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Old 10-24-2009, 09:10 AM
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ChrisL ChrisL is offline
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What brand of paint is best, or worst?

Recently I read a thread on another board where a person whose opinion is certainly worth considering said that Liquitex paint wasnt all that great. Looking in my paint box, I see that it is filled with 3 kinds of paint: Jo Sonya, Blick artist grade, and (you guessed it) Liquitex. Anyone else feel that this (or any other) paint brand is not quite the thing? If I have to buy paint I just as well buy some of the best but it is entirely possible that I do not know what the best is! Would like to hear some opinions.
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Old 10-24-2009, 09:14 AM
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Re: What brand of paint is best, or worst?

I happen to really like Liquitex. It's all personal preference for ease of use w/ your projects, and color choices.
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Old 10-24-2009, 09:37 AM
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Re: What brand of paint is best, or worst?

I like Liquitex heavy bodied.
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Old 10-24-2009, 10:10 AM
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Re: What brand of paint is best, or worst?

I have never found any problems with Liquitex. In fact half my tubes are that. The other half Golden. I would remove your artist grade when you get the change to replace the colours. As for the rest, they sound OK.
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Old 10-24-2009, 10:52 AM
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Re: What brand of paint is best, or worst?

I mostly use Liquitex heavy body and like it a lot. I have a few tubes of Golden and one WN (blue).

Julia
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Old 10-24-2009, 11:25 AM
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Re: What brand of paint is best, or worst?

I love Liquitex Heavy Bodied paints nice and creamy and woderful with brush or palette knife. I've recently swithed to mostly Chroma Atelier Interactives, which are also creamy professional paints and are great with brush or palette knife - they also stay wet longer and have fantastic blending abilities. My overall choice is Chroma Atelier Interactves.
I use mostly palette knive and do a lot of plein air, so be it plein air or studio painting my choice is professional paints 1st Chroma & 2nd Liquitex.
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Old 10-24-2009, 12:14 PM
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Re: What brand of paint is best, or worst?

I think the best is what works for you. The way you paint, what you want from a paint as far as consistency and feel. I always consider the degree of pigment.

I've used Liquitex but have to say I never really liked it for one reason or another. I do like working with the Interactives but not because of the extended open time. Lately I've been using the Old Holland Classic Acrylics and I like them very much. Like the way they dry, don't darken so the color is what you pick it to be, no surprises and I like the consistency of them and the pigment concentration. Not overly full bodied but if I did paint needing that edge I would still use them.

Again I think the best is what is best for you and probably it'll take just trying some others. I can't tell you really which is the best because I actually don't think I know..lol I've not only tried them all I own just about all of them and I have favorites out of the bunch. Why, it's just me I think.

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Old 10-24-2009, 12:46 PM
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Re: What brand of paint is best, or worst?

Currently, I'm using Liquitex, and have been quite satisfied with it. Of course, my choice has been one of what was available locally, and unless I want DR System 3, it's Liquitex. (There's Golden in a store not TOO far, but farther than I care to drive.)

I'm planning to try some other brands (Dickblick.com is WONDERFUL!) as soon as I can get the money free to do so. It has always been my plan to try several different brands, but I haven't had the free resources to do it. After all, I had t build up my supplies of all the other art stuff first, right?

As far as which i best or worst? I'd say, for the most part, that the best is "artist grade" paint lines, while the worst is the "student grade". But that's in regard to pigment load, purity, etc.

EVERYONE will have their own opinion. Ask 100 artists, get AT LEAST 100 opinions. Many may overlap, and some will ARGUE their point until the Earth dies. It's really going to come down to what YOU think is the best and worst.


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Old 10-24-2009, 02:52 PM
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Re: What brand of paint is best, or worst?

I use Liquitex. Like it.

But it's not the brand of paint, it's the artist.
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Old 10-24-2009, 02:58 PM
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Re: What brand of paint is best, or worst?

Thanks for the replies guys. Really though, I am not really asking "what kind of paint will make my paintings look better?" Rather, I was wondering about the qualities of the paint regarding its ingredients. For example, does one manufacturer use the highest quality pigments while another tends to use cheap-o stuff.
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Old 10-24-2009, 03:18 PM
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Re: What brand of paint is best, or worst?

I agree with Elaine. The paint you like best will largely depend upon how you work with it.

I have never liked Liquitex Heavy Body paints, but that's strictly a personal preference. I found their working quality to resemble working with colored Elmer's Glue. Yet I know many, many artists just love them and they are certainly considered artist quality paints. I have used their Soft Body paints (or whatever they call their more fluid line of paints) and they were fine. They are about the consistency of just melted ice cream. They thin readily to fluid washes but they have enough pigment load to be very good at opaque applications. But the Soft Body paints suit my working methods well since I generally begin with making fluid washes, then gradually building up to more opaque applications of paint.

My main favorite brand is still Golden. I love their fluid paints and, when I need something heavier, their heavy body paints. For me, their working qualities and high pigment load are just superb. They have never disappointed me. Although I've tried many brands of acrylic paints, I always come back to the Goldens. I'll buy other brands only if there is a color I can't get in the Golden line.

I have tried Golden's Open paints and find them interesting and helpful when I need extended blending times, but generally I find them a bit too weak when it comes to pigment load. In texture, they are thinner than the standard heavy body Golden paints, but thicker than their fluid paints. I realize they had to make a compromise between pigment load and their extended open qualities. I'll use up what I have of the Opens but probably will stick with the fluid and heavy body Goldens in the future.

I have tried Jo Sonja's paints. Although they call it gouache, I would consider it something of a hybrid -- more of an acrylic that dries to a matte finish. It certainly doesn't have the working qualities of true gouache. I do find it nice for creating smooth washes, but in full strength, it has a rather weak pigment load. I think it's OK for working in more transparent modes, but it disappoints at thicker applications.

I tried the Atelier Interactives (briefly) but found their "system" too complex and off-putting. I prefer to keep my working methods simple, using mostly water and rarely some medium to get the paints to the working qualities I desire. Although I found the pigment load of the Interactives impressive and they thinned down quickly and easily with just water, there was a definite value change in the paints when I added even a small amount of water to thin them. It made it difficult to judge what my final results would be and they did darken again once dry. It made my type of painting considerably more difficult. I'm sure there are a lot of fans of these paints just as there are for the Liquitex paints, but they did not suit my type of painting at all.

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Old 10-24-2009, 05:05 PM
Nilesh Nilesh is offline
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Re: What brand of paint is best, or worst?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisL
Recently I read a thread on another board where a person whose opinion is certainly worth considering said that Liquitex paint wasnt all that great. Looking in my paint box, I see that it is filled with 3 kinds of paint: Jo Sonya, Blick artist grade, and (you guessed it) Liquitex. Anyone else feel that this (or any other) paint brand is not quite the thing? If I have to buy paint I just as well buy some of the best but it is entirely possible that I do not know what the best is! Would like to hear some opinions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisL
Thanks for the replies guys. Really though, I am not really asking "what kind of paint will make my paintings look better?" Rather, I was wondering about the qualities of the paint regarding its ingredients. For example, does one manufacturer use the highest quality pigments while another tends to use cheap-o stuff.

Yes, some of the cheaper paints use different pigments. Some of them are not as lightfast. For in-depth discussions and evaluations of specific pigments, you can do a search within the handprint.com website.

Pigment Index Names are usually given on the labels that are on the tubes or bottles or jars of professional artist grade acrylics. Once you find the PIN (PB 15:3 would be an example, or PY 142), you can go to handprint.com and read about it.

Lightfastness ratings are also usually given on the labels.

However, not all pigments with identical PINs are actually fully identical. They may be chemically virtually identical, in the sense of having the same molecular structure; but there are differences in processing (grinding, heating, etc.) that can result in significant differences in the colors and other properties.

Winsor & Newton have a reputation for using unusually high quality pigments in their better paints.

W&N Artists' Acrylics also have minimal color shift. They are an excellent paint. Old Holland are unimpeachable in reputation, except on price.

Chroma Atelier Interactives are worth a look. They are different, and have significant advantages. The pigment strength and quality is very good. Some artists prefer them. Here is a good, brief demo,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6obKjROozvk

***
...I was wondering about the qualities of the paint regarding its ingredients.

The quality and percentage of acrylic binder are other factors to consider.

Cheaper (student-grade, craft-grade, school-grade, for example) paints often contain fillers and other ingredients that can affect the integrity and longevity of the paint films.

Professional artists' acrylics usually contain quality 100% acrylic binders.

A few lines of paint contain an extra-high percentage or concentration of (100% acrylic) binder. Most artists' acrylics seem to contain in the neighborhood of 45% (100% acrylic) binder. A few go higher. M. Graham acrylics, for example, contain 60%. Golden have, as I recall, one line of 60%. Liquitex also have a line of low-shrinkage 60% acrylics.

Fluid acrylics are worth a look. Most beginners do not realize how versatile they are. Golden Fluid Acrylics are, as I recall, even higher in pigment concentration than most of their higher viscosity acrylics.

Pure acrylic binder emulsions -- before pigments are mixed into them -- are naturally quite thin or low in viscosity. Thickeners usually have to be added to achieve higher viscosities. So the thinner, lower viscosity acrylic paints (like the fluid acrylics, acrylic inks, and airbrush acrylics) are often -- somewhat counter-intuitively -- the purer acrylic products. Many people seem to think they are somehow weaker or "thinned down," when the opposite is actually the case.

*Some* paints in the Liquitex lines are not as good as others, and some people associate their name with student-quality paints (and some of their popular, widely sold paints are in fact (good) student-quality acrylics). All of their products are not student quality, though. Their higher level, artist-grade acrylic paints are of better quality, and are fine.

Most -- probably all -- of the reputable artist-grade acrylics (including Liquitex) will be made with quality pigments and binders. There are some differences; but none of them really fall below a reasonably high level of quality.

If you want good, professional quality acrylics at a great price, have a look at Nova Color Paints.

If you want snob appeal, look to Old Holland or Lascaux.

If you want quality at more reasonable prices, look to Chroma, Golden, Liquitex, M. Graham, Tri-Art, Blick, Winsor & Newton, Da Vinci (excellent fluid acrylics), Daniel Smith, and other reputable mainstream suppliers.

I would stay away from Reeves and Maries, and similar bargain-basement, beginner's-sets types of acrylics, and the student and craft acrylics (and others like these), even though some diehards will defend them, and even though some of the better craft grade acrylics are probably fine for most artists' uses. You often don't quite know what you are getting (in the pigments and binders and fillers and other ingredients). The artist grade paints listed above are a safer, surer bet.

Hope this speaks to your questions or concerns.

Last edited by Nilesh : 10-24-2009 at 05:41 PM.
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Old 10-24-2009, 06:07 PM
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Re: What brand of paint is best, or worst?

I still maintain "BUY QUALITY" if you are serious about your painting buy professional grade paint DO NOT buy student grade as they are just what they are stated as, paint for students who are learning and may never go past that first couse of painting 101. Also unless you are painting crafts, stay away from the craft paints as they are just what they are stated as - paint for crafts. Paintings done on good canvas and the very excellent Belgian Linen require professional paints manufactured by one of the top paint manufactures.

Try some different top brands and see how they react for your style and surface. The is no silver bullet.
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Old 10-24-2009, 07:41 PM
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Re: What brand of paint is best, or worst?

I took an acrylic workshop a few years back from a phenomenal artist who also owns an art supply store. If my notes are accurate; he recommended Liquitex because of the paint, yes, but also because of the information on the back of the tube: Opacity, lightfastness, relative hue, Munsell hue, value rating, and chroma. We didn't go over all the brands (and there are new makes/mixes since that workshop). For price & quality he suggested Graham and Ultrecht. The worst choices he thought were Tri-Art and Stevensons. Stevensons dry dull and waxy. As others here have recommended, professional quality is the way to go.
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Old 10-24-2009, 07:56 PM
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Re: What brand of paint is best, or worst?

This might also be of interest,

Q. What is the difference between latex house paint and Nova Color Artists’ Acrylic Paint? Can I mix Nova Color Artists’ Acrylic Paint with latex house paint?

A. Nova Color Artists’ Acrylic Paint is made with 100% acrylic-latex resin. House paint is made with a less expensive and less durable latex or vinyl-latex resin. Nova Color Artists’ Acrylic Paint contains a high level of acrylic resin. House paint may have only the minimum amount of resin required to make it serviceable. House paint is designed to “level” after brushing. Artists’ paint shows brushstrokes. House paints are usually opaque. Artists’ paint can be opaque, transparent or translucent. House paints tend to be pastels or soft colors. Artists’ paint is more brilliant and available in a wider range of colors and intensities. Nova Color Artists’ Acrylic Paint is compatible with water-based latex house paint. House paint is not recommended for fine art as it is not made to last as long as fine art paints.

(from novacolorpaint.com)

***
Similar principles apply to some of the lower-quality acrylics -- some student and craft and bargain acrylic kit paints, for example.

Last edited by Nilesh : 10-24-2009 at 07:58 PM.

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