of oil-free surfaces such as canvas, paper, wood or plaster
Da Vinci uses its unique and stable acrylic polymer emulsion to achieve a dry film that is water resistant and flexible with exceptional durability. No filler or extenders are added and each formula is packed with lightfast pigments approved by ASTM International for Artists' Quality.
Heavy Body Acrylic
Highly pigmented formulas promise brilliant colors that are eager to please the most critical artists.
Da Vinci uses its unique and stable acrylic polymer emulsion to achieve a dry film that is water resistant and flexible, making it perfect for exterior or interior durability. No filler or extenders are added and each formula is packed with lightfast pigments approved by ASTM International for Artists' Quality (conforms to ASTM D-5098).
Acrylic with Heavy Body
A professional grade of acrylic. The range of 75 concentrated colors are made from the best quality pigments finely ground in a pure acrylate resin dispersion binder. The heavy body of the paint retains the brushstroke exceptionally well after drying - perfect for impasto work. Rembrandt Acrylic jar color is the choice for artists who work large yet prefer working with a heavy-bodied paint. All Rembrandt Acrylic colors dry to a uniform satin gloss. They can be thinned with water; and dry quickly to a durable, flexible, non-yellowing finish. The overall lightfastness and transparency/opacity of each color are marked on the tube.
Cryla Artist’s Acrylic
Daler-Rowney has provided artists with the very best colours and materials for over 225 years. Since 1783 when brothers Richard and Thomas Rowney started preparing and selling artists colours in London, painters world-wide have been convinced of the excellent quality of Daler-Rowney products. Using the knowledge gained over centuries of colour manufacturing coupled with new technologies and materials that are being developed. Daler-Rowney has always undertaken a continuous programme of technical improvement to create ranges such as Cryla Artists’ Acrylic that surpass all the standards.
Cryla Artists’ Acrylic was introduced by Rowney & co. in 1963 and pioneered the use of artists’ acrylics in Europe and is one of the significant milestones in the company’s development. Cryla Artists’ Acrylic colour is a very heavy bodied colour with a high loading of permanent, light-fast purest pigments. The unique heavy, buttery feel under the brush and knife is popular with artists wanting to achieve numerous impasto effects
New Daler Rowney Acrylics offer a very affordable range of acrylic colours. The range features bright and strong colours that are easy to brush onto surfaces. They can be used on any paper surface or primed board or canvas, used indoors or outdoors and are so versatile they can be used with a variety of acrylic mediums which are also available from Daler-Rowney. There are 38 colours in the range, including gold and silver.
Daler Rowney Acrylic colours are of good pigment strength and flow easily across paper and primed surfaces. Colours are water-based and contain no solvents. In accordance with EC labelling regulations all colours are classified as non-dangerous for use.
The advantage of acrylic colours to schools and hobbyists, of course, is that artwork can be dried and stored away shortly after an art class has been completed and will not smudge if water is spilled on the surface of the painting. The colours are fast drying, durable and flexible so paintings will last a long time. Paper and canvas coated with Daler Rowney Acrylic can be loosely rolled and stored without fear of cracking.
With Original and Heavy Body versions, System 3 acrylics are highly versatile, water-based acrylic colours. They offer an excellent painting experience at an economical price. Only high quality pigments are used in the manufacture of the System 3 acrylic ranges, offering significantly greater loading than in other acrylic ranges in this class. System 3’s comprehensive range of colours offers excellent light-fastness*, permanence, durability and covering power.
All colours can be thinned with water to pale washes or used directly from the pot or tube; each form dries quickly to create an insoluble film. The quick drying properties of the range enable the artist to work quickly, superimposing or juxtaposing colours without unnecessary fuss.
All System 3 Original and Heavy Body colours are fully intermixable and suitable for interior use. As they are not lightfast, fluorescent colours are not recommended for exterior use; all other colours are both lightfast and durable.
*All but fluorescent colours; by their nature fluorescent pigments are not lightfast.