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Which Acrylics are you using?

Posted By AdamP Last Year
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AdamP
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With so many types of Acrylic paint out there, i was just wondering what others are using.

Soft body, heavy body, open?

Also, what different mediums are you using and has anyone made their own mediums?

Although new to painting, I have already played around with various brands/types and my preference is definitely heavy body, I really like Cryla.

I've tried making flow improver and retarder and both seem to work Ok, I've also made gesso which seems just as good as shop bought.

aya
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hi adam i dont know what heavy or medium body means im using a daler & rowney set of graduate primarys I bought from hobby craft, im happy so far with them oh and i use W&Newton retarder...
which imo works no better than water!
can you explain the difference with hard or medium?



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Daveyboyz
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I am using Daler-Rowney too.   I presume this is heavy body (its thick and not very viscous) and I have retarders and mediums but I have just been using them straight from the tube. 

I used to use some thinner acrylics which came in little pots for miniature painters to use (back when these were £1 per pot and I was wearing short trousers, I think they are about 4 times than now) and these seemed much better for getting smooth gradients with but wouldn't go far on big canvasses.   
RobertJones
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Daler Rowney - George Rowney & Sons as was - were one of the pioneers in introducing acrylics to Britain, and Cryla was my first introduction to them, and remains a favourite.  I've not tried Open acrylics, but they do things that I have no need for them to do - ie make the paint re-workable; so I'm unlikely to try them now.  If I want a looser form of paint, System 3, also by D-R, is good - and I use Chromacolour, though wish they'd list the pigment identification on their tubes: I've never had any trouble with them, quite the reverse; but they should.  

I have a good selection of Winsor and Newton artist's quality acrylics - which wet down to a quite fluid consistency, but are still heavy duty paints, and have a very good range of colours.  I shall get around to Golden acrylics one day, if spared for a while longer from my Eternal Reward.... or possibly otherwise.  But these paints serve me well, and have done so for a long time - 50 years, in the case of Cryla.

I don't know how you make your own retarder - in my case, it wouldn't be worth the effort, because I never use it and still have the plastic bottle, half-full, I bought decades ago.  As for 'gesso' - the issue is the long term: yes, lots of things will work quite well ... but a product not made for artists' use is generally something I avoid.  If you make your own, that might at least be better than domestic emulsion, which some people use - and which might last.  On the other hand, it's not designed to last forever, and may degrade in various ways (increasing porosity, flaking and embrittlement, attraction to mould).  But your choice .... on your own head be it .... etc - ne'er cast a clout till May be out; you mark moi words.... 
AdamP
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aya (5/11/2018)
hi adam i dont know what heavy or medium body means im using a daler & rowney set of graduate primarys I bought from hobby craft, im happy so far with them oh and i use W&Newton retarder...
which imo works no better than water!
can you explain the difference with hard or medium?





When I referred to medium, I meant things like the retarder etc. Heavy body is really thick and buttery, more like the consistency of oils and is good for impasto techniques. Open acrylics have something in them to give a significantly longer drying time and are good for wet on wet techniques.

RobertJones (5/12/2018)
Daler Rowney - George Rowney & Sons as was - were one of the pioneers in introducing acrylics to Britain, and Cryla was my first introduction to them, and remains a favourite. I've not tried Open acrylics, but they do things that I have no need for them to do - ie make the paint re-workable; so I'm unlikely to try them now. If I want a looser form of paint, System 3, also by D-R, is good - and I use Chromacolour, though wish they'd list the pigment identification on their tubes: I've never had any trouble with them, quite the reverse; but they should.

I have a good selection of Winsor and Newton artist's quality acrylics - which wet down to a quite fluid consistency, but are still heavy duty paints, and have a very good range of colours. I shall get around to Golden acrylics one day, if spared for a while longer from my Eternal Reward.... or possibly otherwise. But these paints serve me well, and have done so for a long time - 50 years, in the case of Cryla.

I don't know how you make your own retarder - in my case, it wouldn't be worth the effort, because I never use it and still have the plastic bottle, half-full, I bought decades ago. As for 'gesso' - the issue is the long term: yes, lots of things will work quite well ... but a product not made for artists' use is generally something I avoid. If you make your own, that might at least be better than domestic emulsion, which some people use - and which might last. On the other hand, it's not designed to last forever, and may degrade in various ways (increasing porosity, flaking and embrittlement, attraction to mould). But your choice .... on your own head be it .... etc - ne'er cast a clout till May be out; you mark moi words....


Thank you for the very considered reply, I take your point completely with the homemade stuff and while I said the gesso seemed Ok, I made it just to try really, I mainly use ready prepared surfaces.

I love that Cryla can effectively be anything that you want it to be. I do have a fair bit of w&n galeria too, which I know is their student quality, it is ok, but I'm only using it as part of colour mixes with the cryla. Once that is all gone I will most likely only ever buy heavy body stuff.

RobertJones
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Dat's my boy who said dat..... 

One of my missions in life is to get people to treat acrylic paint with the same respect they accord to oil and watercolour  -  I know you can make your own mediums, and make shortcuts and all the rest of it: but at the same time - if you're using the best quality paints, brushes etc, why on earth apply them to inferior quality supports?  
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I use Golden, System 3 and Galeria----all of which do what I need them to.
francjs
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I'm new to painting having started about a year ago, and doing it on and off, so I am in an exploratory phase of painting materials. I tried oils and water mixable oils, but I didn't quite like the texture. I then bough some acrylics, and tried Golden and Winsor & Newton (professional series). Both are nice, but I find the Golden ones a tad stiff, and have more 'drag' when paining. I really like the texture of W&N, I can spread it around but is not too fluid and can leave some texture if needed. 

One downside of W&N, I find, is that some tubes seem to be too thick, for example some batches of Burnt Umber. Golden does not have this issue, but I'm finding that consistency and feel under the brush are the most important thing for me, so I'm settling I think on the W&N. The colours as well are great.
RobertJones
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That's very interesting to me, because I've long thought about trying Golden Acrylics (which do have a very high, and I'm sure deserved, reputation).  I do like W & N acrylics - so the comparison here is helpful.  
francjs
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I’m pleased you found my input on the Golden paints useful. The Golden paints are nice, both in texture and colour. It’s a slight difference in the way they feel to me, compared to W&N...just a little more drag, but enough so that: 1, I find the paints resisting dilution in water (it works of course but I have to mix quite a bit to obtain a homogeneous mixture of intermediate viscosity) and 2. they resist spreading more. Now, this is not a major difference, but when people say to experiment to find what you like, they are correct...I just realise the feel if the paint is important to me, and specifically for it to not be sticky, dense, and overall unresponsive (like I found oils and WMOs though it’s likely due to lack of experience). It’s a tactile response, which for now trumps other considerations like tinting strength and overage (for which anyway I find the W&N great, for what I can tell from a beginners perspective)

I remember when first trying WMOs, I completed a painting and thought this medium is great, then wanted to test some color mixing for the next one, I pull out a small test canvas, squeeze out some W&N acrylic (hookers green I think)...the feel if that paint moving. around the canvas was great. So I stuck to acrylics.

I will try again WMOs but for now I’m enjoying using the W&N paints. To be more specific on the issue I had mentioned in my previous post about W&N, is that some paint sequeezed out was gritty, and with a consistency almost of dried out toothpaste. One was a tube of cerulean blue, albeit old, and another a tube of burnt umber. For the latter the replacement the that W&N kindly sent were the same, but a new tube I got.ast week was fine.

Robert, I will be very interested to hear how you find Golden when you test them out.
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Last Year by francjs
alitap
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I use all different brands but mainly, Golden, heavy body, fluid and high flow; Liquitex Soft Body and ink; Winsor and Newton Professional acrylic and Vallejo fluid paint. I also have a few tubes of Amsterdam acrylic, white, black.

The different viscosities are useful depending on what technique I am using. I also find that different manufacturers have different colours. For example W & N do perylene green and perylene maroon which the others don't have. The Vallejo paints are almost identical in quality to Golden but cost far less, however again they don't have such a wide colour range.

I use Jackson's fluid matt medium a lot when collaging, also to dilute paint, as well as their white gesso. I use quite a few different texture pastes from various manufacturers. Liquitex pouring medium and clear gesso are favourites. Ara gloss gel is good too.
JenEdwards
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Im by no means a professional, just a hobby painter really trying to learn. I have some windsor and newton acrylics that are lovely, they have a good coverage and deep colour, but my fave for value and colour are pebeo studio acrylics. They are thick, spread really well, and come in loads of colours too. Hobby craft do offers on art materials all the time. The offers change every month when the pebeo goes on offer at £2 a tube instead of £4 i stock up. They really are good, esp if your still learning like me as art materials are so expensive for playing around with.

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I have Daler Rowney System 3 and Graduate, and Golden. The DRs are my preference though, I love the coverage they give.
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Mostly liquitex heavy body and cryla with a couple of tubes of winsor artist. All good paint...
RobertJones
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Yes - I've used Cryla since ca. 1970: still great paint, and after all these years I can claim the right to recommend it.   I've not used W & N acrylics for quite so long, and the brand has changed a bit over the years, but our friend and colleague Béatrice Cloake, NAPA, recommends W & N colours for their beauty: and if anyone knows about beauty .... it's Bea.  
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I just use system 3 daler rowney, I need to use large amounts of repeat colour and its good for that.    I cant be bothered with the heavy body paint, i use plaster as a base for impasto painting, then just paint over it with the daler rowney , it dries like plastic so it keeps the plaster waterproofed........
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I use System 3. It's the first ones I bought from an art shop and just stuck with them.
I have tried mediums, but don't use them much.
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I use Daler Rowney System 3 acrylics and after seeing some of my art group using other types which were definitely inferior, I recommended these to them. We did have a few problems last year when I think they must have changed the paint slightly and we ended up with loads of oily type liquid coming out of the tubes, but that seems to have been remedied.
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I use a variety of makes, mostly System 3, Cryla and Daler Rowney..  I keep meaning to get some Vallejo paint for fine detailed work.  The flow is much better - Modell makers use it.
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System 3.  Haven't used them much but i like the viscosity of them when I do. 
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It´s System 3 for me. Experts say Cryla behaves like oil paint. Will have to try it one day but my regular supplier does not stock it. Alwyn Crawshaw the president of our art society seems to like Cryla when he is not using water colours.


All the best
Pat
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Cryla behaves like oil paint - I don't think it does.  It dries much faster; it has a uniform sheen when used thickly, or just not diluted; on the other hand, it will hold brush strokes, can be readily applied with a knife, has a good range of colours - but 'like oil paint' is a bit misleading.  You could argue that it leans in the direction of painting in oil, as System 3 MIGHT be said to lean the other way, towards watercolour - but I don't know that this takes you very far in either case.  

It might also lead to something very unfortunate, which has dogged acrylic from the outset - to encourage the idea that acrylic paint is some kind of convenient, permanent, 'safer' substitute for another medium.  It isn't - it's a medium in its own right which needs to be valued as such and judged as such; you won't get the best out of it if you're thinking ('you' in this case doesn't mean Pat, but anyone! I know Pat is fully aware of the merits of acrylic) that it's some sort of easier option.  To start with, it isn't easier ... but even if it were, to limit oneself to regarding the paint as a sort of second-best would be a big mistake.
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Fair comment, Robert. Never having tried Cryla I only know about it through comments I´ve read. I´ve used and loved oils years ago but my wife does not like the smell. A friend told me you can get near odourless oils. I do know the water mixables come close. They are waiting for me in my cupboard.


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Pat
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Just don't use solvents, Pat - oil paint does have a certain smell, but you've got to get your nose near it to discern it: and who wants a bright blue nose.....

Oil paint can be cleaned up with kitchen towel, soap, and water.  The water miscibles are treating a problem that needn't exist.  
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Good advice, Robert. I´ll have another go at using oils without terps. I´ve got several tubes which might still be workable.


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Pat
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