Acrylic Paints & Recommendations

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Duration:   7  mins

What kind of acrylic paint should you look for and why? Every paint has three parts: filler, binder, and pigment. Pigment is the most expensive part of the paint. Polymer is the filler and binder in acrylic paint. The polymer is a plastic that helps seal the paint so you can work over it in layers and make corrections.

What makes a good-quality paint? Look for a paint that has the most varied and best-quality pigments. Quality paint may be more expensive, but if you’re able, purchase an artist-quality paint instead of a student quality. How do you know the difference? Some tubes will say “Professional Quality,” “Student Quality,” or “Studio Quality.”

Craft paint is designed to work on fabric, so you will not want to use it. Paints created for arts and crafts will have a transparent application. You want to use paint that has enough filler to be opaque and get good coverage on the paper. So go ahead and skip “Studio Quality,” craft paints, and fabric paints.

What does a good-quality paint look like? You want to buy professional-grade acrylic paint. It will either be in a tube or tub. Tubes are easier to control how much you use. Nina’s favorite brands of acrylic paints are by Golden and Liquitex. You may see that it is called “Heavy Bodied.” That will give you the consistency and the coverage that you want. Quality paints will give you consistency of color and opaque coverage, and you’ll use less paint—which means you’ll be spending your money more wisely.

Labels can be confusing: Cadmium Red is not the same as Cadmium Red Light or Cadmium Red Hue. It’s important to understand that they are different, so read your tubes carefully. Nina uses a warm and cool of each primary color: Cadmium Red, Lemon Yellow, and Cyan Blue.

When you mix water into acrylic paint, it becomes more transparent. Adding in Gac 100 will allow your paint to flow better and extends it, but it also adds back in the polymer.

You’ll be much happier with good-quality professional paints because they will seal, you’ll be able to work in layers, and you’ll have much better coverage than a student-quality paint.

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