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How to Choose Acrylic Paints?

How to Choose Acrylic Paint


Choosing the acrylic paint can be intimidating when you are a beginner, but don’t worry, this page will help you find the right acrylic paint for you based on your needs and budget for acrylic paints.

Quality, color, viscosity, container, and drying time are the major factors to consider.


Commonly, there’re two grades of acrylic paints: artist-quality and student-quality.

Artists’ paints, with a very wide range of colors, are finely ground and highly concentrated, with high permanence properties.

The colors for students are low priced, and there are few colors to choose from. Usually, the capacity of each tube is small. Due to the filler inside, the color expression is weak.

The artist’s colors are more vivid and easier to blend and layer. Because they have a smooth consistency.

If you are a beginner who wants to practice your skills, using student quality paints is fine on a small budget. If you want to make artwork that you care to keep or want to sell your work, use artist’s colors. Here’s a tip, you can use student paints for earth colors (which are almost as good), but you’ll spend more on a solid, intense color. Some artists save money by using student colors for the base coat and using professional quality paint on top.


Although acrylics come in a dizzying array of colors. But for a beginner, it’s fine to start with these 12 colors. Also you can also mix them to create other colors.

For beginners, starting with a set of acrylic paints will not only save you some money, but will also be a good practice start. It is best to start practicing painting directly with paints without spending too much time on choosing materials.

Among the artist-quality acrylic paints, some colors are much more expensive compared to others. This is because some pigments are very uncommon. Generally speaking, clay colors are the easiest to obtain and therefore the cheapest, and colors derived from cadmium are very difficult to obtain. Some brands choose to use synthetic pigments to reduce costs to provide a cheaper alternative, but they may perform poorly in terms of longevity and color intensity.


Heavy body acrylics are available in tubes and cans. The tube is small in size and easy to carry. It is more cost-effective to buy enough paint at a time. The consistency of the tube and the jar is different. The paint in the tube will always be paste-like, and the paint in the jar is thick, but it will be flat when poured on the palette.

If you are not sure which one to buy, you can buy the tube first, and then buy a few jars after you find the specific brand and color you often use. If you want to buy your first acrylic paint, start with a smaller 2 fl.oz tube, because a little is enough, and you want to keep your choice so that you can also try other brands.

Fluid acrylics is usually packed in a bottle with a screw cap, or a dropper, so that the paint can be easily applied to the palette.

Drying Time

Many artists prefer to use acrylic paints because they dry quickly. But the downside is that the paint may dry on the brush or palette before you are finished painting. If you want to extend the drying time of your acrylics, you have some other options. Artists who prefer to slow the drying time of their canvases but still like the versatility and expressiveness of acrylics can use a retarding medium.

Hope above contents may do little help when you need to choose acrylic colors.

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