A Beginner’s Guide to Choosing the Best Set of Acrylic Paints - LovingLocal
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acrylic artist set

A Beginner’s Guide to Choosing the Best Set of Acrylic Paints

Oil, watercolour, pastel, gouache, and acrylic are just a few of the many various painting mediums available to artists, each of which has its own benefits and drawbacks. In this comprehensive guide, you can learn about the advantages and traits of acrylic paint that make it a fantastic option for beginners and how to choose the best colours.

Is Acrylic Good for Beginners?

acrylic artist set

Acrylic paints are an inexpensive, adaptable, and simple-to-use paint ideal for beginners. These paints don’t require special surface preparation and can be used on various surfaces. That makes acrylics the most favoured kind of paint by artists of all skill levels, not just beginners. They’re water-based, so they don’t have a significant smell and are simple to clean up. Additionally, when dried, acrylics are flexible and dry quickly. Like watercolours, they’re also irreversible, meaning you can’t revive them. 

Acrylics are a forgiving medium: if you make a mistake with acrylics, simply wait a few minutes for them to dry before painting over them. So, if you’re worried about making many mistakes, this is the best paint you can use.

What to Look For When Buying Acrylic Paint?

acrylic artist set

Whether you buy your paints one by one or choose to get a complete acrylic artist set, there are a few things you need to consider that go beyond which colours you’ll need or use. 

Quality and Grade

The first thing to be aware of while looking for acrylic paint sets is quality or the paint’s grade. Acrylic paint comes in two qualities: artist quality and student quality. 

  • Artists’ quality paints, sometimes known as “professional”, come with characteristics such as a large variety of colours, a high concentration of finely ground pigment, and excellent permanence ratings. 
  • Students’ colours are less expensive, but as a trade-off, they have a narrower range, fewer pigments, and may contain fillers that could reduce the colour’s intensity. The two differ in more ways than only how manufactured; frequently, it’s apparent that the artists’ colours are more vivid and have a smoother consistency, making them easier to blend and layer.

Using artist-grade acrylic paints has unquestionable advantages because of the vibrant colours you may create by mixing. This acrylic paint type has a smooth consistency, making mixing, blending, and application considerably simpler. The thickness of paints intended for artists does vary. Heavy body paints, delicate body paints, and high-flow paints are all options. The decision between viscosity (thickness) changes relies on the final product you’re aiming for because each offers advantages.

Lightfast Rating

All paints, including acrylic paints, are graded according to how lightfast they are. The term “lightfastness” describes how lasting the colours are. The pigment will deteriorate over time more quickly the less lightfast it is. Look for acrylic paints with lightfast ratings of ASTM I, AA, or Excellent when choosing them. Choose a colour with a “very good” rating, such as ASTM II or A, at the absolute least.

Heavy Body vs. Fluid 

Acrylic paints with a heavy body and fluid consistency feel and weigh differently. Heavy-body acrylics have a thick texture and a buttery feel. They’re perfect for producing dense textures on canvases and canvas boards because they don’t include fillers, dyes, or extenders.

Acrylics with a fluid body have a colour that is just as vivid but is significantly lighter in weight and consistency. Unlike heavy body paints you must squeeze out of a tube or jar, they flow more freely and may be poured from a bottle.

Quick-Drying vs. Fast-Drying

Many artists choose acrylic paints because they dry relatively rapidly. Choose open acrylics if you’re an artist more accustomed to paint that dries more slowly, like oil paint.

Open acrylics dry more slowly than regular acrylics and take longer to dry on canvases and palettes. While a slow-drying canvas isn’t ideal for all painters, the advantage of utilising open acrylics is that you’re less likely to waste paint because the paint dries on your palette more slowly.

Acrylic Painting Sets

acrylic artist set

Don’t worry if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed right now! You can find different acrylic painting kits that include almost everything you require to begin using acrylics. The best part is that they are reasonably priced and have everything you need for acrylic painting in a little package. Here’s why buying an acrylic artist set can be better for beginners than buying your paints separately.

Paint Sets Include a Variety of Colors 

Paint sets come with a wide range of hues. No matter what kind of paint you want to use, most paint sets come with the fundamental tones you need to combine and produce nearly any colour you desire. A kit is a terrific place to start if you’ve never painted before or don’t already have any paints.

Sets Let You Test Various Colours 

Do you think you’ll never use burned umber or burnt sienna? What’s this? You’ll do. But unless you try, you’ll never know.

A fantastic technique to test colours you might otherwise skip using is to purchase a paint set including hues you might not believe you’ll use. You can learn more about which pigments you enjoy working with and which you don’t use in a package having a wide range of hues.

Sets Often Include Other Supplies 

Frequently, paint sets come with additional supplies. While many people own palettes, binders, and brushes, when buying a complete artist set, you can be sure every piece will work with that particular paint brand.

Paint Sets Make Great Gifts 

Gifting paint sets is a great idea. It’s the ideal present for an aspiring artist. To increase the value of your present, choose a pack wherever possible.

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