Consistencies of Acrylic Paint
How do I choose between different consistencies of acrylic paint?
Ask Jacksons: How do I choose between different consistencies of acrylic paint?
One of the advantages of acrylic paint is that the resin binder can be formulated to a range of different viscosities. Heavy body acrylics are thick with a texture similar to soft butter. They are the most popular consistency of acrylic paint and are ideal for textured impasto painting as they retain brush marks and hold peaks. Soft body acrylics have a yoghurt-like consistency and are suitable for smoother painting styles. Fluid acrylics have a texture like double cream and are ideal for glazes and finely detailed work. Acrylic inks are the most fluid of all acrylic paints, they can be used for drawing with a dip pen or with a refillable marker, as well as for painting.
Whichever kind of paint you choose to start with, there are a huge variety of mediums available which modify the consistency, transparency and texture of acrylic colours. For example, a heavy body acrylic can be thinned to make it behave like an acrylic ink, and a soft body acrylic can be made stiffer with a gel medium. Bear in mind that the more medium you add, the more diluted the colour will be.
For more information about the possibilities offered by acrylic paints, visit our Acrylic Paint Guide.
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