Acrylic colour sets are an ideal gift for someone who is interested in trying acrylic painting for the first time, or an economical way to stock up of acrylic paints en masse. They are also a good way of buying a smaller sized tube of a range of colours just to see if they behave in a way that might suit your painting practice. Here is a quick overview of what is available from each range of acrylic colours at Jackson’s Art Supplies.
PROFESSIONAL ACRYLIC COLOUR RANGES – Golden, Old Holland New Masters, Liquitex, Jackson’s, Winsor and Newton, AV
Because these professional grade ranges are more expensive and designed for serious painters with experience, they are generally put together for the following reasons: to introduce unfamiliar colours, or to offer a basic palette in standard sized tubes at an economical price. They tend not to offer smaller sized tubes with a large colour choice in a set in the way that is familiar with student grade paints as such sets are really designed for those completely unfamiliar with the medium. The paints considered to be professional grade tend to have a thick buttery consistency unless otherwise stated, and very high levels of pigment saturation. Professional grade paints also tend to possess various degrees of sheen; this is because colours with higher pigment loads will dry more matte than those with lighter pigment loads (due to the binder to pigment ratio). Golden paints have a loyal following of professional and serious amateur painters, and their sets are designed to present various colours to painters to encourage them to experiment with these – prime examples of these are their promotional sets of ‘Provocative Yellows’ (AG30P760), ‘Divergent Reds’ (AG30P770) and ‘Beguiling Iridescents’ (AG30P780). They also offer really useful sets such as the digital ground sets, and selection sets of Heavy Body and Fluid Colour, where the colours have been specifically selected by experts on the principle that they mix well with one another (there is a modern and classic theory set in each range). If you are looking for a basic palette set of high quality acrylic colour, the sets that may suit you best are those by Liquitex (who offer both a set of 6 and a set of 12 consisting of 59ml tubes), Old Holland New Master’s set of 6 x 60ml tubes, the AV Artist Acrylic’s basic palette set, or the basica palette sets available by Winsor and Newton Artist’s Acrylic or Golden Acrylic. Professional grade ranges of acrylic colour have a high proportion of single pigment colours, which optimise the potential for clean, more vibrant colour mixes. In addition to this they also tend to be thixotropic in their nature – this means that the consistency of the colour reduces when it is stirred or aggravated. Mediums can be added to professional grade colour in order to manipulate their qualities, and each of the ranges mentioned in this paragraph would be well suited to printmaking, mixed media and collage techniques providing they are manipulated appropriately.
Flat Colour for Illustration, Poster and Graphic Design
There are a number of sets which would be especially sought after by those who work using flat colour – such as those who create posters or illustrations. These colours easily achieve flat colour because the paint possesses a more fluid consistency, which allows a good even spread. Fluid colour can be sprayed, brushed or used for staining techniques. The professional grade colours such as Turner Acrylic Gouache and Golden Fluid Acrylic are just as highly saturated as the professional grade heavy body acrylics – the manufacturers achieve this by using a much thinner binder and pigments that have been ground until they are as fine as possible. Turner acrylic gouache (as is the case with all acrylic gouache) is both waterproof and matte when dry, and adheres well to a number of different surfaces, including plastic. The Turner Acrylic Gouache range is divided into sections of colour that complement one another – this makes it easy to use colour without having real need to make colour mixes. The groups of colour within the Turner range are Original, Pastel, Greyish, Japanesque, Pearl, Metallic, Lame and Lumi. Golden Fluid Acrylic colour varies in its sheen from colour to colour (as with its Heavy Body range) and is very intensely saturated. There are a couple of basic palette sets to introduce you to the range. AV Airbrush and Golden Airbrush sets are even thinner that other fluid acrylic ranges. Much like acrylic gouache they adhere well to most surfaces. Within the AV airbrush range are metallic, opaque, candy and fluorescent colours, which are designed to suit applied art applications, such as stencilling. Also the range of colours is thicker in its consistency (somewhere in between a conventional fluid acrylic and a heavy body acrylic), Daler Rowney System 3 Acrylic Colour has process and fluorescent colours in its range, and a process selection set, which is idea for those wanting to create a very bright image using affordable student grade colours. Acrylic Inks are the thinnest acrylic paint ranges available: they are usually sold in glass bottles with a rubber pipetted lid. Acrylic Ink dries waterproof, and can be used for watercolour-like effects as well as staining and stamping. Because colour dries waterproof it is easy to achieve colour depth through layering colours on top of one another. At Jackson’s we sell a number of ranges of acrylic ink that are designed for professional use including Magic Color, Liquitex Ink and FW Ink by Daler Rowney.
Slower Drying Acrylic Colour
More and more professional acrylic painters are seeking slower drying paint ranges for their work, as this enables them to work into the paint for longer, and adopt the traditional working methods of oil painters. Winsor and Newton and Old Holland New Masters Artist acrylic both have relatively slow drying times, with Winsor and Newton Artist’s Acrylic possessing a drying time that is 20% slower than its predecessor, Finity Acrylic Colour. Golden Open acrylics are the slowest drying acrylic colour. It dries as slow as conventional oil colour, i.e. up to a number of weeks, and is the ideal solution for professional artists who love oils but wish to avoid using solvents in their work.