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Petdevils
03-18-2015, 10:10 PM
Hi Guys,

I want to buy a new set of professional artist quality acrylic paints and I have a few questions. I'm also very much looking for opinions ideally based on personal experience.

Currently I am looking at buying Windsor and Newton as I've always heard good things; and there is finally a decent special at the moment which would save me a lot of money. However, I'm not committed yet - I'm also considering liquitex and I think I may be able to get golden?

I'm open to other brands too as long as high quality - but must be able to get them in Australia (not from US as exchange is awful at the mo). PS I don't want Atelier or Matisse etc.

Thing's I'm interested in regarding brands are pigment quality/load, ideally zero colour shift dry/wet, ideally as many colours in top light fastness level and overall quality etc/

I plan on getting a split primary palette... so 3 cool, 3 warm primaries each. Then probably black, white and maybe an extra one or two like Burnt Umber or Green etc?

The reason I thought of getting Burnt umber was as like a ground colour, to 'wipe in' rough drawing; and to do sanguine type 'drawing like' paintings/studies like you'd do with conte/charcoal etc. Green sounded like a hard colour to get right from what I've heard - that's the reason for that one... Are there other single pigments you'd suggest for different reasons/why?

I have heard people talk about there being standard or really good specific hues (e.g very specifc names like Cobalt Blue and Diazinon Purple etc) for certain palette arrangements... I was hoping someone might suggest which specific hues I should get for what I've suggested above ([ideally for specific brand... keep reading before answer!) Also - are there other standard palette arrangements that I should consider instead of split primaries etc and if so - why, what's the reasoning or pro's/con's of each type of palette set??

So as I'm currently planning on getting Windsor and Newton pro paints (unless someone changes my mind).... it would be great if someone could suggest a specific palette of full named hues from Windsor and Newton so I know exactly which ones to look at getting as a set. Keep reading re more info re requirements i'd like.

I've heard artists say that it's better to get restricted palette/split primaries type thing and that's why I was planning on doing this. They say the painting has a better feel more harmonious complementary palette colour wise instead of having used 10-20 totally different random specific single pigment colours being used etc... And I think part of that is also that the colour will be a bit more muted which is good so it doesn't look gaudy and clashy with things standing out too much. I get what they mean but can't explain it right now? But I'm keen to hear other ideas and why?

As well as deciding what palette to buy I'm also not sure what to do about opaque vs transparent painting. I hope to try using glazes and stuff with grisailles and things (never done before)... and wonder should I get a transparent palette of split primaries as above and a 2nd palette all the same but Opaque paints etc?

Or should I just get some kind of medium to thin out the opaque paint for glazing? Not sure the pro's/con's re this decision etc - really do need advice for this area please!

I'm certainly no pro, but I plan to work hard and hopefully sell some original and some hack work stuff (to pay for more supplies etc and practice too). So I do want the best paints (as long as not crazy stupid prices of course!).

Related issues are like black - I've heard some say you should never use black from a tube - should always make it from mixing colours... how exactly do you do that and is that the right idea? Expand...:)

Gesso vs white paint? I assume white paint would be better/smoother etc?

I plan on doing Figures and Landscapes, Still Life's, Abstracts - just about anything... so want a flexible palette! I assume it's best to get normal impasto or thick tube paint as I can water or thin out with water or mediums but still use it thick for that 'look' for certain paintings if I want etc?

And Re Varnish - I've never ever used it... not sure if I should get matt/shiny etc and what else matters... prefer removable varnish in case need to redo one day?

Brushes I have no clue on what kind of set or brushes I should get but that's prolly not as important as the paints discussion. Thing's i'm not sure about is all the different shapes (the funny angled ones etc) are for what job and what sizes to get etc.

Mediums info and tips would be great too!

So yeah - lots of q's and would appreciate your advice!

Cheers!

Pd.

airplanz
03-19-2015, 12:58 AM
Hi Petdevils :) .

Thanks for your questions. Probably 90% of them have already been answered at least once, and some of them multiple times. Many were answered in the Acrylics forum, others you'll find in Color and Theory and other of the numerous WC forums. You should find a lot of info pertaining to comparisons and reviews of various paint brands near the top of the Acrylics forum start page.

Let me suggest that you avail yourself of the handy search function white box in whatever forum is appropriate to your question, and then prepare to be amazed at the avalanche of answers :) .

Of course, there will be other knowledgeable members along in this thread to present their own unique opinions on various topics based on their experience, as you requested.


Jim (airplanz)

ColinS
03-19-2015, 01:36 AM
Yes do try the Umbrella Thread for Frequently Asked Questions that is Stickied and try Googling "WetCanvas Acrylic Colours" if the Search function on the Site doesn't work (it is not always functional I find).

Personally I use mainly Golden paints and am very satisfied with them.

For a basic split palette I would go with:

Cadmium Yellow Light (Medium would be fine too)
Hansa Yellow

Cadmium Red Medium
a cool red like Alizarin Crimson

Ultramarine Blue
Cobalt Blue or Cobalt Blue hue (the latter is less expensive than the real thing but I have found it serviceable)

I have recently started just mixing my greens, and find that works just fine. Do a colour chart using your primaries to see what different mixes produce - the range is incredible. I have also only recently begun to try to think about colour temperature, but it can make a difference to the painting.

Burnt Sienna - mixed with U. blue makes a great dark so that you can skip black.

Titanium White -

Zinc white can be useful for a less intense lightening though personally I tend to use very little.

Payne's Grey ("Gray" in American ;) ) is a good versatile dark that has an interesting blue aspect but also makes a muted green when mixed with cad yellow

I have used Dioxazine Purple, but I can also mix good landscape purples from the Reds and Blues.

I really like Cadmium Orange for pop "ORANGE", but cad Yellow + cad Red in Golden produces a very good rather more sophisticated landscape orange as well.

I never use Burnt Umber any more, oddly. I would do a Notan or value study using the Payne's Grey. I quite like the Payne's Grey for that purpose.

Again, try some of your own mixes to see. A lot depends on what you are painting.

I have never used Winsor & Newton so can't advise on that brand.

idylbrush
03-19-2015, 05:13 AM
If you are in Australia, have you considered Matisse Drivan Artist line. It is locally made and is a nice quality available in a soft and firm format. I use it frequently along with Golden, WN, Liquitex, and many other brands, depending on my needs.

As far as what colors, that should be the colors that work best for you. Research a split primary palette and buy what you find most appealing. The best palette is the one that works for you.

cliff.kachinske
03-19-2015, 08:57 AM
Anyone starting something like this is in a condition called ignorance squared. Not only do you not know things, you don't even know what it is that you don't know.

Fortunately there is reference information available to help you.

Go to the Liquitex web site and find The Acrylic Book. It will answer many of your questions and give you a lot of other information besides.

Go to Golden's web site and click on the technical information link. There's a wealth of information there.

And my own $.02:
Start with single pigment colors in the beginning.

If you make your own panels from wood, plywood or hardboard, apply an isolation coat of shellac-based sealer under the gesso.

White paint is not a substitute for gesso. Artist grade gesso has more tooth and opacity than white paint.

Charlie's Mum
03-19-2015, 12:10 PM
To all of the above I'd add - look at manufacturers websites to compare the colours you want - disregard the names and look at the pigment number - it should equate to other makes of the same number, regardless of 'name'.

This is our 'Umbrella thread' (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1363257) - not complete but I also advise there on using Search .:)

Use only Artist quality - student versions have less pigment load so may dissatisfy.

Some use gesso to mix with as well as using it as a base/primer ...... qualities vary but for mixing colours I'd use only paint - Titanium white for added opacity, Zinc or Mixing white for lightening the colour without adding to the opacity.

LavenderFrost
03-19-2015, 12:16 PM
A lot of questions! But I know what a hard decision it is. I started with craft paint and then had to figure this out when I decided to upgrade. So I will offer my opinion on a few of them.

Since I was watching Jerry Yarnell on tv I thought I would go with his palette to start, but I started to stray from that right away lol. Your colour choices are really a personal thing, what works for you.

I also like burnt umber. Some hardly use it, but it's the colour I use the most. Maybe because I like warm colours? I use it to darken my greens and also as a base for any browns. And to answer your other question about black, it is used for that too. I use equal parts burnt umber and ultramarine blue, plus a little dioxazine purple because I like some purple in my shadows. This black mixture is used for my darks and mixed with white for grey.

I use hooker's green because that's what Jerry uses, lol. Other people will tell you to never use green out of a tube, that you should mix it. But I paint a lot of landscapes and like having my green ready to go. It is bright but I don't mind. Or I can tone it down with other colours.

Transparent colours are probably better for glazing, but you can look for more information on that.

I do use gesso instead of white paint. I have a Liquitex gesso that is smooth and pretty liquid, but I use soft body paints so it matches in consistency. Some gessos are gritty so if you want to try that you have to watch which one you buy. I found titanium to be too chalky at times, and zinc white too transparent. When I tried gesso it just seemed to work better for me. You'll have to experiment.

I recently found Krylon's Kamar varnish which protects and you can still paint over it so if you want something simple, look for that.

Brushes... more decisions, lol. I mostly have cheap ones from Walmart. Good enough to start with.

cliff.kachinske
03-19-2015, 03:56 PM
Tube black, secondary colors from a tube -- I use 'em. My violet and green are single pigment colors. They have higher chroma than anything I could mix. I also use cad orange hue. In theory I could mix it but in practice it doesn't work that way.

If I want to use black to knock down a color I just squeeze a little out of the tube. No worry about should I mix it warm or cold. If I don't like the way it comes out I can adjust the warmth after the fact with much less mixing.

It's easier to repeat a color that has three components than it is to repeat a color that has four.

jocko500
03-20-2015, 12:38 PM
:lol: when I started out I bought a lot of colors on sell. I still have the the same tubes after five years and some never open.:lol:
I learn as I go and purple and yellow mix will give you skin colors but so do a lot of other colors also. just read what the masters used and try it out. If you have more that one person in a painting try diff color schemes on the two to give them diff skin tones as we all is not alike in skin tones.
You may like it or you may not so go what you like and time will tell from there. :)

oramasha
03-25-2015, 10:59 AM
I want to buy a new set of professional artist quality acrylic paints and I have a few questions. I'm also very much looking for opinions ideally based on personal experience.

-I've only used Golden brand acrylic paint, thus far, so my opinions will be about them.

Currently I am looking at buying Windsor and Newton as I've always heard good things; and there is finally a decent special at the moment which would save me a lot of money. However, I'm not committed yet - I'm also considering liquitex and I think I may be able to get golden?

-Goldens are great. Excellent customer service, too. If you call them, they can send you a hand painted chart of their colors, so you can see and drool at whatever they have available and visualize your palette choices.


I'm open to other brands too as long as high quality - but must be able to get them in Australia (not from US as exchange is awful at the mo). PS I don't want Atelier or Matisse etc.

-Many people in the U.S. use Liquitex, too.

Thing's I'm interested in regarding brands are pigment quality/load, ideally zero colour shift dry/wet, ideally as many colours in top light fastness level and overall quality etc/

-Look on the tube or do some research on handprint to find the lightfast info. I'm a fusspot and I loved Goldens right away (for pigment load, color shift, quality) and didn't feel a need to search for another brand. I use almost all single pigment colors which are usually lightfast I (excellent). Napthol red is a lightfast II (very good) and I have it available as it is a unique, lipstick red. . . and I will use it if needed. If it's an indoor painting, it most likely won't be in direct light and you'll varnish, etc. It will survive my lifetime, I'm sure.

I plan on getting a split primary palette... so 3 cool, 3 warm primaries each. Then probably black, white and maybe an extra one or two like Burnt Umber or Green etc?
--Yes, good idea. I use a split primary with a few earths and find this is the easiest route for how I think and mix color. However. . ..this is where I do not recommend Golden's burnt umber. I have it, but will replace it with something else or eliminate it entirely. It is so opaque, that it will "kill" any mix that you add it to. I was just discussing this with Mythrill. He suggested Golden's Van Dyke brown hue. When I looked on my color chart, it did look much more vibrant. Or, you could look for burnt umber in other brands, too. Of course, everyone has their own preferences with colors/brands. Ask around. Burnt sienna is nice to have as a mixer, too. Makes very nice grays with um blue.

The reason I thought of getting Burnt umber was as like a ground colour, to 'wipe in' rough drawing; and to do sanguine type 'drawing like' paintings/studies like you'd do with conte/charcoal etc. Green sounded like a hard colour to get right from what I've heard - that's the reason for that one... Are there other single pigments you'd suggest for different reasons/why?

-For landscapes a lot of artists seem to recommend a cool red with um blue. . as this is a nice foil for landscape greens. Burnt sienna or transp. red oxide is more transparent, so I think that would work, too.

I have heard people talk about there being standard or really good specific hues (e.g very specifc names like Cobalt Blue and Diazinon Purple etc) for certain palette arrangements... I was hoping someone might suggest which specific hues I should get for what I've suggested above ([ideally for specific brand... keep reading before answer!) Also - are there other standard palette arrangements that I should consider instead of split primaries etc and if so - why, what's the reasoning or pro's/con's of each type of palette set??


-Can't help you here. My go-to is a split primary, although I will experiment on individual pieces with less colors just for the challenge and fun. I can recreate cobalt blue with mixing um blue into cerulean blue, so I don't use cobalt. I have dioxazine, but it is not a regular on my palette. It's a lightfast II, I believe. I don't paint regularly, so I am still focused on getting to know my "regulars".
So as I'm currently planning on getting Windsor and Newton pro paints (unless someone changes my mind).... it would be great if someone could suggest a specific palette of full named hues from Windsor and Newton so I know exactly which ones to look at getting as a set. Keep reading re more info re requirements i'd like.

I've heard artists say that it's better to get restricted palette/split primaries type thing and that's why I was planning on doing this. They say the painting has a better feel more harmonious complementary palette colour wise instead of having used 10-20 totally different random specific single pigment colours being used etc... And I think part of that is also that the colour will be a bit more muted which is good so it doesn't look gaudy and clashy with things standing out too much. I get what they mean but can't explain it right now? But I'm keen to hear other ideas and why?

-Even if you lay out a bunch of color, it doesn't mean you'll use them all. But, when you get it into a "flow", it's a pain to have to stop and find a tube, open it, get back in the flow. At least for me! I also don't like to spend all day mixing and try to keep the mixes simple, to 2 pigments, 3 max. If something looks gaudy, it's telling you that everything is screaming. ..and you can just adjust. It's easier to dull down than to brighten up, though. So, no worries. That's the beauty of acrylics.

As well as deciding what palette to buy I'm also not sure what to do about opaque vs transparent painting. I hope to try using glazes and stuff with grisailles and things (never done before)... and wonder should I get a transparent palette of split primaries as above and a 2nd palette all the same but Opaque paints etc?

-I advise a mix of both transparent and opaque paints. Don't overthink. Just start. Golden and probably other brands all sell medium. .. and you can use that for glazing with any color. For your earth colors, you can choose transparent red ox, or yellow ox. .. .and most of the organic pigments are fairly transparent.


Or should I just get some kind of medium to thin out the opaque paint for glazing? Not sure the pro's/con's re this decision etc - really do need advice for this area please!

--Yep, polymer medium works nicely if you need to glaze. I used it just yesterday when I had to cross hatch something and used it in a mix of cad red light and burnt sienna. I loved the effect. I used the medium so that the paint would flow better. There are also other products, but this was handy.

I'm certainly no pro, but I plan to work hard and hopefully sell some original and some hack work stuff (to pay for more supplies etc and practice too). So I do want the best paints (as long as not crazy stupid prices of course!).

--Try Golden, Liquitex, and any major brand for artist grade for a start.

Related issues are like black - I've heard some say you should never use black from a tube - should always make it from mixing colours... how exactly do you do that and is that the right idea? Expand...:)

I don't believe in never. I'm not a master, but I'm sure a master could use straight black and have a beautiful result (or a novice). Depends on your style. I have it . ...as it makes a nice paynes gray with um blue. ..and I add it TO my mixed blacks if I want them even darker. Or, I'll add it with one other dark color. ...viridian, a dioxin. .. .if I want a variety of blacks. I use whatever I need to use to get the job done. I try not to use it as a crutch. Mixed blacks are more visually interesting in my work.

Gesso vs white paint? I assume white paint would be better/smoother etc?

--Use white paint for mixing. I don't know the technical issues of using gesso with white. But, gesso is smoother and seems to take longer to dry. I did use it for the first time yesterday when I had to gesso over a partial area of my painting. ...and then used it other areas of a white cow. ...but, I don't know the technical rules on that. I'm going to glaze over it anyway. I wouldn't substitute it as a rule.

I plan on doing Figures and Landscapes, Still Life's, Abstracts - just about anything... so want a flexible palette! I assume it's best to get normal impasto or thick tube paint as I can water or thin out with water or mediums but still use it thick for that 'look' for certain paintings if I want etc?

And Re Varnish - I've never ever used it... not sure if I should get matt/shiny etc and what else matters... prefer removable varnish in case need to redo one day?

-Go to Golden's web site. Lots of info about this. You'll develop personal preferences. I can't stand anything overly glossy, but that has evolved over time.
Brushes I have no clue on what kind of set or brushes I should get but that's prolly not as important as the paints discussion. Thing's i'm not sure about is all the different shapes (the funny angled ones etc) are for what job and what sizes to get etc.

-Ok, you're asking a ton of questions, I'll get back to you later on brushes.

I love ruby satin by silver, and galleria by winsor newton. Good quality synthetics that have stiffness but flexibility and feel good in the hand!
Mediums info and tips would be great too!
-You don't really need any with golden, but regular gel might be your friend if you have large passages or a polymer medium if you want to glaze. But, check their site. .. .they have tons of choices!



Edited to add: Try not to use water to thin too much; use medium or gel so that your paint stays properly bound and you won't have flaking issues. Good luck! Have fun! Try not to over-buy (this is hilarious advice coming from me). :D

cliff.kachinske
03-25-2015, 04:16 PM
About thinning with water. A porous surface, like paper or bare canvas will have enough tooth to grab the pigment all by itself. On these surfaces you can thin with water as much as you like.