View Full Version : What should I get?

01-11-2001, 03:41 PM
Two brands I purchase consistently are...
Liquitex and Golden (artist tubes). I also like the Utrecht brand (especially their own red).

Begin with a limited palette. Since you have experience with other mediums, you will probably have an idea of your palette choices. Remember that acrylics tend to dry a bit darker than the applied color. Some brands differ with this characteristic.

Acrylics cannot be painted with or over oils! Be careful to not mix in oil paint with your acrylics...a possibility if you tend to not clean your oil brushes well. Acrylics can be used as an underpainting for oils...but not vice versa.

Acrylics can be used with lots of techniques...from a watercolor likeness (but when dry is impermeable) to a heavy impasto look. Also technique can vary from artist to artist...I like to lay in a transparent wash when I begin...some artists work right from the tube immediately. Although you can thin the paint with water...I recommend using an acrylic medium which gives more body to your paint even when its applied transparently in layers.

There are a lot of good instruction books on the market...check your library for books...and have fun painting!

We are here to answer questions...and the search vehicle is excellent for finding articles or threads already written about acrylics.

"Everything is not art and Art is not everything, but it comes close."....carly

01-11-2001, 04:56 PM
If you are just beginning with acrylics, I suggest you use the paint alone with no extenders or mediums at first. This will allow you to see what the paint can do on it's own. Then add-in things as you need them to achieve the effect you desire with gel medium, retarder, and the like.

Liquitex is a good quality paint with a good range to start with. Pebo, Windsor & Newton and Lascaux are good as well. You'll find as with other paints every brand has a different color range. You can add colors you find preferable in other brands.

Brushes. Any brush you like. Try different ones to see what's best for your way of working. Generally choose from among brushes labeled "oil" or "acrylic" in the art store. You can even use fine sable watercolor brushes if cared for properly. The main thing is to keep the brushes clean as you work. You'll also see which ones receive more wear and tear.


01-12-2001, 12:47 AM
I've been painting with watercolors and oils. Didn't think I'd be interested in Acrylics until this morning when I saw the PBS show "The Artists Workshop." Now I can't wait to try acrylics; I think my temperament might be suited to them, and I loved some of the techniques they showed.

So, other than the obvious (the paints and the surfaces and the brushes), is anything else absolutely necessary? And what about fun "extras." Any mediums you especially like? Etcetera. I don't know anything at all about acrylics, except what I saw in this half-hour show, so any and all advice and recommendations will be appreciated.

Also, what would be considered "the Old Holland of acrylics"? -- if you know what I mean. Even though I'm beginning, I do not want student quality (because I know myself -- one painting and I'll have to get rid of those and get the artist quality). What brand(s) are commonly considered the best? And any recommendation on brushes?

Oh, just anything you can tell me. Thanks!


01-18-2001, 12:34 AM
Thank you all for your replies. I'm having a blast with them.

01-18-2001, 04:02 AM
Golden Artist Colors produces an excelent line of acrylics, and nothing else. Their website has detailed technical information on their entire product line that isn't muddled with marketing babble (well, not much anyway) http://www.goldenacrylics.com/

01-18-2001, 06:14 PM
Jar colors have more filler added to produce a liquid type paint. That means that the paint will tend to spread and be flat when its painted onto a surface. If you want texture and more blending...you need the heavier body of a tube paint.

"Everything is not art and Art is not everything, but it comes close."....carly

01-18-2001, 07:43 PM
re: tubes vs jars:
Paint does not gain different characteristics from the container it is kept in. In it's "natural" state, acrylic polymer emulsion has a milk-like consistency. Thickners are added to give it characteristics more like oil paints (though it is important to remember that acrylic has a nature all its own, and while it can simulate the effects of other media, the techniques are often quite different.) The more fluid formulations, like Liquitex Medium Body jar colors and Golden Fluid Acrylics, often have higher pigment concentrations than similar heavy body acrylics. Beware of craft quality liquid acrylics, even more than student grade art supplies. Frequently these are just watered down paints with fillers and inferior pigments. There are, of course, exceptions...
As for why one might advise against using medium or fliud acrylics on an easel: if used in more than the smallest quantities they will tend to run and drip if applied on a slope, and even when applied horizontally they will not retain brush stroke textures the way heavy body formulations will. Also, if you hold your pallette in your hand rather than on your table, they may run off. If you reserve your liquid colors for fine detail work they should give you no trouble on an easel

01-19-2001, 12:41 AM
Thanks for that, Cuttlefish. It's a good website.

Another question: I would have thought that the jars would be the same paint as the tubes, just in bigger sizes. But a book I got on acrylics says that the "jar colors may not be suitable for easel painting." Is that correct? I think it goes on to say that the jar colors are more for airbrush or watercolor techniques.

01-19-2001, 05:47 AM
I use some Liquitex jars in my most frequently used colors. The paint has the same integrity as the tube versions. I just have to be careful to close immediately as the jars can dry out due to frequent opening and closing. I also use a plastic spoon or palette knife to scoop out the quantity I need.

2001 L. Diane Johnson Plein Air Workshops (http://www.LDianeJohnson.com/workshops)

01-19-2001, 01:08 PM
I emailed Golden, and they responded that their jar colors and tube colors are "all the same paint," just in different sizes of containers.

01-19-2001, 02:18 PM
I should have said that it's all the same paint in the Heavy Body line of Golden paints.

01-19-2001, 07:52 PM
Hi Victoria,
I use Princeton Series 6300 Acrylic brushes exclusively. They are better than your bristle brushes as water doesn't swell them up. They also have more body than most of
your watercolor brushes. They are great for using acrylics in either the pastier oil color style or for a more watercolor effect. The most versatile brushes I have tried.

I also rely on Golden paints for most of my colors.

You'll love acrylics once you get used to them! Happy Paintin'!

Jo Anna