What is acrylic paint? And what is best brand to use?

Here are some great tips to introduce you to acrylic paints, I will give you a breakdown of what is acrylic paints and we will take a look at the top brands that we sell at Crafty Arts.

My top tip for starting anything new is. Don’t go crazy buying materials.


I have said it before and it really does apply to starting everything, less is more.

And the more you paint the more your preferences will come through, what is right for you you will then get the results you require.

So going out and buying a full range of brushes and paints is not necessary.


No brush or surface is off limits when it comes to acrylics as long as you prepare a surface accordingly. Artists will generally recommend what works for them, but learning about other brands brushes and surfaces is a really important part of your development.


Acrylic paints are a very flexible medium – you can change the visual hardness, flexibility, texture of the paint surface by diluting with water or by adding a medium.


1.       Paint

2.       Collage

3.       Print

4.       Fabric painting

5.       Pretty much paint on any surface




Why choose acrylic over another medium?

Acrylics were orginally created to mimic oil paints but with a much faster drying time, a gorgeously thick consistency and are water based (in most cases nontoxic).

Acrylic paints are easy to clean away, you just need water and soap but they may still stain your clothes – so old clothes are a must.

All acrylic colours can be thinned with water to create pale washes, or applied directly from the tube, this will affect the vibrancy of the colour. The polymer binders used in acrylic means you can achieve results quickly, layer up colours and cover mistakes in the time it takes to dry.

Acrylic paint comes in different colours, consistencies and different series.

The two main types are Student quality and Artists quality. The main difference is that the pigments used – with hues being imitation pigments. The best thing about them is that you can mix. Invest in good quality blues, yellows and reds, these are the key to great colour mixing and artists level will mean higher pigments, which should create cleaner colour mixing and less muddy colours.



You will find that student quality paints tend not to have series they are made of hues and are a cheaper based paint but artist’s quality paints have series. Series 1 is a cheaper pigment so a cheaper paint. Series 5 is the more expensive pigment.

Some hues have had to replace pigments as they contain toxic elements, pigments that were either toxic to people (Lead White) or just harmful to the environment.

Pure pigments will make the cleanest colours when mixing. Most acrylics have a higher permanence (lightfastness as in they won’t fade) than oils or watercolour.

For more information on Pigments and colour mixing .


Viscosity of paint refers to the body of the paint, it will either be a free flowing paint or a thick body of paint. Thick paints or heavy body paints are high viscosity and slow moving.

Low viscosity paints appear thinner and are more fluid to use.

Is one better than the other?
It depend what you are using it for, what your style is and how you apply it. Trust me when I say you will find your own preferences and don’t be afraid to mix your brands as well as the quality.

Drying time all depends on how much paint you use, so a thin film of colour can dry in 10-15 minutes where a thicker layer could be half an hour and a very thick layer could take up to an hour.

Each brand of paint will have different drying times and don’t forget that the environment will affect them too, if it is a hot sunny day your paints will dry quickly both on the surface and in your palette.

You will find that choosing the right brand for you is down to personal preference, I know a well known artist who loves the fluidity of System 3 over Winsor Artist Acrylic paint because he can create beautiful lines without constantly dipping his bush in the paint.

Thicker paints in the artists range will help you retain brush strokes and palette knife marks.

  • Reeves 

Reeves use acrylic resin that guarantees excellent adhesion and a free flowing consistency.

You will enjoy different ways to use Reeves acrylics, such as straight from the tube to create impasto effects and build volume like oil colour, or diluted with water to execute water colour or poster colour techniques.



  • System 3

System 3 acrylics are highly versatile, water-based acrylic colours. They offer an excellent painting experience at an economical price.

They offer a  significantly greater loading than in other acrylic ranges available in this class of paint.

System 3’s comprehensive range of colours offers excellent light-fastness*, permanence, durability and covering power. You can use the paint directly or you can thin out the colour with water, to make it paler. Each form dries quickly to create an insoluble film.

The quick drying properties of the range enable the artist to work quickly, superimposing or juxtaposing colours without unnecessary fuss.





  • Pebeo Studio

When it comes to dimensional work nothing beats Studio High Viscosity acrylic paint, with its thick consistency and satin finish, it retains brush or spatula marks.

Vivid and deep, richly pigmented, with matt satin finish and very good light fastness.

Very adherent and permanent once dry, suitable for most surfaces. Resistant and flexible to distortion film.




  • Folk Art

Folk Art is mainly used in craft work this thin acrylic offers a creamy consistency ideal for base coats, colour blending, highlighting and shading.

Great for decorative painting including the One Stroke technique, these paint perfectly on canvas, metal, wood, plaster and more.

From deep shades to trendy tones and metallic colours, you’re sure to find the perfect colours for your next craft project.


Want more information on Folk Art? Check out our blog by Lady Porsha on One Stroke Painting



  • Royal Langnickel

Royal & Langnickel Acrylic Paint is formulated with a high pigment content and has a smooth, thick consistency.

The colours are beautifully vibrant and permanent when dry. You can dilute these paints with water or mixed with other acrylics and are suitable for a wide variety of surfaces, offering a world of possibilities.




  • Galeria

Our Galeria Acrylic are wonderfully affordable and yet impressive in their vibrancy and quality.

Winsor & Newton made them with a high level of pigment and created opaque versions of some naturally transparent colours. You’ll find their texture buttery enough for quick and easy coverage, but thick enough for brush marks.





  • Liquitex Basics

Student acrylic paints are formulated with sufficient pigment to offer dependable, if not ideal working properties and use pigments that in most cases require fewer resources so that they can be milled more quickly and efficiently.




  • Liquitex Heavy Body

Heavy Body Artist Acrylic Paint, previously referred to as High Viscosity. Has a thick consistency for traditional art techniques using brushes or knives, as well as for experimental, mixed media, collage and printmaking applications.

Impasto applications retain crisp brush stroke and knife marks. Good surface drag provides excellent handling and blending characteristics with increased open-working time.

High pigment load produces rich, brilliant, permanent colour. The beauty of this paint is that it can go on absolutely everything. So if you want to paint your skate board or snow board, you can paint with these paints, just sand it back and varnish for a professional look.





  • Winsor and Newton Professional

The professional range has been made with the latest developments in resin technology. Most acrylics darken as they dry, but it’s clever, translucent binder means that what you see is what you get.

They have also made sure these paints have a longer working time without compromising the famous acrylic fast-drying time.

You have a choice of 80 brilliant colours. With the Professional range, there metallic colours are second to none!





  • Daler Rowney Cryla

This artists’ acrylic paint was introduced by Rowney & co. in 1963 and pioneered the use of artists’ acrylics in Europe.

Daler Rowney’s Cryla Artists’ Acrylic colour is a very heavy-bodied colour with a high loading of permanent, lightfast pigments. The unique heavy, buttery feel under the brush and knife is popular with artists wanting to achieve a wide variety of impasto effects.





Ink and Sprays, Paint pens and Markers there are so man types of acrylic paints. I will be talking you through all of these at a later date.

Our next lot of blogs will be about:

·       Brushes

·       Surfaces

·       Sprays, paints and acrylic Inks

·       Mediums & Extras

·       Artists


I hope that was helpful, my biggest piece of advice would be to practice colour mixing. Making your own colour palette/colour wheel, try challenge yourself to making lots of different shades of greens, oranges, blues and reds.

Practice really does make perfect.

Bye for now.

#acrylicpaints #bestacrylicbrands #startingwithacrylicpaint

Comments are closed here.