A question asked often by my students is: can I mix acrylic paint brands and still get the same results by Jacqueline Coates and Arts Creative Hub
Hi there, I just thought I would share another tip today, about can you mix acrylic paint brands? Yes, you can.
So, you just need to be aware that when you buy a student brands such as Reeves, it’s very different to say buying the Windsor and Newton which is a professional range. And what happens is that you have a lot of pigments and fillers. Hi Haley! Pigments and fillers in the student range and in the professional range you have really good quality pigments. So what happens is when you mix them together and you’re using them on this on the canvas in the same painting? You’re diluting your excellent quality down a bit, because you’re using cheaper paint with it. So you’re diluting the effect of the brilliance in the paint.
However, what you can do is with professional range paints the pigments is excellent, but one of the brands actually is better than the others and I’m not saying this because I’m supporting one brand more. It’s just a fact that Windsor and Newton actually have what they call it, like it’s a clear resin inside a clear polymer. So, the other brands don’t. Their’s s is opaque. So what happens is when you paint on the canvas with the Windsor Newton, the light can actually come through the paint and bounce back out. And that gives it like a bright brighter colors, better colors and very minimal color shift. One of the things that’s been known about acrylic paints for a long time is that they just don’t look the same dry as they do when they’re wet. You can be really into your painting and then you go away to make a cup of tea, come back, the thing looks a bit dull because it’s dried and it’s shifted and it just looks a bit dark a flat dark shift.
However, the Windsor Newton’s will give you an extremely, extremely minimal, minimal shift. They say no color shift, but we’re only talking like one percent or something shift. So, what happens is when you add the student paints with those? And it’s sometimes it’s very handy to be using something like a pre-mixed flesh which you know, the professional ranges expect that you can make that yourself out of your gold ochre and your permanent rose or whatever. And white. So, but it is handy to have these pre-mixed colors. So when you work on the canvas, how do you bring the color up when you finish your painting?
But what I like to do is so the painting doesn’t look dull, if you have use other brands that don’t have that clear resin effect, you know in this painting here, I’ve just finished. It’s a commission, it’s going out to a lovely lady in Narra, which I’m really excited about. I’m just finishing doing the varnish on it. Now, I have used a couple of the student quality paints. Not a lot, but I’m very fond of a pre-mixed medium grey for example. So, what I do is I then use a Windsor Newton artist gloss varnish and what it does is it virtually brings the paint back to life. For the paint brands that do dry darker. It gives them a lift. It’s almost like them being wet again because you’re getting that lovely gloss on them.
So, you know what I would say to you is, by all means tart around at the cheaper end of town and the more expensive end of town with your paint brands. It’s okay. But finish them off with a gloss varnish and then that’ll get you out of strife and make sure that you know, you are actually getting a finish on your painting that looks really good. It’ll bring the brilliance of the colors up. You’ll actually notice the colors looking more lustrous beyond your deeper colors
Okay. I hope that’s been helpful. Hello Lillie Coates. My daughter’s actually watching this. I can’t believe it. So that’s funny she must be very busy right now. I hope that’s been of help to you. Thanks Haley. And how she says she loves her Windsor Newton paints and the info is gold. So, that’s really good news.
Yeah, so, Yeah, but what I wouldn’t do is go too cheap on the paints. Like I know if you go into a cheap shop you can get two dollar paints, but I wouldn’t spend that I wouldn’t do it. I think you know your time is the most valuable thing. Your paints actually, just let you know when I use these Windsor Newton’s this is the same set that I just used in Sydney a couple of weeks ago and on my Melbourne workshop. So, I’ve got a whole set here. I’m only had to top up, you know a few pinks and so on and differently whites and blacks. But they’ve actually lasted through, well, we did probably 26 paintings including mine in Sydney and we did and these are big big paintings and then we’ve done another 16 paintings here. So we’re still going on these chips. So, it’s not the paint that’s expensive. It’s your time. So if you’re gonna put the time in, you know, you want to honor it by using as good as quality as you can and then again having some nice pre-mixed student paints in good quality brands.
Okay, some brands that I recommend are Matisse, Liquitex, Golden are good. And definitely for your professional range the Windsor and Newton because you’re gonna get the brilliance in the canvas. The brilliance of color and that light popping in and out of the canvas through the clear resin as I mentioned before. I hope that’s helpful. Don’t forget to gloss varnish your paintings afterwards. Oh, by the way, the gloss varnish has got a UV in it, so it’s like putting a suntan lotion on your little baby after you finish painting it and making sure that it’s going to not fade.
So, I hope that helps. Bye for now.