View Full Version : Getting to grips with Liquitex paint

01-20-2012, 05:51 PM
Hi all, I haven't posted much on here before, but have come across a problem and hoped some experienced wet canvas users could help! I've been painting with acrylics for about 6 months now, usually I use the 'Reeves' brand of paints, with a few tubes of Winsor and Newton Galeria paint. I live away for a few months of the year, and brought a 'Liquitex Basic' acrylic paint set. I am having real trouble painting with it (just typing it sounds ridiculous I know, how can the brand of paint be making such a difference! I know it sounds like a bad workman blaming his tools too!) I find that some of the colours comes out a bit thick and pasty (if that makes sense), and the colours that do come out a bit runnier seems to have no impact when I apply them to the canvas. The best way I can describe it is a bit 'sticky'. Can anybody advise me what the difference is between these acrylic paints, and the ones I am used to? Has anybody else had this experience? Any advice would be great. Thanks

01-20-2012, 08:48 PM
I think you will find each maker of paint has certain qualities that vary greatly. If it feels sticky, you may want to consider adding a touch of flow enhancer.

There are certain brands that I don't use simply because they feel gummy, sticky, or coarse... others like that feel. There are brands that just don't feel right. Try to work around it by not buying that brand again. I do find that I might like certain colors in a line but not others. Very individual.

01-20-2012, 10:18 PM
I love Liquitex....though I usually go with the heavy body. (Preferring the heavy body IS somewhat irrational though, because I then thin it with a medium or water...or both. :o) The Basics line is okay, but there is something about the 'feel' of them I'm not crazy about.

I've tried a number of other brands (all in the more liquid form). I've tried Reeves, in fact I think that was the brand of my 'starter set', but I don't think it had as much pigment as some of the others (Liquitex, Golden, Tri-Art, Grumbacher Academy & Amsterdam).

idylbrush is so very right with his advice. And I agree with him about liking some colors in a particular brand....but not all. I LOVE Grumbacher Academy's Dioxazine Purple.....I haven't been able to find "exactly" that purple elsewhere....color, transparency, feel.......it is the PERFECT purple for creating shadows in foliage.

It's all a matter of choice...of finding what works for you.

01-20-2012, 10:29 PM
I started out using the liquitex basics and found them thin and hard to cover when thinned with water.. the Heavy body paints are thicker and work so much better when thinned with water.
not sure why yours are sticky or pasty. maybe bad batch. try thinning a little with water on the palette.

01-20-2012, 10:38 PM
Are all the colors the same "feel"....and did they come in as a set? Its possible that the texture was affected by temperature....especially if they had sat on the shelf a long while.

01-21-2012, 10:01 AM
I agree, the store may have had them on the shelf too long. I had one tube of Chroma Interactives that you could not even squeeze the paint out of the tube... they replaced it for free. Also, I don't think every color in any particular brand has the same consistency or feel as all other colors in that brand. The pigment can make a difference.

I use Liquitex Heavy Body but my DH bought me a tube of Basics one time and I did not care for it. Too thin (for me) and took a lot more to cover the canvas. It sure is a matter of personal likes and dislikes. I also have craft paints for doing other things and I like them for what I use them for.

After awhile you will get a feel for what you like or don't like. Good luck.

01-21-2012, 01:15 PM
I used to use Liquitex but I did not like the glossiness of the paint. Lately I have been using Lascaux and they are the best acrylics I have ever found. They dry with a "satin" finish. (Slightly matte) The consistency is perfect, very creamy right out of the tube and they cover very well. I recommend them!

01-21-2012, 04:07 PM
Thanks for the replies everybody :)

01-21-2012, 06:11 PM
Liquitex does tend to be glossy, but a coat of matte, or satin when you are finished both protects it AND gives you the amount of shine you desire.

01-21-2012, 08:11 PM
I agree that this set may have been sitting on the store shelf too long before being sold. Are these tubes made of plastic instead of metal? That can also allow more air to penetrate into the paint and cause a significant change in their texture and workability.

Although Liquitex is an excellent brand of acrylics, I never liked them. The Liquitex Heavy Body line of paints always seemed like painting with Elmer's glue to me! I really hated them. But I know there are legions of painters who love them.

I switched to Golden Heavy Body Acrylics and loved them for their great pigment load and working qualities. I also use their fluid acrylics.

I have recently started using M. Graham's Acrylic Paints and love them, as well.

I've tried many different brands but finally settled on the Golden line and the M. Graham's. They just work best for me. It all depends on what sort of painting you want to do and what seems to work best for you. You can mix and match brands to find the specific colors that you like best from various brands. Experiment with different mediums and techniques. Acrylics are wonderfully versatile.


01-23-2012, 10:30 PM
From your description it does sound like the Liquitex Basics you have might be a bad batch, if they are pasty. I have one tube of the Liquitex Basics and it says on the tube that it is a "value series." I do find it to "have less impact" but that is exactly what I want when I use it.

For the most part, I use the heavy body paints. I think you would find they have a better impact and are creamier. In the heavy body paint, I use both the Liquitex and the Golden and don't see much difference. If you like a thinner paint, then you might want to try the Liquitex Soft Body or the Golden Fluid paints. For the thinner paints, I prefer the Golden Open.

01-24-2012, 12:22 AM
Sounds like they're old paints. Also, I use several brands, but the only I really dislike is the Liquitex "Basics" line.