Best Acrylic Paint for Beginners [Art Supplies]

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best acrylic paint

First made in 1934 by BASF, acrylic paints have come a long way and are still popular until this very day.

Nowadays a large amount of different acrylic paint brands sell their own acrylic paint supplies and it might be difficult to find what you truly need.

Today we will cover the best acrylic paint for beginners to start with.

What To Look For?

Depending on your personal projects, try to find the right balance between quality and price.

You don’t just want paint that looks pretty while it is in the bottle, but also looks great after you apply the acrylic paint on canvas.

Of course, even if you buy the best acrylic paint in the world, you shouldn’t expect any miracles. Mastering any kind of paint requires time and effort, although following an online acrylic painting class can help sometimes.

Try to keep the following criteria in mind when buying acrylic paint.

Quality

As with many art supplies, acrylic paint comes in two different kinds: student quality and artist quality. The main difference is the amount of pigment in the paint. Artists quality acrylic paint has a higher amount of pigment, while student quality has a higher percentage of filler material.

If you are looking for the best acrylic paint, go for artist quality paint which will be more vibrant, better consistency and have better coverage but also comes at a higher price.

Though student quality can be fine for practicing, the best results and most advanced techniques can only be achieved using artist quality paint.

Container

Normally acrylic paint can be bought as either tubes, bottles or jars and contain from 2oz up to 32oz of paint.

Buying bigger volume normally is cheaper in the long run but buying smaller 2oz containers will allow you to try different brands and see which one you like the most.

You might even be surprised how long a 2oz bottle or tube can last, especially if you are normally working on smaller sized canvas.

Color Range

Additionally, buying acrylic paint in sets instead of individual colors is another great way of keeping the price down. These sets will come with different colors, giving good coverage of the entire color wheel so you don’t have to worry which ones you will need.

Sets normally start with 6 or 10 different colors and up. Although having a lot of different colors is definitely convenient, it is not strictly necessary.

For example, if you are looking for grey you can simply mix white and black. If on the other hand you are looking for scarlet red or turquoise and you only have 6 basic colors to start with you might be mixing for a long time.

Viscosity

Among brands, the viscosity of the acrylic paint can change a lot. Heavy body acrylics are most popular and are characterized by a very thick consistency, not unlike oil paint.

Fluid acrylics behave more like watercolor paint and are relatively thin. Due to their different viscosity, thick paint is normally better for mixing and blending colors while thin paint is easier to use when painting details.

Additionally, they might interact a little different with your acrylic paint brushes. Neither is better than the other and it’s mainly a matter of personal choice. The best acrylic paints for beginners are normally heavy body acrylics since they can still be thinned a little bit with water when needed.

Lightfastness and Permanence

Lightfastness and Permanence indicate how well the paint resists light over time after drying. Paint with a low rating will slowly lose color and start to fade. Compared to oil and watercoler paints, acrylics normally have pretty good permanence ratings.

Most acrylic paint brands use the standardized ASTM label, with I being excellent and III being very bad. If you are just practicing and training your craft, you can ignore this. But if you are aiming to make a lasting piece of art, make sure to use acrylic paint with a good lightfastness rating.

Drying Time

One of the unique properties of acrylic paint is that is has a relatively short drying time. This is ideal when you are layering different colors on top of each other, as you don’t have to wait very long.

On the flip side, the colors you have mixed on your palette will dry just as fast and mixing colors on canvas is also pretty difficult. Sometimes it might feel like you are fighting the clock a little. Some people prefer their paint to dry a little slower. In that case, you can look into retarding mediums that can be mixed into the paint to make it dry slower.

Additionally, interactive and open acrylics is a relatively new innovation in acrylics. They already contain a retarding medium in the ink.

Best Acrylic Paint Set For Beginners to Start With

For anyone new to acrylic painting we recommend the 48 piece acrylic paint tube set by Liquitex. This paint is developed for students and beginning artists and made to give a good performance. The ink contains a good pigment load despite its relatively low price.

The 48 different colors are thick and creamy, retaining peaks and brush strokes and dries to a satin finish. Every tube contains 22 ml of paint and are intermixable, ideal for practicing color mixing and color theory.

Click Here to buy the Liquitex acrylic paint

Acrylic Paint Palette

No many how many different colors of acrylic paint you buy; you will eventually need to do some mixing to the exact color you are looking for. A palette can be any surface you use to put your paint on and mix it before applying to the canvas.

Traditionally a piece of wood with a hole for your thumb was used by artists. These days’ palettes come in many different shapes and are made of many different materials such as plastic, safety glass, plexiglass or wood.