What is Acrylic Paint?

Acrylic paints use acrylic polymer as binder to make the pigments stick on the surface. Acrylic polymers are generally known as plastics. For a non-chemist like me, acrylic polymers is like a glue. I think the closest comparison to it is the Golden Artist Colors Matte Medium since it is a colorless acrylic.

Benefits of Using Acrylic Paints

  1. It is readily accessible. There are many companies manufacturing acrylic paints and can be bought online. They may vary from student grade to professionals.  
  2. It is a versatile paint and can be applied to paper, canvas, wood, plastic and metal that’s why they are often used for arts and crafts. 
  3. Easy to mix colors. Quality acrylic paints can easily be mixed so theres no need to buy a platoon of color families. All you u need are the basic colors of Ultramarine Blue, Cadmium Red, Cadmium Yellow, Titanium White and Mars Black. It will cut the cost of your expense.
  4. Depending on the extender that you will use whether it’s a water or fluid medium, it varies in form. You can thin it down with water to make a washed look, dry brush for matte chalky effect or use gels to add textures. You can also use matte or glossy mediums and varnishes to manage its sheen. 
  5. Acrylic paints are fast-drying. In less than an hour acrylic paints dry easily which means you create another layer of paint easily without damaging the layer below much like Photoshop. The downside of this is that it limits your blending time. But of course there is a solution for this. That is to use the Golden Artist Color Retarder. Golden Artist Color has also launched Open Acrylics which has a slower drying time.
  6. And this is the best part, there’s a lot of “chemical fun” on working with acrylic paints. Sometime it feels like I am more into a laboratory than in a studio because acrylic paints are unpredictable at first and it takes a while for me to get used  to it.  

Brands of Acrylic Paint

There are lots of acrylic paints on the market. Based on my research and experience, I can recommend 3 brands – Liquitex, Winsor and Newton and Golden Artist Colors. Their quality is classified into 2 versions – student-grade and professional. Student grade paints have lower amount of pigment compared top the professional and are often have lower viscosity. Professional grade are often buttery and can be use an extender to make it more fluid. Practical use of each is that you can use student-grade if you are a beginner and doing vlogs. Use professional for commissioned work.


Liquitex is one of the popular acrylic paints. Liquitex Basic is the student grade while Liquitex Heavy Body is the professional-grade.

Acrylic Variants: Basic, Heavy Body, Soft Body, Acrylic Gouache, Acrylic Ink, Acrylic Markers & Spray Paint

Winsor & Newton

Winsor & Newton offers Galeria as the student-grade while the Professional is the high quality version.

Acrylic Variants: Galeria & Professional

Golden Artist Colors

Golden Artist Colors offers only professional-grade which is the Heavy Body. Golden Artist Colors have high quality and buttery texture.

Acrylic Variants: Heavy Body, OPEN Slow-Drying, SoFlat Matte, Fluid & Ink

Liquitex and Golden Artist Colors are dedicated on manufacturing acrylic paints while Winsor and Newton has diverse prouduct line including oil, gouache and watercolor paints.

Golden Artist Colors Heavy Body

Golden Artist Colors Fluid

Golden Artist Colors High Flow

Pigment Properties

Pigments can be organic or inorganic. Organic pigments are made in chemical laboratories while inorganic pigments are derived from natural source like minerals and ores. If you use Liquitex, Winsor and Newton or Golden Artist Colors, you can see the pigment information and properties. There is a specific code for each pigment. It is pure if you can see a single code and a mixture is there are two or more codes. For example, Ultramarine is PB29 while Payne’s Gray is PBk7, PBk9 and PB29. You can also see their properties as to their permanence, opacity and lightfastness (or the ability to resist fading over time). These properties are determined by American Standard Testing and Materials or ASTM. You can see a mark of ASTM at the back if it conforms to their standardization process.

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